Third and ten from the 1 yard line. The New York Jets held a 7-3 lead and had put together an encouraging performance so far. One ten yard out route, two missed tackles, a poor angle, and 99 yards later. The game was over. If you have watched the Jets this season, you knew at that moment they didn’t have the character or the team this year to overcome that type of play.
I remember from the Oakland game when they couldn’t bounce back from a muffed kick. I remember from the New England game when they were ripping down the field on the opening drive but had to settle for a short field goal, which they missed and couldn’t bounce back from it. I remember defenders purposely staying on blocks to avoid tackling Tim Tebow on Denver’s game winning drive. I remember last week when a Santonio Holmes fumble gave the Eagles a quick 7-0 lead and the Jets didn’t have an answer.
The 2011 New York Jets don’t have the fight they did last year. They don’t have that irrational confidence that made them such a dangerous team in Rex Ryan’s first two years. The problems started in the off-season, which we will look back on as one of Mike Tannenbaum’s worst and it has carried through with a disappointing defense and a perplexing awful offense led by the perpetually incompetent Brian Schottenheimer.
Yesterday was the final nail in Schottenheimer’s coffin. Rex Ryan can lavish all the false praise on him that he wants but this team can’t be managed through his rose colored glasses. Change is needed and the first move this off-season must be letting Schottenheimer go and putting a competent NFL offense together.
Mark Sanchez was bad yesterday…very bad, yet we need to see him with a new offensive coordinator in a system that plays to his strengths. The strategy to drop him back 65+ times and only throw 6 yard passes inside the hash marks doesn’t work. Get the guy a NFL quality right tackle and help at the skill positions, where the Jets are good but lack explosion. Forget about the Peyton Manning pipe dream rumors, you want to focus on a big move the Jets should make? Go get Maurice Jones-Drew or Matt Forte. I like Shonn Greene but can you think of one game changing play he has made all season?
The Jets offense doesn’t make big plays. Part of that is on Schottenheimer. Part of that is on Sanchez. Part of it is on their receivers not getting the necessary separation, breaking the necessary tackles and their running backs never ripping off big runs. Everything seems so hard for this offense. It is time to rebuild it.
The defense is solid but not spectacular and they won’t be until they improve at safety and linebacker. As you could imagine this will be a huge off-season for Mike Tannenbaum who needs to sit down and honestly assess the talent level on this roster, which is that of a borderline .500 team not that of a team who will win a division and host a playoff game.
It is easy to be down and throw around hysterics about Sanchez and Rex Ryan being on the hot seat. Even his biggest supporter can admit Rex came off like like an idiot yesterday and his words are starting to ring hollow. Ultimately, he is who he is but that kind of embarrassment is hard to shake off. Can Rex and his team rise off the mat? Only time will tell but you are kidding yourself if you think both Rex and Sanchez won’t be back next year and yes the year after.
Think about how awful you feel like the Jets are right now and then remember they are 8-7 and not 3-12. They aren’t that far away. Some years aren’t going to end in playoff berths and two upset playoff wins. This year hurts more because they were swept by New England and lost to the Giants and because just like it is more enjoyable to watch the Jets win because of Rex Ryan and his antics, it is more painful to watch them them lose because of Rex Ryan and his antics.