New York Media Off The Mark With Sanchez

TJ Rosenthal on the shortcomings of the New York media’s coverage of Mark Sanchez

I know I touched on a somewhat similar topic yesterday with this article but our good friend TJ Rosenthal did such a good job with this piece we wanted to publish it –

Is the local media seriously joking here folks? Is there some kind of newspaper selling conspiracy going on in New York this season, playing off some notion that any scrutiny regarding Mark Sanchez whatsoever will increase paper sales and twitter followers? It sure seems that way.

This week alone, writers from WFAN to the NY Post to the Daily News have told Jets fans to stop thinking Sanchez can be elite, have written about his failings late in Pittsburgh based off of one incompleteion, while refusing to acknowledge the real culprit, a borderline concussion laced hit from Lawrence Timmons is what truly affected the QBs play after the fact. They have asked 6 to grow a backbone with all that surrounds him, in order to finally take control of the team?

Have they also noted that Sanchez currently owns a 95.0 QB rating, percentage points ahead of Tom Brady and three points ahead of Eli Manning, with the same amount of TD passes (4) as the Giants 2 time Super Bowl MVP has? You know the answer to that, so we won’t insult your intelligence.

We are not Sanchez apologists by the way. We have been quite hard on him in the past when we saw that look in his eyes. That of a player who when he struggled for any stretch of time, would become his own biggest enemy. Throughout his first three seasons Sanchez at his worst, has lacked self confidence, pouted, and forced balls needlessly into tightly covered places.

In that time as well though, Sanchez also won four road playoff games, while working through the teams ever changing vision of him. A dizzying sight that has seen him go from handcuffed game manager, to gunslinger, and back again. Do you find that constant request for a change in personality in just three seasons confusing? If you do, imagine how it feels to be Mark Sanchez.

On top of the altering assignments in style handed down from above, 2012 has added the acquisition of uber popular Tim Tebow in March, the many baseless reports of threats to Sanchez’s starting job that followed, early summer issues at right tackle, just one veteran receiver, an entire pedestrian running back corps, and an ever emerging tight end slowed now by hamstring issues.

How’s that 95.0 rating looking now?

Sanchez responded to a scoreless summer in nonsense games, covered as if they choking losses down the stretch in December, by leading the Jets to a 48-28 blowout in week one. It was just the Bills though right? Yea right. Heading into the game, the same revisionists who now tell us how Buffalo wasn’t a true measuring stick, had already predicted Chan Gailey and Co. were  the new challengers to the Patriots throne.

It couldn’t possibly have been the play of that guy Sanchez. After all, that type of cover story doesn’t match the sensationalized one many hoped for with marquee QB crumbling under the pressure of New York as Tim Tebow take over. The fairy tale that the locals have tried to circle around like sharks since the ocean became ripe for swimming up in Cortland back in July.

Why not just tell it like it really is instead?

It’s been a small sample size, these two games, but in them, Mark Sanchez has shown more decisiveness, better accuracy, and a tougher exterior after failed drives so far in 2012. Elite or not elite, the Jets signal caller is not the one who comes to mind, when we think about Jets who absolutely must elevate their play immediately.

We will tell you who those folks are. They are as follows:

The running backs. Can Shonn Greene stay healthy for back to back games? Humor us 23. Be the workhorse for a string of games in row without limping off to the sidelines in the first half.

The Powell McKnight combo under Greene can help ease 23’s workload, but have to give the coaches a reason to be excited. We get that. The coaches however, have to find the guts to highlight their styles, which differ from Greene’s.

Hey Jets, use Powell and McKnight in other ways. They are not guys who will thrive simply by going off tackle.

The receivers. Catch the ball fellas first off. Secondly, Santonio Holmes, sorry but you have to take on more. More receptions. More yards after the catch. More leadership with the kiddie corps of  Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. More presence. You’re the guy. Make that known every week. Sure we loved the three flags last week and the TD. Build off of it.

Now Hill and Kerley have to grow up fast since GM Mike Tannenbaum decided not to bring in any 40-50 catch veterans to allow these two time to mature. This duo must figure out how to play physical against the veteran corners trying push them around. The deep ball to Hill last week deep where Ike Taylor pulled the rookie’s arm away? Push back and make that play 84

Dustin Keller needs to get healthy and finally put a big season together receptions wise. It’s time already.

Tony Sparano  and Rex Ryan need to find a few drives where Tim Tebow makes sense. Not just to aid the offense, but to ease the tension of what effect 15 will have on the entire operation. This unknown is beginning to cause waves and it doesnt need to. Tebow can help as a weapon, the Jets can’t be afraid of what his success will mean to Sanchez.

Rex needs to get this defense, one he tells us all is a top 5 unit, up to speed for four quarters.

The Jets pass rush needs to start getting to the QB, and stop talking about getting to the QB. Create three and outs and allow the offense more time to gel on the field.

