Week 14 Recap: Sanchez Survives, Barely

Another week, another poor Sanchez performance, another win.  The Jets squeaked out a win against a terrible team for the 2nd week in a row.  I know they say a “win is a win,” but this is nothing to get excited about, Jets fans.  At 6-7, the talk of playoffs will now only get louder, but its laughable to think this team has any shot.

Sanchez did just enough to not lose.  But he tried his best when he had his league-leading 11th fumble.  Combined his INTs, he on his own has more turnovers than about 6 or 7 TEAMS, according to the announcer.  He made one- really, one – big play, the entire game, and that was the throw to Cumberland on the last drive.  A throw he almost overthrew.  And the Jets showed how much confidence they have in their $20MM QB on that last drive, by handing the ball off on 3rd and 8, which put them in the desperate situation which almost resulted in a loss.

Rex and co. proved time and time again this game that they have no confidence in Sanchez when they needed a big play in the air.  Why start him if that’s the case?  Even more puzzling, they made McElroy inactive, and listed Tebow as the 2nd string.  Can someone please explain that to me?  You energize your team and fan base last week with McElroy, only to make him inactive this week?  What if Sanchez really, really struggled?  You then go to Tebow – a guy you’ve already demonstrated that you also have no faith in as a starting QB.  It’s a mind-boggling decision from an organization that has no clue right now.  This is 1980s Jets stuff, people.

You will hear a lot this week about the decrepid offense that the Jets are rolling out.  And I don’t disagree.  With Keller out and Stephen Hill hurt early on, the Jets were playing a number of guys on offense who could barely crack the practice squad early in the year.  Sanchez isn’t exactly surrounded by pro-bowl talent.  But that said, he’s still missing receivers, holding on to the ball too long and making terrible decisions.  And that has almost nothing to do with the players around him.

The defense played a stellar game again.  But one has to wonder about the last 2 weeks – was that great defense or terrible competition?  Probably both.  Cromartie and Landry continue to be the defensive MVPs, and today was Quinton Coples’ coming out party.  He absolutely levelled Chad Henne in the 4th quarter, and his pressure on the last play of the game caused the last INT.  With he and Wilkerson coming on strong this year, and the return of Revis next year, the Jets have the makings of a very, very good defense for 2013. And they will need it.

This win shouldn’t give you any additional confidence that the team is improving.  For the 4th time this year, the Jets were shutout in the first half.  Shut out by a team that has won 2 games this year, and who’s defense ranks near last in the league.  The offense has been reduced to one that can’t do anything, but run.  And at the end of the game, when the Jags were stacking 8 guys on the line, we couldn’t run the ball.  Why they didn’t do that earlier makes no sense.  You can be sure Tennessee will do that next week.

So Sanchez will be the starter again next week.  And the offense will struggle, mightily.  Tennessee is a tougher team than Jax, and it’s not an easy place to win on the road – on Monday Night Football, no less.  If the defense gives up more than 10-14 points, I don’t think we have a chance.  And they have two big-time playmakers in Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt.  Sanchez is going to have to make plays.

What’s most depressing about all of this is that it is 100% guaranteed that Sanchez will be back next year, and will be the starter.  Rich Cimini of Espn.com did his usual phenomenal analysis of Sanchez’ contract in this article.  Bottom line – he is uncuttable and untradeable.  The cap hit is enormous.  Unless Sanchez decides to take a massive pay cut to get out of the cauldron that is New York, he’s here next year.  So I hope you like a lot of what you’ve been seeing the past few weeks…

6-7, one win away from .500.  The Jets, who had the most difficult schedule in the NFL across the first 12 games (still, no excuse), now have the easiest schedule the rest of the way.  9-7 is conceivable, but something tells me that they will find a way to lose at least one of those games.  And that “they” is our starting QB.

