The New York Jets announced their four players of the week Monday, a day after the club's 28-20 divisional road win in Buffalo. Rookie cornerback Drew Coleman received special team honors while fellow defensive back Kerry Rhodes garnered defensive recognition. Fourth-year lineman Brandon Moore was singled out for his offensive exploits and rookie Anthony Schlegel captured the practice player of the week honor.
Coleman, a sixth-round selection from Texas Christian University, recorded a critical special teams tackle Sunday. Following a 54-yard Ben Graham punt, Coleman sprinted downfield from his gunner position and stopped returner Roscoe Parrish for a one-yard gain. The Bills, forced to start from their own 13-yard line, would eventually punt and the Jets scored on their ensuing possession. Coleman also participated on defense, helping the Jets slow down Parrish after the receiver's 51-yard score on the game's second play from scrimmage.
The Jets totaled three defensive takeaways in Buffalo and two were directly credited to Kerry Rhodes. The club's second-year safety racked up a strip-sack of QB J.P. Losman in the first quarter and linebacker Jonathan Vilma recovered the fumble, preventing the Bills from adding on to their 7-0 lead. Then early in quarter three, Rhodes once again came on a safety blitz and collected a second strip-sack of Losman. Linebacker Victor Hobson recovered the loose ball and ran 32 yards unimpeded into the end zone as the Jets increased their lead to 21-10.
"Anytime you can create a turnover, it's usually a nice momentum changer," said Jets head coach Eric Mangini. "And then to be able to pick up the ball and score is always a good lift for the whole team. Those are important, important plays."
Rhodes, who tied for the team-lead Sunday with 10 tackles, has now recorded three strip-sacks in two weeks and he also picked up an interception in Tennessee.
"I was free the first time I came and the second time, I just worked on McGahee a little bit and I got around and made a play," Rhodes said of his game-changing plays. "Whenever I get free, I'm not just going for the sack - I'm going for the ball."
Prior to Sunday's AFC East match-up, a number of people questioned whether the New York offensive line could hold its own against a talented Buffalo defensive front. But the young offensive line played well while holding the Bills to just one sack and Brandon Moore was a solid force. Moore, a veteran from Illinois, was consistent throughout battling against Buffalo's high-motor players on the interior. Quarterback Chad Pennington was sacked only once while completing 19 of 29 passes for 183 yards and the Jets produced two rushing touchdowns.
"He was consistent in the passing game and in the running game," Mangini said of Moore. "I thought he had some nice, physical blocks. He played with toughness and those things carried over. I think the group fed off that."
Schlegel hasn't appeared in a game yet, but he's brought his hard-hat to work every day. The rookie linebacker, a third round selection from Ohio State, recorded 330 tackles over the course of an illustrious college career.