13 November 2011
The body language of a champion.
Well that's that. The 2011 Jets had a myriad of fatal flaws entering the season, and they all reared their ugly heads Sunday night. An offensive line with Matt Slauson and Wayne Hunter was doomed to fail. A wide receiving corps with an unmotivated Santonio Holmes, a guy who had been in prison for two years, and a Ravens castoff was doomed to fail. And to make matters worse, their three young offensive weapons who were all primed to have breakout seasons---Sanchez, Greene and Keller---have all greatly regressed.
The defense was painfully thin on the line, the linebackers were aging and slow, and Eric Smith was in the starting lineup.
But the defense wasn't the problem tonight. Yes, Tom Brady had their number in the second half, dinking and dunking with a fluid no huddle operation, but when you're on the field the entire game, you're bound to be burned by one of the game's greatests. The offense is really where the Jets lost tonight's game. Without watching the film, I honestly do not know if the blame lies with the line, quarterback, receivers, or running backs. Or The Beautiful Mind. In all likelihood it's a mixture of each. How do you fix such a massive problem? Well, maybe you can't. Maybe they're simply not that good.
As for the game itself, if you want to point to one moment where the game slipped out of the Jets grasp, you can look to Mark Sanchez's decision to call timeout with 1:24 remaining in the first half. The Jets had third-and-goal with the clock running, meaning they could wait until the 45-second mark to run their next play. Instead, Sanchez inexplicably stopped the clock, allowing Brady to respond with a knockout touchdown drive before halftime. Rex Ryan called it "the stupidest play in football history."
For once, Rex was right.
The Jets have a quick turnaround this Thursday night playing the Denver Tebows. They'll probably win. Although I honestly believe they should give Revis the night off. Cromartie, too. They don't need a secondary. The Broncos completed two passes and attempted eight today. Why risk injury? Anyway, the Jets will probably get that 6-seed, travel to Oakland or Houston in the first round and maybe even win. But what's the point? Do you really expect this team to win in back-to-back weeks in New England and Baltimore/Pittsburgh? And then beat the Packers?
Lots of good clubs never win a championship because they play against historically great teams. The Malone-Stockton Jazz ran into Michael Jordan. The Buddy Ryan-Reggie White Eagles ran into the Aikman-Smith-Irvin Cowboys. And the Rex Sanchez Jets ran into Brady and Belichick.
That's how the Jets 2011 obituary will read.
And the worst part? There's no saying when it will change.