New York Jets: Separating The Reality From The Hype

Separating the reality from the hype when it comes to the New York Jets

The general view of the 2012 New York Jets is the following – an overhyped team who went down in flames last year and is about to completely fall off the tracks, leaving both Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez unemployed. The circus characterization has been beaten to death by an unoriginal New York media who has spent the last 6 months making a mountain out of every mole hill possible. NFL “media experts” have piled on, pegging the Jets as a 5-7 win team that is more headlines than substance, even when they are the ones giving them the headlines they complain about.

Seriously, is there any thing more tone deaf that ESPN running a segment about how the Giants have flown under the radar because of excessive Jets coverage when ESPN ran the idiot brigade out there all August?

The public fellatio handed to coaches like the Harbaugh brothers isn’t extended to Rex Ryan because he isn’t an information hoarding Bill Belichick clone. He is loud, obnoxious and not afraid to open up in press conferences. His public personality has prevented him receiving the respect he deserves. The hot seat? Because of a 8 win season after back to back AFC Championship Games in his first two years? Give me a break.

Jim Harbaugh lost in a Conference Championship in his first year, exactly what Rex Ryan did, only Rex had to break in a rookie quarterback. Rex then followed up by beating Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Belichick in his own building in the playoffs in his second season. Let’s see how Harbaugh follows up in year two, when he has already been crowed as Lombardi 2.0. John Harbaugh has the same thing to show as Rex Ryan so far in his coaching career, two Conference Championship losses. They get the benefit of the doubt and lofty places in polls like this where Rex isn’t even mentioned. Comically, somebody would rather start their team with Greg Schiano than Rex Ryan, only problem is the biggest game Schiano ever won is the Bowl.

Perception is the Jets went 3-13 last year. Reality is they went 8-8, one game worse than the eventual Super Bowl champions and 2 games better than the “upstart” Buffalo Bills who have been unanimously picked to finish ahead of them in the standings this year.

Perception is Mark Sanchez is the 32nd best quarterback in the NFL. Reality is the racked up 32 total touchdowns last year and has won 4 playoff games in his first 3 years. Could you imagine the fawning over Josh Freeman for those type of accomplishments? Yet, Freeman remains the “experts” choice for the big year in 2012. Other young quarterbacks require time to develop and every success is praised endlessly, the same benefit doesn’t fall to Sanchez who only receives armchair psychoanalysis.

The decision to bring in Tim Tebow reeked of headline grabbing. However, would a similar move by Baltimore, Houston or Buffalo inspire such criticism? The move isn’t an abject failure until Tebow is throwing more than 5 passes in a single game. If he comes out and runs 8 times for 45 yards week 1 as the Jets win, is it a stupid decision then?

Clown car? Here are the teams who have won less total games than the 32 the Jets have won the past three seasons (including regular season and playoffs) – Buffalo, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Oakland, Kansas City, Denver, San Diego, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, New York Giants (yes they have a Super Bowl though), Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, Carolina, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Arizona. Atlanta has won 32 as well but with zero playoff wins.

So that leaves New England, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Green Bay as the only teams who have been more successful than the Jets the past three years and we will throw in the Giants for their Super Bowl victory. Are the Jets ever mentioned in the same breath as these franchises for their success the past few years? Of course not. Save the clown cars for Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Minnesota and the other awful organizations, not the team who goes 8-8 and has it considered a colossal failure.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Sean D.

