Last year, the Jets’ offense was something that the defense and special teams needed to overcome if the Jets were going to get a win. The running game was tops in the league, but only the Browns were worse in the passing game. There was a lot of blame getting passed around between the rookie QB and Brian Schottenheimer. Fans could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel at the end of the season when, while not making a ton of big plays, Sanchez seemed to be getting out of the habit of making bad ones.
This year the story of the Jets is the offense. And it’s a positive story! After a season opener that had Same Old Jets written all over it, the QB and coordinator got together and stream-lined the playbook. They took out a lot of the pre-snap motion. In the opener, you heard Sanchez barking, “Kill! Kill!” quite a bit, and haven’t heard it since – because in the opener there were two plays called every down, and he was “killing” one, now there’s only one play called. Schottenheimer had to trust Sanchez to make the right throw within the play call, and Sanchez has rewarded that trust by being the 4th highest rated passer in the NFL so far this season with a rating of 105.3. Crazy, right?
But Sanchez hasn’t been the only story. Dustin Keller is fulfilling his potential as a complete TE. He leads the Jets with 19 catches and 3 TD’s. LaDainian Tomlinson has been reborn in a Jet uniform as their leading rusher -averaging an astounding 6.1 yards per carry- and also catching 12 passes for another 82 yards. The big story this week seems to be the return of Santonio Holmes, the former Super Bowl MVP.
Lost in the shuffle is Braylon Edwards – except when he’s getting pulled over for a DWI. All this this former #3 overall pick has done on the Jets is lead them with an eye-popping 18.9 yards per catch -good for 5th best in the NFL right now- along with 3 TD’s, which is second on the team to Keller’s five. One of those TD’s was his first reception after sitting out the first quarter of the Miami game, a 67 yard catch and run that took back the lead the Jets never again relinquished. Braylon’s averaging 7.8 yards after the catch, a huge number in the Jets’ offense. He’s a threat to score with the ball in his hands from anywhere on the field.
At the time of the DWI, the media was up in arms. There was talk of suspending him for the game. Some of the more bloviated pontificators (see: Myers, Gary; Francesa, Mike) were suggesting the Jets should cut him. Quietly though, Edwards is making a case for the Jets to keep him. Rex Ryan was quoted as saying that Braylon lost himself a few million with his DWI, and it’s possible that could eventually become a home town discount. Coming into the season, the thought was that the Jets would only keep one of Edwards or Holmes. The DWI hurts Edwards’ chances, but his next league suspension for an illegal substance will be four games, while Holmes’ next such suspension will be for a full season. These are things the Jets will have to take into account when the time comes. That and their performance on the field, of course.
Also lost in the mix -literally- has been Jerricho Cotchery. He has 11 catches for a paulty 90 yards, and he’s had a couple uncharacteristic drops as well. It’s not like his opportunities are going to go up with Holmes getting on the field for the first time tomorrow night, either. If his game doesn’t get turned around, the Jets could very well be looking at how they can keep both Edwards and Holmes at the end of the year.