Monday, November 19, 2012
Five plays that shaped the game
By Rich Cimini
A look back at the Jets' 27-13 win over the Rams:
The Strip. For the second straight week, DE Muhammad Wilkerson was involved in the biggest defensive play of the game. This time, he started it, sacking Sam Bradford from the blind side and forcing a fumble. This was a game changer. Bart Scott returned it 38 yards (he was run down by slow-footed TE Matthew Mulligan, a former Jet), giving the offense a short field.
Chaz Schilens' touchdown grab gave the Jets a lead they never relinquished.
A touchdown ... finally. One play after Wilkerson's strip sack, Mark Sanchez threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Chaz Schilens, snapping a touchdown drought of five quarters. Schilens ran a hitch-and-go, beating is man soundly. Dustin Keller occupied the safety in the middle of the field and Sanchez gave a nice pump fake. Schilens was wide open and the Jets took a 10-7 lead.
Saved by the flag. The Jets almost blew a 13-7 lead late in the second quarter. Chris Givens fielded a short kickoff by Nick Folk at the Rams' 2 and he ran around right end for an apparent 98-yard return, but it was called back because Rodney McLeod was flagged for holding Schilens at the 24. Naturally, Schilens said it was a good call. Rams coach Jeff Fisher disagreed. This much they agreed on: It was a huge play in the game. It would've given the Rams the lead at halftime, and who knows what might have happened from there.
The draw. Tony Sparano made one of his best calls of the season on the second play of the fourth quarter, a third-down draw from the Rams' 5. Sanchez was shotgun for an apparent passing play. It was reminiscent of last week's play from the Seahawks' 6, which ended with an interception. This time, Sparano didn't take any chances. He made a conservative, yet perfect call, exploiting the Rams' aggressive front four. Bilal Powell slipped between the rush for a 5-yard scoring run, his first career touchdown, to give the Jets a 20-7 lead.
The screen. Sparano was on his game. On a third-and-9 from the Rams' 25, he did it again to the Rams, making them pay for their aggressive pass rush. The Jets aren't a good screen-pass team, but they executed one to perfection, Sanchez finding Powell for an 11-yard gain. Two plays later, Powell scored again to put the game out of reach, 27-7.