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As Gang Green Turns: Jets Beat Panthers 9-3

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Coming off last week’s disappointing 31-16 loss to the Giants in their first preseason game, the New York Jets had a disappointing 9-3 win against the Carolina Panthers. How can any victory be disappointing? While the first-team offense looked good last week, this week it seemed like it didn’t show up. If not for Nick Folk’s three field goals (one a 49 yarder), the team would have suffered an embarrassing shutout.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez looked like he couldn’t find his game last night, completing five of 10 passes for a minuscule twelve yards during his truncated playing time. Mark Brunell was no better, with three completions in seven attempts for a measly two yards. In total, the offense got three first downs and a total of forty-five yards in the first half.

Coach Rex Ryan must be wondering about his second-year quarterback and that sluggish offense. Rookie Joe McKnight had four carries and a total of five yards in the first half, and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson was beaten by Everette Brown, who promptly sacked Sanchez. The only offensive bright spot was LaDainian Tomlinson, gaining 26 yards on three carries against the Panthers’ first team defense in the first half.

The good news last night was that the defense looked very sharp in the first half. Some fans might be asking, “Darrelle Revis who?” after watching the defense shut down the Panthers. Highlights were Jim Leonhard’s interception and a sack of Carolina’s QB Matt Moore. Rex Ryan should be very pleased with what he saw in the first half, with the Panthers getting just two first downs and 67 total yards. It was a very impressive night for the Jets’ D.

Overall, a win is a win. Yet, fans will recall that this team was 9-7 last year, even with the league’s best defense, because they had trouble scoring points. And last night’s game seems to suggest a similar problem brewing this year. If the first team defense continues as it did last night, they are going to be very stingy with opposing teams, but Sanchez and the offense had better start getting things together and fast.

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • Ryan

    Darelle Revis who?!?! It was the Panthers! Shutting down their offense is nothing to write home about. The Jets NEED Revis to even break .500 this year. The offense will be terrible, guaranteed. Sanchez is a complete hack.

  • kurt brigliadora

    I must disagree, Sanchez just keeps getting better every game, in my opinion-the jets will make the playoffs this year and maybe alot farther if they stay healthy…And their defense plays very good at home , so watch out for the new york jets this year!

  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    I think Sanchez will be a great QB one day, but even the greatest ones are only as good as the protection they get enabling them to do the job, and then they need the backs and receivers to get those first downs. Right now it is looking dismal, but let’s see what next week brings.