After a dismal preseason that produced zero touchdowns from their first team offense and a rant from head coach Rex Ryan that blamed the media for the circus surrounding his team, the New York Jets silenced their critics as they buried Buffalo 48-28.
The highly anticipated debut of Tebowmania played second fiddle to a stellar performance from Jets QB Mark Sanchez who finished with 266 yards to go along with three beautiful touchdown passes; two caught by sizable rookie Stephen Hill and another to Jeremy Kerley. Kerley also had a punt return for a score. The Jets highly scrutinized offensive line didn't give up a single sack to Buffalo's feared defensive front that includes Mario Williams.
"They kept me upright and that helps," Sanchez said about his excellent protection throughout the afternoon.
Ryan had his defense showing no mercy on Buffalo starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, picking him off three times, one a pick six by CB Antonio Cromartie. Darrelle Revis got in on the action as well with a pick of his own in the first quarter. Revis however ended up leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a head injury that thankfully showed no signs of a concussion.
The defense did allow Buffalo speedster C.J. Spiller to rush for 169 yards after starting running back Fred Jackson was knocked out of the game by a vicious hit from Jets' newly acquired safety LaRon Landy.
Tim Tebow's quiet debut took form in a variety of different offensive looks which included the former Florida star lining up at tight end in the opening minutes of the game to multiple wildcat sets; that which weren't particularly effective. The only bright spot for number 15 was when he recovered a late onside kick by Buffalo. Tebow wasn't used as much as the Jets led us to believe in the build up to the game but he did add somewhat of a deceptive element to Tony Sparano's offense.
The seemingly Pro-Sanchez crowd even booed Tebow when he ran during a second quarter play that failed to gain any yards. Oh, and in case you were wondering, he didn't throw the ball once.
A true test awaits for New York as the next stop in the Jets' "circus" will be to Heinz Field for a showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Photo Credit: Getty