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Ryan Promised a Top-5 Defense and Delivered; Buccaneers at Jets Game Analysis


By Jordan Aaron

In game one, we saw the good, the bad, the ugly, and then the better, than the ugly again and then the good, and then the almost terrible. That is about the only way I can describe this game. Geno Smith looked on the better side of decent and the receivers made good plays when they had to, and the defense looked fantastic with rookies Sheldon Richardson and Dee Milliner playing their first official career games.


Rex Ryan promised fans a top five defense and I would say we got that, and if not, it was definitely top ten. Among the big shoes to fill was Demario Davis who had 7 tackles, including a possible game saving tackle to stop Vincent Jackson from scoring a touchdown. It was great to see his speed come through and produce tackles in his attempt to replace former Jets linebacker, Bart Scott. Rookie Sheldon Richardson also looked good in his rookie debut with 7 tackles. And in his debut with the Jets, Antwan Barnes showed some promise with one sack. The Jets held the Bucaneers many times, including a run by Doug Martin to prevent a clutch drive by Josh Freeman. Dee Milliner may not have lived up to the hype of being Revis’ replacement, but he certainly made nice plays when it counted. But the highlight of the Jets’ seemingly weak secondary was Dawan Landry, the other Landry, who had a big interception on an overthrow by Josh Freeman.

Offense was another story. Geno looked good and poised throwing for 256 yards, a touchdown and an interception and was able to shake off plenty of defenders for extra rushing yards, which brings us to the biggest problem the Jets had in this game: rushing. When your quarterback has more rush yards than both running backs combined, you are going to have a bad time. Chris Ivory in no way lived up to his expectations and Bilal Powell showed that even the top of his game isn’t that of a top running back. The team will have to deal with the weak running until week for when they can incorporate newbie Mike Goodson into the starting eleven. But poise from a rookie quarterback, kicking and phenomenal defense won this game for the Jets.

 Most Valuable Player:

This one could be up for argument. Despite all of the “Let’s go Geno!” chants, Geno threw a pick and fumbled the ball once.  He looked good as a rookie, but was by no means the most valuable player. One could argue many defenders, but the defense played very well as a whole, and was not controlled by merely one player. In my opinion, the most valuable player in this game was Kellen Winslow. Dustin Keller had been one of the Jets’ most popular receivers in tight end form, but he isn’t on the team anymore, and in an effort to bring experience and moderate talent to the team, John Idzik brought Winslow to the team. He had 7 receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown and had no trouble getting open. Winslow was a game changer as one of the Jets most consistent players.

Most Improved Player:

You may hate this one – or not, but my most improved player was Stephen Hill. He showed his improvement in terms of holding on to the ball and being a bit more elusive as he received 6 of the 9 passes thrown at him, and also showed awareness after recovering a fumble by Bilal Powell. I was wide-eyed by his improvement during the offseason, and I was even more so after this stellar game by him.

Least Valuable Player:

Chris Ivory proved to be as useful as a rock in this one. In 10 attempts, Chris Ivory put 15 yards on the board, averaging 1.5 yds per carry. He had a lot of hype and cost a 4th round pick, which could have been more useful than Ivory was. If any move made by Idzik this season is considered a bust, it has to be this one. If you couldn’t tell how I felt about his game, I thought it was putrid. He needs to improve – big time.

Best Clipboard Holder:

If there was any doubt as to who is going to continue the season under center, it is gone. Sanchez looked fantastic with that clipboard in his hand, and quite frankly, I think he found his calling. Sanchez is a smart player and certainly knows his X’s and O’s, but it is about time that his time has ended in New York. He just doesn’t have the talent to put his talent and his knowledge together on the field. Geno wins the future and Sanchez loses it.

Closing Notes:

1. Defense: A lot went on Sunday but the Jets proved they could contend with teams with talent. Say what you want about Josh Freeman, but the Bucs have Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams and Kevin Ogletree, let alone a fantastic defense. Rex’s defense looked amazing against the run, allowing Doug Martin only 65 yards and one touchdown.

2. Running Game: If anyone proved they could help the Jets win games this season it wasn’t the running backs. Their performances were, to quote Rex Ryan himself, “Brutal.” Next week against the Patriots, they will need to perform a little better to keep up with that explosive offense up North.

3. Quarterback: Geno smith was great against Darelle Revis and the Bucs, and proved he will not be a weakling or turnover machine. I’m not saying he is the next Peyton Manning, but he is no Tim Tebow. He looked good and showed great potential in this one.

4. I noticed that the Jets are trying to pull a Peyton Manning strategy by quieting down the fans during certain plays of certain drives. Who knows if this will work, but it works pretty well for Peyton so statistically, the Jets can continue using this procedure.

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