Pre-season shambles?... anyone remember that now? The Jets turned in an impressive offensive display against the Bills at the Metlife Stadium yesterday as they set a franchise record for points (48) scored in an season opener.
The spotlight has shone brightly over the Jets this off-season, as the media continually stirred the QB controversy pot, adding a sprinkling of Holmes and the failings of the offense during the pre-season. Labeled a cirus the Jets went about entertaining the packed Metlife stadium, Mark Sanchez was the ringmaster as he managed the Jets offense impressively finishing with figures of 19/26 for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns, Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick assuming the role of circus clown as he was picked off 3 times (Revis, Wilson and Cromartie pick six).
Tony Sparanos formula of Sanchez and Tebow worked beautifully as the Bills were left stunned and clearly confused by the variety of looks from the Jets, who even rolled out the flea flicker for 28 yards. The Jets efficiently and continually moved the chains on the Bills with ease as they completed 71% of their third down attempts (10/14). Sanchez looked sharp/composed as he dispatched the ball efficiently and accurately (70% completion). Stephen Hill looked nothing like the guy we'd seen in pre-season as he hauled in 5 receptions for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. Holmes and kerley also contributed to the Jets dominance (Holmes 4/68 yds, Kerley 4/45yds 1 TD). Kerley also returned a punt for a touchdown (68 yards) Ellis Lankster will the all important block on the play.
It wasn't all about airing the ball out that had the Bills struggling, the Jets Ground n Pound reaped its rewards as Shonn Greene showed a great burst up the middle, as he put on a display we're more accustomed to seeing in the colder months (you've been warned NFL) he finished the day with 94 yards from 27 carries and a touchdown.
The defense was dominant as the Bills first three drives consisted of two picks and a punt. Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry complimented Revis and Cromartie in the secondary with Landry bringing an end to Fred Jackson's day with a ferocious hit. Austin Howard deserves huge credit for his performance, during only his second start in the NFL he kept Mario Williams impact on the game to one similar of a mere spectator in the stand.
On a day where everything fell into place perfectly the Jets answered not only the medias critique, but also some fans concerns, I for one will bask in the glory of the perfect start to the season.
The Jets take on the Steelers next Sunday (4.25pm ET 9.25pm UK) who'll be looking for their first win of the season after falling short against Peyton Mannings Denver Broncos 31-19. The Jets go into the game looking to avenge the AFC Championship game defeat.