Finally, the New York media needs to start moving the spotlight elsewhere. To the deserved and more current areas of concern noted above. Ones that don’t involve Sanchez directly.

Even if doing so means risking the sexier headline.

What fair is fair. The past has passed. You are always judged by what you do “now” in the NFL. Under that premise then, this tunnel vision, thisinability to see the whole field currently taking place in Florham Park, is not coming from Mark Sanchez, but more so from the ones who cover the Jets.

Turn On The Jets Week 3 Roundtable – Jets/Dolphins Match-Up

The Turn On The Jets staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game

The TOJ Staff discusses what match-up they are most looking forward to in the Jets/Dolphins game. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter to check back later in the day for this week’s Fact or False –

Joe Caporoso – The Jets wide receivers/passing game against Miami’s secondary. The Dolphins have a stout front seven, which is going to make it difficult for the Jets to move the ball on the ground with their mediocre rushing attack. However, they are extremely inexperienced and lacking in overall talent in the secondary. There is no reason Mark Sanchez shouldn’t be able to push the ball down the field to Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill similar to how they did in week 1 against Buffalo. Sanchez is already being raked over the coals by the New York media for one loss where he received no support. He could use a nice shut the hell up performance to his critics.

Chris Gross – Reggie Bush vs. Jets Run Defense – This match up could end up being the deciding factor in this game. Bush is averaging 120.5 rushing yards per game, with a fantastic 6.0 YPC average. The Jets rush defense, on the other hand, looked stout last week in Pittsburgh, much improved from the abysmal performance in week 1 when they allowed CJ Spiller to explode for 169 yards and  touchdown on just 14 carries. While New York held Pittsburgh to a mere 66 total yards on the ground, the Steelers were without their primary RB and major offensive weapon, Rashard Mendenhall. The stable of backs that Pittsburgh threw at the Jets do not even come close to Spiller or Bush in terms of athleticism. As noted earlier this week by Joe Caporoso, the Jets have had recent struggles with speed backs that posses home run ability. Stemming from last season, this team was gashed by the likes of Darren McFadden, LeSean McCoy,and now most recently Spiller. They need to find a way to neutralize Bush and not allow him to get the ball in space where he is most dangerous. Look for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to key Bush throughout the entire game,as he is by far, Miami’s most explosive offensive weapon. If he can be shut down early,Miami will need to lean on rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to carry them to victory, a daunting task for a first year player against a Ryan led defense.

Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to is seeing if the Jets can get the run game going and get Joe McKnight involved. The offense clearly lacks playmakers, so seeing how McKnight gets worked in is especially intriguing to me. While the Dolphins are arguably the worst team in the league, their defense is not all that bad. I’m hoping the Jets can start the game off with some consistent running with Greene and Powell and then mix in some Tebow and McKnight to break at least ONE big play in what should hopefully turn into a lopsided win.

Chris Celletti – I feel like the only way the Dolphins’ offense can cause the Jets’ defense any issues is if Reggie Bush goes wild. For me, the biggest matchup of the game is the Jets’ usually-stout run defense against Miami’s running game, (specifically Bush). Just like the Jets’ offense, their run defense is coming off totally polar opposite performances in Weeks 1 and 2. Last week they totally stifled the Steelers’ ground game, but against buffalo in Week 1, C.J. Spiller went for over 170 yards and busted off a couple big runs. To me, the Jets are weaker against speedy, shifty backs like Spiller and Bush, so I’ll be interested to see if they can keep him in check. If they do, the Jets should cruise to an easy win. I simply can’t see Ryan Tannehill having much success against through the air against Rex Ryan’s defense.

TJ Rosenthal – Looking forward to Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine taking on rookie Ryan Tannehill. Let’s see if and how the Jets can take advantage of the rookie’s inexperience and in a big picture way, show how they can capitalize on what ought to be an edge on paper and in practice. Tannehill should be confused by the Jets looks, and off balance due to the Jets variety come blitz time. Ryan has done this for a long time. We DO expect the Dolphins QB to look uneasy back there. If not, there is a real problem with a defense that thinks of itself as elite

Rob Celletti– Mark Sanchez vs. the world – Bear with me for a minute.  I know we normally discuss on-field matchups in these roundtables, but in light of Manish Mehta’s lame attempt to undermine the Jets’ starting quarterback, along with Rex Ryan’s shortening temper with the ceaseless Tim Tebow questions, it seems as though the flames are being stoked in the media for some sort of quarterback controversy.  It’s really amazing, considering it comes on the heels of one loss, to a good team on the road; a game that all 53 players, not just one, lost.  Still, being that I tend to focus on the quarterback and am an unabashed supporter of Sanchez, I’m fascinated to see how he responds this week.  This is a mental, emotional, and physical challenge for the quarterback.  He may only be asked to throw the ball 18 or 20 times, but Sanchez needs a solid game nonetheless.  If things are going to be this hectic after one loss, I cannot imagine what it would be like after two.  Especially if that loss is to a poor Dolphins team, a division game that the Jets simply must-have before the start of a brutal stretch in their schedule.

