Not As Good As We Thought

Monday night’s crushing loss to the News England Patriots proved one thing.  The New York Jets are nothing more than the media darlings of the NFL this year. 

45-3.   Not what the Jets were thinking entering the New England area.    

45-3.   Not exactly a loss a 9-2 team entering the game endures.   That kind of score indicates a lot of weaknesses.  Weaknesses the Jets have a lot of but most refuse to see.

The Pats pulled out all the stops.  Not only on the field, but off it.  Owner Robert Kraft called it the “most important regular season game in his 17 year tenure as owner of the Patriots”.  They even brought in former linebacker Tedy Bruschi to be honored at halftime.

But this was a game where the Pats simply dominated and destroyed.  They scored the first 4 times they had the ball.  The vaunted Jets defense unable to provide an answer.  And if the Jets cannot stop you, they simply will not win.

Second year quarterback Mark Sanchez is not ready for prime time yet.  Many thought Sanchez took a giant step in an OT win over the Cleveland Browns in week 10.  But since then, his rating has gone down steadily.  From a 100 the next week in Houston, to 71.4 against Cincy and Monday night’s season low of 27.8. 

In fact, Sanchez has been up and down all season.  Against good teams, he proves he cannot read defenses.  Constantly throwing into double and sometimes triple coverage.  After not throwing and interception in his first 5 games this year, Sanchez has 11 picks in the last 7 games, including 3 against New England.

The offensive line has been the strong point.  They are protecting Sanchez and giving him time to throw.  And the run blocking has been outstanding.  LaDainian Tomlinson leads the team in rushing, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.  Shonn Greene is right behind at 4.2.  Out of the wildcat offense, Brad Smith is running at a 7.8 yards per carry average.  The Jets got to the playoffs and AFC Championship game last year by running the ball and taking the pressure off Sanchez.  That formula is something they haven’t stuck with. 

The defense has led this team.  But when they face a team with offensive firepower, they have troubles.  Detroit and Cleveland proved you can run the ball, taking the Jets into OT in 2 consecutive weeks.  However the Jets do rank third in the NFL in rushing defense.  After Monday night’s game, the Jets were the 8th ranked team in total defense, with 4 teams above them in the AFC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Miami and San Diego.  What might be surprising to some is they are 14th in passing defense.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis was big news for wanting a new contract.  The Jets rolled over and gave him one.   Revis thanked them afterwards by telling the media he could opt out of this deal and renegotiate again in 3 years.  You don’t win Super Bowls with that kind of player.  And what have they gotten for their money?  21 tackles, 8 passes defended and no interceptions in 12 games.  Of course he has missed all or part of 6 games because of injuries.  Sure teams shy away from his side, but Cleveland rookie QB Colt McCoy challenged him in the 2 minute offense and burned Revis 3 times, including a TD pass with under a minute left. 

Revis is on an island and now so are the Jets.  After seeing the Jets in the first 12 games, they are following Revis’ lead.  Overpaid and Overrated.

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