Jets recharged during bye week

New York Jets full back John Conner (38) scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth...

New York Jets full back John Conner (38) scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Orchard Park, New York November 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Doug Benz)

Mike Ganter, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:57 PM ET

Earlier in this NFL season the teams coming off bye weeks looked sluggish and particularly lax in their tackling skills.

Bill Belichick talked about it as his Patriots headed into Pittsburgh and harped on the dangers of following the trend.

His pleas fell on deaf ears.

Rex Ryan’s Jets, his defence in particular, looked like a team that had its batteries recharged and were sharper, not dulled by the off week as many teams were earlier in the season.

Were it not for Mark Sanchez and his inability to take advantage of the opportunities he himself helped create, this would not have been a game beyond the first quarter.

Instead, Sanchez gave the ball away just enough to make sure his own defence’s efforts did not go unnoticed.

The Jets defence made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Trent Edwards without the check downs. Like J.P. Losman without the multiple sacks.

In short, Fitzpatrick looked far too much like Bills quarterbacks of the past to have any chance Sunday afternoon.

With the game still up for grabs through the first half, Ryan’s defence allowed the Bills a total of 73 yards of offence.

Convinced their secondary could handle the Bills five-man receiver sets with their usual aplomb, the Jets defence put its collective focus on Fred Jackson and while the versatile back wound up with a combined 120 yards of rushing and receiving on the afternoon, he didn’t hurt the Jets.

In fact, it was the Jets defence that knocked Jackson back on his heels and temporarily out of the game in the third quarter when they forced his first fumble of the season. Jackson was hit hard at his own 20 and coughed up the ball.

That turnover was the game changer as the Jets quickly turned it into seven points, their first of three successive touchdown drives that would put the game away.

The early trend may indeed have been teams coming off the bye were susceptible to slow starts and while Sanchez may have suffered some of that, the Jets defence more than made up for his shortcomings and then some.

DUSTIN DUSTED

The Jets No. 1 tight end and a scoring threat on every play, Dustin Keller was not a factor in the first half of the game when he pretty much took himself out of the game. He tried to get a few more yards — as it turned out, he had already stepped out of bounds so the questionable leap was that much more indefensible — by attempting to jump over a defender.

Keller went up and over Terrence McGee and came down on his head. When he got up, it was clear he didn’t have all his faculties as teammates had to hold him upright as he tried to bounce up. Keller might rethink things the next time he considers trying to jump over an attacking defender.

GIVE HIM A MULLIGAN

How bad did the Jets want this one? When TE Matt Mulligan came on for the injured Keller, he was flagged on his first play for a hold that negated a huge gain by Shonn Greene. On the way back to the huddle both guard Brandon Moore and centre Nick Mangold gave him an earful.

Mulligan came out of the game for a play, got another earful from a member of the Jets coaching staff and then was back in the game.

The Jets had not won on the road all year; they were in jeopardy of falling two games back of the division lead and weren’t about to let that happen. If it meant ruffling a few feathers or some tough love, these Jets were up for it on Sunday.

THE REVIS FACTOR

Stevie Johnson got his first up-close look at Revis Island and while he didn’t get shut out like many before him, the visit was not a pleasant one. Johnson was held without a catch for the entire first half. By the time he and Fitzpatrick finally did complete one with Revis in coverage in the third quarter the Jets were well on their way to the win, up 13-0.

The play, though, was significant for a couple of reasons. It put the Bills in position for their first points of the game — a field goal — and at 52 yards it was the longest play completed with Revis in coverage all season.

Johnson caught three of the six passes with Revis in coverage, which is a pretty decent afternoon considering Revis had allowed only 10 completions in the Jets’ previous seven games.

GREENE WITH ENVY

It’s the fantasy player’s worst nightmare. Running back Shonn Greene does all the work, makes all the big gains to get his team to the goalline and then with the touchdown there for the taking is shuttled to the bench. The first time wasn’t quite so surprising as LaDainian Tomlinson came on for the glory. It got a little tougher for the Greene owners later in the game when fullback John Connor (cue the Arnold imitations) got the one-yard walk-in for another Jets touchdown. Greene carried the mail the majority of the day, piling up 76 yards on 19 carries but did not get the opportunity to add to his total of two rushing touchdowns for the season.

QUICK HITS

Sunday’s game marked the first the Bills have played his season with owner Ralph Wilson at the stadium. Poor health has kept Wilson ways from the stadium until Sunday ... For the second week in a row rookie Marcell Dareus looked extremely good at nose tackle for the Bills in place of the injured Kyle Williams. It wasn’t as dominant as his game a week ago against Washington, but he once again lived up to his third overall selection.


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