The Jets beat the Giants 27-25 in a very competitive preseason game. But all that Jets fans will remember are three plays, and for good reason.
After a first quarter in which the Giants clearly outplayed the Jets, Mark Sanchez drove the Jets in the 2nd quarter on a four play drive that gave the Jets to lead. On the touchdown strike, Sanchez eluded pressure, kept his eyes down the field, and threw a perfect strike to an open Chansi Stuckey off his back foot. Stuckey danced and juked his way into the end zone in a play that showed flashed the talents of both players. Stuckey showed his trademark shiftiness, but obviously Sanchez is the story of the play.
There will be a lot of times that Sanchez struggles this year. But as long as he shows flashes of being the star the Jets are paying him to be, it'll be a successful season for him. Plays like that are exactly what you should be looking for. It showed his poise, accuracy, vision, and mobility all in one shot, and Stuckey capped it off with a great play of his own. All in all, it was a big day for Sanchez, who finished 13-20 for 149 yards and a touchdown against one of the best defenses in the NFL. If he can play like that, the Jets will be a tough team to beat.
This might be the best Jets picture I have seen in years. That would be the "Madbacker" Bart Scott ripping the ball out of the hands of the biggest, most bruising back in the NFL Brandon Jacobs. Making it even more epic is that Scott's helmet flew off earlier in the play, and the intense look on his face (and the ball in his hands) is exactly what Rex Ryan preaches. Intensity. Violence. Ahh, I love it.
Play #3. (Fast forward to 1:10 for the play)
Finally, a game where you didn't need to pay close attention to #50 to actually notice him. Vernon Gholston continued to progress, showing strength and more pass rushing moves than ever. Of course, he's going from a guy who looked like one of the biggest busts in NFL history to playing like a marginal backup, but every little step helps.
And when this play first happened, my reaction, and probably yours, too, was that of utter amusement. I burst out laughing. Vernon Gholston comes unblocked off the edge and plants David Carr, forcing a fumble, finally doing what the Jets are paying him to do, and he can't even do that right by hitting David Carr helmet-to-helmet. I'm not sure if he was trying to make a statement by drilling Carr as hard as he did, or if he simply was so shocked that he was about to play that he just ran into him and forgot to actually tackle him. My money is on the latter. Either way, at least we know he exists, and that he's not completely allergic to the quarterback. He's got a long way to go, but like I said before, every little bit helps with this kid.
***Other news and notes***
*QB Chris Pizzotti, who actually got to play in this one as Rex Ryan promised, was released. So were S Nate Ness, LB Craig Kobel, and WR Huey Whittaker.
*Erik Ainge continues to impress, as his one throw was a 70-yard touchdown strike to the speedy Aundrae Allison. Ainge's quarterback rating? A perfect 158.3.
*Leon Washington...what can you say about him other than he better get the ball at least 15 times a game. He's just a step quicker than everyone else on the field.
*David Harris led the team in tackles with 6 solo and 2 assisted. He also had an interception. This guy might be the most impressive player on defense all preseason.