The ‘break in case of emergency’ glass is broken. A flashing red light stares Jets Nation in the face. Push it. It’s time. You know you want to. Hands clasped together, clammy from a nervous sweat, only inches separate the Jets from pushing the panic button on their 2011-12 season that was once (again) filled with guarantees of a Super Bowl trophy.
Like it or not it’s now time to start panicking for Jets fans and their players. Lost in the abyss is their identity — lacking a running game and a defense able to stop an opponent’s ground attack. Once the bullies of the block, the Jets cowered to the presence of the AFC’s elite; the Ravens, the Patriots and the Raiders (?!).
Now at 2-3, the Jets seem mediocre — at best — losing three straight games on the road, following a 30-21 victory by the New England Patriots on Sunday. A mutiny has been proclaimed in New York as, allegedly, the offensive players are fed up with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s schemes. Star receivers are calling out the offensive line and the play of their captain and quarterback, Mark Sanchez.
If the Jets plan to fulfill Rex Ryan’s third guarantee at a Super Bowl they have to pull themselves out of this self-loathing tailspin. And it starts with getting some home cooking and welcoming in the 0-4 Miami Dolphins next Monday night.
PASSING OFFENSE: C
- Mark Sanchez played a ball-control game; no interceptions, played it safe with the checkdowns, and didn’t fumble the ball. That’s a great game plan…if it was still Sanchez’s rookie year. Ryan and Schottenheimer took the wheels of Sanchez, slapped a “C” on his chest and threw out in the real game. And it looks like they had to bring him back to the stable.
- The return of Nick Mangold showed a vast improvement on the offensive line, allowing only 2 sacks this week.
- The disappearing act of Dustin Keller is back for a second stint starring in Schottenheimer’s offensive playbook. He’s such a great tool for a young quarterback, yet Sanchez goes to Plaxico Burress (2 drops) and Santonio Holmes (1 drop).
RUSHING OFFENSE: C+
- Shonn Greene did a good job on the ground — could that be because of Mangold’s return or facing on one of the worst defenses in the league?
- The rushing attack, and the offense as a whole, did a commendable job against the Patriots. The problem is one that’s been going on for the last two years: sustaining drives. The Jets were 3-11 on third downs compared to the Patriots’ staggering 50% rating, going 7-14.
PASSING DEFENSE: D
- Tom Brady completed 73% of his passes on his way to over 300 yards passing while Wes Welker only needed five passes to total 124 yards. Outside of Cromartie’s interception to end the first half, the Patriots looked well polished and well executed against the Jets defense.
- Whether it was Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski or Deion Branch, the Jets defensive backfield was too thin to stop Brady, as each hauled in at least four receptions.
- The four sacks, while impressive on the superficial level, were mostly due to coverage sacks where it was the smartest play to take the sack.
RUSHING DEFENSE: F
- The Jets are now the worst ranked rushing defense in the NFL, giving up an average of 135 yards per game.
- After claiming the Patriots defense ‘couldn’t stop a nose bleed’, Bart Scott and his defense were the ones looking leaky, allowing the Patriots offense to stay on the field for nearly 34 minutes and completing half of their third down conversations.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-
- Looks like Mike Westhoff has found his new Swiss Army knife in Joe McKnight. This guy is electric on the field. Drafted as a running back, McKnight’s made an impact on defense and special teams, now all he has to do is break in on the offense.
- Nick Folk was held without at field goal try. That’s only two field goal tries in his last three games, after hitting five in his first two games.
- The Jets have failed to put together a complete game at all this year. The offense has sputtered the last two games, but when it shows up, the defense ‘can’t stop a nose bleed’. While a lot of that is attributed to poor execution, it’s the coaches’ responsibility to get the players ready.
- If the Jets are ever going to make a mid-season move concerning Schottenheimer, wouldn’t now be the most opportune time to do so? The Jets have Bill Callahan who took the Raiders to the Super Bowl in 2001 and Tom Moore who’s won a Super Bowl with the Colts and Peyton Manning. I don’t think Mike Tannenbaum would do that, but finding an in-house solution is possible.
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