EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- One quarterback has thrown two interceptions, but it wasn’t Geno Smith. The New York Jets' rookie quarterback ran the ball in with 37 second left in the first half, giving the Jets a 20-14 lead against the visiting New Orleans Saints and veteran quarterback Drew Brees.
A few of the main points:
Ivory breaks through: Chris Ivory wasn’t happy with how the Saints used him last season, and the running back had the kind of half that justifies that feeling. Ivory scored the first touchdown for the Jets with 2:39 left in the half, and had 93 yards on 10 carries. Ivory looks like he tried to spike the ball afterwards, but just ended up hitting the wall behind the end zone. But he’d already made his statement.
Stopping Graham: The Jets haven’t been able to handle 6-foot-7, 265-pound tight end Jimmy Graham. He dragged Jets safety Jaiquawn Jarrett into the end zone with him the first time he scored, and beat Antonio Cromartie off the line for his second touchdown catch. The Jets used every defensive back they have and a few linebackers to try to contain Graham, who has 72 yards on 4 catches in addition to the touchdowns.
Missing pieces: Two missing players are likely affecting their team’s bottom line on offense. Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley left the game with an elbow injury, and the Jets announced he wouldn’t return. Saints running back Darren Sproles was also taken out of the game with a concussion.
As a result, both teams looked lopsided on offense. The Saints lost Sproles in the first series, and had just 15 rushing yards at the half with 245 yards total offense. The Jets lost Kerley about midway through the half, and weren’t quite as off-balance, with 126 rushing to 95 passing yards. Interestingly, Jets receiver Stephen Hill hasn’t been a factor even with Kerley out.