Despite Sanchez throwing the ball like he has a rotator cuff injury, the Jets pulled it out yesterday. They beat Peyton Manning, the man who spurned them many years ago to stay an extra year in Tennessee. Yes, folks, I WILL NEVER forgive him for that. And so I celebrate that dumb look on his face from last night a little bit more than the rest of you.
Cris Collinsworth said it perfectly last night: the Jet offense can look terrible or great. In the first half, it mostly looked terrible (mostly because of Sanchez's accuracy). In the second half, it looked dominant. Where was that all year long? Ground and pound is REAL football. I love to see an offense impose its will on a defense. I think the Jets can do the same thing to the Patriots next week. Prediction: it ain't gonna be a tea party for the Pats in Foxboro this time around.
And how about that defensive game plan? The wonder boy was held to ONE touchdown pass and three field goals. Although, it is interesting to ponder, suppose he does not have Vinatieri to kick? Does he take more chances? Having a great kicker is good, unless you rely on him to be your primary scorer. Still, where were the blitzes? Has Rex finally figured out that his blitzes generally do not work, as the Jets consistently fail to get pressure on a quarterback? I look forward to his game plan to slow the Pats.
At halftime, I was discussing with a compatriot the possibility of pulling Sanchez, who could not hit the broadside of a barn in the first half. My reasoning was this: in baseball, if your ace is off, you pull him. He's still your ace, just not today. But in football, for whatever reason, pulling your starting quarterback is an insult. But we weren't asking Sanchez to move mountains, just make accurate passes to open receivers. Brunell could do that. Hell, I bet Clemens could do that. In short, if the first half Sanchez shows up against the Pats next weekend, Rex should not hesitate to pull him. The game is more important than Sanchez's ego. And, you can always use the injured shoulder as an excuse. Then again, Sanchez IS 3-1 playoff games.
All in all, a big win for the Jets. Oh, and as far as the Seahawks upsetting the Saints goes, I say: Matt Hasselback is a Super Bowl quarterback. I like the Seahawks chances against anyone with him at the helm. If they have to play the Bears and Jay Cutler, watch out for an upset. How ironic would it be if Seattle hosted the championship game against Green Bay?