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Week 11: Jets grades

The Jets won their third consecutive nail-biter, 30-27, over the Texans on Sunday.

The Jets won their third consecutive nail-biter, 30-27, over the Texans on Sunday. Here's their report card:


Quarterback

How can you not be impressed with the development of Mark Sanchez in the pocket? His poise and presence can be attributed to the fact that there is a three-game winning streak for the Jets despite needing yet another comeback to win. Sanchez has been making continued progress and his decision making is greatly improved as he’s learning the benefits of throwing the ball away instead of forcing the pass. The fourth quarter drive to end the game overshadows a bad stretch to start the quarter when the Jets turned the ball and were forced to punt prior to Sanchez’s big plays. Grade: B+

Running Backs

The worst combined effort of the season for LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, who had just 27 carries and 78 yards of total rushing against the Texans. The game plan was – or should have been - to build on the ground and pound philosophy of last week’s win in Cleveland, but the Jets got away from that as the Texans consistently made a push at the line of scrimmage that limited the Jets backs to short gains. The injury to Damien Woody, who suffered a MCL sprain in the second quarter, had a slight impact to the ground game, which was struggling before the lineman limped off the field. Tomlinson was more than effective catching the ball out of the backfield with seven catches for 71 yards, helping to offset the woeful rushing numbers. Grade: C-

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Well, it was “Tone Time” again in the fourth quarter as the Jets wide receiver caught the game-winning six-yard fade route into the back of the end zone, skillfully keeping his feet in bounds. All told, Santonio Holmes reeled in seven catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns against a horrendous Texans secondary. While Holmes will grab the backpage headlines, Braylon Edwards had perhaps his best game of the season with four catches for 86 yards and one touchdown. Edwards was also clutch on the fourth quarter drive that won the game, connecting on the long pass to play set up Holmes’ winning haul. It was also a good afternoon for Patrick Turner, the wide receiver called up from the practice squad to replace the injured Jerricho Cotchery; the second year receiver caught his first NFL pass on a well-timed 21-yard pass and catch. Grade: B+

Offensive Line

The Jets were supposed to be a dominant unit up front but against the Texans, the unit struggled. Sanchez was under pressure time and time again, a theme that developed in the fourth quarter last week against Cleveland and seems to have carried over to this past Sunday. Sanchez was sacked three times and the line struggled in opening up holes for the running game, which had its worst yardage of the season. Grade: D+

Defensive Line

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub entered the game off a midweek hospital trip due to a knee injury and one would think that the Jets would have targeted Schaub for some extra pressure to test the joint and make him gimp around. Instead, Schaub had plenty of time in the pocket, especially during four consecutive scoring drives in the fourth quarter. The Jets defensive line failed to register a sack on the afternoon. Grade: C-

Linebackers

The Texans struggled with the side to side pursuit of the Jets linebackers, especially in the second half when Arian Foster was effectively shut down by the linebackers. It wasn’t a big afternoon, but David Harris registered four tackles and Calvin Pace and Bart Scott were each solid. Unfortunately, the linebackers struggled in the fourth quarter and were constantly caught slack-jawed on the play action of the Texans. Grade: B

Secondary

Through three quarters, the cornerbacks and safeties were the best performers of the team, with Darrelle Revis effectively clamping down on All-Pro Andre Johnson, who had just four catches for 32 yards. But, the Texans did find success in the fourth quarter with tight end Joel Dreessen, who provided match-up problems for the Jets all afternoon long as he used his 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame to shield the ball en route to four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Brodney Pool led the team in tackles with seven. Grade: B

Special Teams

It was a good bounce back effort for Nick Folk, who last week missed three of his five field goal attempts. Folk went 3-for-4 on Sunday, only narrowly missing from 53 yards. Steve Weatherford has a great game, including twice pinning the Texans inside their own 20-yard line and averaging 45 yards per boot, with a long of 57 yards. Kudos go to Jim Leonhard, whose 30 yard punt return to jump start the Jets first drive of the game was a solid effort and lifted the offense early. Grade: A-

Coaching

Hard to fault the coaching staff for a third straight win, but the Jets gave up a comfortable 23-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter, only to fall behind and needing another furious finish to stave off defeat. The game plan has to change when the team is up and needs to kill the clock like on Sunday. Instead, the Jets were unable to impose their will on the Texans in the fourth quarter until their final drive. Where is the consistency? Grade: B-

 
 
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