Post Game Thoughts: Jets 17 Chargers 27 Tweet
Well I had my annual game at the new stadium today and boy was it a dudÖ
Though he is getting the start next week I think that was the official beginning and end of the Greg McElroy era. Normally there is a reason why players are drafted in the 7th round and never active on gameday and McElroy showed that today. In the post game Rex Ryan tried to pin a lot of it on the offensive line but most of those 11 sacks today were the fault of a Quarterback who had absolutely no idea what was going on. By the end of the third quarter the crowd turned on him and was hoping for Tim Tebow or Jeremy Kerley to take over the remainder of the game. McElroy had to redshirt last season due to injury so maybe this was just what its like to be a rookie rather than a 2nd year pro, but he was as bad as anyone in the league. Some of the passes were nowhere near an intended target and clearly the arm is weak. He looked like a college QB trying to play in the NFL and that is never good. The team started out good with a trick play that helped lead to a score and what sure seemed like a phantom PI call to lead to another score, but the lack of anything was evident shortly thereafter.
One thing I will say is that the Jets made a mistake not re-signing Braylon Edwards in 2011. It is rare in this day and age to see an athlete who truly loves where he is playing but you can see it in Edwards. This has nothing to do with how Edwards plays, which admittedly is nowhere near the level of a 1 and may not even be a 2, but you need guys like that in your locker room. Sitting close to the Jets bench you saw it in his face. You saw it in his demeanor when he came off the field. Even when he was the guy to stop a score off an interception he was pumped up. But moreso than that when things started to go south for McElroy and the crowd was beginning to turn Edwards came over there and gave him a hug and a pep talk. Nobody else on the team did it but there was Braylon. I actually thought they were pulling McElroy at that point but it was just Edwards saying to pull your chin up and get back out there and do something. He wasnít worth the money he was originally asking but once that market dried up the Jets should have sent the Plaxico/Mason money his way. He would be back on a qualifying contract after that. The Jets have to bring him back next year even as a 3rd or 4th option. He will help that locker room immensely.
As for Tim Tebow you have to really feel for him. He has done nothing to deserve this treatment from the organization and the Jets should have just released him once they made this QB decision. Tebow was completely dejected when he saw what the Wildcat now was and completely detached from the team. He did come in for the QB meetings but most of the time here was a guy that nobody even wanted to talk to. I called it the Kerry Rhodes treatment. I said that because back when I had season tickets in 2009 and Kerry was benched it was a team of 52 and 1. Kerry was all by himself on the bench except when Edwards would come over when special teams were on the field. Tebow wandered the sidelines and spent his time before the game talking with the punter. He gave McElroy a nice handshake before the game but then that was it. His biggest interaction came with the Chargers while they waited for the cart to come and take the injured player. He spent the entire time talking with players he knew from there. It was more than any interaction with a Jet and that was sad. After half he wanted to play catch and pretty much couldnít even get in on that grouping. You could tell that he just wants to play football at any level. Rarely do you feel bad for guys that make millions of dollars but I felt bad for Tim. It was just a slap in the face to him and I think the staff makes it worse by not being honest about him.
With the exception of Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples this was a unit that didnít want to be there. It was a pleasure watching those two play and the Jets have something with Coples. He has to play more to learn this game but he is a game wrecker. Heís really big in person too. Clearly the best athlete the Jets have up front and I donít get why he hasnít played more thus far. Other than that it was just a ho-hum non effort.
I know everyone is going to say the Chargers didnít gain yards early and only scored 3 points in the first half, but they had players wide open and their QB just didnít hit them. Phillip Rivers was just beyond awful. Iíve seen Rivers play before and this is not the same guy. His arm looks shot. Even that one long TD pass looked like a pass that should have been picked but Antonio Cromartie just got beat bad. I think most people know Ive been a big fan of Rivers but I cant even dream of putting him on this team. His attitude is also terrible. There was a series where he got all over his receivers to the point where it affected his team. On one drive he went after 84 (Looking it up I guess its Craig Davis--edit thanks to JoeB for pointing out it was Danario Alexander) in an unreal manner. He went after him after the play, in the huddle on the next play and still was barking at him after that. It made them take a time out. On a play right around then he went after Randy McMichael. Rivers couldnít hit the broadside of a bus and had no right to do that. He and Jay Cutler are cut from the same mold.
S Eric Smith got burned badly and Kyle Wilson had a bad moment or two. Some bad penalties, though some were questionable, made it simple for the Chargers to beat the Jets up towards the end of the game. It was something where the score was not really indicative of how bad the Jets defense was out there. If The Chargers had a better QB on the field this would have been a blowout from the start. Once the offense stumbled all the air came out of this side of the ball.
The opening punt return was typical Jets. It was horrible coverage and the only guy with a stopping chance was Robert Malone who couldnít do it. I know Mike Westhoff is a highly respected coach but itís time to make the change. Itís been a few years of bad ST play and I think the rules changes have negated a lot of what he does.