New York Jets Week 3 – Early Thoughts On Jets/Dolphins

Early thoughts on the New York Jets week 3 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

Before we get into early thoughts on the New York Jets week 3 match-up with the Miami Dolphins, we want to offer a congratulations to Mike O’Connor who won our New York Jets mini-helmet giveaway from Gameday Goods. Get your Jets Gear at Gameday Goods and remember to enter in promo code “TurnOnTheJets” at checkout to save 10% on all purchases. 

If you are heading out to watch Thursday Night Football tomorrow or to the bar on Sunday for Jets/Dolphins. Make sure to take advantage of our partnership with Night Out who is hooking you up with this great deal at Traffic in New York City

1. This is an absolute must win for the Jets. An overstatement? Not with the best two teams in the NFL traveling to MetLife the following two weeks and a trip to New England only 4 weeks away. You cannot lose a division game to a rookie quarterback who has a number one receiver named Brian Hartline, period.

2. Reggie Bush is the only player capable on the Miami offense of giving the Jets defense a major problem. They struggle with speedy backs who are threats catching the football. Bush has been rejuvenated to his USC self since coming to the Dolphins and the Jets focus must be on building an early lead and keeping him contained. Unless Bush has a monster day, which is he capable of, this game shouldn’t be very close.

3. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve had just about enough of Shonn Greene as this team’s primary ball carrier. Simply put, I do not think he is good enough to merit 20-25 carries per game. Yes, I think he has value in the 4th quarter when defenses are worn down but his complete inability to break tackles, make people miss and contribute in the passing game means he must see less playing time. I am for more playing time for Tim Tebow because of Greene’s shortcomings, not Mark Sanchez’s. Bilal Powell played well last week and Joe McKnight looked good on his only carry. It is time for 14 carries for Greene, 10 for Powell, 8 for Tebow and 5 McKnight. Spread it around. Greene doesn’t merit that many touches.

4. Miami is solid in the front seven but borderline awful in the secondary. The Jets need to test them down the field with Santonio Holmes (let’s hope his head is on straight), Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley. I wouldn’t sleep on a bomb to Clyde Gates either. He saw a good amount of playing time this past week and Sanchez has a history of completing long passes to irrelevant receivers against the Dolphins.

5. Paging Aaron Maybin. Paging Quinton Coples. Bueller? Bueller?

6. It is sounding like Darrelle Revis could be a game time decision. Obviously you want him 100% healthy for San Francisco and Houston and Miami lacks any major threats in the passing game but simply put, this defense is nowhere near the same without him.

New York Jets – The Sabotage Of Mark Sanchez

Writing against the Mark Sanchez sabotage campaign. When will the New York Jets support their quarterback?

It is no secret the New York Jets haven’t done an adequate job of developing Mark Sanchez since spending a first round pick on him in the 2009 NFL Draft. They certainly did not make a strong effort to upgrade his supporting cast heading into a critical year for his development. A week 1 point explosion against a suspect Buffalo defense temporarily shelved the debate but a disappointing loss to perennial AFC Powerhouse, Pittsburgh has the media hounds and their sources looking pin singular blame on Sanchez and reignite a non-existent quarterback debate.

The Daily News‘ Manish Mehta, he of ever diminishing credibility, published a nearly 700 word story today pinning the Jets loss to Pittsburgh on a single play. A missed throw by Mark Sanchez in the 2nd quarter. This is a play we discussed in our film and Sanchez breakdown over the past two days and yes it was a missed throw by Sanchez on a well-designed play. Yet, to spin 700 words that make Tony Sparano look like Bill Walsh and Santonio Holmes look like Jerry Rice is exceptionally excessive. It is meant to fault the loss on a single player and of course drum up that non-existent quarterback controversy. The tone of the article puts me in agreement with the thought process that there is someone within organization pulling for a Sanchez failure and a Tebow ascension.

Let’s not lose perspective of the following. On the road, against one of the league’s best teams, Mark Sanchez was supported by an underachieving number one receiver giving a lackadazical effort, a practice squad caliber tight end, a rookie number two receiver, and one of the league’s five worst starting running backs. Did he play well enough? No. But if you want to go play specific, you can equally pin the game on Jeff Cumberland for missing a block that would have sprung Bilal Powell for a touchdown. Or how about Antonio Cromartie looked completely clueless on Mike Wallace’s touchdown? Maybe Jeremy Kerley muffing a punt? Or Shonn Greene being unable to make a safety miss as he went untouched for 9 yards through the Pittsburgh defense on what should have been a big play?

Don’t fall for the mainstream media okie-doke. Don’t fall for the quarterback controversy agenda.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch – Jets/Steelers Review Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch reviews Jets/Steelers. Who is he buying and selling?

