AFC East: Mark Sanchez And Shonn Greene Help Jets Keep Hope Alive

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 09, 2012

by Kennedy Ross

Cold, Hard Football Facts AFC Overlord (@FNscrbeiNY)

And then there were two. The Bills and Dolphins have pretty much put themselves to bed with losses in Week 14. The Jets won but put together a performance only the mother of a defensive coordinator could love.

Here are five things we learned on this Sunday in the AFC East:

1. A win is a win is a win. (Jets 17 - Jaguars 10)

It is pretty safe to say that this game had Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan's nipples all perky. His quarterback did virtually nothing. His defense held down yet another putrid offense. And his running game was the hero of the day. Yup, perky.

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez rewarded the faith his coach had in him by committing only one turnover today. He also threw for 111 yards on 12 completions. That's more completions and yards, and less turnovers than he produced last week.

For a change however, the ground and pound was actually sound. As a team the Jets rushed for a total of 166 yards with two rushing touchdowns. Running backs Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell rushed for 77 and 78 yards respectively. They each scored as well.

The Jets defense for the second straight week had to contain mediocrity on the other side of the ball. Although, Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne was much more competent than the Cardinals quarterback from last weeks game.

Henne threw 48 times for just 185 yards and two interceptions. Still without running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars had a decent rushing attack, but not a dangerous one. Montell Owens was nine yards shy of a 100 yard rushing day. But after him, there is nothing more to talk about in the run game.

So the Jets will try to continue the good times on the road at Tennessee next week.

2. Bills can't hold down the fort. (Rams 15 - Bills 12)

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to have gotten his second wind. His play, while still not breath taking, has been more stable and productive. Fitzpatrick threw for 247 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Again, not mind blowing, but usable in a win. Just not Week 14.

Today Fitzpatrick's "usability" was all alone on the field as the running game took a nap in the locker room. The bills rushed for only 61 yards, for the whole game.

Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller had horrible games of 14 and 37 rushing yards respectively. Both teams were close in total yardage. The Rams accumulated only four more total yards than the Bills did with 285 total yards.

While the weather put a damper on everyone's production, Sam Bradford was able to put together what turned out to be the game winning drive at the end.

Bradford engineered a 14 play, 84 yard drive capped off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson. 

A dreary day produced a dreary loss in yet another dreary Bills season.

3. Dolphins can't keep up with 49ers. (49ers 27 - Dolphins 13)

The game symbolically slipped away much like the slim playoff hopes of the Miami Dolphins. Rookie Ryan Tannehill tried to keep his team in the game, but didn't have enough fire power. 

Tannehill completed 17 passes for only 150 yards, but he did toss a touchdown. He received minimal help from his running game. On this day he out rushed everyone except Reggie Bush.  Bush rushed for only 65 yards on 14 carries. 

The Dolphins team rushed for 94 yards. Not horrible, but not very helpful either. Certainly nothing you can count on to win you a game. 

On the other team, it truly was a team rushing effort. The 49ers rushed for 155 yards with Frank gore leading the way with 63 yards and a touchdown. 

Like Miami, the 49ers second best rusher was their quarterback Collin Kaepernick. He rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown of his own. 

Toss in a costly fumble by Marcus Thigpen, and things just start slipping away. Well, they did slip away, along with the last wild card spot.

4. Band aids don't fix fractures.

Rex Ryan will surely tell everyone that he was happy with the way Sanchez managed the game. How he did what he had to do to get the win. He will certainly tell everyone Sanchez will start next week. He won't have to wait until Wednesday for that.

Ryan continues to display the judgement and reasoning of a coach who may not be ready for the big chair in the meeting room. He is trying to win games but he is losing his team and perhaps his job along the way. 

The question again is, is winning the best possible outcome for the future of the New York Jets? Rex Ryan will surely tell you it is.

5. Now that the smoke has cleared . . .

 . . . Tim Tebow kept his helmet on just in case Ryan was going to throw him a bone in his home stadium. It's just sad now.

 . . . Mario Williams plans on stoking his fireplace with about $200,000 of his contract money to keep him warm while he watches the playoffs at home with his pet buffalo he named "Tex".

 . . . Reggie Bush will be knitting baby booties while he watches the playoffs. They will be probably be black and gold.

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