No Huddle – Comfortably Numb New York Jets Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets season sinking into comfortable numbness

TJ Rosenthal kicks off another week of New York Jets coverage at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle – Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter on Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook.

Comfortably Numb

Pink Floyd’s 1970’s era classic “Comfortably Numb” plays in the waiting room I’m sitting in right now in the Bronx…just a routine check up don’t worry.

The song starts off lyrically like this “Hello. Is there anybody in there? Nod if you can here me.  Is there anyone at home?”

The chorus repeats with the hall of fame line “I have become comfortably numb.” I can’t think of a song that sums up being a New York Jets fan any more accurately.

Why even get angry anymore, right? Let’s stop wasting our time. If it is a big game, a winnable game, one with playoff impact, the odds are that disappointment will be the endgame.

The club has been searching for a franchise QB since Joe Namath and can never fully develop the young ones they have. Now Geno Smith’s fourth straight game with less than ten completions leaves the same door open that Mark Sanchez once left ajar for him.

Rex Ryan said after the game that “our fans deserve better” but don’t worry coach it’s ok. There is a comfort to this feeling.

At 5-7 hopelessness and despair have returned to us like long lost acquaintances. A numbness like the Floyd song suggests where the unemotional embrace between fan and glass half empty emotions is all too familiar.

Who Will Start Next Week? Flip A Coin

Geno Smith. JR Smith. Matt Simms. Phil Simms. Dave Garrard. David Duchovny. Does it really matter who starts at QB next week?

Florham Park turns young signal callers into fearful basket cases. The receivers for the third straight year can’t get open often enough and those rare times when they do the dropsies creep in. Defenses put eight in the box daring the Jets to stretch the field. Knowing that they won’t even try.

Jet GMs refuse to sign veteran backups who can ease the transition time from trying to stay competitive in the now, to securing the offense and it’s long term future.

An owner who would rather bring in a ticket selling name splash who can’t throw than keep a no name serviceable backup ready to take over should the shaky starter falter too many weeks in row.

While we the diehards viciously boo the latest failures behind center, saving our ovations for the entry of underwhelming backups into the game.

We’re all complicit. Coaches. Players. Fans. The front office and higher ups. So name your starter Rex. At this point it’s all the same to me.

The Blowouts Are Piling Up

Cincinnati. Buffalo. Baltimore. Miami. The blowouts are piling up on Rex. It will become harder for him to make a case that his team plays for him by seasons end if this disturbing trend continues.

The offense has been so putrid that the defense has begun in my eyes, to lose its focus from play to play. Soon the D will turn on the O if it hasn’t behind closed doors already.

The Jets have played not to lose three weeks straight and have lost all three. Badly. Watch out Rex, you are entering a serious danger zone. Win or lose, get this team to fight and stay battling throughout. Otherwise you will be the next casualty. Nothing will be left to claim as a strength of yours. Deserved or not.

Quick Hits

– Chris Ivory carried the one drive the Jets had down 13-0 in the middle of the third quarter. Then Bilal Powell replaced him inside the five on first and second and goal. Why?

– The Jets pass rush that helped lead the team to a 5-4 start is not getting to the QB anymore. Quick screens and three step drops are the reason why.

– Antonio Cromartie is banged up and can’t press cover without exposing himself deep. Dee Milliner is lost in coverage and has real trouble tackling. The mash up of opponents game planning and the failure of the Jet corners has been suicide for a front seven that not long ago helped cover up the offense and it’s own secondary for as long as it could.

– I always love hearing Marv Albert doing Jet games. He’s the best. Sadly,  I remember how many he covered during the Boomer Esiason years. “That’ll bring on Louie Aguiar to punt and…the Jets will hear it from the crowd” will forever be etched in the memory bank. Yesterday those names changed but the tone and tag lines that my all time favorite announcer used as the Jets played in a way reminiscent of those early nineties teams were all the same.

  • KAsh

    The defense has every right to let the offense hear it. It is hard to keep teams out of your endzone if you give opponents short fields and put your defense on the field for over 40 minutes for the game and for over twenty-five minutes in the first half. That is an unbelievable statistic: the Jets offense was on the field for less than five minutes in the first two quarters of the game. The offense has no playmakers (their only excuse, but serious enough to make criticizing them feel like picking on the fat nerd) and the wheels have come off from what little offense they had left. We have averaged less than five points scored over the last three games and three of those points came off a turnover.

