The news was bad as expected. Darrelle Revis is out for the season with a torn ACL. It is a devastating injury to the New York Jets best player and to the NFL’s best cornerback. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back at 100% in 2013, when his contract situation will get that much more interesting.
Anyway, on to the 2012 season which still has 13 games left and believe it or not Jets fans, is still going to occur. Even with Darrelle Revis, the Jets had the look of a borderline .500 team. Now without him, it will take a combination of creative coaching and a collection of players to stepping up to keep the Jets competitive into December. Nobody is running away in the AFC. 8 or 9 wins could very well be good enough for a playoff spot, how can the Jets keep themselves in the mix?
First off, the rest of the defense needs to improve immediately, particularly the pass rush and the cornerbacks. The Jets spent high draft picks on Quinton Coples and Demario Davis. It is time to get them on the field. What they are doing up front right now is not working. Calvin Pace may not record another sack in his NFL career. Marcus Dixon was mercifully cut today after being blown off the ball for three straight weeks and playing twice the reps of Coples. Rex Ryan needs to manufacture a pass rush, so he might as well manufacture it with players who allegedly have speed and pass rushing ability.
In the secondary, Rex Ryan refers to Antonio Cromartie as a number one corner. Number one corners don’t get beat on double moves by 20 yards by Brian Hartline. Cromartie has the skill set to be a number one corner but shows no consistency with his technique. He might want to start now. I’m not sure why people are shy about saying Kyle Wilson has been an unmitigated bust but he has been so far. You don’t spend first round picks on nickel backs who can’t cover a team’s third best receiver without getting called for pass interference every other play. Now would be a good time for Wilson to start playing to first round status. After those two? The Jets should probably sign a veteran because Ellis Lankster or Isaiah Trufant haven’t shown any indication they are ready for major reps.
On offense, we will get into this more during the week – but the Jets just need to be better. That starts with Mark Sanchez playing more consistent. The immediate moves with the current depth chart is starting Bilal Powell at running back, getting Joe McKnight into the mix at running back and receiver and involving Jeremy Kerley more as both a receiver and runner. Pick a logical role for Tim Tebow and stick to it. No more 2 yard out routes. Make him your short yardage back out of the quarterback position, period. At wide receiver, Chaz Schilens should be splitting time with Stephen Hill opposite Santonio Holmes until he is up to speed.
The Jets need to examine the trade and free agent market at both running back and receiver. Ryan Grant as a free agent or Chris Ivory in a trade merits a roster spot over Shonn Greene. Plaxico Burress as a free agent or James Jones in a trade merits a roster spot over Clyde Gates.
The expectations are through the floor for the Jets right now. Nobody would be surprised if they finished 5-11 now. Can they exceed expectations in a mediocre conference filled with parity?