Before the season, Jets head coach Rex Ryan said the team wanted to win games by dominating on defense, controlling the clock with a bruising rushing attack and making smart plays in the passing game.
Check, check and check.
All three aspects of the Jets' formula were in peak performance in a 38-14 Week Four romp over the Bills, marking the team's third consecutive win over an AFC East foe. Seemingly everything the Jets did was successful, starting with the best showing of their 'Ground and Pound' offense of the season, which accounted for 273 rushing yards.
The PFW Spin
While the team had won consecutive games heading into the Bills game, it had not been playing 'Jets football.' QB Mark Sanchez and the passing game had bailed out an average run game in both wins, and the team's pass defense, considered one of its greatest strengths, had been shredded for 611 passing yards by Tom Brady and Chad Henne (though much of that had been without star CB Darrelle Revis, who is out with a hamstring injury).
All of that got fixed on Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium. RBs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene proved they can be one the league's top one-two punches, as each back had gained more than 100 rushing yards by early in the fourth quarter. Tomlinson finished with 19-133-2 and Greene added 22-117-0. Both players gashed the Bills for huge runs, as the two ran for a total of 10 first downs, and each showed their inside-outside versatility on several long plays.
Following the game, Sanchez told reporters that the offensive line had been especially fired up for the Bills due to some trash-talking from Buffalo. If accurate, the QB and his runners should insult the front five more often to inspire the type of blocking they showed Sunday in the future.
While the run game reverted back to the team's 2009 ways, when the Jets led the league in rushing yards per game, so too did the defense. The team allowed the fewest passing yards a season ago, but both with and without Revis, the Jets had been poor through the first three weeks, ranking 28th in the league in the category entering the Bills game. After holding the Buffalo attack to 128 yards through the air — much of that was gained long after the final outcome was decided — the Jets look to be back on track in this department. Jet defenders also recorded three sacks and hit QB Ryan Fitzpatrick seven times, resulting in the most astounding stat of the game: 0-for-10, as the Jets' defense didn't allow the Bills to convert a single third down in 10 attempts.
Round One of the divisional tour has now ended for the Jets with a clean sweep, and they do not face an AFC East team again until Dec. 6 (Week 13), when the travel to New England for "Monday Night Football." Between then, there are some tough matchups with the Vikings, Packers and Texans, but the majority of the contests seem to be winnable games.
Assuming New York's run game and pass "D" excel as they did against the Bills, and WR Santonio Holmes makes the expected impact following his return from suspension, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a lot more checkmarks on Ryan's list.