The Jets are 3-1 after today's resounding 38-14 victory over the Bills today in Orchard Park. Gang Green is also 3-0 against the AFC East with a head to head victory over all three division rivals. Banking these early could mean big things at the conclusion of the regular season. There was concern the Jets would overlook the Bills. Those fears ended up being unfounded. This one was pretty much over once the ball was kicked.
More after the jump.
LaDainian Tomlinson: The fact he got the start today speaks volumes as to how well he is playing. He was supposed to be the guy to spell the new elite back, Shonn Greene. The roles are reversed. LT has regained his Pro Bowl form. He has recovered his burst and is cutting on a dime. He had an ungodly average of 7.0 yards per carry today, running for 133 yards on 19 carries with 2 touchdowns. His offensive line opened up huge holes, but Tomlinson is finding them, hitting them, and beating guys on the second and third levels. It looked like he was playing at a different speed from everybody else.
Nick Mangold: He was consistently getting a push by himself when matched up against Kyle Williams, a pretty good player. When the center is winning the battle against the nose in the 3-4 by himself, it is easy to run the ball.
Damien Woody and Brandon Moore: The Jets were running behind them all day long. Let's add to that remark on Mangold. When a team is consistently sealing the nose and the end on the side where it is running the ball with two offensive linemen (and allowing the third to hit the second level), it is easy to run the ball.
Tony Richardson: He threw some fantastic blocks to spring some of Tomlinson's big runs.
Shonn Greene: He was excellent in that role I mentioned spelling the elite back. He had his first 100 yard game of the season, netting 117 on 22 carries.
Mark Sanchez: The accuracy still leaves something to be desired, but Sanchez had another effective game. He hit 14 of 24 for 161 yards, and 2 touchdowns. He's making throws a lot of quarterbacks are not capable of making. More importantly, he's protecting the football. The pump fake that froze Leodis McKelvin shows that he is developing a real command of how to beat defenses in the NFL.
Pass Protection: I named some of the linemen individually above, but let me compliment them as a unit. The Bills have no good pass rushers and a vanilla scheme. These guys still should get praise for doing what they should have done, keep Sanchez clean for a second consecutive week.
Braylon Edwards: Braylon had another big game. His line was 4 catches, 86 yards, and 1 touchdown. A year ago, he might have dropped the 41 yard touchdown grab when Sanchez's pump fake left him all alone. He also made a great play early in the game breaking up an interception and drew a penalty. Dustin Keller seems to be Sanchez's first look, but he's showing that he trust Braylon. He's throwing it up even when Edwards is covered and expecting him to make a play. It's easy to see why. Edwards is playing great football.
Dustin Keller: Even though Keller didn't make the same impact he did against New England and Miami, he was heard from in the red zone. The first of his 2 touchdowns was an excellent display of athleticism and of why he's such a great weapon to have at that spot on the field. He also did good work as a run blocker. He has improved by leaps and bounds this year in that department.
Brad Smith: How many guys throw a touchdown pass, return a kick 38 yards, and play on coverage teams in the same day? How can you not love this guy?
Antonio Cromartie: Lee Evans had 1 catch for 6 yards. Cromartie shadowed him all game and gave him next to nothing. There were a few balls Evans could have caught, but Cromartie was in good coverage. I only saw Evans get a step on him once.
The Way the Jets Used Cromartie: From what I saw, the Jets did not use as much variety in the way they used Cromartie than they did last week against Brandon Marshall. Cromartie was used a ton against Evans in press coverage. That's the best way to use him. He struggles doing anything else. This is the way to utilize his strength, size, and athleticism.
Drew Coleman: I'm not sure I've ever used this space to praise Coleman like this, but I thought he was terrific in coverage. The competition was not very good, but we would all be on him had he struggled. Drew played well.
Jim Leonhard on Defense: He was good in coverage and as a blitzer.
Bryan Thomas: Thomas forced a fumble and was frequently winning his matchups and getting himself to the football.
David Harris: He led the team with 6 tackles, and these were not easy tackles. He operated well in traffic.
Dwight Lowery: He registered a sack, didn't allow anything big in coverage, and was sure handed as a tackler. The Jets kept things in front of him today. It's where Dwight does his best work.
Shaun Ellis: Ellis was active and recorded a sack.
Nick Folk: It's a good thing he was perfect from inside 60 entering this game, or that miss from 30 yards would have be very worried.
Kyle Wilson: I hate to keep getting on the guy, because I think he is going to get a ton better once he gets experience. I also think the Jets are putting him in a very difficult spot at times. There's no denying, though, that Kyle is struggling out there. He was solid early, but the touchdown that came on him displayed the things he's struggling with, playing tentatively when he doesn't have help and not looking for the ball.
Jim Leonhard as a Punt Returner: The numbers might not indicate it, but I think the Jets should find a new returner. Wilson would make sense. Jim doesn't have great speed. He doesn't have experience reading blocks. He doesn't have the agility to make people miss. He's also valuable on the defense. I don't like having him handling the ball and taking hits if it's not helping the team.
The Jets did what they needed to do. What did we learn about this team today? We learned Gang Green has maturity. Yes, the opponent was one of the worst in the NFL, but the Jets dispatched them handily. You have to feel good about this. And Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pace, and Santonio Holmes are coming.