Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez took no turnovers into this game against the Denver Broncos (2-4), but that wouldn’t last long. By the time the first half was over, Sanchez had thrown two interceptions, and the Jets (5-1) went back to the locker room down 10-7. It could have been worse, but it should have been better.
There was nothing to boast about in this game in terms of execution. The offense and the defense seemed like they were phoning it in today. LaDainian Tomlinson, who coming into this game was like a rejuvenated man, seem to be an invisible one until the fourth quarter. Back in the saddle Santonio Holmes had butter fingers, and Darrelle Revis, in the game but not seeming fully there yet, was beaten – and looked bad in the process – by Demaryius Thomas for a touchdown.
Of course, the focus would be on Sanchez and his falling apart in that first quarter. Much has been said recently about the way he has found his maturity this season, but early on he seemed a bit lost, though he used common sense in situations like when he allowed himself to be sacked instead of throwing the ball away. He also made a nice 32-yard pass to Braylon Edwards resulting in a TD in the first half, but it seemed like he couldn’t find any consistency.
As the game progressed it felt like those games many Jets fans have sat through before: a game that shouldn’t have been lost but would inevitably be because of the inability to get the big play. Head coach Rex Ryan was surely thinking about grabbing something stronger than his vegetarian shakes when he went back to that lockeroom at the half, but the Jets came back out and were not ready to throw in the towel.
The big play eventually did come in the form of a lucky break for the Jets. As the final minutes of the fourth quarter were ticking away and on fourth down with six yards to go, Sanchez threw a long pass from Denver’s 48-yard line to Santonio Holmes, who got roughed up by Denver’s safety Renaldo Hill on the two-yard line. This gift-wrapped the next play for Sanchez, who wisely gave the ball to Tomlinson who rushed in for the game-winning TD.
It wasn’t the kind of game that the Jets wanted to play, but winning is the ultimate goal, and the Jets now have won five straight. There were lots of red flags that Ryan needs to address with the team, and one has to wonder if Revis is ever going to be Revis again.
Even though this 24-20 victory keeps the Jets in first place in the AFC East, that lead is tenuous at best because we have to wonder if the Jets players will get their acts together. Sanchez needs to be a leader on the offense, just as Revis needs to be on defense. What we saw today has to make us wonder if both guys will rise to the challenge, or if their luck will run out in the next game.