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Jets a Quarter of the Way Towards Nowhere

Keep That Mouth Shut, Please

You know a eulogy of sorts is necessary following the Jets burial in Baltimore when your father is asking “why no blog?” Well, time is limited, but this loss was too awful not to recognize in writing. Looking at Sunday night’s game in isolation is not the root of Jet Nation’s trepidation. Yes, the 34-17 loss was ugly. Horrid, actually. Disgusting to watch. Darrelle Revis was the only Jet who played a good game. Seriously. One and only. This is not about Sunday night, though. Rather, the green-and-white congregation is fretting because of the Jets body of work. Let’s face it. The first quarter of the season is over and the Jets are way behind. They’ve yet to play one above average game. Zero. Dallas? Lucky to win. Jacksonville? Not an NFL team. Oakland? Gouged. Baltimore? You get it. So, it’s time to address realities. This is a .500 team just like the record says, with a whole lot of flaws. Here’s what mine eyes have seen.Downright Offensive: The Jets offense is putrid right now. The offensive line has been awful giving Sanchez no time and rarely opening up any holes in the run game. And enough about Mangold. I love him, and he’s an anchor. Sure, the center is particularly important, line calls, leader, blah, blah, blah. Still, teams lose starters every week and guys step in and step up. Hell, my fellow alum Kevin Boothe from college football powerhouse Cornell has managed to step in on the line for the Giants and avoid getting anyone killed. How is it that our crew has nobody who can block adequately enough to keep Sanchez upright (cue the legit Tanny criticism for failing to address o-line depth and drafting Vladimir Ducasse in the second round…keep going, we’ll give you the deserved time…by the way, Boothe was selected with the 176th pick in the sixth round…alrighty, moving on)? Meanwhile, speaking of #6, he has reverted to his turnover tricks ensuring fans can bank on at least one ill-advised pick a game and a fumble to boot. Helping matters not at all, the Jets seem to have forgotten that being a “game manager” is when Sanchez and this team are at its best. There’s a difference between being the guy and being the man. Sanchez is our guy. He can do the job. He ain’t the man, and he may never be. Rely on him to be the latter, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Failing Chemistry 101:

I like our receiving corps. I didn’t shed tears over Cotchery’s departure (although I loved him as a Jet and his contributions), nor was I clamoring to keep Braylon in NY. That said, aside from Keller and L.T., Sanchez and his pass catchers are not on the same page. Timing is off. Routes aren’t crisp. Throws are veering right and left. It looks completely out of sync. Blame it on a lack of time to throw, a shortened camp or whatever. It’s just not clicking. It needs to do so quickly for this team to have any shot of reaching the postseason.

Pass Rush Still Absent:
The Jets middling nine sack total isn’t cutting it. Rex and Pettine either need to conjure up some new schemes…or conjure up new schemes. This would be one of those times to bring up the fact that the Jets knew an outside rusher was an offseason need and failed to address it (front office knock number two, for more we bring in Jets legend Joe Namath…). In other news, congratulations to Maybin on his first NFL sack. He’s a very undersized, one-dimensional speed rusher who’s yet to do anything at the pro level. That said, he was one of the very few Jets playing with any sort of passion and intensity on Sunday night. He didn’t stop on any play and his hustle led to the sack/fumble that could (and probably should) have somehow kept the Jets in the game.

Painfully Predictable:
This is where the coaches need to get some heat. While the defense showed signs of steadying itself in the second half against Baltimore, it was tough to really gauge their effectiveness. Flacco was absolutely terrible, so it’s a stretch to give the pass defense any real kudos (except All-World Revis who is better than ever). Ray Rice was somewhat contained. OK. Rexy still needs to prove his chops with this unit. The D must show it can play a complete game, stop teams on third down and consistently deliver pressure (from wherever).Then, of course, there’s the other side of the ball. Where oh where to begin. Well, when David Clowney is calling out your plays you probably have some issues. I’ve always been loathe to join the Schotty Hate Train. It seems too convenient a vehicle to just dump all the Jets problems. It’s getting harder, though. I thought the first half in Oakland he was on his game. Then, it’s like the wheels come off. He reverts back to a comfort zone. Adjustments never seem to be made. There are tools there on the offensive side of the ball. After a certain amount of time, you need to question the guy who’s constructing the blueprint when the building is crumbling.

A Roster with Holes: No team is perfect. But championship teams can look at their rosters and do not see glaring warning lights. Those squads also have depth. Unfortunately, for the Jets, they’ve got warning lights and no depth. T.J. Conley has not proven he’s an NFL punter. Eric Smith has trouble covering anyone. We have no second tight end (sorry, Matty Mulligan). Wayne Hunter is a quality back up and nothing more. Bryan Thomas is…well, he’s now done for the season so that is both problem A and B rolled into one. The list does go on a bit.

So, what does it all add up to? Not surprisingly, it’s the equation for a 2-2 start. Am I dissuaded from believing this team can be a 10-6 team and have a shot in the playoffs? Not yet. Is the talent there to make it happen? Obviously, I think so. However, there is little doubt that if issues don’t get resolved starting this weekend, the final three quarters of the season will be much more of the same. In the meantime, the Jets should shut up. They need to earn back the right to say much of anything.

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