Jets Still Alive But with No Margin for Error

The New York Jets have been among the favorites in super bowl odds the past two years and each year there have been various challenges that have kept them from attaining championship status. This year has been particularly troubling as the Jets suffered through a three game losing streak after winning their first two games and currently they stand at 7-5 with a wild card shot their only real hope and with plenty of fellow contenders in the AFC.

The elephant in the room from the start of Coach Rex Ryan’s regime has been quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was the Jets top draft pick three years ago. Sanchez has improved modestly each year but in no way is near the status of such signal callers as Aaron Rodgers of then Green Bay Packers or Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Sanchez has improved his touchdown to interception ratio this year as it stands at 19/11 and his QB rating of 81.1 is his best and up from 75.2 last year where he had a 17/13 TD/INT ratio. While the improvement is verifiable, that does not take away the fact that Sanchez continues to make key mistakes at the most inopportune times.

An even bigger problem for the Jets is their lack of a reliable running game as they rank 24th in the NFL for rushing offense, which serves to put even more pressure on Sanchez and the defense. Shonn Greene has been the Jets top rusher at just 4.0 yards per carry with nobody else even close to backing him up. The Jets deserve harsh criticism for not drafting up and working to acquire backfield help as it is likely going to cost them a legitimate shot at Super Sunday.

Since the ground game is virtually nonexistent the Jets defense is on the field more, as the offense is not grinding down the clock as it has the past two years. As a result the Jets are now ranked 16th in the NFL for points allowed. Ryan is known as a defensive specialist and his units at Baltimore where he was the defensive coordinator were traditionally among the very best.

Ryan also deserves plenty of blame for what has happened with the Jets. He ran his mouth in the tradition of Joe Namath promising Super Bowls but has not delivered and it’s unlikely that he will in 2011-2012.

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