Week 13 Recap: The King is Dead, Long Live The King

At 3:09pm on December 2nd, 2012, the Mark Sanchez era officially came to an end.  It doesn’t matter who won today’s game, or even who starts next week’s game – the minute that Rex Ryan and the Jets pulled Mark Sanchez, was the minute that the Sanchez era ended.  All you had to do was hear the crowd reaction, and more importantly, see the team’s reaction.  They responded.  Tough catches were made.  Players were fired up. They CARED.  And all it took, was a QB change.

Meet Your New QB, Jets Fans

Meet Your New QB, Jets Fans

The game itself was miserable.  The score said it all: 7-6.  The Cardinals may be one of the few NFL teams that are currently worse than the Jets.  Calling this game a “defensive struggle” is being generous.  This game was an offensive struggle – the Cards converted zero – ZERO – third downs, all game.  But someone had to win, and it was the Jets.

But back to the real story.  After 2 1/2 awful quarters of Mark Sanchez, Rex finally made the move he had to make and made a QB change.  But it was not the change everyone thought it would be.  With Tim Tebow inactive today due to a rib injury, in came 3rd string QB and former 6th rd draft pick, Greg McElroy.  And the team responded with a TD on the very first drive, which was enough to win this sorry excuse for an NFL game.

Sanchez was terrible from the start – in fact, he threw an INT on his very first throw – to former Jet Kerry Rhodes of all people (he had a fantastic game by the way – the ultimate payback game).  And it got worse from there.  2 more bad INTs and one more throw that should have been picked off and returned for a TD.  Sanchez looked lost from the start  Final Numbers:  10-21 for 97 yds and 3 INTs.  Ouch.

And you know much Rex and Tanny love Sanchez.  That’s how bad it was.  Rex had no choice but to make a change.  There was literally NO chance that the Jets were going to win today with Sanchez under center.  He single-handedly was holding them back in another game where their defense did what it needed to do.

Is McElroy our long-term solution at QB?  Probably not.  He’s a smart game-manager, the kind of QB who can take you places with a great running game and a great D – neither of which the Jets have at the moment.  He’s a slightly stronger-armed Chad Pennington – which is still an upgrade.  But what this moves does is signal that the Sanchez era is over. It has to be.  There will be a small riot in Florham Park this week if Rex goes with Sanchez again.  The players will erupt, as will the fans.  This move should have been made months ago and credit to Rex for finally, making it.   Rex has already said that he won’t announce his starter for next week.  But what else is he going to say at this moment?  It’s going to be an interesting few days inside Jets’ HQ.

The ultimate loser in this (besides the long-suffering Jets fans) is Tim Tebow.  He must be thinking – what the heck do I have to do to get in a game?  Many are speculating that if Tebow were active today, Rex would have stuck with Sanchez – i.e. that there is no way they will ever go with Tebow as their starter.  If that is the case, then the move to get him was even dumber than many thought it was when they made it.  You don’t trade for a back-up QB if you have no intention of ever using him.  But the irony here is huge – all year, everyone has been speculating about a Tebow-inspired QB controversy.  Who would have predicted a McElroy-inspired QB controversy?

So the remaining 4 weeks of the season just got interesting.  I was just starting to lose interest in the season, but now you have a reason to watch.  And with Jacksonville up next, they have a legitimate chance of getting to 6-7.  But nothing is guaranteed with this team, and that now includes the starting QB.  It’s never dull here in Jets-land…

Oh and by the way – the Pats clinched the AFC East today for the 9th time in 10 seasons. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

He Got His Wish

He Got His Wish

Week 11 Recap: Right Where We Want To Be

Final Score:
Jets: 27
Rams: 13

4-6.  Right where we want to be.  The Jets will talk a lot in the coming days about the fact that they were 4-6 in 2009.  And you know what happened after that – they went on to win 5 of their next 6 en route the AFC championship game in Indy.  But that was a very different Jets team – one with a top 5 run game and a top 5 defense.  And while we looked like we had both of those things today, I don’t necessarily see the Jets replicating this performance each week for the rest of the year.

But a win is a win is a win as they say. And while the Rams are a bad, bad team (I wonder which team Schotty wishes he was still coaching?), there were a few encouraging things to take away from this game.

