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Jets rewind: The brutal truth about the AFC East totem pole

Ken Schroy

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The Jets got embarrassed by the Bills on Monday night, 38-3, with another terrible outing to fall to 2-9 on the season. Here are a few thoughts on the game:

1. Back in the early days of Rex Ryan’s time with the Jets, the team loved nothing more than seeing the Bills on the schedule. Even when the Jets were not playing well, the players would tell you they knew they could beat the Bills. The Jets always felt they were the more physical team in the matchup and could bully them. The Jets won six of the first seven meetings with the Bills under Ryan, and the one loss was a five-interception performance from Mark Sanchez.

Well, it looks like the Bills are the bullies now. Buffalo has won the last three games between the teams and each loss gets more embarrassing for the Jets. After losing by 20 points four weeks ago, the Jets lost by 35 on Monday night. They somehow managed to play worse in this game than the one that featured six Jets turnovers. This is the first time the Bills have swept the season series with the Jets since 2007.

Ryan has been chasing the Patriots since he got to New York. That is understandable. But the Jets have now been passed by the Bills and the Dolphins in the division. When evaluating Ryan, that is a huge knock against him.

2. Does it matter who plays quarterback for this team? After the win over the Steelers two weeks ago, many people wanted to say how much better the Jets would have been had Michael Vick started instead of Geno Smith from the beginning of the year. Maybe they’d be 3-8 right now if that had been the case, but this team was going nowhere with either  quarterback.

Ryan said he does not know who will start Monday against the Dolphins. It no longer matters. Play Vick. Play Smith. Hell, give Matt Simms a shot. This season is lost. The team has no quarterback on the roster who should start the 2015 season. It’s just another year in a long line of bad quarterback play for this franchise. Until they find a real quarterback, the Jets are going nowhere.

3. The Jets have plenty of holes to fill this offseason, but one troubling position group that has not drawn a lot of attention is the offensive line. The group has been inconsistent all season. They’ve played some good games, but they’ve also delivered plenty of stinkers. Monday’s game was a stinker. The Jets gave up a season-high seven sacks as the Bills defensive line teed off on them. Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes each had two sacks as Vick had no time to operate.

The Jets are set at one position on the line with center Nick Mangold still playing at a high level. Willie Colon is likely gone at guard next year. Can they live with Oday Aboushi, Brian Winters and Dakota Dozier competing for two spots? I don’t think so. The Jets are going to have to add a veteran guard who can start immediately and let one of the young guys play on the other side.

At tackle, Breno Giacomini was a mess Monday with false starts and giving up sacks. The Jets signed him to a four-year contract in March, so he’ll still be here next year, but they can move on after that. D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s play is slipping, but he still has another year in him. The Jets need to draft a tackle (add it to the list) and hope he develops quickly to fill one of the tackle spots in 2016.

4. The Jets rookies continue to underwhelm, adding to the misery of this awful season for Jets fans. There is no hope right now of seeing a player develop. The Giants are terrible, but their fans can get excited about seeing Odell Beckham for the next five to 10 years. For the Jets, first-round pick Calvin Pryor played 13 snaps and second-round pick Jace Amaro played 16 snaps. Amaro had no catches. The only other rookie to play in the game was Trevor Reilly.


John Idzik had 12 picks and none of them is making an impact. That is the most damning thing on Idzik’s resume. In a receiver-rich draft, he drafted three guys who have zero catches. It’s inexcusable.

Revealing number: The Jets have given up 12 touchdowns to tight ends. Scott Chandler scored for the Bills on Monday night, becoming the 12th. The Jets have been terrible at covering tight ends since Ryan arrived in 2009. That tradition continues this year.

Game ball: No Jets player deserves this, so let’s give it to the Jets fans who traveled to Detroit to support their team. The Jets don’t deserve some of the devoted fans they have. For people to juggle their schedule at the last minute and pay hefty prices for a flight to Detroit shows dedication. There were not a ton of Jets fans there, but for those who were … this game ball is for you.

Surprise snap count: Pryor played just 13 snaps. That is more than his zero against the Steelers, but it’s still surprising he did not see more time as the Jets frequently rotated members of the secondary all night long.

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