Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez and Jerricho Cotchery received most of the headlines for the New York Jets' overtime win in Cleveland, but there was an under-the-radar performance that deserves recognition.
Rob Turner, a backup offensive lineman, played a three-way game -- offense, defense and special teams. That's what you call a throwback performance, back to the days of one-platoon football. We're talking old school.
"I don't know if I'd call it old school," Turner said modestly on Monday. "It's not like I'm playing full-time. I just do what they need me to do."
On Sunday, that was a lot.
The versatile Turner replaced Matt Slauson (knee) at left guard, and wound up playing the fourth quarter and overtime. All he had to do was block Browns DT Shaun Rogers, who's listed at 350 pounds. (Does anyone really believe he's only 350?) The 305-pound Turner didn't allow a sack or a tackle to Rogers, although there was a near-sack that required a Sanchez escape.
Turner also was used on defense in a goal-line situation. It happened in the second quarter, on a second down from the 3-yard line. He and OT Wayne Hunter (another three-way player in this game) lined up as tackles in the 'A' gaps. Neither player made the tackle, but Turner flew into the pile on a short pass to RB Peyton Hillis and wound up inadvertantly nailing teammate Jim Leonhard. Typical Turner; he's known as one of the most tenacious players on the team.
Turner also played his usual role on special teams, a member of the field-goal, PAT and kickoff-return units.
For the day, his snap-count breakdown went like this:
Offense: 39 plays.
Defense: One play.
Special teams: 14 plays.
Hunter, another versatile backup offensive lineman, played on the field-goal and PAT units, plus a handful of plays as an extra tight end, as per usual.
Turner said he played goal-line defense in college, at New Mexico. He made the Jets as a rookie free agent in 2007 and quickly impressed with his versatility. In fact, then-coach Eric Mangini used Turner as an extra tight end, sometimes sending in motion. That was quite a sight.
But, hey, you know the old saying: The more you can do ...
JT'S ROLE SHRINKING: Unofficially, LB Jason Taylor appeared in only 19 of the 59 defensive plays against the Browns. He had no role in the base defense, limited to only pass-rushing situations. Until the Browns' game-tying drive at the end of regulation, Taylor had only six snaps. But say this for Taylor: He recorded a sack (on the Browns' final drive in OT), giving him a team-high four.
COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON: The Jets and New England Patriots meet in 20 days in Foxborough. If both teams hold serve, they'll both be 9-2 for what will be the biggest Jets-Patriots game since the 2006 Wild-card bout. The Patriots won that, 37-16.
In terms of the regular season, you'd have to go back to '04 to find a game of comparable magnitude. That season, they faced each other when both teams were 5-0 and when the Jets were 10-4 and the Patriots 12-2.
THIS AND THAT: The Jets' biggest deficiency on offense is red-zone effiency. They've scored only 11 TDs in 28 trips (39.3 percent), the lowest in the AFC ... The Jets have 14 pass plays of at least 30 yards. The San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers lead the league with 16 apiece ... The Jets have 72 penalties, fifth-most in the league.