Offense

  • QB – A very efficient game for Mark Sanchez, and his first turnover-free game in a long time.  He was shaky early and sacked 3 times in the 1st half, but he steadied and made some nice throws.  The throw of the game in my opinion was when he looked right, and then checked down to the left for a 25 yard pass to the TE Reuland, which set up the 1st of Powell’s TDs.  He showed patience and poise on that throw and it left me wondering, where has that been all year? And it’s no coincidence that Sanchez had one of his best games while Tebow had a season-low in snaps.  I think this game proved once again that the Tebow experiment has been a colossal failure.

    Hey Kid, I Used to be Tim Tebow!

  • RB – Forget about a QB controversy; might we have an RB controversy on our hands?  Unlikely, but it was really nice to see Powell and McKnight have an impact.  Powell had career TDs no. 1 and no. 2 and showed some nice burst in the 4th quarter.  McKnight seemed to make things happen every time he touched the ball – MORE carries please!  And Greene was solid, but not spectacular – typical Greene.  Solid blocking by the O-line as well.  A game to build on for sure.

    Your New Starting RB?

  • Receivers – Despite a number of key drops by Stephen Hill (it’s crazy to think the Jets thought this guy would have an impact in his rookie year.  He will be a stud in 1-2 years, but he is RAW), the receivers had a solid day.  Kerley continues to make big, clutch plays, and Schillens had his best game as a Jet with a beautiful 25 yard TD.  They still miss Santonio’s game-breaking abilities, but this squad is coming along nicely.

    You Know It’s a Good Day When There is a Chaz Schillens Pic

Defense

  • D-Line – This was the defensive line’s most impressive game of the year, primarily due to another studly performance from Mo Wilkerson, who is quickly becoming one of the best D-lineman in the game.  He’s established himself as a dominant force on the edge, and the rare lineman that can stay in on rushing and passing downs.  And with Coples coming on strong, it’s clear the Jets will have a pair of beastly defensive ends the likes of which we haven’t seen since John Abraham, Jeff Lageman and the New York Sack Exchange days.
  • LBs – Bart Scott is slow.  Great recovery of the fumble by Wilkerson, but man is he slow.  You are seeing the last few games of Scott in a Jets uniform.
  • CBs – Another great game by Cromartie – he’s really stepped up since Revis his been hurt.  The hit he levelled on Pettis was bone-crushing.  And Laron Landry continues to be a force in the defensive backfield – one of the few great offseason moves by Tanny and hopefully someone we can resign.  Ditto for Yeremiah Bell.

Special Teams –  What happened to the days when the Jets were one of the top units in the NFL?  A blocked FG – the 4th this year! – and a botched fake punt, just in the 1st half.  And if it weren’t for a holding call, they would have given up a 100 yard KO return for a TD.  Nick Folk continues to be solid in the kicking game, but this unit is a shell of its former self.

Coaching – Credit to Rex for pulling the team together after a brutal start to the game. The team stayed focused, and they executed a very efficient game plan on offense and an opportunistic one on defense.  It was especially impressive given all of the distractions during the week.  This would have been a very easy game for the Jets to lose, and with that, the season would be over.  But now they have a glimmer of hope.

And now the Pats come to town on Thursday Night – Thanksgiving.  This has the makings of either being the win that truly turns around the Jets’ season and catapults them into the playoffs (look at the rest of the schedule) or a beatdown of epic proportions that exposes the team for what they really are.  If history repeats itself, we are unfortunately in for the latter.  Just look at the last 2 seasons when the Jets played the Pats in a big spot (excluding the playoffs) – it usually doesn’t end well.  I hope I’m wrong, but this has destruction written all over it.

But at least we have a reason to watch as we digest our turkey and stuffing (here in London my Dad and I will be watching over a cup of coffee at 7am – no spoilers!).  This win should quiet down the critics for a week, and should definitely quiet down the Tebow talk.  In fact, he might be the only guy that’s not excited about this win.  But that said, we shouldn’t get too excited about things – this was a win over a very bad team (lots of parallels between these two teams with Bradford being drafted no. 1, just 4 spots ahead of Sanchez in the 2009 draft).  Next week is a much truer test.  We will find out for sure if this team is “close” as Rex would have you believe each week, or on their way to a 2nd straight playoff-less season.

