10 Awesomely Awesome Meaningless Meaningful Jets/NFL Thoughts
By Sean Lester Durham
1.) My issues with the Jets defense thus far
Going into the season, the only “given” about this team was the “inevitable dominance” on part of the Jets defense. Rex himself even proclaimed that this Jets defense could possibly be “one of the greatest” and considering that we’re only 2 games into the season, far be it from me to suggest that the Jets chances of becoming a good/great defense this season is “zero to none” but it’s without a doubt that they’re off to a shaky and worrisome start. Through 2 games the Jets defense has managed to look really bad in giving up 5 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs and yes I’m taking into account the sporadic highlights the Jets defense were able to put together against Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick week 1.
Jets defense had problems bringing Big Ben down and it cost them as he threw for 77.4% against them.
Vs Bills – The Jets gave up 3 passing TDs and allowed CJ Spiller to run wild for 169 yards and a TD
Vs Steelers – The Jets defense allowed Ben to pass for 275 yards and 2 TDs. The Jets “pass rush” made it look like amateur hour in their attempts to sack Ben. They got to him 3 times but it honestly seemed like pity sacks given to them by Roethlisberger. Countless Jets defenders had numerous open and free shots at Ben and FAILED on pretty much most of them thus allowing Ben to, get this…throw for almost 80% (77.4). According to Pro Football Focus, Roethlisberger posted a 114.1 passer rating on 19 drop-backs when blitzed, and a 137.5 passer rating when the Jets didn’t blitz. UGH!
That 77.4 % is the HIGHEST comp% against the Jets defense since Rex Ryan took over as head coach in 2009. It’s been a collective effort of failure on the defensive side of the ball so no ONE player is to blame but the following players need to step up immediately; Aaron Maybin, Quinton Coples, Muhammad Wilkerson, Antonio Cromartie and Laron Landry (as good as he has been, that WHIFF on Ben when he had a free shot at him = INEXCUSABLE)
Two NOTABLE defensive snap counts; DE Quinton Coples – 16 and OLB Aaron Maybin – 14 out of a possible 66 snaps…. in NO way is that acceptable. The Jets best pass rushing options getting minimal action while the opposing QB throws for almost 80%, COMPLETELY unacceptable! Jets HC Rex Ryan defended Coples’s limited snaps by saying “he wanted big bodies in vs Steelers”….HUH?? Coples is 6’6 285, that isnt exactly LIGHT weight there, you play your top draft pick in IMPORTANT games….PERIOD!
Mark Sanchez numbers vs the Steelers didn’t look as good as his numbers vs the Bills.
2.) Sanchez watch!!!
After basically torching the Bills in week 1 for 3 TDs and 70% comp, Mark Sanchez struggled mightily vs the Steelers posting a 37% comp %. Sanchez looked like an ELITE QB on the opening drive that went 4 for 5 for 90 yards and a TD but got nothing going there after.
So far in the season Sanchez has completed 29 for 54 (53.7%), 4 TDs 1 int, 404 yards and a 95 QBR. Sanchez is currently ranked 5th in the NFL in total QBR at 78.7. Of course a lot of variables go into Sanchez’s awful numbers vs the Steelers but his numbers are HIS number and I’ll discuss the offense as a whole later. I’ll update “Sanchez Watch” every week until his last game this season.
3.) The NFL parity
As it stands TODAY, there are a record 20 teams sitting at 1-1 and 6 teams at 2-0. Is it too early to make the determination that parity has finally caught on in the NFL? As it stands right now, how many AFC and NFC teams honestly DON’T have a legit shot at making the playoffs? Three or four maybe? So far it’s been an immensely interesting season with top AFC and NFC teams losing early, while the 49ers sit atop of the NFL as it appears to be the best overall team but something tells me they too will fall victim of the parity party real soon.
4.) Quick offensive/defensive analysis from the All-22 game film…..
-The opening drive by the Jets vs the Steelers was nothing short of magnificent. Sanchez looked poised and confident and hit WRs in stride. Sanchez hit Kerley on a 45 yard seam route that Steelers defenders had no chance of defending because of Kerley’s speed. The TD pass to Holmes was a beautiful throw off of playaction that froze a few defenders and allow Holmes to get a step on Steelers CB Ike Taylor to get open for the TD in stride.
