The Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez era has begun with a stunning display on both defense and offense, as the Gang Green dominated the Houston Texans, 24-7. QB Mark Sanchez, who finished the game 18 of 31, 272 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, became the first Jets' rookie quarterback to win a game since Richard Todd did it in 1976. Rex Ryan's revamped defense played as advertised, limiting Houston to just 181 total yards.
With just one game into the season, it's already safe to say that comparing Ryan's defense with what the Jets had last season is like night and day. There's a tremendous amount of pressure being brought in on basically every down along with a lot of intensity. The defense looked aggressive on every down, recording 2 sacks and 2 turnovers. MLB David Harris led the team with 11 tackles (6 solo) and 1 sack. NT Kris Jenkins totally dominated in the middle, as even double teams were unable to stop him from penetrating the line of scrimmage. CB Darrelle Revis was all over WR Andre Johnson, limiting the latter to only 4 catches for 35 yards.
QB Mark Sanchez did make an expected rookie mistake that resulted in a Texans touchdown, but overall he exceeded most expectations. Sanchez showed great poise and pocket awareness, and just kept fueling his teammates with his energy throughout the course of the game. TE Dustin Keller led the receiving core with 4 grabs for 94 yards. I will not be surprised if Keller goes over 1,000 receiving yards this season. RB Thomas Jones, who was held in check for most of the game, finally broke through in the final quarter with two runs for over 35 yards. Jones rushed for a total of 107 yards on 20 carries, 2 TDs. While Jones struggled, RB Leon Washington had to carry the burden. Leon was his usual all-purpose self - 60 yards on the ground, 24 yards receiving, 36 return yards.
If you've been following this website long enough, you probably know that I am far from a rah-rah fan. Over the last 9 years I've posted pictures of Herman Edwards with the word "clueless" going across, asked for Mangini to be fired, wanted Chad "The Noodle Arm" Pennington off the team. etc. This team, however, is really something we all can be excited about. This is the Jets team that I've wanted to see for a long time, since the Parcells' era. I am sure there will be plenty of bumps on the road ahead, but Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez will give the long suffering Jets' fans plenty of reasons to be happy in the years to come.
J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS!!!!