Confident, At Least For 1 Week

Week 6 Recap: Jets Get Back to Ground & Pound

Final Score:
Jets: 35
Colts: 9

So this was the ground and pound attack we’ve been hearing about since the preseason. Facing one of the worst rush defenses in the league had a lot to do with it, but it was nice to see the Jets get back to their old running and not surprisingly, winning ways.  Sanchez was returned to his more comfortable role as “game manager,” and the defense was dominant.  It was a vintage Rex Ryan era victory – one we haven’t seen all year.

Offense

QB – Sanchez was efficient and smart, with no turnovers.  Get this – this was the first game in the last 17 without one turnover for the Jets.  That’s a stunning statistic.  The Sanchise still missed a few easy throws, but overall he played solid football with two nice TD passes to the Hill brothers.  More importantly for him, he probably bought himself at least 2 more starts.  Tim Tebow also had an impact, picking up a key 1st down in the red zone, but I still don’t know why they don’t let him throw more or take an entire drive. Everyone in the stadium knows he’s running the ball when he’s under center.

See, Jesus Is a Jets Fan!

RB – Shonn Greene had his best performance as a Jet – 32 carries (career high) for 161 yards and 3 TDs.  He ran hard and fist, and showed off a sweet spin move on his second TD – something he’s never shown before.  There was finally a Joe McKnight sighting as well as he took his first carry for 61 yards – thank you Tony – finally!  Unfortunately for McKnight (and are you surprised by this?), he was injured on the run and his status for next week is questionable.  Ditto for Bilal Powell as well.  This team just can’t stay healthy. But for at least one week, Greene was the true no.1 RB that we hoped he would be and the Jets as a team went over 200 yards rushing for the first time in a looooong time.  That said, don’t get too excited – the Colts run D is bad, real bad.

Welcome Back, Shonn Greene

WRs – not much to say here as Sanchez only threw the ball 18 times.  But it was nice to Stephen Hill making some nice plays, including one TD, and old friend Dustin Keller was back as well.  This unit will be tested more next week in New England.

Skillz

O-Line – their best performance of the year – they were beasts.  They dominated the Colts in the trenches, opening up holes for Greene all day long and giving Sanchez ample time to pass.  This unit has quietly been getting better as the year has gone on.  Good thing too as they will need another stellar performance on the road in Foxborough next week.

Defense – This was a dominant performance in every aspect.  The D-line was aggressive and mean.  DE Muhammad Wilkerson had the best game of his young Jets career and was in the backfield all day long, forcing a fumble on Luck at the very end.  Fellow 1st round pick, Quinton Coples also had a solid game – his first one as a starter.  The secondary was solid, and despite a number of pass INT and holding calls, didn’t get burned for the big play.  Cromartie was effective in shutting down Reggie Wayne and Landry and Bell were their usual beastly selves.

Special Teams – another week, another fake punt!  This time Tebow took the snap and passed the ball to back-up LB Nick Ballore who looked like he was being chased by a dog for 25 yards.  Great call and great execution.  Punter Robert Malone continues to have an all-pro season – great find.

The First and Last Time You Will See This Man on the Blog

Coaching – kudos to Rex – he had this team fired up and ready to dominate.  This has not been an easy few weeks for the Jets – to call them tumultuous would be an understatement.  Injuries, QB controversy, an outspoken owner, etc. – lots of distractions. But Rex kept them focused and they were clearly prepared.  Great job all around.

Rex Ryan Weight Watch – the watch is back on!  Rex has clearly been putting in some late nights…see below.

Look Out, Rex is Coming!