Jets WR Santonio Holmes scores the Jets only TD of the day on the opening drive vs the Steelers.
-After the initial drive it seems as if the Steelers defenders adjusted and played the Jets WRs more aggressively at the line of scrimmage.
-WR Stephen Hill seemed overmatched at times by these veteran CBs and they completely made him irrelevant. He consistently showed an inability to escape press coverage off the line of scrimmage thus taking another option OFF the read for Mark Sanchez! Hill is a rookie and we only hope he learns as he goes but because the Jets refused to bring in a vet WR, they are counting on him learning sooner rather than later.
-Sanchez missed an open Holmes in the endzone for a TD that was a bit too high.
– Holmes route running became lazy as the game progressed but he still was able to consistently get a step on Taylor and get open but dropped 2 crucial passes on crucial drives. Inexcusable!
-The hot read that Cumberland missed was a drive killing mistake. Sanchez notices the blitz right away and audibles for the adjustment but Cumberland just continued the streak pattern instead of turning for the quick pass. Had he turned for the ball, it was not only a first down but he had no one within 5 yards of him and it could’ve gone for a big gain. Needless to say, Keller probably turns that into a huge play.
-Sanchez seems to lock in on Holmes a bit much BUT I understand why as the film shows he’s consistently BEATING Taylor but it appeared as if Holmes is more interesting in garnering flags instead of catching passes.
Jets defense were simply outmatched by a more physical Steelers team!
-Defensively the Jets pass rush seemed to get minimal push against the Steelers o-line. The interior got minimal to NO push and when they did, they couldn’t seem to capitalize off it.
-Antonio Cromartie gave a CUT worthy effort on the Wallace TD…. He looked like a undrafted rookie on that TD play against Wallace and that’s NOT an exaggeration.
-Jets run defense played a very solid game and the D-line looked very disciplined when it came to defending the run
– I count 7 times defenders got to Roethlisberger but was unable to drop him and 3 of those times it was on crucial 3rd downs…… Inexcusable!
– Kyle Wilson played a solid game. Wasn’t caught out of position and remained disciplined, a good sign considering Revis may not be back this week against the Dolphins
5.) My issues with the Jets’ offense thus far
First week of the season vs the Bills, the Jets’ offense didn’t seem to have any problems with getting into the endzone and even on the first possession vs Steelers Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense didn’t seem to have any problems marching 90 yards for a TD. It was after the initial possession vs the Steelers in which the Jets’ offense seemed to remind everyone of the offensive struggles last season and even this past pre-season. Through 2 games, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has been pretty solid in his playcalling but has been failed by the execution portion of the offensive game plan, specifically in the Steelers game. Though Sparano has been a solid offensive coordinator, I still have a few minor gripes with him;
Jets need to find a way to get the speedy McKnight the football more.
Where are the screens to McKnight? McKnight is one of the fastest, if not THE fastest player on the team. 2 games in the season we’ve yet to see a screen to McKnight. Steelers defense were playing very aggressive at times and produced several perfect moments for the Jets to run the screen to the speedy McKnight against an over aggressive Steelers defense.
Where’s the end arounds? Again, we have a speedster at wideout in Stephen Hill and getting the ball into his hands as much as possible can only help the team and help the rookie get better and more confident at what he does. Between Hill and Kerley, the Jets have 2 WRs that are perfect for end around with their speed and ability to run after the catch.
Why trade for Tebow? Why is Tebow even a Jet if he isn’t going to be utilized when the moment is perfect to utilize him? The Jets’ offense struggled vs the Steelers and Tebow was brought in and managed to scamper for an impressive 22 yards and after one more failed play he was taken out. Why not mix in a few more plays to keep the Steelers defense on their toes? Not only does Tebow need to be utilized more often but he needs to be in some packages where he’s on the field at the same time as Sanchez. With Tebow and Sanchez on the field simultaneously, you can run with him, hand off and then go wildcat, direct snap to him to initiate a direct wildcat with him, hand off and have him pass, or just use him as a decoy and run standard plays. It will basically keep the Steelers defense ON their toes and provide the Jets with a viable and effective offensive weapon.
