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NY Jets midseason report card - Manish Mehta


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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.”

QUARTERBACKS: D

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.

LINEBACKERS: C-minus

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.

COACHES: C-minus

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.

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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.

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I hate myself and I want to die.

Manish is a tad too much of a Sanchez apologist for my liking, and I would disagree that the best coaching move is to keep 6 as the starter, but otherwise, this piece is right on the money.

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I hate myself and I want to die.

No. You just need more weapons.

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shocked at high grades mon

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Our best unit on the team is the one missing the best player. This means only one thing. We're drafting a DB in rd 2 or 3. alol

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Here is my report card for the team:

Performance : F

Wins : F

Backing up swagger : F

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He gives the FO a D? A D???? Good grief! F might be generous.

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).

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Posted · Report post

Mehta and his godforsaken ilk.

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Coaches C-Minus? :rl:

Give me a break.

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0.0

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Waste of space and bandwidth -- a simple "F" across the board would have sufficed.

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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.

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I hate myself and I want to die.

But ironically, no weapons to carry out said suicide.

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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.

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More BS

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He gives the FO a D? A D???? Good grief! F might be generous.

an F? AN F?!?!?!

we should grade them a Z amirite

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lol Gato and bit are slowly becoming the same person

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lol Gato and bit are slowly becoming the same person

^Posts from 2006

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Seriously, have you ever seen these two guys in the same room?

Ha. I prefer to view it as an intentional, long-form critique of the sports fan dialectic. They're messing with us. Probably sponsored by the Bilderbergs.

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I want to place an anonymous drop-box in the locker room that asks who truthfully thinks that Mark Sanchez can win the Jets (or any team) a Superbowl. Sanchez is > Jamarcus Russell and < Ryan Fitzpatrick, both KC QBs, both MIA QBs, both AZ QBs, both SEA QBs, all starting rookie QBs (from this year and last).

Tim Tebow is the highest paid, most expensive wildcat option the Jets have ever had and the least productive. Bronco's FO are geniuses for knowing what they had, selling while he was hot, and landing a HOF QB who's back to his HOF form 3 weeks before mid-season.

I think it's time we all realized that this is a season of regression and it'll be at least another 4 years before we're back to '09, '10 form. At least by then Brady will have one foot out of the league if he's not out already. Oh wait, Tannehill will be hitting his prime by then. Balls!

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