This was a game that the Jets were predicted to win and simply had to have.  A loss today would have put them at 2-4, with a road game next week against New England.  No team comes back from 2-5 (no, I’m not predicting a victory next week).  Instead, at 3-3, the Jets still find themselves exactly where most “experts” predicted they will be at this point.  It’s amazing what a difference one week makes…

Next week the Jets go on the road to the sight of some of their most memorable victories, and lopsided losses – Foxborough, MA to face the evil empire.  After a sluggish start, the Pats are back to their dominating form.  This will not be an easy game for them and will be a huge test for their banged up defense.  All I’m hoping for at this point is a close game. For now though, let’s savour this win.

Week 3 Recap: Jets Win the Battle…

Final Score (OT):
Jets: 23
Dolphins: 20

…you know the rest.  This was an ugly and costly win for the Jets.  A win is a win is a win, as they say, but this one came with a price.  All-world CB Darrelle Revis left the game in the 3rd quarter with what looked like a serious knee injury, and the Jets defense looked very ordinary after that.  Sadly, ordinary is still much better than the Jets’ offense, which was sloppy, undisciplined and just plain bad.  Ugh.

Oh Sh*%^t

To the recap…

Offense

QB: This was not one of Sanchez’ finer performances – 21 of 45 for 306 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs.  That said – give him credit, he was resilient in the clutch, leading two big drives at the end of the fourth quarter and in OT.  It was nice to see him regain a connection with Santonio, but that was about the only bright spot.  He missed two easy TD throws, and continually threw behind receivers, especially when under pressure.  I don’t fault him for the two INTs as they were primarily due to receiver mistakes, but he needs to clean things up if this is the year he really steps forward.   As for Tebow…well, another quiet game for him.  This is what I don’t get – why don’t they let him throw the damn ball?  If he’s only a glorified RB, then put McKnight in.  They need to at least keep defenses honest by having him throw a pass here and there.  Right now the Wildcat is just useless and often counterproductive.  Let’s see some creativity Sparano.

RBs:  My prediction – Bilal Powell will be the starting RB by week 5.  He looked faster and sharper than Greene and had good blocking as well.  I think its clear that Greene is not an every down RB – let’s make that change.  And please for the love of god, give Joe McKnight some carries or at least a screen pass or two!  He’s one of your fastest players and true playmakers – get him in the game.  Keeping him on the sideline is just bizarre.

Receivers:  Great game for Santonio – he still had some key drops, but overall, his best game as a Jet.  Unfortunately he was the only receiver worth talking about.   Stephen Hill dropped an easy TD and was otherwise a non-factor.  Kerley had a big catch in the 3rd quarter and the go-ahead TD, but disappeared for long periods of time.  There was a Chaz Schillens sighting.  No impact, but I really wanted to write Chazzzzzzzz (how long until the Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson rumors start?).   And once again the absence of Dustin Keller was huge – his replacements were just awful.  Jeff Cumberland?  Konrad Reuland?  Who are these dudes?  I can tell you what they are not – NFL calibre Tight Ends.  They are having a huge impact on the game – poor blocking, wrong routes and just plain terribleness.  Keller – come back soon.

This Guy Starts for Us!

Offensive Line: Pass protection was good, but not great.  We knew this would be a tough day running the ball (Dolphins are one of toughest run Ds in league), and they played better as the game went on, but this is a far cry from “Ground and Pound” as Marv Albert loved to point out.  I think he just enjoyed saying “Ground and Pound” (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

Defense

If this is truly one of the best defenses Rex has ever had, well that doesn’t say much for every other defense he’s coached.  Even before the loss of Revis, they were not impressive.  Outside of the two turnovers in the 3rd quarter – and that was a masterful pick 6 by Landry – they were just mediocre.  This was a rookie QB they were playing and yet he  had them in a position to win the game in OT.  A truly stellar D stops the Dolphins at the end of the 4th quarter, or OT for that matter.  The loss of Revis had a huge knock-on effect.  Cromartie was forced to cover the top WR, and got burned on a big play in OT.  Wilson was flagged for a big (but very questionable) pass INT call in the 4th quarter.  And the Jets rarely blitzed, which was a problem since the D line created very little pressure. This is a very, very mediocre D without Revis.

