We are a little past the quarter-way point of the season, so we tossed the ball around to all of our writers here at Jets 101 to see how the New York Jets have fared so far after the first six games of the 2012 season. We looked at offense, defense, front office/coaching, and hopefully something(s) to build upon for the remainder of the 2012 campaign. The 35-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts was nice, but there are still some issues with this team.
What is the biggest issue so far for the offense after the first six games of the season?
A lack of true play-making talent (due to a mixture of injuries and sub-par personnel) as well as misuse of available talent. The Jets lack the efficiency to grind out long drives, but that can be masked when a team has talent that can create big plays. The loss of Santonio Holmes for the season and the absence of Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill has made that difficult to do. Still, the Jets haven't done a good enough job getting the football to Jeremy Kerley and Joe McKnight, two players with the ability to create big plays.
It starts up front with the offensive line, and since they are not moving opposing lineman and linebackers around like they have been able to in the past they cannot open the holes for Shonn Greene, McKnight and Powell to run through. They have been trying to give Mark Sanchez enough time to throw, but because the play makers he has available to him have not been able to create separation regularly or be good enough to come back on routes when they see Sanchez in trouble, he has wound up getting sacked rather than throwing the ball away.
The Jets' biggest offensive issue so far has to be the offensive line. We can talk all day about Shonn Greene lacking burst or Mark Sanchez completing less than half of his passes but without confidence in your protection, it's hard to perform as a player. If the Jets could give Sanchez more time to throw and Greene the truck-sized holes he needs to be effective, this offense could move the ball better.
What is the biggest issue so far for the defense after the first six games of the season?
The front seven has been extremely disappointing. The Jets have been gashed on the ground and haven't produced much of a pass rush so far this season – essentially rendering their front seven irrelevant. Having an excellent secondary is nice, but it doesn't mean anything when teams are running the ball for huge yardage. With no pass rush, receivers are able to come open late in plays.
The age of the starting linebackers, save David Harris, has really showed how vulnerable the Jets are in coverage and also in wrapping up runners who get past the front three or four, depending upon the fronts they are utilizing. Garrett McIntyre has made more and better plays in his limited role starting for Bryan Thomas than Thomas and Pace combined. Lastly, where has Aaron Maybin been this season so far? Are the Jets waiting for certain game/situation to unleash him? He has to be more involved in the pass rush, since the Jets are severely lacking there.
Defensively, the Jets are just slow. They're getting beat to the edge and without Revis on one side to come up and help against the run, it's becoming more of a weakness than it was before. A big part of a ground-and-pound offensive philosophy is stopping the run on defense and the Jets just can't do that right now.
Is the coaching staff, and/or front office not getting the team prepared or stocked with the right talent to succeed?
The Jets weren't set to be an explosive offense, but the hope was that the offense wouldn't blow up and be a detriment to the team. The front office gave the team enough talent to be a defensive-minded team with an average offense, which is good enough to win a lot of games. With injuries to Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes, that picture is now clouded. Still, the burden falls on the offense to make the most of their talent and they haven't so far.
Recently I saw that General Manager Mike Tannenbaum is also part of the same coaching/front office tree as was Eric Mangini, when they were in Cleveland under Bill Belichick. May be I never realized this from when he first arrived with the Jets, but if he knows all the same strategies that helped turn the Browns around between 1991 and 1995 then of course the Patriots thereafter, why are the Jets not finding the right personnel to build a perennial contender? If he can't provide Rex Ryan, Tony Sparano, Mike Pettine and Mike Westhoff the right talent then how can they hope to succeed?
It's hard to blame the coaching staff for this, but there have been a few questionable moves that have left us at Jets 101 puzzled. Cutting half of your draft is never good and neither is cutting a veteran like Bryan Thomas to over a player like Dennis Landolt who was dropped down to the practice squad anyway. All the Tebow talk was warranted when the Jets had no weapons in the passing game but Rex Ryan sticking by Sanchez is the right move now with Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill returning. If Sanchez is still struggling in a few games, then Ryan may need to call on Tebow.
The offensive line. Without a ton of talent left at the skill positions, the Jets need excellent play up front to be competent offensively. The defense will do enough to keep them in games, but can they get a massive effort from their offensive line and piece together some drives?
Finding the right balance, without disrupting the rhythm of the offense, in utilizing Tim Tebow and the wildcat package he runs. It seems every time he comes in it's for one play only, when if you gave him a series of three or four plays then he could develop a rhythm and move the ball better, whether running or (gasp) passing. Mark Sanchez certainly doesn't fear Tebow as a passer, so once back in the game Sanchez can use play action and screens to keep the drives alive and end more of them in touchdowns.
I think this team lacks confidence. They lost their two of their most talented skill players, sit at 2-3 after five games and neither side of the ball has played particularly well. This team needs a confidence-building win and it would serve them well for the rest of the season to beat the Colts by double-digits at home this weekend.
Are there any positives the New York Jets can take into the remainder of the season?
There have been some individual players that have been impressive, plus the first game of the season proved that this team does have the ability to play solid football. The Jets have to look back at what worked for them in that game and find a way to re-create that performance.
I agree with Donald, you've got to exploit whatever has worked so far, and also find more high percentage plays, and string them together in more series, to give the offense the chance to sustain more drives, and get more scores. The defense has to find there tackling skills again, and once they do they can start to stop more runners for shorter gains, and with more second and third and long situations, unleash Aaron Maybin and Quinton Coples to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
There are a few positives to take so far. Despite being under constant pressure and struggling with his completion rate, Sanchez hasn't turned the ball over as much as you would expected considering the calamity around him. A few of his interceptions weren't his fault either. Bilal Powell has looked like Shonn Greene did two years ago and it might be time for the
Jets to get him more carries since he's already seeing as many or more snaps than Greene.
From all the opinions offered above you can see the 2012 New York Jets are suffering from issues on multiple fronts. The biggest thing that needs to be done is for veteran leadership, both in the locker room, and the coaching staff, to rally the team around itself (or as Chris Berman would say…nobody circles the wagons like…) and don't let the media, or any of the major injuries suffered already distract the teams from solid preparation week after week. That should lead to more exceptional play on the field, and hopefully more victories.
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/lp1