Monday, November 16, 2009

Jets' struggles continue in 24-22 loss to Jags

This post will be about as short as the Jets playoff hopes after a terrible loss to Jacksonville at the Meadowlands.

Mark Sanchez continued his rookie struggles, as he was intercepted twice including a deep pass on the game's first play. Jerricho Cotchery had a step on Rashean Mathis, but Sanchez was late getting the ball downfield and the throw was well short.

Only four Jets caught passes in the game as Sanchez was just 16-30. Cotchery grabbed six balls, Dustin Keller caught six and Braylon Edwards had three receptions, including a 41-yarder that ended in a fumble. Edwards also dropped a two-point conversion that would've put the Jets up 24-21 with five minutes to play.

Without Leon Washington, the Jets have little to no game-breaking ability on offense and neither Thomas Jones nor Shonn Greene is adept at catching passes out of the backfield. This is part of the reason Keller has 14 grabs in his past two contests, as he has become Sanchez's new safety valve.

Defensively the Jets weren't much better, allowing 347 total yards and letting Jacksonville march 80 yards down the field on their game-winning drive. After the game, Bart Scott quipped that maybe the Jets aren't one of the best defenses in the league like they thought they were.

The loss of Kris Jenkins has obviously hurt the New York defense, as they have allowed 452 rushing yards in their last four games, all of which Jenkins has missed with the exception of the first quarter against Buffalo. The loss of Jenkins hasn't just affected the run defense, however.

The Jets have lost their edge on defense and haven't been quite as aggressive blitzing on passing downs as they were early in the season, possibly due to the fear of getting burnt on the ground without Jenkins clogging the middle. And the Jets who started 3-0 would not have allowed Jacksonville to kill the final five minutes and kick the game-winning field goal.

After losing five of their last six with the only win coming against the awful Raiders, the Jets season is now on life support (at best). With upcoming matchups against New England and the suddenly-hot Panthers, New York could be 4-7 before their second meeting with Buffalo and a date with the one-win Bucs.

Finishing off the schedule with Atlanta, Indianapolis and Cincinnati screams 6-10 at best for this team, who inexplicably gave fans hope after three solid victories to start the season. But this is what you get with a rookie quarterback, a rookie head coach and injuries to invaluable players on both sides of the ball.

No, I'm not giving up on Sanchez. Like all rookies, he shows glimpses of greatness followed by severe struggles. His comfort level has dropped significantly since the Saints rattled him in Week 4, but in time he should become a player. The only question is whether the team around him will still be in place by the time that happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment