Week 15 Jets Report Card
By Alan Schechter
Feb 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum does an interview in the hall after a press conference during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
With this wonderfully talented Jets roster finally out of the playoff hunt, I thought it fitting to use the picture to the right to begin our report card grades for week 15. Let’s get to it:
QUARTERBACK:F Despite having Braylon Edwards back, Mark Sanchez looked awful once again. 13-28 for 131 yards, 1 TD and 4 INTs was never acceptable, is not acceptable now, and never will be acceptable. It’s year four for this young man, and he still tries to force passes into spots they don’t belong, and makes bad decisions. I am one of the biggest Mark Sanchez defenders going, but his play is just indefensible.
RUNNING BACKS:B+ Very quietly, the running game was actually excellent last night. Overall, the Jets ran the ball at a clip of 4.9 yards per carry. Shonn Greene led the way with 13 carries for 68 yards, but none of them averaged under four yards per carry. The offensive line deserves credit as we’ll talk about in a few minutes, but credit has to go to the guys carrying the rock when they do it at a 4.9 YPC clip. The problem was the fact that Tony Sparano would not stay with it. The game was close, and the Jets were running well, but yet they stopped running. It makes no sense.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS:C+ Braylon Edwards had a decent game in his return, with 3 catches for 47 yards. Jeff Cumberland did record 53 yards and 1 TD, but the early TD that Jeff couldn’t hold onto was huge. No receiver stepped up as a target that took over the football game. They played OK, but nobody became a go-to guy on the night. The receivers were middle of the road.
OFFENSIVE LINE:B The guys up front dominated in the running game. Even though Sparano got away from it too fast, when he WAS using it, it was going well. We have talked in previous posts about how important the offensive line is to the Jets running game, and that showed last night. 4.9 yards per carry is a huge number. Heck, it’s not a huge number, it’s a DOMINANT number. It really makes you wonder why they stopped running. The only reason it’s not an “A” is because Mark Sanchez was sacked four times. Otherwise, the line actually looked really good.
Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back William Powell (33) runs with the ball as New York Jets defensive end Mike DeVito (70) gives chase during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Jets won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
DEFENSIVE LINE:B+ The line actually had a pretty good game overall. Mike DeVito led the group with 5 tackles and 3 assists, and they contained Chris Johnson for the most part. If you remove the 94 yard TD, he ran the ball 20 times for 28 yards. Quinton Coples added his fourth sack of the season as well. The line is emerging as the best group on the team. The trouble is, and the reason they can’t get an “A”, is the long TD run. Nobody has given an “A” performance when the team gives up it’s longest TD since 1998. Sione Pouha could not get off his block on the play and CJ2K was gone. But otherwise, the line looked quite good.
LINEBACKERS:B+ This group added 2 sacks of their own, one by Calvin Pace and one by Garrett McIntyre. They also did a good job in bottling up the running game, other than the long touchdown run. Again, the grade cannot be higher because of that long run. Bart Scott was in the wrong lane, and that left it open for Johnson to take it to the house. But other than that, the group looked pretty good.
DEFENSIVE BACKS:B+ The Titans didn’t exactly light it up through the air. Nobody recorded more than 62 yards receiving, and Jake Locker only put up 149 yards through the air. For the most part, the Jets shut down anything the Titans passing game had to offer. There were underneath completions to be had, however, thanks to the wonderful cushions provided by Kyle Wilson. This, combined with a long TD run keeps the grade from being an “A”. Nobody gets an A when the running back on the opposing team reels off a 94 yard TD run. This group did play well though.
SPECIAL TEAMS:A- It has been a long time since Mike Westhoff’s group deserved a good grade, but this week, they did. Robert Malone did execute a beautiful punt inside the 5. Mo Wilkerson even got in on the act when he blocked an early Rob Bironas field goal attempt. Mo has become a beast on defense, and now special teams. Maybe he needs to play offense, kidding of course. They also forced the bad punt late in the game with pressure. This group set the Jets up with a chance to win, so they get the best grade of the day.
Thanks for reading.