Jets following Sanchezís rookie formula plus rookie QB to a good start

9/24/13 in NFL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Sep 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY SportsWhile there is no doubt that New York Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez has had his struggles during his four seasons with the team, people have to remember that there were also some good times.

In fact, it appears that the Jets are utilizing the formula they used in Sanchez’s first couple of seasons to win football games and through the first three tilts of the season, the Jets find themselves with a 2-1 record. Unlike three and four years ago, however, there is a new man calling the plays behind the center for the Jets this season.

With Sanchez on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury, Jets’ rookie quarterback Geno Smith and the rest of his teammates have taken the reigns along with a page from Sanchez’s first few seasons to a winning record through their first three games.

The winning formula for the Jets includes a strong defense, a timely offense and a quarterback ability that the team has lacked for the last few seasons.

Strong Defense
Sometimes, a team’s best offense is their defense.

This is exactly the case for the Jets this season. Through three games, the team has the league’s eighth best defense in terms of points against per game at a solid 16.7.

In their 27-20 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the team sacked Bills’ rookie quarterback EJ Manuel eight times and the inexperienced Manuel had trouble adjusting the constant pressure. The team’s defense especially came up big in the fourth quarter as they sacked Manuel three times in the final 8:43.

Thus far, the Jets’ strong defense has taken some of the pressure off of their own freshman quarterback and have allowed him to just focus on his game.

Big Plays at the Right Time
In the early Sanchez years, the Jets constantly found new ways to win football games and always seemed to be able to come up with the big play at the right time.

A few years later, the team is doing the same thing with Smith. For example, in their win over the Bills, Smith and wide receiver Santonio Holmes connected on a 69-yard touchdown with 9:23 to play in the game.

In the team’s first game of the season, a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Smith had a big play of his own. Down 17-15 late in the fourth quarter, Smith scrambled for 10 yards and was then shoved by Buccaneers’ linebacker Lavonte David out of bounds, which put the ball at the Buccaneers’ 30 and allowed Jets’ kicker Nick Folk to kick a 48-yard field goal to win the game.

It may just be three games but at 2-1, Smith and the Jets’ offense are making the big plays at the right time to win football games.

Smith is Dynamic
Unlike Sanchez, Smith is a dual threat on offense.

While Sanchez was able to pass his way through his first two successful seasons in New York, Smith has been able to get the job done both on the ground and in the air. Yes, he has thrown six interceptions in three games but he has also thrown for three touchdowns and 801 yards.

On the ground, Smith has rushed for 78 yards on 13 attempts with an average of 6 yards per carry. He also has one rushing touchdown.

Smith definitely has to do a better job of taking care of the football but no matter how you look at it, Smith gives the Jets more options on offense than Sanchez ever did.

A little bit of this and that
All in all, the Jets are finding success with part of the winning formula that worked three and four years ago with Sanchez and are merging that with Smith’s capabilities.

Put those together and you have a team that is 2-1 heading into a winnable game in week four against the 2-1 Tennessee Titans.
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