October 31, 2012 11:47 AM
NY Jets midseason report card: Rex Ryan's problems go far beyond QBs Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow
BY Manish Mehta
The 3-5 Jets may not be in full-fledged desperation mode at the halfway point of the season, but the margin for error has shrunk to microscopic levels. Rex Ryan maintains that he’s sticking with Mark Sanchez over Tim Tebow – and let’s be honest, the team’s problems go far beyond just the quarterback – but he’s not ruling out other changes in his starting lineup during the bye week. Ryan’s suggestion box is wide open to help jump-start a team that suddenly finds itself in the AFC East cellar.
The Jets, losers of four of their last five games, will likely have to go 6-2 in the second half of the season to avoid missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
“The only chance we have is when we’re 100 percent all-in,” Ryan said. “We have no wiggle room. We have to play better or we can forget about anything.”
It’s easy to point the finger at Sanchez, but the truth is that the Jets simply haven’t surrounded him with enough weapons. To worsen matters, Sanchez hasn’t been able to overcome the lack of depth at the skill positions by elevating the play of those around him. He’s on pace to nearly duplicate his turnover total from his rookie season. Sanchez ranks last in the NFL in completion rate (52.9), 30thin passer rating (72.8) and 28thin yards per attempt (6.4). Tebow has been nothing more than an ineffective and sparingly used decoy.
RUNNING BACKS: C-minus
Shonn Greene sleepwalked through the better part of the first six weeks before showing some signs of life in the past two games. The fourth-year tailback is far from the bellcow that Ryan has propped him up to be, but he’s proven that he still can be productive. Greene (509 rushing yards, 5 TDs) is on pace for a 1,000-yard, double-digit touchdown campaign. Bilal Powell showed promise early as the third-down back before separating his shoulder a few weeks ago. Ryan toyed with the idea of moving Joe McKnight to the defensive backfield before bringing him back.
WIDE RECEIVERS: D-plus
Gang Green suffered a crushing blow by losing Santonio Holmes to a season-ending foot injury in Week 4. Jeremy Kerley (30 receptions, 478 yards) emerged from Ryan’s doghouse in the preseason to become Sanchez’s most reliable weapon. Rookie Stephen Hill erased the good feelings from his impressive two-touchdown Week 1 performance by going catchless in two games and missing two more with a hamstring injury. He’s also had a few costly drops.
TIGHT ENDS: D
Dustin Keller had visions of making the Pro Bowl, but a hamstring injury sidelined him for a month. Jeff Cumberland and Konrad Reuland have been adequate, but the Jets will need to Keller’s explosiveness to breathe life into the passing game.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C-minus
The backbone of the offense for years has taken several steps back. The line has struggled protecting Sanchez, who has been sacked 18 times, and opening consistent holes for Greene. New coordinator Tony Sparano is rotating left guards because he isn’t sold on either Matt Slauson or Vlad Ducasse. Gang Green traded away right guard Wayne Hunter in the preseason to give journeyman Austin Howard a chance. Left guard D’Brickashaw Ferguson hasn’t played at a Pro Bowl level in a couple years. Center Nick Mangold and right guard Brandon Moore remain the anchors for what has become an inconsistent unit.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C-minus
The Jets entered the season with their youngest and deepest defensive line since Ryan took over, but injuries have curtailed their production. Injuries to Sione Po’uha (back) and Kenrick Ellis (knee) have forced increased reps for Mo Wilkerson and rookie Quinton Coples. The result: Gang Green ranks 29thin run defense.
The defensive motto entering the season was to get “one step faster,” but there’s little evidence that that has occurred. David Harris leads the team in tackles, but he’s continued to have trouble in pass coverage. Bart Scott started off well before a hyperextended toe suffered in Week 3 slowed him down. The pass rush has been nonexistent. Aaron Maybin, the team leader in sacks last year, has no sacks and one tackle. Nobody has more than two sacks.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B
Antonio Cromartie proclaimed that he was the best cornerback in the NFL after Darrelle Revis went down with season-ending knee injury in Week 3. Cromartie has lived up to his end of the bargain as a legitimate No. 1 corner. New safety acquisitions LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell are tied for second in tackles and have provided stability on the back end.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
Mike Westhoff’s unit has had some uncharacteristic wild swings capped by an ugly performance in a Week 8 loss to the Dolphins that included getting a punt and kick blocked. Tebow has been a success as the personal punt protector with three fourth-down conversions on fake punts. Nick Folk has made 12 of 13 field goal attempts.
Sparano has come under fire for his playcalling and usage of Tebow. Mike Pettine’s unit is in the middle of the pack in total defense. Ryan has been more involved with the defense this year, but he can’t be happy with the unit’s inability to get off the field on third down.
FRONT OFFICE: D
The Tebow acquisition has been a failure to this point. Gang Green traded away 4thand 6th round picks for a seventh rounder and a player that makes $2.1 million and averages seven offensive snaps per game. Tebow’s presence has also created a needless distraction and hindered Sanchez’s ability to grow as the franchise quarterback. The lack of roster depth has been glaring.