For about 28 minutes of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh, I felt really good about the Jets chances of winning. Then little chinks in the armor started to show up. A few missed tackles here, a 3 and out there, and then slowly but surely, those little chinks turned into gaping holes. Before you knew it the game was spiraling out of control. The team couldn’t do anything on third down on either side of the ball, Sanchez looked like a different player after clearly (and illegally) getting his bell rung by Lawrence Timmons in the 2nd quarter, the defense forgot how to tackle, and the absence of Darrelle Revis was clearly felt. Oh yeah, and my boy Shonn Greene couldn’t get anything going on the ground. Let’s start with that..

SELL: The Run Blocking – Yes, the Steelers have a stout run defense, but this run blocking issue has clearly carried over from last season, and the main issue has been the guards. Matt Slauson is a tough dude and a hard-worker, but he’s just not that talented. He’s an average player, and the coaches clearly feel as though he isn’t helping much in the run game, because in the 2nd half he rotated series with Vlad Ducasse, whom the coaches clearly feel can help in that area. Whether or not that actually happens is another story.

On the other side, Brandon Moore’s play in the run game has been in a steady decline since late in 2010 when he was banged up and needed surgery on his hip following the season. He’s still an elite pass protector, but he doesn’t provide the same push that he used to. When you couple that with the fact we still have ZERO capable blocking tight ends for SOME REASON (Tannenbaum, it’s not too late to read my letter to you), and wide receivers who can’t get open, you can see there are extra defenders in the box and why the run game is struggling. Plenty of Jets fans want to point the finger at Shonn Greene, and he’s far from perfect, but this is not just on him. In fact…

HOLD: The Run Game – Not buying or selling, despite the early mediocre results. Let’s see what this run game gets going this week in Miami before writing them off. The following two games against the 49ers and Texans are going to be tough sledding, so if the run game is ever going to get off the ground, we need to see them take advantage of a terrible Miami team. Hopefully they can get a lead, the defense can put them in good position to score, and the running backs can pound away on a Dolphins defense that leaves much to be desired. It seems as though this rush offense — and Greene in particular — get off to slow starts every year, before putting it in gear when the weather starts changing. Does that excuse the lack of production so far? No, but let’s give them a chance to get it together.

Bilal Powell looked pretty good in limited action, and you have to think Tebow and the wildcat will become more involved as well. Personally, I’d like to see Joe McKnight given the ball 5 or 6 times a game and see what he can do, since he’s our only game-breaking threat. There’s no reason he can’t be out there and used in a myriad of ways. Especially since the WR’s are struggling, which brings me to…

SELL: Mark Sanchez’s “Weapons” – Sunday was a very disappointing performance from Santonio Holmes, who was more interested in tricking the referees into throwing their flags than actually, you know, catching the passes. Stephen Hill had 0 catches, but days like that are expected from a rookie 2nd round pick with limited experience. Jeremy Kerley is a solid but unspectacular player, and Dustin Keller is injured, so where is the production supposed to be coming from? There are simply no reliable weapons for Mark Sanchez to throw the ball to, and it is killing the offense. Jeff Cumberland is useless, as is Chaz Schilens. Again, there is no reason Joe McKnight can’t be out there as a jack-of-all-trades kind of player, especially with Keller out and the WR’s struggling. Why can’t he be used like the Saints use Darren Sproles? I know he’s not as good and has his issues (fumbling, staying healthy), but it would be nice to have a player out there who could actually break a play here and there.

SELL: The Pass Rush – I said before the game that if the defense didn’t dismantle the Steelers downright crappy offensive line, I’d start to be worried. Well, they consistently got a good push against the run (more on this later), but the pass rush was pretty non-existent. Quinton Coples and Aaron Maybin hardly played, which is kind of surprising since they’re probably our two best pass rushers. Calvin Pace stinks, Po’uha and DeVito don’t offer much of a rush, so Mo Wilkerson was the only one applying pressure. I know Garrett McIntyre chipped in two sacks, but I think him leading the team in sacks is a negative rather than a good thing. I think it’s time for Rex to throw Coples into the fire and see what the kid can do, because we can’t just rely on blitzing linebackers and safeties all the time, especially since when they get near the quarterback they miss the tackle anyway.

BUY: The Run Defense – It wasn’t all bad on defense on Sunday. The Jets run D showed that week 1 was more of an aberration than anything, and they’re still very stout against the run. The return of Sione Po’uha was a welcome site, as he commanded double teams all day and allowed others to make plays. Wilkerson made several plays at — or behind — the line of scrimmage and looked good. Mike DeVito was his usual stout self, and Kenrick Ellis also played really well. What scares me, though, is that the Steelers don’t have any speedy backs, which is where the Jets really struggle. You know, guys like CJ Spiller or Reggie Bush, who the team has to face this week, for example. Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas move around like my dad getting off the couch out on the field so they have trouble getting outside, and while Garrett McIntyre had a good week, he has problems setting the edge at times and nobody will ever confuse him with Usain Bolt, that’s for sure. So while the run defense looked great, and I still think they’re an elite unit, let’s see how they handle Reggie Bush this week before we get too excited over their play.

