Monday, October 26, 2009

Jets Dominate Raiders 38-0, Lose Washington

*38-0. Even against Oakland, that's impressive. The defense was fantastic, save a few long runs by Justin Fargas, and the offense was mistake-free. This game looked like what the Jets of 4 weeks ago would have done to Oakland, not what the Kris Jenkins-less, free-falling Jets would do. Very nice win. Except for one thing...

*Leon Washington is probably out for the season. He broke his leg in an ugly-looking play that Damien Woody described this way. “As soon as I saw it I knew it was over. You never want to see anything like that. It was an inside zone (play) and his foot was on the ground and Tommy Kelly hit it. I could just see it crunch. I’ve never seen anything like that. The bone broke the skin and I saw blood just squirting. I knew right then."

Washington was the Jets' most dynamic playmaker offensively and on special teams. The Jets have usually been able to find kick returners out of nowhere in the Mike Westhoff era, but there's no obvious replacement for him there. Luckily for the Jets, runningback is the one place on the roster where they are deep. Unfortunately for Washington, he probably should have taken that $5 million dollars a year deal. He'll be lucky to see that contract now...

*Washington's injury opened the door for Shonn Greene. The rookie from Iowa got his first extended look, and he responded with 16 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns. He ran hard, he looked quick, and he bowled through the Raiders defense. He can't provide the sizzle that Washington can offensively, but he should be equally productive.

*Thomas Jones continues to be the most underappreciated Jet this season. A week after setting the Jets' single game rushing record at 210, he posted another 121 this week. He's not as explosive as Washington or Greene, but he's still running well. And to think, almost four times as many people voted that they would rather have Washington have the bulk of the carries than Jones. To be fair, I may have been one of them, but Jones is now 4th in the NFL in rushing with 607 yards.

*Calvin Pace finally shook off the rust and showed how good he can be. He set the tone early by stripping JaMarcus Russell. He also stripped Bruce Gradkowski and had another sack for a total of three. He also batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage. Vernon Gholston is back on the bench.

*This is the second straight QB casualty at the hands of the Jets' defense. Last week, they nearly broke Trent Edwards in half. This week, they didn't injure Russell, but they did force him into three first-half turnovers which finally caused Tom Cable to bench his young quarterback. Cable says Russell will start next week though.

*≈Brian Schottenheimer cleary learned his lesson from last week. If you're running the ball down a team's throat, just keep doing it. A week after wasting a 318-yard rushing output by throwing six interceptions, the Jets ran for 316 yards again in this one, and Mark Sanchez only threw the ball 15 times.

*When Sanchez did throw the ball, he looked much more comfortable than last week, going 9-15 for 143 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for another touchdown, his second rushing TD of the year. He didn't have to do much in this one, and he wasn't asked to do much. He got to build up his confidence in a big win and even eat a hot dog on the sideline.

*The Danny Woodhead show finally arrived in the NFL, and as a runningback as was originally planned. He had three carries for 24 yards in garbage time, still wearing Chansi Stuckey's former #83.

*The leading receiver for the Jets? David Clowney, who had four grabs for 79 yards and a touchdown. Clowney caught the first touchdown pass of his career on a 35-yard pass. With Braylon Edwards covered a lot by Nnamdi Asomugha, Clowney was a primary target when they did throw, and he converted.

*The one downer for this game other than the Washington injury is the run defense. Justin Fargas ran for 67 yards on just eight carries. Michael Bush added 25 on eight carries. They had a lot of stuffs for minimal gain, but Fargas broke free for a few long runs, and with Miami coming to town next week, the Jets will need to get it in gear. Kris Jenkins's loss is going to be difficult to overcome, and Sunday was definitely a step in the right direction with a shutout, but the Dolphins will be the real test.

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