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Another Ugly Win for the Jets

Jets survive early turnovers, find the running game in 17-10 win

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Greene was gold for the Jets on Sunday.

    The Jets didn't ask for much out of Mark Sanchez in the second half on Sunday. 

    You can't blame them. Sanchez's play in the first half was nearly as putrid as the stuff that got him benched against Arizona last weekend. 

    But the Jets were up 17-10 late in the fourth and facing a third-and-nine that they needed to convert to give their defense time to rest up for a final drive. Sanchez, who had thrown one pass since early in the third quarter, hit Jeff Cumberland for 37 yards to keep the drive alive and force the Jaguars to use some of their timeouts. 

    That loomed large on the final drive as the Jaguars needed to hurry without any way to stop the clock. They moved into Jets territory, but Chad Henne threw an interception under pressure with a handful of seconds to play to end the threat. 

    And that means the Jets have about the most improbable two-game winning streak you could ever hope to see. The offense was a horror show in the first half again this week, including Sanchez's 45th turnover since the start of last season, and the Jets didn't really leave themselves a choice other than more Sanchez. 

    Greg McElroy, who replaced Sanchez last week, was left inactive and Tim Tebow was the backup. Tebow didn't play a snap in any role and it's impossible to imagine the Jets were going to turn to him as quarterback after avoiding it all year. 

    That left them to ride the running game, a choice that paid off. Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell combined for 41 yards on one touchdown drive and Powell ran for all 42 en route to a second score that opened their lead to 17-3. 

    The backs went for 153 yards on 39 carries overall, numbers that are pretty much exactly what the Jets need to win with any of their trio of misfit quarterbacks. Thanks to the defense, which was very good even when you account for the zero degree of difficulty provided by Jacksonville's inept offense, a running game is almost enough to win you a game. 

    Sometimes you need just one throw from your former glory boy quarterback too. Sanchez hasn't proven capable of much, but he was capable of that on Sunday. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.