Where’s the No-Huddle offense? Again, I know we’re only 2 games in so I’m not making TOO big a deal of it but where’s the no huddle offense? Mark Sanchez has always shown a knack of playing on a high level in the no-huddle offense but we are yet to see it utilize by the Jets offense. I believe there was certain moments in the Steelers game to utilize the no-huddle in order to get in some kind of rhythm, maybe take advantage of the step Holmes was getting on Ike Taylor or to help rookie WR Stephen Hill get into some kind of rhythm. I sure hope Sparano plans to utilize the no-huddle going forward as the Jets certainly HAS the weapons to execute it adequately imo.
-6.) Sanchez missed Dustin Keller vs Steelers
Jeff Cumberland replaced an injured Dustin Keller (hamstring) in Sunday’s game vs the Steelers and he showed how and why Dustin Keller is important to Mark Sanchez and the offense as a whole. Cumberland seemed lost at times and even showed his lack of awareness when he missed a hot read on the blitz pickup by Sanchez. It wasn’t just Cumberland, the Jets WRs were consistently taken out of the game by Steelers defenders and Holmes was too occupied with crying for flags from the replacement refs. Keller has always been labeled as Sanchez’s most reliable target as he and Sanchez has always had tremendous chemistry but I think Sanchez’s numbers look a lot better if a healthy Keller plays vs the Steelers.
7.) Ravens vs Patriots
Ravens and Patriots meet up in a re-match of last season’s AFC Title game, a game in which the Ravens SHOULD’VE won but didn’t. This one could go either way but of course the Jets are rooting for the Ravens to ink out a victory…. Both teams are coming off deflating losses and both need to do whatever it takes to prevent a 2 game losing streak. Patriots’ pass and run defenses will get their first big test of the season going up against the Ravens.
8.) Miami/Jets preview
Jets head down to Miami the scene of last season’s final game meltdown. This time the Jets are coming off a embarrassing loss to the Steelers and is looking to rebound against the Phins. The Jets of course should be the favorites and SHOULD win this game but they play the games for a reason. Reggie Bush is running better than any RB in the league right now and is taking this “rushing title” thing VERY seriously, so the Jets will have their hands full in trying to stop the talented RB. Bush had TD runs of 65 and 23 yards vs the Raiders, Jets definitely have a better defense than the Raiders but as I pointed out earlier, they sure aren’t playing like it.
Reggie Bush is running the ball as good as any RB in the NFL right now.
Jets’ offense match up favorably against the Dolphins, look for Holmes, Hill and Kerley to ALL have much better days against the Dolphins than they had vs the Steelers especially if TE Dustin Keller is back in the lineup. Mark Sanchez had an off day vs the Steelers that included drops, overthrows, wrong routes being ran, lazy routes been ran, and just an all-around horrible performance by the Jets passing attack. The plays were there to be made; the Jets just didn’t make them when they had the opportunities. The plays will be there against the Dolphins and Sanchez shouldn’t have any issues finding the holes in the Dolphins pass defense.
Dolphins passing offense includes a rookie QB in Ryan Tannenhill and a WR corp led by Davonne Bess, Brian Hartline and TE Anthony Fasano. The Jets defense should be able to contain the Dolphins passing game but again, the Jets defense hasn’t played up to their potential and the Dolphins are hungry enough to take aggressive shots against a Jets passing offense that allowed Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 77.4%. At this moment I don’t expect Revis back so expect Cromartie to defend Bess and Wilson to defend Hartline but if Revis plays this week then that certainly will change and make things MUCH more difficult for Tannenhill and that subpar passing attack.
9.) How long before one of the replacement referees pulls one of these?
10.) I’m 1-1 in my fantasy league thanks to Reggie Bush and Eli Manning.
This week ~~~~> DeWayne Bowe or Dez Bryant in my 2nd WR fantasy slot…..who do I go with???