Baxter holds up well in first start

OAKLAND -- The problem wasn't Colin Baxter, that's for sure.

The undrafted rookie, in his first NFL start, didn't make any glaring errors in his baptism by fire. There were no bad snaps, not botched exchanges and no penalties. He allowed a pressure that contributed to a sack by another play, but all things considered, he did as well as could be expected.

And received praise.

"I thought Baxter did a nice job," Rex Ryan said. "It wasn't our offense. Our defense let us down, clearly."

Baxter, who started for the injured Nick Mangold (high-ankle sprain), said he made "a big improvement" from last week, when he came off the bench to replace Mangold.

"I felt like I eliminate a lot of the stupid mistakes," he said.

The Jets also ran the ball better than they had all season, although it still wasn't a typical Ground & Pound game -- 100 yards and a 4.0 average. Most of their success came on outside runs; that was the game plan.

"I thought he did a heck of a job," said QB Mark Sanchez, who hadn't taken a snap from Baxter until last Sunday. "He did a good job competing, making the calls and adjusting to the checks at the line."

Initially, the Jets expected Mangold to miss at least two games, but he was ahead of schedule last week, according to Ryan, and there's an outside chance he could return to face the Ravens this week.