QB Mark Sanchez completed only 8 of his 16 passes for a total of 64 yards, 1 TD, but big plays on defense and special team were all that the Jets needed to defeat their crosstown rivals and win the inaugural Metlife Bowl, 17-3. CB Antonio Cromartie's 68-yard kickoff return to the Giants' 35-yard line gave the struggling Jets offense an excellent field position late in the second quarter. Six plays later Sanchez connected with WR Santonio Holmes on a 17-yard TD pass, which was Sanchez' longest completion of the night. This turned out to be the game winning score, as the Gang Green took a 7-3 lead.
The Giants seemed to be moving the ball almost at will against the starting Jets' defense but despite giving up a lot of yardage (224 yards in the first half), the Jets did make big plays when they needed them. First, S Jim Leonhard intercepted Eli Manning in the first quarter, stopping the Big Blue's opening drive deep into the Jets' territory. Then, in the second quarter, MLB David Harris picked Manning off again.
Rex Ryan pulled his defensive starters out in the 3rd quarter but the second team defense made a huge goal line stand, as they stopped the Giants' starting offense that was desperately trying to put points on the board. S Brodney Pool and LB Josh Mauga, who's been outstanding this preseason, came up with a huge stop on a 4th and 1 from the 1-yard line.
WR Jeremy Kerley - after a subpar game against the Bengals, the rookie nicely rebounded, as the Jets finally showed their new wildcat offense. Kerley gained 13 yards on 2 runs, completed an 18-yard pass, caught a 6-yard pass, and also had a 17-yard punt return.
LB Nick Bellore - 5 tackles (4 solo), 1.0 sack, 1 defended pass. It will be difficult for this undrafted rookie to make the team but he surely made his name known with an outstanding game yesterday.
LB Aaron Maybin - the Bills' bust continued to impress. He didn't record any sacks yesterday but was able to consistently pressure the quarterback.
DB Emanuel Cook - he struggled against the run, as RB Brandon Jacobs literally ran over him on a couple of occasions. Additionally, he received a personal foul for grabbing a face mask.
CB Donald Strickland - he struggled in coverage at times and was also flagged for unnecessary roughness in the 3rd quarter.
P Chris Bryan - he averaged only 35.7 yards on 3 punts. This sealed his fate as the Jets cut him earlier today.
DL Muhammad Wilkerson - didn't show much as a player, but we saw him in a new role, as he threw a punch at Brandon Jacobs and got ejected.
NT Kenrick Ellis - registered 2 tackles.
RB Bilal Powell - gained 11 yards on 3 carries and scored his first NFL touchdown.
WR Jeremy Kerley - definitely had his best game thus far. He's the rookie to watch this season.
QB Greg McElroy - played another mistake free solid game. He completed 4 of 5 passes for 39 yards.
WR Scotty McKnight - where's he???