Special Teams

Great call on the fake punt with Tebow – his most meaningful play as a Jet.  Kerley had a nice bounceback game and kudos should go to the punter, Robert Malone, who placed a few inside the 10 – that really helped with the field position.  And of course another solid game from Nick Folk who nailed the game winner (although his first kick was blocked just after the Dolphins called timeout – Doh!).

Ladies & Gents, Your MVP

Coaching

We are not approaching Brian Schottenheimer territory yet, but some of Sparano’s calls were questionable.  Tebow in the red zone has to stop for now – they only seem to go backwards when he’s in there.  They called a great screen pass in OT that went for a big gain, but where was it the rest of the game?  And as mentioned earlier, get McKnight in there for a few downs.   On the defensive side, they seem to have abandoned the blitz this year.  I don’t get it – that is always a hallmark of a Rex Ryan D.  Let’s get back to being aggressive.

And the Rex Ryan weight watch is back on – anyone notice that he was wearing that lame black sweater vest…in 85 degree heat Miami?  He was clearly trying to sweat out some extra poundage, amateur boxer style.  I appreciate the effort, Rex.

On a side note – did anyone notice how empty the stadium was?  Apparently the game was blacked out because they couldn’t sell it out.  That’s terrible – your team is 1-1 with a top draft pick at QB, facing your most hated rivals, and you can’t sell out?  And those that were there looked like they were dressed for a redneck Mardi Gras party vs. a football game.  I know Miami is a terrible sports town (Heat fans are notorious for leaving early, just another reason to hate the Heat), but c’mon Miami – show some interest.

The Jets were very, very lucky to walk away with a win.  If not for two missed field goals, we would be looking at a loss.  And this is not a good Dolphins team – they have a rookie QB and were playing without their best player, Reggie Bush, for much of the game.  It shouldn’t have been close.   I called it a “must win,” but I was told by my fellow season ticket holder, that it was not.  A short summary of our texts during the game (this also give you some insight into the stress I endure during every game):

Me:  We can’t lose this game:

G: Don’t panic.  There is never a must win in week 3.

Me: With SF and Hou next?  We need this.

G:  Meh.  Week 3.  (Tannehill throws long bomb in OT to set up FG)

Me: Can we trade for that guy?

G: I would trade QBs in a second.  I’m serious.  (Carpenter misses 2nd FG)

G: This is the sad bowl.   (Folk goes on to kick game winning FG)

Me:  I’m exhausted.  And a little sick.  That was terrible.

A little insight into the mind of a deranged, obsessed Jets fan.  I hope you enjoyed that.

Next up…San Francisco.  The Jets best get healthy and clean things up otherwise we are looking at 2-2, in my opinion.   Until then…J-E-T-S.

You Know The Drill…

Week 14 Recap: Jets Dominate, Finally.

Final Score:
Jets: 37
Chiefs: 10

The Jets won their first “laugher” of the season. It was a dominating performance right from the start, and the result was never really in question.  The Jets outgained the Chiefs 253-4 in the first half and also score 28 pts (the most points in the first half in over 10 years).  There was even a Mark Brunell sighting! (if Sanchez ever gets hurt, we are screwed) It was that one-sided.

There were supposed to be a few games like this during the season, but we will take this one for now. It was strange to watch a stress-free game. This is what Patriots or Packers fans must feel like. I have to confess that I even missed a few plays in the 3rd and 4th quarter, but didn’t really care. My blood pressure is noticeably lower. Thanks Jets!

Offense:

  • Sanchez: This was his best game of the season by far – 2 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs (the first QB in Jets history to do that).  No INTs (he did have a late fumble – he shouldn’t have even been in the game at the point) and for the most part, solid throws that weren’t contested.  He was sacked a few times, but overall a very solid performance.  And apparently he wasn’t booed during the line-up announcements as he was 2 weeks ago, but received modest applause.  Way to keep it classy Jets fans.
  • Greene: He ran hard from the start and had one of his best games of the season.  He ran nearly 40 yards on the opening play and dominated from there.  His

    This was not a TD, but looked good

    performance the last 2 weeks have been very encouraging and are the reason why the Jets are back in the playoff hunt.  LT also had a good game with a TD. They will need more of this down the stretch to continue winning.