  • mark

    Comfortably Numb is about shooting heroin. If they gave that out at home games the fans will come.

  • mike

    yeah, i wasn’t angry yesterday, just extremely sad. it’s hard to know who to hold accountable when the entire organization collapses in less than a month. we went from holding the sixth seed and controlling our destiny to basically being out of the race in three weeks, and none of the teams we lost to had winning records.
    the defense is taking a lot of heat, but i think this article is correct: no one is going to put it all on the line on defense when the offense is making victory literally impossible. i see people saying that the d got tired, and while that’s certainly a factor, i think the bigger issue is an offense that is completely incapable of holding on to the football, let alone moving it.
    the team lacks talent on offense. that has been the biggest problem since rex arrived. it’s painful to think of what could have been if rex had been able to cobble together even a mediocre offense at any point in the last five years. i’m wondering if i’ll ever be able to watch a jets game without expecting at least two turnovers. until that dream becomes a reality, nothing else will matter.
    we need complete overhauls at wr, te, rb, cb, and safety. we need serious upgrades at rush linebacker and on the o-line. and we also need a qb who doesn’t give the ball away twice a week.
    this is a complete organizational failure. whoever the fall guy ends up being will just be a sacrificial lamb. i’m worried that it’s gonna be rex, and i think that’s a mistake because without him the jets are probably a 2 win team each of the last three years.
    but whatever happens, the jets are several years away from competing for a super bowl. again. i ain’t angry, just sad.

  • Sean

    The one year they had a mediocre offense they were 11-5 and went to the AFC championship.

    Offensive talent has been severely lacking ever since then.

    At least the Rex Jets used to bully lesser teams amd occasionally blow people out. They even had a couple last year. Sadly they havent even come close this year.

  • Nep Oznat

    Everybody seems to avoid blaming the defense, they got tired from being on the field all day, blah, blah.

    They were on the field all day also because they couldn’t stop the damned Fish right from the start! Miami’s first drive was 15 plays, 69 yards and over 9 minutes long! The only thing that stopped them was themselves when they missed the FG.

    Sorry, but I am not excusing Rex’s “fantastic” 24th ranked defense! They’re better than the Offense but they have a lot of things to fix as well.

    Maybe next year. We’ll have to wait and see what the new coach does about it.

  • John C

    Taking Ivory out on the 1st and goal at the 5 was a mistake. Why take out the bruising, second effort back, for Powell? Made no sense.

    We’ve seen 3 weeks of “safe” football, and the result has been terrible. Regardless of who the QB is next week, the Jets need to try to open up the offense. They may fail miserably, but it would be nice to see a couple deep balls thrown. If there’s a pick, so be it – in most instances, it would be as good as a Quigley punt. As bad as Geno was in the beginning of the year, he seemed capable of making some “chunk” plays, when they were called. Of course, if neither QB can stay upright, that’s a problem, but now that the season is circling the drain, it’s time to press the issue on O – not go ultra conservative. See which linemen can’t pass block, which QB can work best under pressure, which WRs and TEs can get open.

    It might also be time to try some of the 2nd/3rd stringers and practice squad players at other positions as well. Go back to Allen at Safety. Give Michael Campbell a shot (is Cribbs going to miss time?). I guess my point is, over these last 4 games, let’s do as much evaluation as possible, and not “play not to lose”, just so we can try to hide our scabs.

  • paul

    @ mike thanks for putting what I was thinking. I got all excited about this year and next year thinking this was the turn around to a bright future. Boy was I delusional, SOJ any other team have this title. There are worst teams agreed but being in the middle is no better than being at the bottom in fact worse. Jets would have been better off going 0-16 this year for some better draft picks. Instead the Jets will be right in the middle again with too many holes to fill in five years. So Jets will be right back again to the SOJ. Sad just sad,

  • Mark Phelan

    Question I – How could our secondary be SO bad?
    Question II – How does opponent generate a better pass rush
    then the Sons of Whatever?
    Question III – What is REALLY going on with Stephen Hill?Question IV – What happened to MM’s inspired game planning and play calling?
    Question V – What’s with Special Teams coverage?

  • KAsh


    1) Cromartie got too old, Milliner too new, and there are no safeties on the team that can help them in coverage. This was obvious Sunday, as the corners made plays on the ball when they had safety help and were burned by curl routes and slants when they had no safety help.

