Post Game Thoughts: Jets 7 Seahawks 28 Tweet
Two weeks off and the end result was the same thing as happened against the Miami Dolphins. At least when it came to the Dolphins game you could excuse the poor performance from a hangover after losing a heartbreaker in New England. This was inexcusable.
You can not win football games in todays NFL when your starting QB is arguably the worst player on the field for the team. Mark Sanchez has regressed so badly from his first two season it is almost unexplainable. Mentally he has crumbled under the pressure of being asked to carry a team that has seen the talent evaporate. He showed more poise in 2010 than he does in 2012. The mistakes are horrific. He again had a wide open TD in front of him and again he missed it, this time throwing a pick that effectively ended the game. The passes are all over the field. He fumbled again off a sack. He had trouble handling a snap. I understand everyone wants him to succeed and everyone is going to point to the fact that people have bad games such as Eli Manning today. The problem is those players have good games to fall back on to look at the bad game as an outlier. Sanchez doesnít have that. Outside of Blaine Gabbert and maybe Jake Locker there has not been a worse QB than Sanchez this season. He is not even David Carr. Carr at least showed a pulse and you knew would last in the league in a backup role if he chose to stay. Sanchez is Joey Harrington, except even the Lions were not foolish enough to guarantee Harrington more money than his original contract called for.
The offensive line is a joke. RT Austin Howard has no clue. I donít know if that is on him or the coaching but twice today he made zero attempt to stop a pass rush, instead doubling inside to help Brandon Moore while Sanchez got leveled by the pass rush. Physically he is an upgrade from Wayne Hunter but mentally he is worse. Ive never seen someone simply flail their arms at a rusher as if he was creating magic wind that was going to knock the rusher over, but that was what Howard did. It was like the halfhearted defensive attempt you see in basketball when a guy is open and you just make a move in the guys direction and throw your arms out. When the league has changed the way it has it is incredible that the Jets have not drafted a tackle to man the right side. When the Jets built their good line from 2008-2010 it was filled with high draft picks keeping the salary outlay down while they paid for Damien Woody and Alan Faneca to solidify the line. DíBrickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold have replaced the salaries of Faneca and Woody, but they have replaced the slots held by those two with journeymen nobodies. When the play is so bad on one side it just leaves the Jets wasting resources on the other two positions.
Dustin Keller is looking for a new contract, but unless drops and penalties gets you new deals he is watching his value drop each week. It was one of the worst games of his career. The running backs are terrible. Two downs to pick up one yard and twice they failed. The Shonn Greene failure on 4th and 1 typified everything wrong with the team. Run behind your weakness. Have your runner stutter rather than just plunge into the line. Donít pick up the first down. If there was one bright spot on the day it was again the fact that WR Jeremy Kerley continues to show potential in the passing game. He had this awesome little spin move that left the Seahawk defender looking lost as he made a big catch once again this week. Unfortunately he couldnít get in the end zone which you knew meant no TD for the Jets, but he is a nice little talent that has far exceeding expectations.
Give the defense credit for showing up and taking it upon themselves to try to salvage the season for the Jets. They were caught off guard early on two passes by Seahawk QB Russell Wilson where CB Kyle Wilson was targeted, but one was the fault of no pass rush and the second a great reception by Golden Tate that went for a score. Wilson is not as athletic as the Jets hoped, but neither was that bad a play. After that the defense took over and harassed Wilson. Mike DeVito had a super strong game and seemed to be in on every play against the pass and run including causing the fumble that was picked up by Muhammad Wilkerson and returned for a touchdown. Quinton Coples had a number of disruptive plays on the line. Ellis Lankster brought heat from the outside. Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace both brought initial pressure that led to negative Seahawk plays. Antonio Cromartie showed his incredible athleticism breaking up a flea flicker pass down the field.
Quite honestly it was the first time the defense looked like 2009 since 2009. They confused Seattle. They stopped the run. They pressured the QB. Then they gave up and could anyone blame them? There comes a time where the effort just seems pointless when you know you have no chance of winning the game. The 2012 version of this defense, even with Revis, was never going to be as good as the reputation they had, but at least you can see that these players had some pride in the work that they do. They had been playing better over the past few weeks, well enough to where if the other two units had a pulse you could honestly say the Jets might be a 9 win team. I donít think we will see that level of play again. I think from this point forward it will be every man for himself. Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, Yeremiah Bell, and Laron Landry are all playing to either extend careers. In a day and age where stats are important these players know that doing the dirty work is not necessarily getting them a new deal since it is unlikely the Jets will be interested in bringing any of them back. But for this one week they at least showed a glimpse of maybe what could have been a contending season if the rest of the team gave the same effort.
