If there is such a thing, this was a must-win Game 6 for the Jets. Having dropped the last two at home, Gang Green had to win Sunday to stay competitive. Fortunately, they came up big, unveiling the ground and pound that we've been promised since August.
Offense: Rushing Party
The Jets rushed for an impressive total of 252 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry against the 2-3 Colts. Not only did Shonn Greene have a career day rushing against the Colts yesterday but he did it with style. Greene ran for 161 yards and three TDs on 32 carries, breaking tackles and finishing runs, including a beautiful spin-move TD in the third quarter. I've been down on Greene this season but yesterday he was terrific. Joe McKnight (3-for-71) joined the party with a 61-yard burst.
Mark Sanchez (11-for-18, 82 yards) wasn't asked to do much but was given great protection when he did drop back. Stephen Hill and Sanchez connected on a nice throw-and-catch for the Jets' first score, and just before the first half ended Jason Hill made up for last's weeks dropped touchdown by catching a short pass for a score.
Defense: Another Game to "Cro" About
The defense held Indianapolis to only three fields goals and made two nice red zone stands. They had four sacks, six QB hits and seven deflected passes. Individually, the standout was Antonio Cromartie. Cro had two — that's right, two — pick-sixes called back due to penalties. More important, he kept Reggie Wayne in check. Last week Cro shut down Andre Johnson so it's fair to say that he's really stepped up his game since Darrelle Revis went down. Antonio did get flagged three times so his nice effort was not without flaws.
Special Teams: More Fakery
On special teams, the highlight was a fake punt on fourth-and-11. With time winding down in the first half, Tim Tebow took the snap and threw it to backup linebacker Nick Bellore for a first down. For Mike Westhoff's unit, this is the second fake punt for a first down in as many games and the third in four games.
With all four AFC East teams tied at 3-3, next week's against the Patriots in Foxboro is critical. For the Jets to win, they will need to follow the same "ground and pound" formula as today. Gang Green needs to exercise ball control and limit the number of passes. Next week should be a doozy.