Technically what we saw yesterday was a win for the Jets but it arguably set back the game of football some 30 years and I can tell you from actually having been there that it was as miserable in person as it was on TV. However, a win is a win nonetheless and as such we have some reluctant Game Balls to hand out:
Bilal Powell/Shonn Greene:
The Jets two-headed rushing attack provided the vast majority of the offense from a team that was grasping at straws to find any. At this point, I don't think Shonn Greene can, will, or needs to be a "bell-cow" back for this team as we saw yesterday the rotation works perfectly fine. Powell on the other hand may actually have what it takes to handles the rocks 20+ times a game and I wouldn't mind seeing him get the bulk of the carries from here on out. The Louisville product racked up 58 yards on 12 carries, good enough for a 4.8 YPC average. Greene on the other hand, carried the ball 24 times for 104 yards, averaging 4.3 Yards Per Carry and had the "heads up" play of the game by taking a knee on the one-yard line instead of scoring to secure the victory.
Playing through injuries, the second-year man out of TCU proves once again that he is the best receiver in a miserable group. Although his stats were nothing to write home about, (only three catches for 37 yards), two of those catches were acrobatic plays on back-shoulder throws, where he just outworked the defensive back to bring down the ball. His last reception was the biggest of the game, coming down with a Greg McElroy pass for a key third down conversion on what would prove to be the final drive of the game. Kerley looks like the only sure-thing on the Jets receiving corps and he's turning into a hell of a player and for that, here's a Game Ball.
I'm of the belief that this is more of a testament to how miserable the Cardinals offense is as opposed to how dominating the Jets defense was. However, since the stats were so gaudy and impressive I would be remiss not to hand them a Game Ball. For the majority of the game, it appeared as though the defense would have to score all the points if the Jets were to have any real shot at winning. Rex's defense held the Cards to just 137 yards of total offense (2.5 yards per play) and shut them out on third down, going 0-15. The defense was the only reason the Jets were in this game at all after three first-half interceptions by Mark Sanchez so I won't nitpick on the fact that they couldn't get consistent pressure on a third-string quarterback with one of the worst O-line's in football.
I know this is the moment, you've all been waiting for, of course the Bama product is going to get a Game Ball. Although McElroy didn't do much on the field (only seven pass attempts), his entrance into the game did spark the team and the crowd. However, considering how Sanchez had played up to that point, the fans would have been cheering even if it was Rory McIlroy coming into the game. The team obviously responded to the quarterback change as even the defense looked like it was playing faster. McElroy is far from the answer but in this instance change was a good thing and he orchestrated the game-winning drive so we'll let him have his moment.
Lindley was arguably the Jets most valuable player yesterday (yes I understand that sounds ironic), but without his historically terrible quarterback play, there is no way they win this game. The third-stringer and newly-minted starter was putrid even when he had time to throw, missing wide open receivers more times than I was able to count. His final line was 10/31 for 72 yards, and a pick for a quarterback rating of *wait for it, wait for it* 3.0. I'm not sure if you are the first non-Jet to get a game ball, Ryan Lindley but yours was much deserved.
Take A Lap !
I don't know if anyone has ever been put on IR for an acute case of "Shell Shock" but I think that it would be the best thing for the "Sanchize" at this point. He just looks like he's lost out there, you knew he was doomed from the start when he threw an Eli-esque interception on their first offensive play. Three first-half picks and three quarters of sheer ineptitude led to what will likely be the unceremonious end to the Mark Sanchez Era as he was benched for the first time in his career in favor of the aforementioned Greg McElroy. The biggest indictment on Sanchez was that McElroy only had to manage the game effectively to come away with a win in this one. Who knows how this is going to play out now but number six should keep the puke bucket at the ready, God know I've had mine out all season watching him.
Ah, the life of a kicker, people only notice you when you're not doing your job. Folk, who had been having a pretty good season by all accounts put one off of each upright with attempts from 51 and 45 yards. Unfortunately for Folk, in low-scoring affairs like the one we saw yesterday, the game inevitably comes down to the kickers and he was less-than-stellar yesterday and for that TAKE A LAP!
In his "one and done" tour with the Jets, Schilens has been very up and down and yesterday was another down game for him. He took a rare perfect pass from Mark Sanchez right off the face mask ala Braylon Edwards and then flubbed another deep pass, which went off of his body en route to a Patrick Peterson interception. Admittedly it was a great play by Peterson but Schilens could have at least made a play on the ball to break it up but he didn't so he better lace up his Asics and get to running.