On the first drive, Sanchez threw a fade to Brad Smith in the end zone that was off target. Braylon Edwards was on the other side, and he's great on fades, so perhaps the Jets were attempting to trick the Dolphins who probably assumed a fade would go to Edwards. This was a case of overthinking. Throw the fade to Edwards, this kind of play is why you traded for him. Dustin Keller and Sanchez haven't been on the same page the last few weeks. An example of this was in the second quarter when Sanchez was way off target over the middle to Keller, and the team was forced to punt.
Sanchez and Edwards are going to take a while to get the kinks out. A good example of this was on a slant in the second quarter, where the "cube" and receiver weren't on the same page, and this ended a drive.
Sanchez was a little behind Edwards on a crossing route to end a drive in the middle of the fourth quarter.
But obviously Sanchez and Edwards did a lot of good work together. In the middle of the second quarter, Sanchez did a good job stepping up in the pocket under pressure, and hit Braylon in-between CB Sean Smith and FS Gibril Wilson. The play gained 17 yards, and a good example of Edwards ability to win battles in traffic because of his size and athleticism.
Another example of his size coming in handy was on a third-and-two in the fourth quarter, where Edwards jumped up and beat out Wilson for the ball for a gain of three.
Also the three-yard touchdown throw from Sanchez to Edwards in the first quarter in the middle of the end zone, was also a big receiver play.
And the pièce de résistance was when Sanchez hit Edwards down the left sideline for 34 yards with CB Vontae Davis (who was called illegal contact) and Wilson all over him, and he came down with it. This was the quintessenial big receiver play, and an example of what Rex said about Braylon – "when he's not open, he's open." This is the kind of catch the Jets have been missing since Keyshawn's departure.
Another deep pass between the two resulted in a pass interference on Will Allen early in the second quarter. This is another advantage of a large receiver, their big bodies tend to draw more interference calls.
But while you want to throw more passes to Edwards in traffic, it can also be dangerous.
Early in the third quarter, a pass down the right sideline to Edwards in tight coverage was almost picked by CB Will Allen. Another close call was a pass to Edwards dwon the left sideline that was broken up by Smith.
The Jets finally got David Clowney involved and he made the most of his opportunity, with four catches for 72 yards, including the Jets most impressive deep pass of the season, a 53-yarder from Sanchez at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Clowney used his 4.3 speed to blow by SS Yeremiah Bell and Vontae Davis on this play. One pass play that didn't make a lot of pass was s throw to TE Ben Harsock down the deep middle. Hey, the guys a decent player, but he's not Antonio Gates. This play seemed beyond his skillset, but it worked out for the Jets because of a helmet to helmet hit on the tight end.