Mark Sanchez needed this game.
Following four straight weeks where his completion percentage was under 50 percent, the Jets quarterback had the type of game that makes fans think he is the franchise quarterback they envisioned when the team traded up to make him the No. 6 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Sanchez’s numbers weren’t tremendous, finishing 11-of-18 for 82 yards and two touchdowns, but it is a confidence boost coming off his recent struggles.
“We knew it was a big game for us, our last one at home for a couple weeks. That’s how we approached it. Have everything in practice happen for us on the field,” Sanchez said. “I feel that’s how it started. We had a tough one Monday night, a short week, [but] we bounced back.”
Ironically, it was the first time since the Jets’ 10-9 loss to the Ravens in Week 1 of the 2010 season that Sanchez has thrown for under 100 yards. A large part of Sanchez’s success was thanks to an offensive line that provided good protection, giving up just one sack and three quarterback hits.
The Jets held the edge in time of possession — 33:40 to 27:20. It was the ticket to allowing Sanchez to play a simple, efficient game. It was a welcome change from the last few weeks when he’s been forcing his passes.
“We’re taking what the defense gives us. You want to be aggressive but you want to be smart, aggressive and I think that’s what we did,” wide receiver Jason Hill said. “Our running game was wide open because, thankfully so, we rode it to the end.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.