The Good, Bad and Ugly of New York's Football Weekend - NBC New York

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The Good, Bad and Ugly of New York's Football Weekend

A hearty welcome back to Shonn Greene and the Jets running game



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    Back to the ground and pound -- for real this time.

    All year long we've been wondering where the Jets of the last two seasons had gone.

    We missed the overwhelming defense and the pounding running game that paved the way to two straight AFC championship games. After six games played largely without them, we wondered if they were gone for good.

    And where was the red zone offense that was supposed to emerge now that Plaxico Burress was out of prison blues and into Jets green? The weekly commentaries about his lack of chemistry with Mark Sanchez were even more depressing as attempts to make heads or tails of high school chemistry.

    The Jets still blustered, but every week made it seem like all they were was bluster in a league where your bite needs to be more terrifying than your bark. What a relief, then, to see Sunday's win over the Chargers.

    GOOD: Shonn Greene has been arguably the biggest disappointment of the Jets season, so his 112-yard, brusing effort was the feel-good story of the day. Greene ran over and around the Chargers throughout the second half to help the Jets turn around a 21-10 halftime deficit and restore hope that the ground and pound will be a key part of the post-bye Jets team.

    BAD: Week in and week out, the Jets come out of the gate unprepared for battle and it happened once again on Sunday. Comebacks are great, but, as the Saints proved in their 62-7 win Sunday night, blowouts are even better.

    UGLY: Mark Sanchez had some real bright moments, but his interception in the end zone in the first half was one of the worst throws you'll ever see. Underthrowing receivers who are double covered never works out well.

    GOOD: The Jets defense in the second half looked like the one we remember from the last two playoff runs. They allowed 117 yards and held the best third-down team in the league to one conversion on seven tries, making Philip Rivers look like the pedestrian quarterback that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said he was last week.

    BAD: The Giants didn't play, but they couldn't have liked what they saw down in Dallas where rookie DeMarco Murray ran for 253 yards in his first extended playing time. The last thing the Giants need is for the Cowboys to build up a head of steam offensively now that Rob Ryan has them playing some scary defense.

    UGLY: Nick Mangold is a terrific player, but he had a miserable day on Sunday. He was flagged three times, including once to wipe out a spectacular diving touchdown by Santonio Holmes, so let's hope the bye week gets him fully back to health because he's clearly still bothered by a sprained ankle.

    GOOD: Burress' three touchdowns were the focal point of postgame discussion, but they're worth another mention. Teams can't single cover him near the end zone, something that should lead to lots of chances for Holmes, Dustin Keller and the rapidly emerging Jeremy Kerley.

    BAD: Has there ever been a sports franchise more perenially disappointing than the San Diego Chargers? For nearly a decade they have been one of the most talented teams in the league and they have never done anything remotely impressive with all of that talent. They have dumped two quarterbacks -- Drew Brees and Eli Manning -- with Super Bowl rings, though, so that's something.

    UGLY: The Jets win was a sight for sore eyes and the Tim Tebow comeback in Miami had the feeling of a religious revival, but this was a dreadful week for the NFL otherwise. Hopefully, the train wreck that is the Colts will lead the NFL to start spreading the wealth in national TV games going forward instead of putting all their eggs in the same baskets over and over again.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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