Today was one of those wins that wasn’t very easy to enjoy. Let’s start with this reality, it appears likely that Darrelle Revis tore his ACL. We won’t find out for sure until tomorrow but any educated fan understands what a season ending injury means to the quality of the Jets defense. A Jets defense that already is not very good. It certainly isn’t elite. It certainly isn’t great. I’m not even sure if it is fair to classify it as good. When you allow a rookie quarterback to drive up and down the field on you with his second and third string running backs and the collection of receivers Miami has, you have nothing to puff your chest out about. If Reggie Bush doesn’t get hurt, the Jets might have lost by 10-14 points today.
The Jets have no pass rush, no speed at linebacker and cornerbacks in Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster who play the ball poorly in the air and are susceptible to double moves. Quinton Coples and Demario Davis have brought nothing to the defense so far. Aaron Maybin is a non-factor and the tackling for the entire unit is below average. This defense has a ton of room to improve and Rex Ryan must start finding a way to manufacture a pass rush.
On offense, it is painfully apparent the New York Jets had no well defined plan on how to use Tim Tebow coming into this season. So far his primary use this year has been as a slot receiver, who can’t catch the football (sadly, I’m serious). The Jets have been awful in short yardage and around the goal-line. If Tebow can’t get on the field on the 1 yard line on any of the Jets attempts down there, why is he on this team?
At running back, Shonn Greene needs to be put on the bench. I have battled with readers of this site the past few weeks about Greene but the numbers and production don’t lie. 19 carries for 40 yards? 2 yards per carry? How could you defend this guy as the starting running back? Don’t talk about the offensive line not opening up holes because Bilal Powell had 10 carries for 45 yards or 4.5 yards per carry. It is time to make Powell the starter, Joe McKnight (the Jets aren’t good enough on offense to keep somebody with his speed on the bench) the 3rd down back and relegate Greene to 7-10 carries per game off the bench. He isn’t even reliable enough in short yardage to make him a speciality back for that. Greene is painfully slow and has no ability to break tackles or make people miss.
Mark Sanchez did not play well at quarterback today. Simply put, he needs to complete a higher percentage of his passes and improve his decision making. His interception in the red-zone was awful, regardless of the poor route from Jeff Cumberland. Yes, there were dropped passes. Stephen Hill dropped an easy touchdown and had an overall poor game. Bilal Powell had a key third down drop. Regardless, Sanchez supporting cast is weak. We knew that coming into the year. It is a reality that isn’t going away. He needs to find a way to elevate his play and the play of those around him.
Now to the positives because there were a few – Santonio Holmes as Mark Sanchez eloquently put it “played his ass off.” Despite coverage being rolled to him, Holmes racked up 9 catches for 147 yards and the key catch in overtime. Jeremy Kerley is turning into a reliable playmaker and the Jets must do a better job of the getting the ball in his hands more. LaRon Landry had a pick six and has been a substantial upgrade at safety. Sanchez deserves credit for driving the Jets for the go ahead touchdown and the game winning field goal and throwing for over 300 yards with the collection of receivers and tight ends he had on the field.
The Jets aren’t a very good team and have many things to improve on. Regardless, they are 2-1. 2-0 in the AFC East and currently in 1st place. A win is a win and we’ll take it.