* * *
OFFENSIVE MVP: WR Jeremy Kerley
DEFENSIVE MVP: CB Antonio Cromartie
SPECIAL TEAMS MVP: PK Nick Folk
BIGGEST SURPRISE: RT Austin Howard
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: (tie) QB Mark Sanchez & QB Tim Tebow
BEST ROOKIE: DL Quinton Coples
BEST ACQUISITION: S LaRon Landry
WORST ACQUISITION: QB Tim Tebow
BEST-KEPT SECRET: LB Demario Davis
* * *
BEST COACHING MOVE: Keeping Mark Sanchez as the starting QB. For all his flaws, Sanchez - not Tebow - is the better option for this offense.
WORST COACHING MOVE: Taking ball out of Sanchez’s hands after recovering fumble on kickoff with 2 minutes left in Week 7 loss to Patriots. Sparano dialed up direct snap to Tebow and handoff to McKnight that totaled 3 yards on first and second downs.
BEST MOMENT: Rushing for 252 yards in 35-9 rout of the Colts in Week 6.
WORST MOMENT: Having only one possession that didn’t result in a three-and-out, turnover or blocked punt in 34-0 home loss to 49ers in Week 4.
REASONS TO HOPE
1. AFC is weaker than it’s been in years. Jets are among nine teams within 1 ½ games for two wildcard spots.
2. Gang Green faces only one team with a winning record (Patriots) and five with losing records in the final eight weeks.
3. The running game has averaged 154 yards per game the past three weeks.
REASONS TO WORRY
1. Sanchez hasn’t shown that he can be consistent for weeks at a time.
2. There still are no dynamic offensive playmakers at Sanchez’s disposal.
3. Five of the last eight games are on the road.
NY Jets midseason report card - Manish Mehta
Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:28 AM
Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:35 AM
Sanchez ranks last in the NFL in completion rate (52.9), 30thin passer rating (72.8) and 28thin yards per attempt (6.4).
It’s easy to point the finger at Sanchez, but the truth is that the Jets simply haven’t surrounded him with enough weapons.
I hate myself and I want to die.
This is like having a cat with leukemia.
Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:18 PM
The only good player the Jets have drafted since 2009 might be Jeremy Kerley. Keller is okay. Greene wouldn't even make some NFL teams and wouldn't start on most. Sanchez is a DUD. Coples and Hill are only rookies, so can't dump on them yet.
The Jets haven't hit on a first rounder since they took Revis, and he's from the drafts when Mangini was HC. I won't even get into the trades, over priced contract extensions, etc.
The Jets FO makes the Bills FO under Russ Brandon look like geniuses, and believe me, that bunch with Dick Jauron having major input, was only saved from total suckitude because they signed FA RB Freddie Jackson and drafted Kyle Williams (5th) and Stevie Johnson (7th).
Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:02 PM
Give me a break.
Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:45 PM
Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:06 PM
Sanchez? Any below average backup can give the Jets what Sanchez has given. And you do not win games because of below average backups. Rex is a fool to say he gives us the best chance to win. Win what, exactly? He gives us no chance to win the SB. And very little chance to get to the post season. If we just want to do better we can do that by sttarting an average backup QB .As for getting a new QB out of a mediocre draft next year---not happening. We have to use all of our draft picks next year. And there is really very little out there. So we sign a backup and get rid of Sancho--- that being said--sorry, no turnaround in sight. We will probably never have the kind of pick we need for a top QB prospect. And we will never succeed by trading away bunches of picks (because we have already depleted the overall talent pool by doing that) for a high pick like that. The Jets are a team on the road to nowhere. And the groundwork is all Mr. T's.
Actually that's true for most years. On average, most years yield 1 franchise or near franchise QB and maybe 1 more good one. Some years have nobody (2000, 2007). The last year with more than 2 bonafide franchise QBs, 2004: Eli, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Schaub. The last one to yield a treasure trove of QBs like that was 1983 with three HOFers: Elway, Kelly, and Marino.
2011 was supposed to be so great but some of those guys are already going down the tubes.
Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:41 AM
^Posts from 2006
Seriously, have you ever seen these two guys in the same room?
yeah great so we [fire incompetent coach or executive/cut terrible player]. how does that make the team better? im hearing a lot of people say [argument that has never been made by anyone, ever] but people dont seem to understand the reality, which is [argument so brazenly fallacious it's impossible to attack]. to be honest i think the real problem is [weird argument inexplicably blaming fans for expecting anything more than mediocrity].
yeah Tanny sucks! get the pitchforks and torches d00dz! lol. what we need is [weird strawman containing vaguely homoerotic references to a "Real Football Man"] and not some ["bean-counter," despite the fact that Tannenbaum's handling of contracts has been atrocious; or "stat geek," despite the fact that stat geeks hate Tannenbaum more than anyone]. oh my jah you guys act like [multiple-championship-winning GM previously mentioned in thread] is just out there waiting to be hired or sumpin. oh and btw [multiple-championship-winning GM previously mentioned in thread] is wayyyyyyy overrated. Id take Tanny over [multiple-championship-winning GM previously mentioned in thread] in a heartbeat.
This is like having a cat with leukemia.
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