    Love the passion. But there are sound reasons why people think the Jets may not be good this year.
    1) The until-recent nearly-delusional loyalty to a guy like Wayne Hunter. He was awful last year, and that one weak link rendered an otherwise elite offensive line as inadequate. Still a big question mark, even with him gone and Howard having a decet preseason.
    2) Sanchez may not be the 32nd bestt QB last season, but he’s definitely bottom 10, if not bottom 5. That shouldn’t be refuted at this point. Then, they traded for a back-up who was in fact the 32nd worst passer last year. So, major concern there too.
    3) A poor stable of running backs. Shonn Greene has coasted on the credibility from his rookie season and no other back looks capable of topping Greene’s below-average production.
    4) An even worse stable of receivers. Holmes is the one excpetion of a group of players that wouldn’t break the rosters of half the NFL teams.
    5) Keller is an underrated tight end and in my opinion, the Jets best weapon. However, like no other position the tight end is only as good as the guy getting him the ball. The rest of the tight ends don’t offer much, either.
    6) The Jets D is unquestionably elite. But unless the Jets’ gadget offense controls the clock (because they’re coventional offense probably won’t), the defense will spend a lot of time in short fields. As good as they are, that’s a lot to ask. They may hold up most games, but not all.
    7) Their special teams is nothing to brag about, though Joe McKnight is a weapon.
    The circus atmosphere isn’t really fair, but they had it coming. Not anticipating it after seeing what happened in Denver is an enormous blunder. But they still have to get on the field. There’s a lot (apparently) that will be revealed Week 1, and we will actually know how good this team is. But for those aformentioned reasons, people are doubting the Jets. For most, it’s not a NY bias or hatred, just logic.
    Great article, love the site.

  • WAP3

    Great article! I think the conversation around the Jets would be completely different without the addition of Tim Tebow. Unfortunately, the Tebow Media Machine has all Jet decisions and moves under microscopic scrutiny. ESPN needs to justify the expense of permanently embedding Sal Paolantonio with team, so everything gets blown out of proportion. Lets hope the team proves everyone wrong when the take the field on Sunday.

  • Bringing in Tebow was a HUGE mistake… He brings a lot of media attention and unneeded pressure on a already soft Mark Sanchez. The Jets should have been looking for a replacement for Hunter. Also Buffalo has been more active than the Jets in the right positions While the Jets have been tradding for spots for no reason… Why get a Kicker in the last moment when the one you got was good enough last year and in pre-season? I also thing the Bills will win because they can put more pressure on the QB than US. Our only hope is to run the ball because if Sanchez has to throw he will have to do it on his back.

  • joe defiant

    Thank god someone wrote a article based in reality. I’ll name ten starting qb’s and Ten teams with worth starting WR’s. QB’s Tannehill, Fitzpatrick,Bradford, Cassel, Gabbert, Ponder, locker, skelton, smith, freeman. plus the three rookies luck, rg3, and weeden who we don’t know about yet. Sanchez in the bottom 5???? where??

    Teams with worse top 3 WR’s. Miami, Buffalo, Cleveland, St Louis, Jacksonville, Washington and I am on the fence with Oakland.

  • joe defiant

    sorry worse not worth. writing from phone. didnt exactly find ten with worse WR’s off the top of my head.

  • Tibetan Soccer Team

    Bravo,Bravo..Great bulletin board material, clown car and all and as usual, Pulitzer Joe Capo does it again.Awesome. Btw, soft Mark took bigger hits last season then you will in your lifetime,fellow, and still got up injured and all and never complained. Go Joe, Go Jets,

  • Sean D.

    @joe defiant

    Tannehill isn’t a rookie?

    Also don’t think it’s fair to judge Locker, who sat most of his rookie season. And Gabbert, Ponder, and Skelton sat for large portions of last year. Jury is still out.

    He is not definitively better than Cassel, Smith, Freeman, or Bradford in any objective respect, and I’d say he isn’t better than any of them, with the possible exception of Bradford who had one good year, one bad so far.

    Sanchez has been at best a non-negative for the Jets and at worst the exact reason why they weren’t a great team in any of his three seasons. He’s had great games, of course, and the two runs deep into the playoffs were impressive. But he is inaccurate, makes poor decisions, and hasn’t done much to lead anyone to think he can progress to a top NFL QB.