  • Receivers: Overall a quiet game besides Santonio’s nice TD catch in the 1st half.  Sanchez really spread the ball around and didn’t take too many chances downfield.

    No, that's not me! That's Dustin Keller, silly!

Defense:

  • Revis: It always starts with him and he had another Revis-like performance.  He let up a few catches here and there, but was never really tested.
  • D-line: They were in Palko’s face all game long and he had a miserable day as a

    This sums up the defensive performance

    result.  The line shut down the run game again and just dominated the line of scrimmage.  The opponent was clearly inferior, but this was an encouraging performance.

  • Jim Leonard: Word on the street is that Leonard may have suffered yet another season-ending leg injury, just as he did nearly a year ago.  This would be a huge loss.  Not only is he one of the most steady and solid players on the defense, but he is the “QB” of the defense, calling most of the signals, and had taken over full-time punt return duties.  The Jets secondary will be really tested without him moving forward.  Tough break (especially since he’s a free agent after this season).

Special Teams

  • No Turnovers!: That’s really the story here…the first no turnover game in quite some time.  Kerley resumed punt return duties and showed why he originally won the job – he had a phenomenal punt return that he almost broke for a TD.  Kick Returner Joe McKnight sat this one out and it showed.

Coaching

  • The game started out with a timeout.  Before one play was even run, they had to call a timeout on offense.  How does that happen?  They then went on to use another  timeout early in the 2nd quarter.  It didn’t hurt them, but they have to fix the communication.  That is just ridiculous and this will come back to haunt them eventually.  But other than that, it was a very well planned and coached game (I thought they kept the starters in for a bit too long, but oh well).  The offense has been noticeably more efficient since offensive consultant Tom Moore (former O-coordinator for the Colts) took a full-time role with the team 2 weeks ago…let the Schotty rumors continue for another week.

Rex Ryan Weight Watch: 280 lbs?  Rex seems to be steadying these days.  The victories have been good to him but he’s been careful not to indulge too much.

Putting his weight into it...

Another “must-win” combined with losses by Cincy and Tennessee has put the Jets into prime playoff position.  They still have to get some help from either Oakland (who are getting smacked by GB as of this writing) or Denver, but as we’ve said, if the Jets win out, they should make the playoffs.  They face a huge test next week in Michael Vick and the Eagles.  The Eagles, who have to be the most disappointing team in the NFL (or all of sports, for that matter) in this year, will have nothing to lose and are dangerous.  Vick and McCoy could give the Jets fits, especially at home.  A win next week would be a huge boost to the Jets’ confidence and playoff hopes.

But another win keeps us interested and in the game.  These Jets don’t make it easy (with the exception of this week)…but they do make it fun.

Week 13 Recap: Jets Win Battle of the Rex(es) at FedEx

Final Score:
Jets: 34
Redskins: 19

Another non confidence-inspiring win for the Gang Green.  But as Bill Parcells once said, “you are what your record says you are.”  And right now, the Jets are 7-5 and still in the playoff hunt.  They might be the worst 7-5 team in the NFL, but they don’t hand out awards for style or domination.  And give the Jets credit – the Defense hung in after another costly special teams turnover and some lacklustre play by the offense for the first 55 minutes.  Sanchez and the offense finally woke up with about 5 minutes to go and then the romp was on. To the summary:

Offense:

  • Sanchez – A solid, if not unspectacular game for the Sanchise.  He didn’t throw an interception (although DeAngelo Hall dropped an easy one), and he is still missing some wide-open receivers on easy throws, but give the guy some credit – he came through in the clutch.  The 3rd down shovel pass to Greene in the 4th quarter was money, and the TD pass to Holmes was beautiful.  That’s two 4th quarter comebacks in a row for the Sanchise.
  • Holmes – The guy just wins games for them.  2nd game-winning TD in a row for him. He’s worth every penny they pay him – I just wish they gave him the ball some more.
  • Greene – A solid, bruising game from the big RB.  And he’s rewarded with 3 TDs.  Remember how much criticism he was getting early in the year?  Not so much anymore.
  • O-Line – Another sack-free game for the offensive line, and this time against one of the top pass-rushing teams in the NFL.  Huge game for them.