At one point the game devolved into a contest of whose more inept between Rex Ryan and Norv Turner. The Jets miraculously converted a 3rd and 9 and following a 2nd down sack went into conservative mode. That was fine except on the next play they call a short swing pass from a team that can do anything on offense. The ball was ruled a fumble at first and then reversed to an incomplete. Rex clearly thought Norv was going to just let the clock run out but he didnít, calling time out to get a chance at a punt return. Norv then called a short screen that had no chance even if Rivers could throw and then proceeded to kneel it. Turner also had a brilliant series when he called his placekicker back after a penalty only to have his kicker beg him for a chance to get back in. They wasted a time out to get 3 points when he should have just been going for 3 the whole time.
Ryan just makes everything so difficult on himself this year. The offense is so disorganized, but Ryan has no answers for anyone. One of the people sitting in our section had such a great line when the second Kerley pass was called back on a formation penalty as he belted out ďso all fín week you have been practicing an illegal play. Ryan you suckĒ. Its so true. When you bring in these gadget plays you cant have mental errors like that. Those are one shot plays. Rex makes it worse when he talks about how it was a huge play called back because of the receiver. I mean it was a nice little gain but not a game changer or anything.
He cant be straight about Tebow and why they continue to waste a roster spot with him. All he can say is that it was his decision. All we want to know is why? Why is it that you need him active when you have no role for him at all? Why not dress someone that will actually play? I mean if McElroy wasnít needed all year because of roster considerations why do you need Tebow? When the Jets realized this wasnít going to work in camp all they had to do was go to Tebow and say we just want you to be our backup QB. If that happens you donít get the nonsense of Tebow as a WR. Tebow as punt protector. Tebow as anything but a guy on the sidelines. Sure the Sanchez/McElroy decision would have been difficult but he wouldnít have had to go through all of this.
Watching these games I donít know if Ryan has a clue about anything. Now that the talent level has depleted he has no answers. The problem is that he thinks the offense is of no importance. He can make the defense work with no name guys. He cant do the same with the offense and focusing his drafts on his defense. 2009 and 2010 were all about a team that was built in 2008 and the perfect coach whose job was to get the talent to gel on defense and the players to be motivated after years of being somewhat stifled by Eric Mangini. Outside of the defense Rex is a speech coach. In 2009 and 2010 he had young talent that listened and veterans who hadnít seen that kind of passion in some time and it worked. Those same speeches fall on deaf ears now and the talent is so low it doesnít matter even if they did listen. Itís a disaster.
Thankfully the season will come to a merciful end in Buffalo next week. This was just an extension of 2011 except with no excuse of Santonio Holmes. The Jets should have started the blow up this year and instead wasted a season chasing a fantasy. In the last two seasons the Jets will have beaten all of 1 team with a 9+ win record- the 2012 Indianapolis Colts who should be a 6 or 7 win team. Think about that for a minute. 32 games and only 1 victory against a team with a 9-7 or better record. Its awful. And look at some of these games. They go out and beat the Cardinals 7-6 who then go on to lose by over 50 points the following week. They lose to the Titans who go out and lose by 48 points. The Jets are an atrocious football team.
You never want to say that teams are far away in the NFL but right now the Jets are so far below most NFL franchises its not even funny. The offense is absolutely archaic in their approach. Its only made worse by the fact that they donít have the horses in the backfield to carry the job out nor the QB to effectively manage the games. They need to blow this thing up and really start over. When I say that I think some people feel that it immediately means another bad season but I disagree. New players and new coaches always catch opponents off guard. I mean how many times has a team been written off and then come out of nowhere to succeed. The 2006 Jets were a perfect example. No flashy signings or free agents. Just a well coached team running schemes nobody had real footage on.
I donít know about everyone else but this is the worst year since 1996. When you look at the way this team simply does not compete that its as bad as 1996 and I have to say that this has been the worst season to endure since then. That 96 team lost more than a few games it should have won. Not that they were good (I mean my feeling was 4 or 5 wins rather than 1), but they competed as much as these Jets did. The only other team that maybe comes close is the 2000 Jets who just quit on the year down the stretch because they disliked the coach. But at least they put up a fight against the Ravens in the last game that year. The Jets are going out with a whimper this year.
I donít think the Jets are that upset with the result today. I think the Jets wanted to prove that it wasnít all Sanchezí fault and when media started tweeting that McElroy is seeing what its like to be Sanchez behind this line it was mission accomplished. That being said I was dead wrong that they would go back to Mark next week. While Im sure they wanted to win I think they wanted this kind of performance to prove the point that Marks ok. The Jets goal is to avoid the controversy of ďwhy didnít you do this soonerĒ and McElroy ended that question before it could really come up and the other guy will never get a chance to do anything. Itís a shame but they are in CYA mode and they are managing the team to save jobs rather than win games or get better. This does nothing for the future. You either go young and play straight or you put the best on the field and give it a shot. This wasnít either and thatís too bad that this is where we have gone. So many of us saw it last January when the Jets didnít even show up against the Dolphins. Unfortunately the front office turned a blind eye to it and we get stuck with the product on the field.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone and as always thanks for reading and supporting the site.