Turn On The Jets Offensive Film Breakdown – Jets vs. Steelers

Breaking down the offensive game film from Jets/Steelers

Turn On The Jets broke down the offensive game film from the New York Jets week two loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A big thank you to everybody who sent in their questions on Twitter on what they specifically wanted to see broken down from the film. Make sure to check back tomorrow when Chris Gross will go through the defensive game tape –

Let’s start with something positive, since the bulk of this article is going to be a negative review of Santonio Holmes, Shonn Greene, Mark Sanchez, and Jeff Cumberland. The New York Jets opening drive on offense was a thing of beauty. Mark Sanchez was accurate and aggressive, hitting Jeremy Kerley on a 45 yard completion on a well-designed play by Tony Sparano and a beautiful, shifty route from Kerley. The touchdown to Santonio Holmes took advantage of the Jets being so run heavy in their three tight end look that Sanchez’s well-executed play action held up both linebackers and brought the free safety towards the line to stop the run. This opened a huge window to Holmes for an easy touchdown. Great tendency breaking play-call by Tony Sparano.

Unfortunately after a strong start from Holmes, he grew impatient with Pittsburgh’s aggressive, physical coverage. He showed no ability to respond to it and terrible releases and overall route-running technique. On a key third down early in the game, Sanchez was keying on him to run a whip route (similar to an out, but when you run a slant, plant your inside foot and work back to the outside), however as Sanchez rolled right, Holmes slammed into a linebacker and falls over instead of releasing to the outside. With Holmes on the ground, Sanchez ended up taking a huge shot from Lawrence Timmons after throwing it away.

Later in the game, Holmes and Sanchez again struggled to connect on a third down. Last week on a nearly identical play, we praised Sanchez for being patient and hitting Jeff Cumberland on a 3rd and 9 instead of hitting Dustin Keller in the flat. However, here on 3rd and 16 and considering the Jets field position and complete lack of offensive productivity (this play took place midway through the 3rd quarter), he should have taken Kerley in the flat. Why? It either sets up a long field goal attempt, gives you a chance to go for it on 4th and roughly 6 or maybe Kerley makes a guy miss and gets a first down.

Regardless, Sanchez decides to wait for Holmes to reach the first down marker. Unfortunately, Holmes rounds off the top of his route. Instead of driving off Ike Taylor by threatening him deep, he rounds it off too early and doesn’t make a sharp cut back to the quarterback. This doesn’t move Taylor at all who squatted on the route and easily knocked the ball down.

Later in the game, Sanchez went to Holmes on a 2nd and 10 on a hitch route. Again, instead of driving his defender off, Holmes just slams into him and looks to push off. This disrupts the timing and it is why when he turned around, he wasn’t prepared to catch the ball which he dropped.

What I have seen through two games of Santonio Holmes this season is lazy route running, poor communication with his quarterback and endless complaining to the official to bail out his poor play. I have defended Holmes time and time again on this site, however so far this season he looks like a player who received a big contract and stopped working on the little things that make wide receivers great. When you watch players like Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz in the early game and then watch Holmes, the dropoff is enormous. Here is Holmes staring down an official after he dropped yet another pass (and there was no pass interference) while childishly trapping Ike Taylor’s feet between his legs. Taylor flipped out screaming at Holmes after this play for how long he held him there.

Moving on to Shonn Greene and the problems in the Jets running game. Here we see a well-blocked play and instead of Greene hitting the hole at full speed, he comes to a complete stop behind the of scrimmage and squats extremely low to the point of stumbling…again. This went for 3 yards and easily could have been a 7-9 yard again.

Later in the game, Greene had a monster hole on a well designed play by Tony Sparano. The Jets came out in a wishbone look and gave Greene a delayed draw. He literally goes untouched for 8 yards through the Pittsburgh defense, as you can see from both angles here. He has one person to beat, safety Ryan Mundy who steps up to fill. This is where it is a running back’s job to make the safety miss and score a touchdown.

What does Greene do? He squats as low as he can, starts stumbling and basically gives himself a concussion by getting smacked by Mundy for exactly a 9 yard gain. So basically Greene didn’t receive any contact until 8 yards down the field and finished with a 9 yard gain…not good enough.

There was a clear contrast between Bilal Powell and Greene in this game. Simply put, Powell looked quicker, more explosive and showed more of an ability to make people miss. On this play, Lawrence Timmons shoots through the gap unblocked and has a clear shot at Powell. If this is Greene, it is without question a 3 yard loss. However, Powell was fast enough to beat him through the hole and turn this into a 5 yard gain.