Defense:

  • Revis – He’s baaaacckkk.  Another shut-down game for the best CB in the NFL.  I don’t think they even mentioned his name until the 4th quarter.  That was just a one-game blip last week.
  • Harris – Perhaps the most under-rated Linebacker in the NFL – that man is a beast.  Next to Revis, he’s the one guy they can’t lose on defense.
  • Maybin, etc. – It’s hard to believe that Aaron Maybin was labelled as one of the biggest busts in recent history, just 3 months ago.  The man has changed the Jets defense – his sack today locked down the game for them and he now has 6 on the year, more than any other Jet.  What a find.  And a great game for Bart Scott (he’s not washed up yet), Jim Leonard (solid), the entire D-Line and Kyle Wilson (should be starting).

    The Game-Changer

Special Teams:

  • This might be the most puzzling aspect of the Jets’ season – Kerley’s fumble of a punt today was their 6th special teams turnover of the year.  This is a unit that has been the strength of the team in recent years.  Perhaps most ironic – Joe McKnight is the leading vote-getter in the All-Pro balloting for kick returners.   Nick Folk missed another critical FG.   And Cromartie’s decision to run back the on-side kick is just the latest chapter in his book of stupid plays.  I read somewhere last week that he may have the lowest football “IQ” in the entire league (Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Ray Lewis & Ed Reed among the highest).  He may also have the lowest IQ, period.

Coaching:

  • Offense: I know I sound like a broken record, but the play calling still baffles me.  Multiple times they ripped off 9 yard runs on first down, only to follow-up with 2 consecutive incomplete passes.  Why?  Why not run again?  And where was the play-action today?  The Wildcat offense returned today, and yes, they scored at TD off of it at the end, but why did we run it 7 times?   There is just no consistency or pattern to the play-calling.  And can we please, please stop it with the early timeouts (1st and 3rd quarter) and 12 men in the huddle.  That’s just poor discipline.
  • Defense: After an awful opening drive, the D really tightened up and played a very good game.  Now, this is not an opponent to really benchmark (Rex Grossman is awful), but it was still a solid game.  They still need to fix the miscommunication and blown coverages (too many big plays), but a confidence-inspiring performance for the defense.

Rex Ryan Weight Watch: You can tell these wins are really taking their toll on big Rex.  He has to be down to at least 275.

Someone Buy This Man a Sandwich

This was a bittersweet victory for my house.  My wife and her family hail from the D.C. area, and they are all life-long ‘Skins fans (my wife is a Jets convert, of course).  To their credit, they’ve always cheered for the Jets in the playoffs the past 2 years, but their loyalties today were clear – the burgundy and gold.  So while we are pumped for the big win, I feel for them.  As tortured a history as the Jets have had, it has been a very unkind 10+ years since Dan Snyder bought the ‘Skins.  But as Sanchez has proven, a rookie QB combined with a good running game and a solid D can lead to success.  Here’s hoping they turn it around next year.

Finally, it must be said that watching the Jets is a stressful experience these days.  I must have said “they stink” or “Sanchez sucks” or “well, the season is over” at least 5 or 6 times.  My wife thinks it’s hilarious.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dominating, 3-4 TD lead/win one of these days?  Get Brunell a few snaps, put in the back-ups on D.  Not going to happen.  These Jets are destined to give me high blood pressure.

But here we are at 7-5, and in a tie for the last playoff spot (although the tiebreakers are not in our favor).  Next up, a home game with the Chiefs – another very winnable game.  But I’ve said that before, and seen it blow up in my face.  But another week to watch, and another week to believe…

Another Week...