Just shut up and play the game.
Do you think Rex Ryan had dreams of sugar-plum fairies dancing in his head last night? Do you think he walked down his staircase to find a stocking filled with coal? Has he even tried to remove the foot from his mouth or do you think he’s going to savor the accents for a bit?
No matter the topic the Jets will have a lot of thinking to do with, more than likely, plenty of time to devote to it. And with the new year fast approaching how fitting is it to reflect on the actions past and make adjustments for the future. From the looks of the dismal game plan the Jets had implemented in their 29-14 “home” loss to the New York Giants, the adjustments are going to start from the top. Ryan has a marked propensity for writing checks that his team just can’t cash. Sunday was no different. After flapping his gums and beating his chest all week long that his team was the most dominant in New York, the Jets came out flat-footed and lacked luster — most certainly not deserving of any extra helpings of Grandma’s figgy pudding.
The offense was clearly out of their comfort zone, with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer abandoning the team’s identity of “Ground and Pound” and forcing Sanchez to drop back 59 times — 16 more attempts than his previous career high. Now depending on nearly half of the AFC to lose in Week 17, the Jets must win in Miami if they have even a shadow of hope of getting in to the NFL’s second season.
PASSING OFFENSE: F
- Sanchez has attempted 40+ passes in seven career games. The Jets are 3-4 when he is forced to throw the ball. In those games the Jets have been outscored 139 to 154. After going into the half down three points, Sanchez came out in the second half and attempted 30 passes. The team was outscored 19-7.
- After what could easily be the most disappointing game in Santonio Holmes’ career, where two costly mistakes led to 14 Philadelphia Eagle points, Holmes had yet another two drops in Saturday’s contest. In fact the only passing touchdown came by the hands of Josh Baker, the team’s back-up fullback. This after Holmes predicted he would have a big game as the Giants’ defensive secondary “gives up big plays”. On the night, Holmes had four receptions for 50 yards. Bah Humbug!
- The struggles of the offensive line could play as the microcosm of the Jets 2011 season: head-scratchingly inconsistent. Just two weeks after giving up a combined 1 sack in three games, the Jets played to the strength of the Giants defense — the pass rush. Jason Pierre-Paul harassed D’Brickashaw Ferguson for two sacks, just a week after Wayne Hunter was abused by Jason Babin for three sacks. The line gave up five sacks in total on the afternoon.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D+
- The poor grade comes from a lack of use. But when used LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene (87 combined yards, 5.0 yards per attempt) were effective. And against the third worst rushing defense in the NFC (giving up 126.1 yards per game) it doesn’t make sense to abandon the ground game when the game was as close as it was.
- “I don’t know, that’s a lot of throwing the football,” he said, adding, “We pride ourselves on Ground and Pound. That’s our philosophy. The last few weeks, we’ve done that. We’re pretty good at it and pretty successful and putting points on the scoreboard. For whatever reason, we didn’t do that today. I can’t answer why,” Tomlinson via ESPNNewYork.com on when he heard Sanchez attempted 59 passes.
- “No, that was not our plan. We thought we’d be able to run the ball on them. We liked some of our match-ups that we had, but obviously we don’t go into a game planning on throwing it that many times,” Rex Ryan on whether passing the ball that much was a part of the game plan.
PASSING DEFENSE: B-
- Well, maybe Victor Cruz (3 receptions, 164 yards, 1 TD) wasn’t crazy for talking down to Darrelle Revis and the Jets secondary.
- Eli Manning has over 4,000 yards and is on his way to 30 touchdowns and the Jets held him to 9-of-27 passing the ball and still lost. Is it really a question of defense? The pass rush could only generate a measly three quarterback hits and two sacks on Manning (1o TDs, 9 INTs over his last six games) while only intercepting him once.
RUSHING DEFENSE: C-
- The Giants were one of the worst rushing teams in the league combined with the Jets having uncharacteristically struggled against the run this season, allowed for Ahmad Bradshaw to bust the game open with two second half scores.
- After the game, Giants oft-outspoken running back Brandon Jacobs spread some holiday cheer in the direction of Ryan. After Ryan told Jacobs to “shut the f— up”, Jacobs reminded the Jets boisterous head coach that he is not the Giant player to be provoking.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
- If you have to punt the ball nine times in a game after dominating time of possession (36 t0 24) that’s not the sign of an efficient offense.
- After starting the season perfect for the first eight weeks, the second of the season has been far from perfect. Upon missing a field goal last night, Folk has been 50/50 on field goal tries going 8-for-16. That’s the definition of liability.
- The lone bright spot for special teams was the rookie Jeremy Kerley, who averaged 18.5 yards on four punt returns. It will be exciting to see him develop in to a real playmaker next season.
- I’ll reiterate what I said in the first line: just shut up and play the damn game, Rex. You’re a coach. Just coach. Forget pumping yourself up with empty promises that your team just can’t deliver. Ryan congratulated Giants coach Tom Coughlin, stating it starts with coaching and they did a better job. He’s right, it starts with coaching. So coach.
- In his post-game press conference Ryan seemed to question Schottenheimer giving the boot to the ground game. “We are not going to beat anyone if you throw it that many times, that is for sure. We averaged 4.3 [yards]a carry, we were running the ball effectively, but you fall behind like that and are behind a couple of scores, you have to speed it up and that’s why we did it. Obviously we were really not built to play that game but it is what it is.” — sounds like a difference in philosophy.