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Sunday, September 19, 2010
Off-season acquisitions pay off for Jets

By Rich Cimini

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was a good day for Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum. Three of his prized off-season acquisitions played key roles in the 28-14 win over the Patriots.

LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for a game-high 76 yards on 11 carries, a 6.9 average. Said Rex Ryan: "I thought he was washed up."

CB Antonio Cromartie made an interception (his second in two games) and held Patriots WR Randy Moss without a catch in the second half after the Darrelle Revis injury. Also, OLB Jason Taylor ended the Patriots' final drive with a strip sack of Tom Brady. It was Taylor's first sack as a Jet.

Other notes:

• After committing 14 penalties for 125 yards in the opener, the Jets cut it down to six for 58. Two of them were of a "dumb" variety: S Eric Smith (unnecessary roughness) for delivering a forearm to the head of WR Wes Welker and WR Braylon Edwards (taunting) for celebrating in the face of CB Darius Butler after scoring a TD.

• Big day for Mark Sanchez. He set career highs for touchdown passes (three), completions (21) and passer rating (124.3). He was 11-for-11 on the Jets' three TD drives. Imagine this: Sanchez has attempted 51 passes in two games without an interception.

• Sanchez really improved his accuracy on short passes. He was 17-for-20 on pass attempts or 10 yards or less, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

•The Jets went 6-for-13 on third down after going 1-for-11 against the Baltimore Ravens.

• After getting torched in the first half by rookie TE Aaron Hernandez (four catches for 80 yards), the Jets made a halftime adjustment, packing the middle of the field with more coverage. Result: Hernandez had two for 21 in the second half.

• If Tannenbaum has any thoughts of swinging a big trade to replace injured NT Kris Jenkins (Albert Haynesworth or Shaun Rogers, anyone?), his concerned has to be lessened by another strong performance by the run defense. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito played excellent interior defense. The Patriots rushed for only 52 yards and a 2.6 average.

• Let the Taylor-to-Miami hype begin. Taylor returns next Sunday night to face his former team, and that will be a big storyline this week, mostly in South Florida.

"I haven't talked about it," he said after the game. "I wouldn't let my wife talk about it, and I wouldn't let my friends talk to me about it. I've been focused on Baltimore and New England."

Taylor said he expected the "thoughts and emotions" to start hitting him when he got home Sunday night. He added, "This is a strange spot for me. I've never had to do this before. I'll handle it professionally. There will be emotions; anybody who says there won't be emotions isn't being truthful."