Tuesday, October 16, 2012
5 plays that shaped the game
By Rich Cimini
A look back at the key plays in the Jets' 35-9 rout of the Colts:
1. Give 'em Hill, Part I: The Jets jumped to a 7-3 lead on Mark Sanchez's 5-yard TD pass to rookie Stephen Hill. Interesting subtext here: Moments before the snap, Sanchez can be heard yelling, "Dustin, stay!" Sanchez, anticipating a blitz, wanted Dustin Keller to stay in and block. Keller actually released into a pass route as soon as he recognized the Colts were rushing only three. Hill ran an in-cut in the back of the end zone, stopped on a dime and worked back to the corner. The Jets ran the same play with Chaz Schilens in last Monday night's loss to the Texans, but this time it actually worked.
2. Soaring Cro: Antonio Cromartie's second-quarter interception might have been the biggest play in the game. For a change, the Jets actually were on the positive side of a tipped pass. Andrew Luck's throw to Reggie Wayne went off the receiver's hands and Cromartie grabbed it at the Colts' 33. It should've been a pick-six, but the touchdown was nullied because of unnecessary roughness on LB Aaron Maybin, who blasted Luck on the return. Actually, Maybin made the play possible, beating LT Anthony Castonzo with an inside swim move and flushing Luck from the pocket. The interception set up the Jets' second TD.
3. Greene day: Shonn Greene gave the Jets a 14-6 lead with a 10-yard run, his first of three TDs. The blocking was excellent, with Keller, LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and jumbo TE Jason Smith blowing open a huge hole on the left side. But Greene gets the credit here, because he showed great vision, recognizing the cutback lane and slashing to his left. Initial contact was made at the 5-yard line, but Greene kept plowing ahead, diving for the end zone -- barely breaking the plane before his knees and elbows touched the turf.
4. Trickeration: On a fourth-and-11 from the Colts' 40, the Jets ran their third successful fake punt of the season. This time, Tim Tebow took a direct snap, executed a run-action to his left, stopped and threw a jump pass to a wide-open Nick Bellore. It was only an 8-yard pass, but the 250-pound linebacker was so open that he was able to rumble for 23 yards, setting up the Jets' third TD. This was an important play because if they had punted, it would've given Luck a chance to attack eight-point deficit with two minutes on the clock - and he's very good in two-minute situations.
5. Give 'em Hill, Part II: Three plays after the fake punt, Sanchez threw a 5-yard TD pass to Jason Hill. This was a well-designed play and an alert read by Sanchez. The Jets had a bunch formation to the left, but Sanchez looked right and found Hill in man-to-man coverage with CB Jerraud Powers. The Colts sent a weakside safety blitz, in Sanchez's face, but he recognized it quickly and beat it with a quick throw to Hill, who ran a nice skinny post. That made it 21-6 at halftime. Game over.