2012 New York Jets: Final Grades
By Alan Schechter
Dec. 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan stands on the sidelines with quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium. Chargers won 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
The 6-10 finish is nearly a week in the past now. The dust has settled, we have had the dispute with the media that is over and done with, and now we look back. Let’s take a look at the final report card grades for the season gone by. Here we go:
QUARTERBACK:D There is not a lot we need to say about the quarterback situation. They couldn’t figure out how to include Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy only played a game and a half, so we look at the ever-popular Mark Sanchez. 54.3% completion, 13 TDs, and 18 INTs is not the statline that we are looking for. Partly because of coaching, partly because of injuries, partly because of a lack of confidence, Mark Sanchez when careening straight down the hill without any brakes. It just got worse and worse, culminating in the “butt-fumble” game, and the performance against the Titans. It still remains to be seen whether Sanchez will be on the roster next year, but if he is back, there will be competition. We hope so. Not a good year from the position to say the least.
RUNNING BACKS:B- The running game started out quite slowly, but actually got un-tracked by the end of the year, as the team finished 12th in the NFL in rushing with 118.5 yards per game. As much as we hate him, Shonn Greene quietly had a career year with 1,063 yards and 8 TDs. Was he dominant? Of course not. But he is certainly a 1B type of back, that teamed well with Bilal Powell, who came on the scene with 437 yards and 4 TDs. Joe McKnight also carried the ball at a 6 yard per carry clip, even though that was only over 30 carries all year. For what it’s worth, the running game came around.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS:C Injuries hurt this group, but the fact is they just weren’t very good. Other than Jeremy Kerley, who recorded 56 catches for 827 yards, no other receiver on the Jets recorded 30 catches or more. Heck, Megatron out-received the entire Jets roster. Sanchez wasn’t good, but these guys had a lot of dropped passes, and didn’t do too much to help him either.
OFFENSIVE LINE:C+ This to me was a tale of two halves of the season for the offensive line. The first half of the season, the line was brutal. There were no openings for the running game, and they didn’t pass block well either. Well, in the second half, they seemed to grasp the “gap” scheme and the running game took off. It just got going a little too late to save the 2012 season.
OFFENSIVE MVP:JEREMY KERLEY
Dec 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Quinton Coples (98) rushes San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
DEFENSIVE LINE:B The Jets defense, despite the 6-10 record, finished 7th in the league overall. As the year went along, this defensive line became a unit that opponents had to gameplan against. Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson combined for 10.5 sacks, and look to be an intimidating tandem for years to come. Fan favorite Mike DeVito added 52 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. The defense was 7th overall against the run, and this group of linemen is a big part of the reason.
LINEBACKERS:C David Harris turned in another terrific season at the inside linebacker spot, leading the team with 123 total tackles, 3 sacks, and a forced fumble. The rest of this motley crew, Bart Scott and all the rest, looked old and slow, and probably won’t be around anymore. We didn’t see much of the younger linebackers, and Bart and the dinosaur gang have seen their last days as members of the New York Jets. Time to move on from this group.
DEFENSIVE BACKS:A- If I had told you before the season started that Darrelle Revis would be lost for the season, but the Jets pass defense would still rank second in the league, would you have believed me? Of course not. I would have looked for my brains leaking all over the floor. But, that is exactly what happened. Antonio Cromartie stepped up with his play on the field, and his ability to lead his teammates. He made the Jets and Jets fans forget any reason they looked into Nhamdi in the past. And that’s why…………… (PS Don’t forget about Pro Bowl Safety LaRon Landry)
DEFENSIVE MVP:ANTONIO CROMARTIE
SPECIAL TEAMS:C- It wasn’t a great final season for Mike Westhoff and his crew. We saw the break downs. Too many times, there were returns, turnovers, blocked kicks……the list went on. A group that was known to be a weapon for this team for many years became a liability. Robert Malone had a good year punting the football, a heck of an upgrade from TJ Conley, that’s for sure. After many wanted him out, Nick Folk had a good year with field goals as well, going 21-27. Joe McKnight’s injury to his ankle hurt him with the kickoff returns, and Jeremy Kerley got into a habit of fair catches. All in all, a bad year for the special teams.
A bad year that we can start to forget about. The sooner, the better.