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Sunday, December 9, 2012
Report card: Another keeper

By Rich Cimini

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Posting grades on the Jets' 17-10 win over the Jaguars:

C

PASSING OFFENSE

The Jets kept it real simple for Mark Sanchez, and the result was a no-interception day. Baby steps, right?

Out of 62 plays, they called only 20 passes. Sanchez dinked and dunked all day, finally hitting a throw he had to make -- 37 yards to Jeff Cumberland. Against a terrible team like the Jaguars, it only took one big pass play and 111 passing yards in total.

Antonio Cromartie took three snaps at receiver and made his first career reception, albeit for minus-2 yards.

WR Jeremy Kerley had a costly fumble, recovered by former Jets S Dwight Lowery.

A

RUSHING OFFENSE

The Jets rushed for 110 of their 166 yards in the second half, as the offensive line took control of the game in the third quarter.

The Shonn Greene-Bilal Powell platoon continued to produce positive results, as they rushed for 77 and 78 yards, respectively -- and one TD apiece. They needed a nice job of mixing power runs with misdirection plays -- wind-back runs that picked up nice chunks. Of course, there was a reason why the Jaguars began as the 31st-ranked rushing defense.

A

PASSING DEFENSE

Chad Henne was bad -- not quite as bad as the Cards' Ryan Lindley last week, but bad just the same.

The Jets cooked up some clever third-down pressures, and they rattled him into a 21-for-43, two-interception stinker. The Jaguars' receiving corps, minus the injured Cecil Shorts (concussion), was brutal. It had at least four drops, including three by rookie Kevin Elliott.

LB Garrett McIntyre made the biggest play, drilling Henne on Bart Scott's red-zone interception.

B-minus

RUSHING DEFENSE

The Jets faced 24 runs, and they did a good job on 23 of them. They suffered a major breakdown on Montell Owens' 32-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. They were thinking pass on second-and-17, and the fourth-string tailback made them look silly.

Otherwise, the Jets controlled the point of attack, with S LaRon Landry (10 tackles) and LB David Harris (10) playing exceptionally well. Harris played perhaps his best game of the season.

B

SPECIAL TEAMS

For the first time in seven games, the Jets didn't have a major blunder on special teams. P Robert Malone delivered another strong performance, narrowly escaping a blocked punt. PK Nick Folk didn't hit any uprights. Hey, it's progress.

B-plus

COACHING

Say this for Rex Ryan: His players play hard for him. It looks ugly, especially on offense, but they play with passion.

This game was so predictable: The Jets attacked Henne and choked the Jaguars' anemic offense. Offensively, the Jets played around struggling QB Mark Sanchez, keeping the ball on the ground. It works against teams like the Jaguars, but you're not going to beat any of the elite teams with that style.

The one criticism: The decision to dress Tim Tebow, not Greg McElroy, made no sense.