By Kennedy Ross
Cold Hard Football Facts' AFC East Paparrazzi
Holy smoke, the New York Jets shocked the league and probably themselves, although they would never admit it. The rest of the AFC east went more according to plan. Leave it to those scene- stealing Jets to do the Cha Cha during a two-minute waltz. And to no surprise, Mr. Perfect Tom Brady got even more perfect.
Here Are Five Things We Learned:
1. The Jets dropped a big "We Told Ya So" on the Bills, and the rest of the league. (Jets 48 - Bills 28)
In response to a summer full of criticism and a pre-season full of futility, the New York Jets just put up more points in their season opener than any Jets squad in history. We deduced that the only way the Jets would evade total team destruction this year was for quarterback Mark Sanchez to start playing like a number one draft pick. And that's just what he did in Week 1.
Sanchez put up 266 yards, on 19-for-27 passing and three touchdowns. But more than that, his passes looked stronger. He looked more decisive. And he looks like he should never be taken off the field for Tim Tebow.
Under Sanchez, the offense clearly surpassed their 2011 18th ranked Offensive Passer Rating, 21st ranked Real Quarterback Rating, and their 28th ranked Offensive Hog Index. We (and the Jets) should bare in mind that they walloped the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were teetering on mediocrity from the giddy-up. Looks like the teetering is over.
2. The Patriots did some tweaking, and then some beating. (Patriots 34 - Titans 13)
Even on an average day, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady just has to be great. Brady put up decent numbers, especially for him, 236 passing yards and two touchdowns. The big picture however is much more impressive.
Brady moved passed legendary passer John Elway on the all time Career Passing Touchdown list with 302 for his career, putting him in sole possession of the number five spot. But was Brady done making history? Nooooooooo. He also surpassed all time great Joe Montana on the Career Completions list with 3,420, moving him up to the number 11 spot.
Oh yeah, he also won the game handily with the help of the defense. The patriots addressed the issues they had on defense last year with the addition of rookie defensive ends Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Those two combined on a sack/strip and fumble return for a touchdown on Titans quarterback Jake Locker.
The bolstered defense also shut down the Titans run game, holding them to 20 yards on 16 rushing attempts. Today's effort will certainly boost them up from their 25th ranked Defensive Hog Index from 2011. Better defense AND Tom Brady? Uh Oh.
3. Welcome to the NFL Ryan, hopefully it will get better. (Texans 30 - Dolphins 10)
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill came into this game brimming with confidence. After all, he completed all the passes he threw to his hot wife. Unfortunately, none of the Dolphins receivers look this good, even in their little tight shorts. This is one possible reason that Tannehill threw three interceptions in the first half of the game.
Miami's 18th ranked Real Quarterback Rating didn't get any better today. Nor did their Real Passing Yards Per Attempt which was also ranked 18th.
Miami's running game was nothing more than OK. Dolphins running back Reggie Bush contributed a ho-hum 69 yards which was the bulk of the teams rushing total of 79 yards. Their 26th ranked Offensive Hog Index seams to be picking up right where it left off. And so will the Dolphins if this keeps up.
4. . . . About as wild as bingo night.
So, you can look at the debut of the Jets secretive and hotly anticipated wildcat offense in a couple of ways: worthless or pointless. Do you think Tim Tebow is wishing he took the job as the Jacksonville ambassador and back up quarterback now? At least there he would have served the purpose of a ticket magnet and helped the Jaguars piggy bank.
After Mark Sanchez's performance today, things aren't looking good for the wildcat offense. Tebow scraped together 11 whole yards on five rushes. A stinky 2.2 yards per carry average. Is that really worth taking Sanchez off the field?
It seems that the Jets were starting to think "not", because we saw a lot less of Tebow in the second half. Tebow fans can only hope that since the Jets were in command early and stayed there, perhaps they are still holding some "wild" things back in reserve for the future. After all, we never saw Tebow attempt a pass out of the wildcat. We know how exciting it can get when Tebow attempts a pass.
5. Smelled more like Buffalo chips.
The Bills really crapped themselves today. The Jets scored in all three phases of the game, offense, defense, and special teams. Because garbage time started in the third quarter, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to mend his stats. However, when it counted he played like he still had broken ribs, plus glaucoma and muscular dystrophy.
The Bills defense didn't smell much better. Big ticket free agent, defensive end Mario Williams, had one tackle. Not one sack, ONE TACKLE! That's just not going to cut it in the AFC, let alone the NFL. Head coach Chan Gailey better get the cattle prod out, because these Bills need some extra motivation for the Chiefs next week.