    2) Personally, I hate that nickname. But as for your question, the answer is two-fold. The Jets’s left side of the o-line cannot hold their blocks for very long, neither of our signal callers read blitzes very well, and Geno holds the ball for forever before deciding to throw it. On the other side, an interior pass rush needs to wear down the o-linemen before it can get through them. You almost never see a first quarter sack for the Jets because we have no quick rush off the edge, so quarterbacks do not have to fear getting sacked for the first half.

    3) Hill is extremely raw. He had minimal experience when we drafted him. He might be a bust – a tall, fast guy that has no talent for catching the ball – or he might put it all together, but his potential outweighs whatever skill he has right now.

    4) A play call needs at least a snowball’s chance in hell of working to be “inspired.” You can call whatever pass play you want, but if your receivers are blanketed in coverage and your young quarterback cannot find the open receivers and does not throw them the ball when he does, that play is going to fail. You are better off running the ball and picking up some positive yardage.

    5) Beats me. Honestly, if that is your big concern, your team is in pretty good shape.

  • Lidman


    1-Cro has been overrated his entire career. He’s a great athlete, and it’s obvious his hip injury has really taken away his explosiveness. He doesn’t have great technique and simply can’t ‘flip his hips’ and in today’s WC offense league, great corners have to be able to do this in order to ‘drive on short throws’. In my mind, he’d be a much better FS, where is range, speed and ball skills could translate into a play maker.

    2-DCs know Geno holds the ball too long, and doesn’t pick up his ‘hot reads’ on blitzes. Yes, I think ‘Brick and Mangold haven’t been the players we’ve known them to be, but having a rookie guard, who’s getting beaten..alot…between them has to be affecting his play. As for their pass rush, Coples isn’t healhty and simply isn’t the same player he was late last year, IMO. Second, OCs can see the NYJ don’t play good press coverage, so they simply take the 3 step drop and throw slants, nobody is going to get to the QB if the ball is out in less than 1.5 seconds.

    3-I’m not ready to sell Hill. Since his arrival, he’s basically had to be their #1 WR, because nobody on the other side requires a double. He’s had injuries, which appear to be the reason he’s unable to stretch defenses. Last year he had a number of drops, this year he’s simply disappeared. I don’t watch the film, but he was Geno’s most targeted WR in the first 6 weeks, then he disappeared. Maybe he is bad, maybe he’s injured, maybe Geno is gun shy…I couldn’t tell you. Next year will be a huge year for him.

    4-I think early on, with low expectations, the NYJ offensive philosophy was much better. They were taking shots downfield and not worrying about Geno’s growing pains. When it became apparent, they could make the playoffs, they simply stopped doing those things and got conservative and predicatable. I hope they open up the game plan a bit more these last 4 games.

    5-I think the ST coverage has been much better this year. They did give up that one big return, after their FG, which hurt them this week though. Kash, I disagree totally with your comment. A team that covers punts/kick offs well gives their defense a huge advantage. I think the stat, given during last night’s MNF game, that Seattle has given up 15 punt return yards, all season, is a huge factor is how good their defense plays. If you don’t give team’s a short field, you can do so much more.

  • David

    I hate when people say, “Oh without Rex this team would be a 2-win team.”

    People can say what they want to, you don’t need elite defense anymore to get things done in the NFL. You do however need an offense that can put up 21-24 PPG week in and week out. If you look at the top 10 worst defense, in terms of total yards, in that group you have the 2 top seeds in the AFC (Denver and New England), Detroit (Who is leading the NFC North), Philadelphia (Who is tied for the lead in the NFC East), New Orleans (Who is tied for the lead in the NFC South), along with Green Bay and Chicago (Who are both 1 game out of the division lead).

    The Jets have the 3rd best Defense in terms of total yards, and are 5-7 and barely staying out of the cellar in the AFC East!!

  • Lidman

    Dave..would agree, it’s scoring defense that matters. Who cares if teams gain yards, the object of the game is to score more than the other team.

  • Lidman

    The other thing this defense hasn’t done is take the ball away. They have 9 all year, which is tied for last in the NFL. At -18 Giveway/Takeaway, they are far and away the league’s worst. Houston at -12 is second. Thank God for Jax, because NY is 2nd worst at 189 pts scored and has given up 310…121 pt differential is amazing.

  • mark

    I was going to suggest the high rate of penalties was a negative for Rex, but I just looked at the list and Denver and Seattle are #30 and #31 in the league. We are 29.