The New York Jets won their first game in four tries, handling the St. Louis Rams easily in a 27-13 win. Mark Sanchez silenced criticism that he should be benched for Tim Tebow with a solid 15-for-20 passing performance.
On Sunday, the New York Jets won a football game, snapping a three-game losing streak. That in and of itself was enough to spark confidence amongst fans of a team that had been widely criticized, both locally and nationally, for its performances on and off the field.
The Jets received a lot of attention for a squad sitting at 3-6 entering Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. Many asked who was responsible for the team's failings, even more asked why Mark Sanchez was allowed to continue sputtering as the starter while Tim Tebow was on the sidelines as a backup. Sanchez put some of that talk to rest with a 15-for-20 day in a comfortable 27-13 victory. In the postgame recap at Jets blog Gang Green Nation, Sanchez received praise for his game management:
On a day where Sanchez experienced little pressure from Tebow or elsewhere, he looked sharp and on target with his passes. Mark did lack poise and collapse under pressure a few times, he even got lucky that some loose balls weren't turnovers, but overall it was a pleasant surprise from the 4th year QB. If Sanchez played this good (not great, but good) every game there would probably be a lot more celebration threads on GGN.
Tebow, on the other hand, completed his only attempt for a loss of one yard and ran twice for -5 yards.
With one win finally under the team's belt, Jets fans wondered whether or not the season might have a little bit of hope. Although the post's title called the game the start of a "road to redemption", there was acknowledgement that the Jets' season needed a little bit more than a single win over an under-.500 opponent to turn things around.
Objectively, this may be too little too late. This game could also potentially be a turning point in the season whether it ends in playoffs or not. Even if the postseason is a foregone conclusion; and this year it's way too early to tell with this much parity, I don't believe in tanking for better drafting position or phoning it in. It's unsportsmanlike and it's not who the Jets are. Don't go overboard, GGN faithful, but you can lay head to pillow tonight knowing that the reports of our demise just may be greatly exaggerated.
The Jets are one of three 4-6 teams in the AFC East, but they're well behind the 7-3 New England Patriots in the division. They have an outside shot at a Wild Card spot with six games remaining.