The New York Jets are 2-0 on the young NFL season, as they won their second straight home game, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 32-3 at MetLife Stadium.
Mark Sanchez was efficient, completing 17 of his 24 passes, and the Jets defense had a dominant performance, allowing just 203 total yards with four interceptions.
Antonio Cromartie had a monster game for the Jets, averaging 42 yards on two kickoff returns, intercepting two passes and nearly returning one for a touchdown. He even got a snap on offense for the second straight week, rushing for one yard.
But the biggest thing about the game was not the players who made big plays on the field, but rather the guy who spent most of the day on the sidelines.
That would be All-Pro center Nick Mangold, who is widely regarded as the game’s best center and arguably one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, period.
Mangold got his leg rolled up on from behind in the first quarter, and he was knocked out of the game with what appears to be an ankle injury.
He does not have a broken ankle, but the extent of the damage is unknown. He was walking around on the sidelines, which is a good sign, but he did not return to the game.
If Mangold is unable to play next week and beyond, undrafted rookie center Colin Baxter would likely see time at his spot. Baxter made his NFL debut on Sunday and held his own for the most part.
Obviously there’s no replacing a guy of Mangold’s caliber. He’s one of the elite players in football. The Jets should know more about the extent of his injury and a timetable for his return by Monday or Tuesday.
Robert Turner, who has done an admirable job filling in for Mangold in the past, is out himself with a broken leg. So Baxter is the third-string center, and may be pressed into action as a starter for the Jets’ Week 3 game against the Oakland Raiders.
Jets fans are going to have to cross their fingers and hope for the best. Without Nick Mangold, it will be tough sledding for the Jets offense going forward.