Later in the game, Powell should have had a 34 yard touchdown run. This play was well blocked up front and Powell made a great cutback. All it took was Jeff Cumberland sealing his man and he would have been off to the races. Unfortunately, Cumberland whiffed and the run only went for 10 yards. This is what happens when you have limited depth at tight end and don’t have a player who can block at the position.

Cumberland also showed no awareness on a hot route in the second quarter. If he read the defense properly, the Jets easily convert a 3rd down and don’t have to settle for a field goal.

A few other observations –

  • Austin Howard and the pass protection held up relatively well in this game. He did allow one sack but could have received more help from Shonn Greene on a chip block. Greene struggled in pass protection throughout this entire game.
  • Tony Sparano called a terrific first half. The Jets should have had an easy touchdown to Santonio Holmes in the end-zone to take a 14-6 lead. They rolled Sanchez out, got the coverage they wanted, Santonio Holmes ran a beautiful double move but Sanchez threw it high and behind him instead of out in front. Rob detailed this play here yesterday and it was a killer miss by Sanchez.
  • The deep ball to Stephen was another clever play call and a beautiful throw from Sanchez. Ultimately, it was just played very well by Ryan Clark. It is hard to put blame on anybody on this play. Hill probably could have ran a crisper route and he did struggle to get off press coverage all day…leading to Sanchez not looking his way very often.
  • Sparano got a little too conservative in the second half but his receivers weren’t helping the cause by getting pushed around so easily.
  • The 12 yard run by Joe McKnight was very impressive. There was nothing there and he broke a tackle, made two guys miss and showed good acceleration. It is time for more McKnight, Powell and yes Tebow running the ball. Shonn Greene doesn’t merit more than 15 carries per game at this point.

Sanchez Breakdown: Jets Offense Grounded in Pittsburgh

Rob Celletti breaks down Mark Sanchez’s performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 2

Stat Line: – 10/27, 138 Yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions – 66.6 QB rating, 37.0 completion percentage (yikes)

Season Stat Line – 29/54, 404 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception – 95 QB Rating, 53.7 completion percentage

To put it as simply as possible, two good drives are never going to be enough to win an NFL game. Ditto, just two trips to the red zone, as illustrated in this fancy graphic that all the stat-heads out there will surely enjoy. The Jets had issues in all three phases of the game, and the issues on offense weren’t only a function of poor quarterback play, but this is the place we discuss Mark Sanchez, so discuss him we will.

The Best: The first drive seemed to be a continuation of the week 1 success against the Buffalo Bills. This is what I expected the Jets to do most of the game to a Pittsburgh defense that was missing two of its impact players.  Sanchez and company responded to Pittsburgh’s opening drive field goal by marching right down the field, keyed by a big 45 yard hook-up with Jeremy Kerley where Sanchez again utilized a pump-fake to send Ryan Clark the wrong way before dropping a perfect, in-stride ball over three Steelers defenders for the big gain. Three plays later, a deft play-action fake and easy pickings on a quick slant to Santonio Holmes had the Jets up 7-3.

The Worst: Pretty much everything after the first drive was troublesome.  All of a sudden, Sanchez was out of synch with his receiving corps. Notable miscues happened with Jeff Cumberland and Jeremy Kerley, and after a solid opening drive, Santonio Holmes dropped a slew of catchable passes and in the end caught just three of the 11 balls thrown his way. The chemistry issues between Holmes and Sanchez have been discussed at length, but they’re worth noting again here. This is simply something that must be solved in order for the Jets to have a successful 2012 season. For better or worse, Holmes is the most experienced playmaker the Jets have, and if he and Sanchez aren’t on the same page, the offense will continue to sputter.

After the first drive, Sanchez completed just 6 of his next 22 passes (that’s 27.2%, for those of you scoring at home). The Jets did not enter the red zone after their second drive (they got to the 19 yard line), coming closest on their final, garbage time drive which ended at Pittsburgh’s 30 yard line. Sanchez also took some legitimate hits (including a rightly-penalized blow to the head), which was to be expected against Dick LeBeau’s defense. While I don’t think he was ever downright skittish, it’s clear that Sanchez was less decisive with the ball as the game wore on and Pittsburgh’s defense asserted itself.

The Key Moment: While I would love to harp on the Jets’ lack of aggressiveness at the end of the first half, I’ll keep the discussion to Sanchez, who said after the game that running the clock out was ultimately Tony Sparano’s decision.  A colleague of mine pointed out that after Sanchez missed Holmes for a would-be touchdown on the Jets second drive, everything seemed to stall out thereafter. It’s a good point. Watching the play again, it’s a terrific play-call on 1st and 10 from the 24, and the execution is there until the throw.  Sanchez playfakes, then bootlegs to the outside, which pulls Ryan Clark up the field. Santonio Holmes gets separation from Ike Taylor and runs into a fully vacated Pittsburgh endzone.  If Sanchez lays the ball out in front of Holmes, it’s an easy touchdown the Jets grab a 14-6 lead. Instead, the throw is high and a little behind #10, and the Jets settle for the three points that would be their last of the game. Sanchez has always been praised for his ability to throw on the run, and this play put him in his sweet spot, but the quarterback simply didn’t make the throw.

