The New York Jets are proving to be a resilient bunch if nothing else this season. Seemingly written off for dead on a weekly basis, the 3-3 Jets responded Sunday with perhaps their best overall performance of the year in a 35-9 drubbing of the visiting Indianapolis Colts. Not only did the win put the Jets in a four-way tie in the AFC East, it may serve as an ideal prep for this week’s divisional showdown against the New England Patriots in Foxborough
In their win against the Colts, the Jets were finally able to reproduce the formula that had worked so well the previous two seasons. It starts with New York being able to move the ball on the ground, which then allows quarterback Mark Sanchez to play his preferred role of “game manager” rather than gunslinger. Led by Shonn Green’s three touchdown runs, the Jets rolled up 252 yards on the ground against the Colts.
Sanchez did his job also. He kept the Jets offense on schedule by protecting the ball and making just enough vital completions that included two touchdowns.
To top it all off, the Jets’ big offseason acquisition—Tim Tebow—finally made a significant impact when throwing for a touchdown on a fake punt.
Such a comprehensive performance was just what the Jets needed after a wildly inconsistent start to the season. Of course, they will be taking a big step up in class from the Colts when they travel to New England this week.
According to this week’s NFL odds, the Patriots are favored by 10.5 points to beat the Jets. New England suffered its third close loss of the season last week when falling on the road to the Seattle Seahawks 24-23. The three Patriots defeats have been by a combined a four points.
The question facing bettors is will the Jets build on that Colts performance or revert to the sporadic play that has hamstrung them this season? Head coach Rex Ryan has already been talking up the potential for a Jets win this week and it’s been probably since the preseason that anyone’s heard that famous swagger. Look for the Jets to keep this one close and stay within the 10.5-point spread.