Strong defensive effort allows Gang Green to snap losing streak.
This time around, it was the Jets who were able to create and capitalize on the turnovers.
New York's defense came up big on Sunday, intercepting Carolina's Jake Delhomme four times en route to a 17-6 much needed victory. Darrelle Revis and recent resident of Rex Ryan's doghouse Kerry Rhodes picked off two apiece. Revis also returned one of his for the game's first score.
Revis also continued to solidify his reputation as the league's best shutdown cornerback as he frustrated the Panthers' top receiver Steve Smith all day, allowing the Pro Bowl wideout just two catches for two yards. The Panthers top receiving threat of the day was little-used tight end Dante Rosario, who hauled in four catches for 62 yards.
The much-maligned Jets run defense also did a fine job containing Carolina's twin threats DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. The two of them combined for only 75 rushing yards as the Panthers were forced to play from behind most of the contest.
On the offensive side of the ball, running back Thomas Jones continues to defy Father Time by rushing for 75 yards of his own and a touchdown. He now has nine rushing scores on the year and has been both durable and consistent in a year when many predicted his talent would begin to quickly fade. Rookie Shonn Greene, however, was not nearly as impressive as he gained on 36 yards on ten carries and also lost a fumble.
Sanchez completed 13 of 17 attempted passes, but the downside was he threw another interception and was sacked three more times. He also briefly left the game after absorbing a hard hit on a 12 yard scamper.
With the win, the Jets managed to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They now have a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game against Buffalo. The Bills are not as tough an opponent as the Jets could face, but they always play New York tough and are coming off an impressive victory on Sunday over Miami. They are also among the league's leaders in interceptions.
Don't tell Mark Sanchez that, though.
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Written by Frank Mazzola