So now the question is, how will Mark Sanchez respond?  The Jets return to the place where their 2011 season officially and mercilessly went up in flames. Sanchez has a spotty history and just a 2-4 career record vs. Miami. Intriguing times ahead for the Jets’ quarterback.

New York Jets Week 2 Report Card – Failing Effort

The grade report for the New York Jets week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterbacks (C) – Mark Sanchez came out of the gates on fire, completing 4 of his 5 first passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. After that, the passing offense went into the tank as he finished an ugly 10/27 for 138 yards. He misfired on a few passes down the field and didn’t seem to be on the same page as his receivers. He wasn’t helped by dropped passes, poor route running and a nonexistent running game but overall this was a disappointing effort.

Tim Tebow had an impressive 22 yard run and sadly might be the best running back this team has right now. I’d rather watch 20 Wildcat runs than 20 2 yard Shonn Greene runs at this point.

Running Backs (D) – Shonn Greene finished up with 11 carries for 23 yards. If you take away his one 9 yard run. He had 10 carries for 14 yards. He also added in a holding penalty and a whiffed block in pass protection for good measure. We are two games into the season and Greene has 38 carries for 117 yards with 1 run for over 10 yards…not even close to good enough. The blame doesn’t fall on the offensive line, Greene doesn’t have the speed to get to the edge and can’t break through to the second level when holes are actually there.

The only reason this isn’t an F is because Bilal Powell showed some elusiveness on a 10 yard run and finished with 3.7 yards per carry which looks great next to Greene’s 3.0 on the season. Joe McKnight also had a nice 12 yard run where be broke a few tackles and made a defender miss…perhaps it is time to give him and Powell a longer look.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends (F) – I will go into this in more detail during our film breakdown but Santonio Holmes was awful yesterday. He spent the entire game whining at the officials, dropping passes and running lazy routes that lacked any measure of the needed preciseness from a number one receiver. Stephen Hill struggled with the Steelers physical coverage. Jeremy Kerley provided a big play with a 45 yard reception but was absent besides it.

Jeff Cumberland missed a hot read that could have converted a first down and didn’t provide anything in the passing game. The Jets really missed Dustin Keller in this one.

Defensive Line (C) – The run defense was terrific as expected, led by Muhammad Wilkerson and Sione Pouha. Yet, the lack of a pass rush was frustrating to see. Quinton Coples is barely on the field and when he has been looks completely lost. Outside of a sack when Ben Roethlisnberger slid behind the line of scrimmage, the defensive line didn’t touch him once.

Linebackers (C) – Way too many missed tackles. David Harris missed two opportunities for a sack. Calvin Pace was nowhere near the quarterback. Garret McIntyre of all people had the game of his life, finishing with 2 sacks, 4 tackles for a loss and 7 tackles. He should become a regular part of the defense moving forward, which means less Bryan Thomas and Aaron Maybin…who has been invisible so far this year.

Secondary (F) – They get a “F” just because of how putrid Antonio Cromartie was on Mike Wallace’s touchdown. What a lazy play that completely lacked any football awareness. LaRon Landry picked up two personal fouls and Kyle Wilson was average at best. Let’s hope Revis is back next week.

Special Teams (D) – Jeremy Kerley’s muffed punt was a killer in the second half. Isaiah Trufant should have downed a punt at the 1 yard line but inexplicably let himself land in the end-zone with the ball. Nick Folk hit his only field goal attempt.

Coaching (D) – Tony Sparano had no counter move when Dick LeBeau adjusted after the Jets first couple of drives. Rex was too conservative at the end of the half and admitted the team had a sloppy/sluggish week of practice. They better be ready to turn it up this week because if they slip up against Miami, 1-2 heading into back to back games against San Francisco and Houston isn’t going to be pretty.

No Huddle – New York Jets Ugly Loss Edition

TJ Rosenthal goes No Huddle on the New York Jets 27-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Sure. Okay. We’ll admit it. This loss hurt. The ghosts of the AFC championship defeat were there for us and we will assume many other diehards as we watched. Many of us would have loved nothing more than having Mike Tomlin exit at 0-2.

A little payback.

That said, the Jets are 1-1, in a four way tie for first in the AFC East, and nowhere near any panic buttons that many thought they’d be pressing before heading down to Miami.

Here’s a quick look back on yesterday. A day we are disappointed about, but won’t be dwelling on for much longer.

1 – Why Can’t The Jets Tackle Ben?

