I was thoroughly impressed by Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets' offense in their win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon. After an ugly interception ended Gang Green's opening possession, Sanchez quickly rebounded to lead the Jets on six straight scoring drives. Here are three reasons for the Jets' unexpected offensive outburst:
1. The dominating play of the offensive line. As bad as the Jets' offensive line played in the preseason, they were equally as good against the Bills. They provided a clean pocket for Sanchez throughout the game. He had time to go deep into his progressions and plenty of room to set his feet and deliver the football. The line also was able to generate a lot of push in the run game, despite playing against a very talented (and expensive) defensive front.
2. The excellent poise and decision making of Sanchez. After the early hiccup, Sanchez did a great job of playing under control, protecting the football and consistently finding the open receiver. He looked very calm in the pocket and showed his maturation in the art of quarterbacking by repeatedly manipulating Bills safeties with his eyes. He had a few errant throws, but he didn't force the football into crowded areas.
3. The emergence of the young receivers. Before the start of the season, there were major concerns about the Jets' lack of depth and experience at the receiver position. Those concerns were put to rest Sunday afternoon. Second-year receiver Jeremy Kerley caught four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. (He also had a 68-yard punt return for another touchdown.) Rookie Stephen Hill hauled in five passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Both players showed the explosiveness to separate versus man coverage and the awareness to find holes against zone coverage.