The Jets failure to find a punt returner has really hurt the team. For as non-explosive as Jerricho Cotchery and Jim Leonhard were for the Jets they understood the nuances of the position. They knew when to fair catch. They knew when to let the ball fall. Most importantly they knew how to catch the football. The Jets drafted Kyle Wilson to be their return guy but he bombed so itís been one trial after another with the current group. Kerley has no feel for the position and the turnover today was a big turning point in the game, The Jets need to let him focus on his WR duties and get someone else back there to field punts. In general the special teams are poor. They kicked a ball out of bounds. Line drive punts led to big returns. With the offense as bad as it is they need excellent special teams play and they are not getting it
Itís just not getting better. If last season Rex Ryan spent the offseason learning what was wrong with his locker room and the terminology of the offense this year he needs to study how to manage a game. Some of the in game is laughable. Great coaches have plays mapped out well in advance. They are prepared for every situation. Not the Jets. Get a 4th and short and they arenít ready to just go to the line and sneak behind their pro bowl center which is the high percentage play in that spot. Sending in Tim Tebow for one play then deciding you want him for a second except Tebow, Sanchez and the rest of the team are all unaware and you burn a timeout. Itís the same thing each and every week. Complete unpreparedness for situational football. Some people are going to blame Tony Sparano, and no he is not a good coordinator, but this is the same stuff that happened with Brian Schottenheimer. It comes down to the head coach not having a plan and that lack of planning running through his coaching staff.
While I made my own feelings known as to why the team is not playing Tim Tebow over Mark Sanchez, Ryanís constant defense of the QB is difficult to accept. If you take Ryan as a good head coach how can you believe what he is saying. Ryan has been around bad QBs. He was around Kyle Boller in Baltimore. While Brian Billick defended Boller to some extent he also did not force the issue past a certain period of time. Ryan watched Boller and other poor QBs tear that locker room up and turn it into a defense vs offense front. Ryan is doing that plus more by constantly defending the QB. How many times can you say it is going to get better before you look at yourself in the mirror and say what am I doing to my reputation. If he truly believes it Sanchez is the goods right now then Ryan is lost and is going to lose this team. He has to keep his team together and you can not do that when every person in that room knows the QB can not play at this level.
Two weeks in a row of blowout losses and their third blowout loss of the season. It doesnít look too promising. Because the AFC is so bad this year you cant count the team out at 3-6 as 8-8 might get you in the playoffs, but they canít afford a loss next week against the Rams. Really they need to win these next two games to turn this season around, which sure seems unlikely. Its really a shame to see the way the Jets have fallen apart the last two seasons. The Jets are one loss away from rebuilding mode, except with the money they already have sunk into the QB spot there is no real rebuild that they can do. All they can do is try to draft a tackle or a runner that can lessen the reliance on the QB. Thatís all well and good to be a wildcard team but its probably not going to get them near a Super Bowl again. You need an effective QB and Sanchez is not that guy. Tebow probably is not either, but at this point you need to give something a try.
Right now the Jets are not a talented team nor are they a well coached team. Thatís a killer combination. I do think both the coach and the GM are safe but something needs to change in that room. Not everything you do turns to gold which is how they seem to have run the team recently. They have done a fine job evaluating outgoing personnel but the incoming personnel moves just have not worked. The proof is in the product on the field which is garbage in two phases. You can not win football games the way that the Jets are playing most weeks. Rex can say each and every week that they are going to get it fixed but his words are hollow until we see it on the field. Its time for him to knock some sense into this team and take control of this mess rather than taking this ďus vs themĒ mentality where everyone on his team Is perfect. His job is not to protect grown men from criticism from fans and media but to do whatever it takes to put together the best team possible for those fans and the media who cover them. He isnít doing that. Keeping harmony in the locker room is not ďhaving everyones backĒ no matter how bad they play. Its about holding everyone to a standard and keeping them all focused on the team objective of making the playoffs. The chances of that taking place right now are slim but he needs to change this mentality before 2013 falls apart the same way.