For the first time this season, the New York Jets executed their game plan and did not have a crushing injury. The last time they were able to execute Tony Sparano's chunk-play offense was in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately, that game was tainted by the concussion to star cornerback Darrelle Revis.
On Sunday, the Jets (3-3) not only executed against the Indianapolis Colts (2-3) but can finally walk off the field happy with a victory that was not Pyrrhic. Here are the numbers from the game that mattered:
253: The Jets rushed for 253 yards as a team (ignoring kneel-downs) on only 43 carries. That is a 5.9 yards per carry average. Compare that with the 41 yards on 17 carries the Indianapolis Colts earned, and you can already see how this game resulted in a 35-9 victory.
74: The Colts threw the ball (or tried to) on 74 percent of their plays (48 passing, 17 rushing). Asking a rookie quarterback—even Andrew Luck—to throw the ball over-and-over again predictably against a blitz-happy defense is a recipe for disaster. The Colts were badly out-coached on both sides of the ball in this game.
61: Quarterback Mark Sanchez completed 61 percent of his passes, to go with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Tony Sparano style of offense relies on ball control and time of possession. In his previous four games, Sanchez had percentages below 50—abysmal for an NFL quarterback.
There were plenty of excuses for Sanchez during those weeks—summed up by him playing with essentially the second-string offense—but it was important for him to get back on the right track.
13: The Colts offense ran 13 passing plays that resulted in pass deflections or quarterback hits. No quarterback in the NFL can be productive under that kind of pressure. Luck was hit or pressured on almost every pass, and his wide receivers were being covered consistently by the Jets defensive backs.
110: It is hard to have a negative takeaway from a 35-9 win. However, the Jets need to look at the way they were penalized in this game. The Jets committed eight penalties for 110 yards, several of them by cornerback Antonio Cromartie. In fact, two defensive touchdowns were negated by penalties. The Jets will need to play cleaner football when they face tougher opponents.