    Not trying to bash anyone, it’s just pretty evident that he’s not even an average quarterback. His team has only ever gone as far as the defense and running game carry it.

  • Mark Phelan

    Forget the professional analysts’ opinion it is the professional fans’ opinion which also doubts the Jets.

    The skepticism stretches back to the Polo Grounds.

    The more positive than negative performance during the past 3 years is not enough for fans who have watched each game for the past 50+ years. We have seen several decent stretches – of about this many seasons, only watch the team slip into mediocrity on the muddied fields of Miami, or the playoff snow storm field goal.

    Yes, we are too critical, too nervous. We have been here before and ‘know what is going to happen’.

    Putting aside questions about the individual merit of the QB, or the collective merit of the running game, there IS a doubt that a steady hand, a wise hand, is on the tiller.

    Also very upsetting is the BS from the top: the post season Press Conference where MT and Rex praise Schottenheimer; the outrageous praise of Hunter by the new OL coach, or from the Secondaries Coach – who would start his team with Smith…. I don’t even care about the Super Bowl predictions!

    When the ownership and brain trust makes delusional and destructive statements about their team “Can’t get enough Tebow!”, who can blame the analysts for thinking the Jets are a ship of fools heading for the iceberg?

  • Another great article Joe.

    To the Sanchez haters out there, I want to say – “Just watch what happens this season”… but I can’t cause I suspect Mark will have another rough one, better than last year, but not top 10 numbers. Not because of his talent, but because his O-line and his receivers are still below average.

    Still, I’ve seen this bullcrap before with NY media and fans ripping “Boomer” Esiason, Phil Simms, Chad Pennington, Eli Manning, and chasing them out of town [except for Eli]. Sanchez is a very good QB and will only get better if he has the tools.

    AND, double for Shonn Greene. Does nobody remember he played hurt THE WHOLE YEAR [practically] behind a crap O-line and he still got 1,000 yards?!?!

    Honestly, sometimes I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone… or maybe most Jets fans
    drink the NY media Kool-Aid.

    Thankfully, we have Joe raging against the machine and giving us a dose of truth and sanity.

  • joeydefiant

    Sanchez would be rated about 18-20 out of 32 starters on day 1. If you go by individual stats, win loss record, postseason record Sanchez is easily better than cassel, bradford, and smith. Freeman is close but the edge goes to sanchez due to win loss record and postseason success.

  • Sean D


    See, I look at the position differently. The win-loss record, while the QB plays a vital role in a teams’ success, is not actually a QB stat. The Jets won what they won with great defense, running the ball, and controlling the clock. As Greg Cosell put it, they succeeded by limiting the impact Sanchez would have in the game. Freeman, on the other hand, has shown an ability to be more than a non-negative on his team. Now that he has a legit weapon in V.Jackson, I expect him to return to his rookie-year form.

    Of the 18 QBs that have 3 or more years of experience who are named starters for 2012, 14 are without question leaps and bounds better than Sanchez. The other four, Matt Cassell, Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Alex Smith are by no means worse than Sanchez, but debate is plausible. I would assert that only Fitzpatrick is worse than Sanchez in any objective way, but disagreeing wouldn’t necessarily make you crazy.

    What you have left is cherry picking the rookies and unproven QBs that haven’t had the same three years of full starting experice to show what abilities they have. My main point is that Sanchez may have been the QB of two AFC championship teams, but he is by no means the primary driving force of their success. And after three years, he should have shown some clear progress towards being that. He hasn’t.

  • joe defiant


  • joe defiant

    I understand how it goes with quarterbacks you don’t like. They get blamed for losses when the team loses, but when the team wins it was in spite of him. If you think Sanchez was a liability in any of the playoff games he won you are crazy.

  • joe defiant

    Last year didn’t work for Sanchez because Braylon Edwards was gone and he didn’t have a deep threat. This year Stephen Hill is taking that spot and Sanchez will have his best year yet.

  • joe defiant