The New York Jets gave their fans a lot to cheer about during their week one thrashing of the Buffalo Bills. One player who stood out in the win was Jeremy Kerley. He went on to have a record setting day becoming the first player in franchise history to record a receiving and punt return for a touchdown.
Kerley was the first Jets player to score this season when quarterback Mark Sanchez hooked up with him in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Kerley finished off his record setting day in the second quarter when he exploded past the Bills defenders for a 68-yard punt return. That score was the exclamation point on the Jets victory putting them up by three scores. New York went on to win the game 48-28.
Kerley has proved to be a valuable slot receiver for the Jets. Kerley had a career day receiving in the Week 7 loss to the New England Patriots when he tallied seven catches for 120 yards. Kerley is currently the Jets leading receiver with 30 catches and 478 yards on the season. With Santonio Holmes out for the season and Dustin Keller missing the first five games, Kerley has become a big component on this Jets attack.
Inconsistent play has hurt the Jets on both sides of the ball. While Gang Green has had some positive moments during the season, at the moment, the negative play of the team overshadows many of the team's highlight plays. The Patriots are sitting in first place midway through the season with a two-game lead over the Jets. The Green and White clawed their way back from ten points down and took the lead with less than two minutes remaining in their Week 7 matchup with the division leading Patriots. But New England forced overtime and eventually kicked a field goal to take the lead. On New York's ensuing drive Sanchez dropped back in the pocket was hit by Rob Ninkovich
"If we have to throw that many times, we are not going to be successful, we need to run the football," said Ryan during the Jets' bye week. "That's part of who we are, there were times when we were able to run the ball fairly effectively, and then there are other times where we couldn't get the length of the football."
The Jets made the playoffs their first two seasons under Rex Ryan propelled by a strong rushing attack and a tough-nosed defense. In their Week 8 loss to the Miami Dolphins Sanchez threw the ball 54 times with several dropped and inaccurate passes. New York needs help from their running game in order to maintain a balanced attack.
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Don't let the play of the kicker this season go unnoticed. Nick Folk has been one of the few bright spots on the season for the Jets. Folk has made 12 out of his 13 field goal attempts including a season long 54 yarder against the Patriots. In the New England game, Folk blasted three key field goals through the uprights. The Dolphins and Jets went into overtime during Week 3 with Miami failing on a field goal attempt to win the game leading to Folk's game-winning 33 yard field goal. Folk has had ice in his veins this season, but the Jets cannot continue to rely on Folk to win games.
The Jets will begin the second half in Seattle to take on the Seahawks led by rookie signal-caller Russell Wilson. Wilson threw for 173 yards and three touchdowns this past week in the Seahawks 30-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings. In that game Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown, making his case for one of the league's premier tailbacks.
The Seahawks gave up 243 yards on the ground to the Vikings which bodes well for the Jets who are looking for a breakout week rushing. The Seahawks could give Sanchez trouble in the pocket. This week Seattle's secondary held Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder to 63 yards through the air. Both teams need a win to stay in contention for the division race, but another loss could spell disaster for Gang Green.