There’s nothing quite like New York Jets football, is there? Just prior to the game, we as fans talk ourselves into thinking that this week will be different. This is the week the Jets will get their crap together. This is the week they turn in a solid performance, win, and turn their season around. Then kickoff comes and we spend three agonizing hours breaking down every single play, watching in horror as they find new ways to lose, break our hearts, and then it’s over. We spend the next few days running the full gamut of emotions from rage, to pain, to acceptance, to peace with the situation, and then it’s back to thinking next week will be different again.
I’m not going to get into the whole Mark Sanchez debacle this week, because thinking about how we got from him throwing 3 TD’s in Foxboro during a playoff game to…whatever the hell this is now, physically makes my head hurt. But I will get into the horrible job Mike Tannenbaum has done with this roster that helped usher in this new era of unwatchable football, so don’t worry. Also, believe it or not, there were a few positives from this week’s game, so let’s start with those.
BUY: The Defensive Line – If you just look at the stat sheet, you probably wouldn’t know it, but the defensive line played extremely well this week and has pretty much all year, despite a season-long injury to Sione Po’uha. After a slow start to the season, Mo Wilkerson has been playing like the All-Pro calibre player Rex Ryan talked him up as (which was, of course, a rare instance in which Rex was actually right about one of his guys). According to ProFootballFocus.com, in fact, he’s been the second best defensive end in the entire league this year, trailing only J.J. Watt, who you may have heard is pretty awesome. Along with Wilkerson, Quinton Coples has really started to flash the past few weeks and is good for a few “wow” plays per game. The reason the stats aren’t racking up is because there is literally ZERO pass rush from the edge. So, even though Wilkerson and Coples are pushing the pocket and causing some havoc up front, there is nobody coming around the corner to help out. It’s a good thing Mike Tannenbaum brought in zero OLB’s the past 4 years, huh?
BUY: Bart Scott – I know Bart has lost a step or three the past year or so, but he looked great against Seattle. He’s always been a force against the run, and considering the Jets are going to be facing a ton of runs as the clock gets milked against them in plenty more losses this year, we can’t throw dirt on his playing career coffin just yet. Demario Davis is the future at the position, but he’s still very raw and not ready to take over the role full-time. Plus, Bart Scott is a great veteran to have around teaching these young guys, as Marcus Dowtin referred to in his interview here on TOJ. Bart most likely won’t be back in 2013, and I must say, I’m going to miss him.
SELL: Outside Linebackers – Back to the OLB’s for a second. It blows my mind to see a Rex Ryan team have negative amounts of skill at the edge rusher spots. Calvin Pace is absolutely awful and reaffirmed my hatred of him as he repeatedly blew containment on his side against Seattle. Bryan Thomas plays hard, but at this point all he is, is a constant reminder that we should have drafted Ed Reed instead of him in 2001. Backing those two corpses up on the depth chart are Useless Garrett McIntyre — who is absolutely terrible — and Ricky Sapp, who despite some unwarranted hype prior to the Seattle game, is not the answer. In fact, the only reason I knew Sapp was even playing in that game was because he was unable to recover a fumble deep in Seattle territory that was right in his hands. That being said, I want to see him play more, because the alternatives are just so unbelievably terrible. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Also deserving more playing time is Marcus Dowtin. I don’t even care where he lines up at this point, I just want to see someone who doesn’t appear to be wearing cement sneakers out there.
Speaking of terrible, in a move that should have shocked nobody, Aaron Maybin was released today. He wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire out on the field, but I still find it hard to believe he couldn’t offer more to this team than Useless Garrett McIntyre (which should be his new official name). If this team doesn’t bring in a linebacker who doesn’t need to be timed in the 40-yard dash with a sun dial this offseason, then I give up.
SELL: Kyle Wilson & Ellis Lankster – Clearly, Pete Carroll and his coaching staff had a great big laugh watching film of the Kyle Wilson prior to this week’s game. How do I know? Because they attacked him IMMEDIATELY, on their second and third play from scrimmage, which resulted in gains of 18 and 36, the second of which of course being a touchdown. Shockingly, Wilson did not unleash his patented “Finger Wag of Doom” at that time. He waited until much later in the game to show off that nifty little taunt, when he shocked the world and actually broke up a pass. It takes a real special kind of delusional to think you should be wagging your finger in people’s faces when you’ve been worked over all game, but that’s exactly what our 2010 1st round pick does.
As for Lankster, well, the guy is just terrible and somehow manages to get worse weekly. If he’s on the field, it should only be to blitz, because when he’s in coverage it can only result in one of two things: 1) A pass interference penalty; or 2) A touchdowns. In the 3rd quarter against Seattle, he managed to achieve both those things on the same play, which was pretty impressive. Way to go! Aaron Berry must just be completely unable to grasp the playbook or something, because there’s no reason he shouldn’t be out there getting snaps in place of either of these two guys.
SELL: Mike Tannenbaum – I present to you the reason that I have so many complaints about this team… Mr. Mike Tannenbaum! I was going to list a few of the horrible things he’s done the past two years to lead us to this position here in this paragraph, but it wouldn’t be fair to Mike to just gloss over them like that. He deserves a full blown column to really detail the impressive job he’s done in managing to keep his job despite being so completely and utterly terrible at it. (Kind of like my Letter to him, or my evisceration of the roster he built, or even how he couldn’t develop a QB.) I’ll be back tomorrow with more on our wonderful GM, so be sure to check back for that.