So, What Now For The Jets?
By Sean Lester Durham
Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense no longer have much room for error going forward this season.
Well it’s just week 4 of the 2012 NFL season and the Jets are seemingly at a cross road as “gut check” time for this struggling Jets team has arrived MUCH earlier than SOME anticipated. Coming off a week in which they pulled off an ugly and gritty win over their division rival Miami Dolphins to go 2-0 in the division, the Jets are facing a pivotal point in their season in which sudden circumstances are forcing them to QUICKLY decided if they are going to lay down and pack it in or come out of the corner swinging. Even though the Jets pulled out a gritty win over the Dolphins, they came away from that game with a huge LOSS as All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis suffered a season ending knee injury when he tore his ACL on a non-contact play.
The Jets were already a team suffering from defensive issues early in the season WITH Revis and now with their best player going down for the remainder of the season along with the inconsistencies and poor play the offense and defense has exhibited over the past 2 weeks, the Jets MUST get better quickly on both sides of the ball. Granted it’s still early in the season and Jets fans are hoping that the gritty/ugly win against the Dolphins will somehow motivate the Jets going forward and yes, in a way it’s somewhat logical to believe that when teams show resolve and resiliency in pulling off a slug fest like the one against the Dolphins, it can have positive effects on the team as it can build confidence. But, this Jets team is quite possibly the worse 2-1 team in the league right now and that isn’t an understatement. The Jets need to do a lot of things quickly in order to turn things around, adequately adjust to Revis’s absence and remain relevant in a season in which parity is at an all-time high. A quick few words on what the Jets need to do now….
-Kyle Wilson needs to step up immediately. Wilson, who was drafted in the first round in 2010, is in year 3 of a 5 year contract and is most likely playing for long term security here with the Jets. Wilson will be tested and picked on immediately and he needs to be prepared to defend NOT only the opposing WR but his job as well. If Wilson steps up and looks solid for the Jets in Revis’s absence this season, then he’ll quite possibly be in the Jets long term plans but if Wilson struggles as he has in the past, then the Jets will probably look to move on from him sooner rather than later. Wilson has FLASHED at times but other times he has shown a lack of technique that has undoubtedly drawn the attention of opposing defensive coordinators and QBs since he’s been incorporated in the nickel package. No doubts that Wilson is very capable of stepping up as he has the talent and attributes to do so but his execution at times, leaves a lot to be desired. Wilson has an opportunity to take a serious step into the next phase of his career, an opportunity that SOME players only dream about, let’s hope Wilson is cognizant of the position he’s now in and capitalize on it!
Laron Landry and the Jets defense will need to step it up BIG TIME in Revis’s absence.
-The Jets pass rush has become VITALLY important now. The Jets pass rush has once again gone missing for the Jets but someone, SOMEHOW needs to FIND it immediately and bring it back to Jersey. With Darrelle Revis in the lineup, it allowed the Jets defense to play more aggressively as Revis would essentially lock down one side of the field. The Jets has had success in the Rex Ryan era with garnering coverage sacks and that is no doubt due to the great CB play between Revis and Antonio Cromartie but the Jets are now at a point in which coverage sacks may become few and far between and will NEED their pass rusher to step up. Through 3 games the Jets pass rush has been non-existent and probably the BIGGEST disappointment for thus far, plus it doesn’t help that the 2 potential playmaking pass rushers, Quinton Coples and Aaron Maybin are NOT getting snaps like they should. Out of 85 total defensive snaps vs the Dolphins, Coples had 17 and Maybin had 18, needless to say THIS needs to change immediately as its 100% unacceptable. You will be amazed at how SOLID a good pass rush will make a secondary look more times than not. Clearly the Jets secondary WITH Revis didn’t have the consistency to allow the Jets d-line to maximize on solid coverage in the secondary, THAT or the Jets D-line is just overrated. Either way, the Jets pass rush has been EXTREMELY disappointing and Jets need d-line need to turn up the heat and allow the secondary to lean on them when necessary this season. Not sure WHAT the issue is with the Jets pass rush but it’s become a serious problem that the Jets need to address immediately or the season will be over before the season is over.
-Mark Sanchez HAS to pick it up ASAP. Sanchez has struggle more than excel so far this season and he needs to simply player better than he has thus far…..Period! Sanchez’s 50.5 comp% is DEAD last in the league and that number is on HIM. Even without the drops, Sanchez’s comp% would still be low as he has been inaccurate and inconsistent these past 2 games and it’s putting the Jets’ offense in precarious situations more times than not. Granted, Sanchez has been victimized by poor WR play these past 2 games, which included drops, inept route running or WRs inability to counter the press coverage at the line, he is still held accountable for the success and/or failure of the Jets’ offense. Essentially it’s up to Sanchez to gather his teammates and start getting the most out of them by any means necessary.
Right now, to even THINK about the playoffs is insane as this Jets team is struggling to prove itself from week to week. The odds are certainly stacked up against this team and frankly right now, there are not many that trust this team and rightfully so. But, Rex Ryan and this Jets team are certainly up for the challenge this season will bring and as sure as water is wet the challenges WILL come fast and hard and it starts this Sunday vs the 49ers. The Jets can garner a TON of confidence if they can knock off a good San Francisco team.