So the Jets went up to Buffalo this weekend with first place potentially on the line and they pull out their biggest win of 2008. And they did it with a great defensive performance. And thanks to the Colts for taking care of the Patriots, the Jets see themselves in a three way tie for first place at 5-3. The defense played great and the offense did enough to win the game.
I have to start with the defense this week. Kris Jenkins, the Jets defensive MVP this season, led a defensive line that gave up only 30 rushing yards on the afternoon. They were able to keep Marshawn Lynch in check for only 16 rushing yards. He did have three receptions for 52 yards, but got about 40 of those yards on one play on the opening drive. Jenkins not only shut down the running game, he also had two sacks and forced Trent Edwards to make a pass that was picked off by Abram Elam and taken 92 yards to the house for a touchdown. One of the biggest plays of the day was on the ensuing drive for the Bills when they got down to the Jets 8 yard line and had 4th and 1. Jenkins and Kerry Rhodes were able to stuff Fred Jackson for no gain. Darrelle Revis also had a huge day for the Jets. He sacked Edwards in the first quarter, forcing a fumble that he also recovered leading to a Jets field goal. He then ended the game with an Interception in the end zone. Revis is becoming one of the best cover corners in the NFL. He now has 4 int's on the season, 2 of them were game enders. Overall the Jets defense ended up 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and sacked Edwards 5 times.
The offense managed the game effectively and cut down on the mistakes. Brett Favre was not spectacular but got the job done. After talking with Eric Mangini this week about cutting down on mistakes, he only made one on this day, which was an interception that was returned for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. That made the score at the time 23-17 Jets. The key drive was the one that came after the interception. Favre was able to lead the Jets on a 14 play 65 yard drive that ate up over eight minutes of the game clock, ending with another Jets field goal. The Jets went up 26-17 and never looked back. On the day, Favre was 19-28 for 201 yards and one interception. One key for cutting down on the turnovers was the pass protection because Favre was not sacked at all. The offensive played a very solid game on Sunday. You could tell that Favre was not trying to force any passes because on the first two possessions in the red zone, the Jets were running the ball and ended up with two field goals.
Another key play for the Jets was late in the third quarter. Leon Washington fielded a kickoff after a Bills field goal while he was out of bounds, giving the Jets the ball on the Bills 40 yard line. He had one foot out of bounds and grabbed the ball which was going to stay in bounds. If he did not do this, the Jets would have gotten the ball inside the Bills 10 yard line. A very smart play for another potential Jets team MVP this season. Leon also ended up with 13 rushing yards and 42 receiving yards. He does a little bit of everything for the Jets and always seems to be doing something big whenever he is on the field.
The offense was not flashy by any means on Sunday. But the managed the game well and did enough to get the Jets a win. The story was the defense. That was a huge performance on the road against a division rival. The Jets do have a trap game coming up this week against the Rams. This is a big game because they could get a game up on the Bills or Patriots since they are playing each other this week in New England. Since the Jets play the Patriots four days after they plays the Rams, they can not over look St. Louis. If they can beat the Rams then they will be heading up to New England at 6-3 with the hopes of taking over the division lead. But that's too far away right now to worry about that, but it all starts on Sunday at the Meadowlands.