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Jets grades: Passing

Mark Sanchez celebrates his third touchdown pass of

Mark Sanchez celebrates his third touchdown pass of the game during the third quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Sept. 9, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac


Mark Sanchez had one of his best performances of the season: 15-for-20 passing for 178 yards and a touchdown. Even more impressive, he didn't commit a turnover. He had a 123.2 passer rating in the first half and finished at 118.3. Chaz Schilens also had a nice game: four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Kerley chipped in with 43 receiving yards on three catches, including a 32-yard reception that led to Nick Folk's second-quarter field goal. Rookie Stephen Hill, however, once again was a non-factor.


The Rams caught the Jets off-guard early, but after that, the unit regrouped and kept them out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. For the second straight week, the Jets' defense forced two turnovers in the first half. Muhammad Wilkerson strip-sacked Sam Bradford and Bart Scott recovered to set up Schilens' score. The defense had three takeaways in all, including Eric Smith's interception and LaRon Landry's forced fumble recovered by Garrett McIntyre.


Folk is the unit's saving grace. He connected on two 51-yard field goals, though he missed a 44-yarder in the fourth quarter. Folk might have had more points had the Rams not blocked his 26-yarder in the second quarter. St. Louis also didn't bite on coach Mike Westhoff's fake- punt play featuring Tim Tebow.


You've got to hand it to Rex Ryan. After a hellacious week of controversy, he kept the team focused on winning. The Jets used Tebow in a limited capacity, which helped Sanchez's rhythm. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano also had a better day than his predecessor, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

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