Was there any doubt after the offensive’s first drive at Buffalo? Sanchez led them right down the field like he did in Miami last week. And just like in Miami, the crowd got quiet, The Bills fans with their faces painted barely got a chance to sit down and it was the beginning of the end. It was a heavy dose of LT (still great) and some precise passing by Mark.
While they were the shining stars, the offensive linemen were the unsung heroes. All day they were. When both your running backs rush for over 100 yards and your QB barely gets touched, that means that they played their butts off. And most importantly, no turnovers, you’re going to win a lot of ballgames.
I haven’t mentioned it yet in previous blogs, but Sanchez’s game has really matured a lot since last year. Think about it. He’s thrown 8 TDs vs. 0 interceptions. He’s only been sacked 5 times. I knew that he was playing very well but when I Googled his stats I got to wondering who has been as efficient as he has been the past 3 games.
The first game he looked like he was checking the ball down too soon to his safety valve. That could’ve been the gameplan. Who knows? Now, he’s reading the whole field, staying in the pocket longer. Some quarterbacks, especially young ones, get happy feet back there and take off before they need to. And I don’t know if you noticed it, but he has really gotten good at play action passing. He hides the ball very well.
OK. I don’t know if he’s the second coming, but for what it’s worth I’m really impressed by him.
Here’s the other side of the coin. Guess who’s coming to town? None other than Brett Favre. I have so much to say about him that I don’t know where to start. Now I’m friendly with him. I played in his charity golf outing in Mississippi a couple of times and with him in a flag football game in Florida. I like him a lot and certainly respect his play. You’d be crazy to not think he is one of the best to play the game.
It doesn’t matter what I think of him. What matters is how his former teammates do. That will tell you what kind of man and player that they think he is. From what I heard, he wasn’t the most liked in the locker room. I think it’s kind of the way it was with Vinny. He was an older guy, old enough to be my Dad. He has played in more games and experienced far more than any other player in the locker room. His taste in music is different and he probably didn’t understand the lingo that we used.
But Vinny was right in the middle of it. Laughing, probably more at us than with us. Ask anybody who ever played with Vinny and it would be unanimous that everyone thought that he was a great guy. Now with Brett being in the same situation, I was told that he pretty much segregated himself from the team. So it seems like he left a bad taste in some of the players’ mouths. Well, for those players on the defensive side of the ball, it’s their chance to let him know how they feel.
If you’ve ever gotten a chance to go to training camp and watched the team practice, you’ll know that the QBs wear red jerseys. Yellow jerseys mean take it easy. Seems prissy, but I wore it sometimes to keep from getting my head beat in. I saved my best concussions for the field. Not funny but who cares at this point? Anyway. The QBs wear RED. Which means DO NOT TOUCH!!! Occasionally it happens by accident. And man, if it’s a young guy who does it, they’re going to hear about it.
Point of the story — Monday night, Brett’s wearing purple. He might as well be wearing green because these guys are going to be coming at him full speed with every thing they’ve got. And he knows what he’s up against. He knows the defense and the defense knows him. The Jets know how he plays the game. Heck, they know his cadence. His way to draw the defense offsides.
And most importantly, they know that if they pressure him there’s a chance that he might throw some picks. He always tries to get a pass off. Off balance, going down, over the shoulder, shuffle pass. Jets fans witnessed that. I don’t know how his shoulder is healed but he is dead accurate when he’s on. But you make him throw the ball 25-30 times, you might get one.
Now there’s only two ways to get him to attempt so many passes and that is to either be ahead later in the game or if you stop Adrian Peterson. Easier said than done.
If you’ve never had a chance to watch Adrian play, you’re in for a treat. This will be the toughest test that the defense will have all year. Seriously, this guy is an animal. He is a straight north-south runner. He’s got great moves but he hits the hole hard. And he only needs a crease. He’s run for 87, 145 and 180 yards. He went for 80 yards last week. Straight up the gut, a nasty stiff-arm on the safety and he was gone. Just like that. I don’t think one guy can tackle him straight up. The Jets need to put as many helmets on him as they can when he gets the ball. I know I’m really pumping him up, but he is that good.
The receivers make a lot of plays for them. Hopefully Revis is back. Since that first game, Cromartie has really stepped up his game. Ask Lee Evans.
Last topic. The bye week. The Vikings are coming off their bye week. Really early in the season for a bye, but after a 1-2 start they might have needed it. Some teams come off the bye better and some not. The bye week is great. You get some time off. Time with your family, some light practices. You come back with a fresh outlook, a fresh attitude. But sometimes it’s hard to get back in sync when the next game first starts.
The Jets have jumped out of the gate in these last games. And they need to continue this this week. Get the crowd into it. Important, most important, stop them on third down. Put them in a third-and-long. I compare third down to two strikes in a baseball game. There’s two strikes, the crowd comes alive and they go nuts when they call that third strike.
Same in football. Third down. The crowd gets louder. You stop them, thunderous applause. They get the first down, the crowd sits down.
This is what happened in the Ravens game. The fans got quiet more than getting loud. Last week the Bills were blanked on third down. The defense repeats that performance and the O plays how it has … Say Goodnight … 4-1.
Tags: Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez, Vinny Testaverde
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