33° Good Morning
33° Good Morning

Jets Q&A: Sanchez says weather is no factor

A lot was made of Mark Sanchez playing in cold weather again, especially while wearing two knee braces. Did it take a while for the Southern California native to warm up in the windy, 20-degree temperatures Sunday?

Not if you ask Sanchez, who was sporting his color-coded band on his right wrist. "I don't think so," he said. "I think the first interception, it was a terrible decision. It was nothing other than that. It's third-and-long in our own territory, we don't need that. If we check it down and don't get a first down, it's early in the game, just punt it. We just need to be smarter in a situation like that.

"I felt there were times, especially in that two-minute drill before halftime, I thought we were rolling on offense, hitting on all cylinders. [Danny] Woodhead made some big-time plays for us. I was hitting the checkdowns and being smart with the ball and we did well. That's the key right there, just being smart with the football.

"Other factors - the leg, the wind, the cold - none of that matters if you take care of the ball. I'm not blaming it on anything other than myself. None of the other things."

What about Sanchez's intentional-grounding penalty on the Jets' initial drive of the second half? He seemed visibly upset with referee Ron Winter's late flag.

"[The ref] said I threw it where there wasn't a receiver present," Sanchez said. "I just have to get better. When you get pressure like that, I guess closer to our guy. [The refs] were working hard, too, and making the right calls, so you can't blame anything on something like that. We need to play well enough to take that factor out of the game. We can't have penalties like that."

Speaking of penalties, what about that critical facemask penalty called on Donald Strickland that tacked 15 yards on to Roddy White's 16-yard reception, giving the Falcons a first down at the Jets' 27 on the winning drive?

"The rule change with the 15-yard penalty, it was obviously incidental and I didn't grab it," Strickland said. "But I was trying to swipe at the ball and kind of hit him in the face. It was just one of those fluke incidents. I can't do nothing about it. It was really out of my control. Maybe I should have just kept my hands down and tried to dive at his knee or something. I don't know. But it happened - at the wrong time."

There seemed to be varying opinions on whose fault it was with each of the three missed field goals. Can anyone clear that up?

Really, it seemed as if everyone had a hand in things. Kellen Clemens butchered a snap on the first one, Jay Feely pushed the second one and the snap from the usually reliable James Dearth was too high on the third one. But Dearth took the hit. "I need to be perfect on all those snaps," he said. "I can't have any room for error. The way I see it is there's an operation and it all starts with me."

Kerry Rhodes had been defending Tony Gonzalez and had helped limit the talented tight end to two catches for 26 yards before his game-winning 6-yard TD reception. But Rhodes wasn't checking Gonzalez on that catch. Was Rex Ryan asked about that?

He was, and Ryan was confident that he had the right play called, which means he wasn't about to second-guess himself. "It's a loaded zone coverage, and they almost threw a pick on the play before," he said. "It's a great coverage and hard to complete a ball, especially on a slant pass. We run that a bunch and feel great about it. If I had to do it again, I'd make the same call, but make sure we executed it."

Darrelle Revis nearly came up with an interception one play before Matt Ryan's winning touchdown toss to Gonzalez. Did he have any thoughts about picking up what would've been his team-leading seventh interception?

"It was zone coverage again," Revis said. "I think it was Tony Gonzalez out in the flat. Tough catch, tough catch. It was a good throw by Ryan. I was stumbling on the play to try to get to the ball, and it was just a tough catch, and I did not reel it in."

The Meadowlands is infamous for "snow" games. Was the crowd well-behaved?

There's always a few in every crowd, and 29 fans were ejected and one arrested for throwing snow. Those in the upper deck had the most access to the white stuff because workers weren't able to clear that level in time. The lower two levels were mostly devoid of snow.

New York Sports