FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Slow starts are a thing of the past for the suddenly clicking New York Jets.
Remember those brutally boring first quarters when they couldn't get much going? Well, those are so four weeks ago.
Mark Sanchez and the once-struggling offense have become an efficient group that has gotten on the scoreboard early and often during the Jets' three-game winning streak.
"I think we're all just playing a lot better across the board," Sanchez said.
And they've done it against some pretty good defenses. Here comes another one this Sunday: the Eagles, who are coming off a nine-sack performance against Miami and playing for their playoff lives in a season that has been filled with inconsistencies.
"It sounds awfully familiar to another team I know," center Nick Mangold said with a slight grin.
Big things were expected from the Jets offense this season, particularly in the passing game with Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress. Instead, there were a few impressive spurts scattered throughout an early portion of a season marked mainly by spotty play by Sanchez, the offensive line, the running game, and the receivers.
New York is ranked 25th in overall offense, but the Jets are in a real groove offensively. They have 13 touchdowns in the last three games, which ties them with New Orleans, New England, and Green Bay - the top-ranked three offenses in the league - for the most in the NFL during that span.
"I don't think our practices were quite as sharp as they've been lately, and I think that carries over to the game," coach Rex Ryan said. "I think you see right now our team is feeling pretty good about themselves."
It all started in the fourth quarter against Buffalo in Week 12, when Sanchez led the Jets to a 28-24, comeback victory over the Bills with a touchdown pass to Holmes with just over a minute left. New York followed that by scoring on its first possession against Washington and then dominating the Redskins in the fourth quarter with three touchdowns in less than five minutes for a 34-19 win.
Last Sunday against the Chiefs, the Jets rebounded from an embarrassing timeout on their first play from scrimmage by again scoring a touchdown on their first possession, and kept going while cruising to a 37-10 victory. While no one might confuse this offense for those of the Saints, Patriots, or Packers right now, it certainly has become a force during the team's streak.
"I think hopefully we're just starting to hit our stride, and we're not there yet," Sanchez said.