Jets 47. Rams 3. Now that's what Eric Mangini has been talking about all season, a complete game. The offense was almost perfect, scoring on their first eight possessions. The defense was just as good getting five turnovers against the Rams with one defensive touchdown. The Jets did not get caught up in a potential "trap game" with a trip to New England looming this coming Thursday. And with the Patriots coming up, this was a perfect tune up with 1st place on the line in Foxborough.
Thomas Jones was one of the main factors on offense Sunday. He had his second 3 touchdown game of he season while also adding 149 yards rushing. Jones, who coming into the game was the AFC's 2nd leading rusher, is really proving this season that last season was just bad season on a bad team. He now has 750 rushing yards on the season and is on pace for over 1300 yards. He also had 8 touchdowns on the ground and is also on pace for about 15 this season. I know it's tough to say that he will get to 15, but it's a whole lot better than last season when he only had one rushing touchdown. Dustin Keller was also a big part of the offense on Sunday. The Jets second pick in this year's draft, 30th overall, had by far his best game of the season with 6 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. His biggest catch of the day came on the Jets second possession when Brett Favre went over the top to hit him for a 54 yard reception that led to a Jets field goal and a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. New York has been waiting for him to break out and be a threat in the offense. Hopefully this will lead to bigger things for the young tight end.
For the second straight week, Brett Favre managed the Jets offense, this time to perfection. He ended up going 14-19 for 167 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers. Not flashy by any means but it got the job done. Since the game got out of hand early, the Jets relied on the run. They rushed 43 times for a total of 206 yards. The Rams had one of the worst rushing defenses coming into the game, so the Jets took full advantage. In addition to the 149 yards from Jones, Leon Washington added another 54 yards on the ground. The offensive line continues to improve for the Jets. For the second straight week they allowed zero sacks. Favre has been getting excellent protection which has led to him having only one turnover the past two weeks, a major improvement over the first seven weeks of the season.
The defense was a major factor to Sunday's win as well. Eric Barton had a huge game for the Jets. He contributed with 10 tackles and a half a sack. He had constant pressure on the quarterback all day. Calvin Pace, one of the Jets big free agent acquisitions in the off-season, also had a big play early in the game. On the Rams second possession of the day, Marc Bulger was pressured and fumbled the ball. Pace picked it up off one bounce and took it 50 yards to the house for the touchdown. The fumble was caused by Abram Elam, who last week had a touchdown of his own after an interception against the Buffalo's Trent Edwards. Kerry Rhodes also had one of his better games of the season on Sunday. He had one interception which led to a touchdown and a fumble recovery which led to a field goal. Overall, the Jets defense had five turnovers against the Rams which led to 27 points.
The Jets defensive line had another solid afternoon, only surrendering 80 rushing yards on 21 attempts. The Jets rushing defense will remain one of the top four in the NFL after this performance. The passing defense really stepped up this week. They gave up only 135 yards in the air and gave the Rams receivers headaches all day. St. Louis ended up playing both Marc Bulger and Trent Green, only to get no where with either of them. Bulger had only 6 completions while Green only had 5. The pass defense is the weakest part of the Jets defense and they really stepped it up on Sunday. This unit has continued to improve as the weeks have gone by.
This was a huge win for the Jets. With a short week ahead, they needed to keep their momentum going before heading up to New England. Both the offense and defense has improved each week over the last month or so. With the exception of the loss in Oakland three weeks ago, the Jets have managed to win five of their last six games. They now see themselves at 6-3, tied with the Patriots, heading up to Foxborough on Thursday to face them. This is the first time in a while the Jets see themselves in first place this late in a season. If they can play on Thursday the way they did against the Rams, then they will be in the drivers seat for a potential AFC East title this season. It's still a long way to go, but they have put themselves in a very good position. This was a good win in a game they had to win. Next up is payback against the Patriots.