Hey, Ben Rothliesberger is tough to bring down. Period. That’s why. Everyone knows that. Sunday, the Jets defense being unable to get to Ben when they had open lanes on blitzes, led to big results for Pittsburgh downfield. Being able to bring Big Ben down might have gotten the D off the field and kept the game within a score. That didn’t happen. Making it an uphill battle for the entire second half. To us this was the key issue all day.

2 -The Backbreaking Wallace TD.

The Jets were down 13-10 at halftime, and trying to tread water early in the third quarter, long enough in order to get back on track offensively. Then Mike Wallace grabbed what could have been a jump ball in the end zone. One that Antonio Cromartie foolishly overran. Even so, Wallace must have been in bounds by a blade of grass. A booth review that viewers never got a good look at to boot.

That odd play left the Jets no room for error at 20-10. Soon enough, the Steelers power running game began to roll downhill. This moment, this 50/50 ball, even with the Jets struggles on third down, and problems tackling later in the second half, is what really gave Pittsburgh control of the game.

3 – Landry’s Penalties Hurt, But We Like His Style And Aggression.

S Laron Landry had a late hit and a horse collar. Penalties that led to scores. On the flip side, the Jets new hard hitting safety is also establishing his turf and in the long run, this will bode well for the defense. The penalties hurt but we can live with them, knowing that Landry will do alot more good than bad this year. His style was sorely needed.

4 – Why Did The Jets Offense Come To A Halt? Greene Got Woozy and The Receivers Missed Their Few Shots

Shonn Greene was running with a great first step early on, and the Jets offense seemed like it was again ready to have a good day, until his head injury slowed him and the unit down. This changed the balance and overall rythym of the offense.

The young receivers failed to establish their size, and speed in space on a potentially big plays too. You hit on them you score fast. Not today. Rookie Stephen Hill got outmuscled downfield deep in a one on one matchup in the first half. Jeremy Kerley was over the middle and had a shot at a big play but seemed to cut his route short on a throw that Sanchez let loose deeper, thinking Kerley was going to head down the seem.

TE Jeff Cumberland misread a hot route that could have been a red zone first down, that instead led to just a FG.

There were also some drops.

Dustin Keller being out certainly didn’t help. With the choice to go with youth at WR though, even with Keller, these days will happen for Sanjay Lal’s corps in 2012. Hopefully less often than the ones that gave us the makings of that opening day explosion last week against the Bills.

5 – Hate To Say It, But Turn The Page On This One

The Jets are in a way four way tie in the AFC East with stars Darrelle Revis and Dustin Keller on the mend. Facing a rookie QB next week.

Things could be alot worse.

The Steelers game felt like it slipped and slithered away no doubt, but so many had the Jets 0-2 and desperately two games back by now. Instead they are still in position to accomplish their goals. Bite your tongues folks. Grin and bear it. Move on and get ready for a huge game in Miami, knowing that San Fran and Houston are waiting.

Does Sunday at Heinz leave a bad taste in the mouth? Sure. Is the “L” devastating? No. In fact it’s already time to move on and get ready for the Fish.

Instant Reaction – Disappointing Jets Fall To 1-1

The New York Jets laid an egg in Pittsburgh to drop their record to 1-1

It was going to be a tall order for the New York Jets in Pittsburgh, against a desperate 0-1 team particularly without Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller and Bryan Thomas in the line-up. However, there are no excuses for how the Jets lost today. Dropped passes. Muffed punts. Porous tackling. Questionable coaching decisions. The game was there for the taking and the Jets put forth a sloppy, borderline embarrassing effort.

On offense the Jets got off a fast start but eventually fizzled thanks to a lack of a running game and dropped passes. Shonn Greene had 11 carries for 23 yards and again made nobody miss and broke no tackles. On the eye test Bilal Powell looked better when carrying the football and yes, the Jets should have turned to Tim Tebow more frequently as a rushing option. Greene isn’t good enough not be a supported by another option or two. Santonio Holmes spent the entire game whining to the officials and dropping catchable passes. Stephen Hill wasn’t involved in the offense at all and the Jets badly missed Dustin Keller, as Jeff Cumberland looked clueless at times. Mark Sanchez missed a few opportunities down the field and couldn’t get the offense in rhythm after the first quarter.

On defense, the tackling was awful. Rex Ryan consistently dialed up the proper blitz call but watch LaRon Landry and David Harris whiff on sacks. Landry also picked up a pair of personal fouls. It was frustrating to watch the Jets inability to bring Ben Roethlisberger down. Quinton Coples barely played. Aaron Maybin was invisible. Where is the pass rush going to come from? Antonio Cromartie looked lost on Mike Wallace’s touchdown and Kyle Wilson didn’t impress in extended duty.

Look, the Jets weren’t going 16-0. There are worse places to lose than on the road in Pittsburgh…like at home to Arizona for example. The entire AFC East is 1-1 and the Jets are 1-o in their division. They need to handle business in Miami next week before facing a pair of brutally tough games at home against San Francisco and Houston. In order to do that, they must find a running game and have their playmakers actually make plays.