We have now had a few days for the dust to settle on a disgustingly disappointing week of New York Jets football. The New York Giants will take some of the media spotlight for laying an egg at home last night against Vince Young and the Philadelphia Eagles. As it stands right now, the New York Jets are 5-5 and somehow still very much alive in the AFC wild-card race.
Basically they are 1 game out as they sit behind the 6-4 Cincinnati Bengals at. Currently, they are also behind Denver and Tennessee because of tie-breakers despite having the same record as them. Be prepared for six weeks of rooting against these three teams, along with Pittsburgh and Baltimore although most of us expect both of them to return to the playoffs.
The Jets schedule is kind to put it mildly the next three weeks. This week they play the only team in the NFL who has been more pathetic than them the past two weeks, the Buffalo Bills. The Jets get them at home and beat them up only a few weeks ago, 27-11. If the Jets can’t take care of them this week, it is time to start firing coaches (cough, cough Schottenheimer) and benching people. After Buffalo, the Jets travel to Washington to face the Rex Grossman show in DC and then host Tyler Palko and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This three game stretch reminds me of the 4-6 Jets in 2009 facing Carolina, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay. The won all three but nobody was all that impressed considering the level of competition. I could see a similar situation unfolding this year as ultimately the Jets will have to find a way to not just win these next 3 but at a minimum take 2 out of 3 from Philadelphia, the Giants, and the suddenly hot Dolphins to end the season.
They aren’t beating anybody if Mark Sanchez doesn’t get his confidence back and start playing with some consistency, most of that is on him but Brian Schottenheimer has to come up with a competent game-plan. Rex Ryan must let Bill Callahan and Tom Moore give more input to assist in this process. I don’t know how to hide Wayne Hunter outside of leaving awful Matthew Mulligan in to help chip block. I suppose they could also try awful Vladimir Ducasse in that spot or give Shawn Nelson a chance if he ever gets healthy. Maybe give Josh Baker a few more reps? There are more questions than answers right now on offense.
On defense, my rant is coming this afternoon. 9 of their 12 last quarters have been terrific. They dominated Buffalo. Played a strong first half against New England and then dominated Denver for 56 minutes. This team needs more. Considering how bad the offense has been, this defense needs to abuse the upcoming three offenses the way they should, despite Bart Scott and Calvin Pace potentially being the slowest two linebackers in the NFL and Eric Smith being arguably the worst starting safety in the NFL.
Optimistic? I wouldn’t say I am. Yet, there is a glimmer of hope left in this season thanks to the 2009 precedent and how bad the team’s next three opponents are.