By Tyson Rauch
Despite a devastating loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the New York Jets still find themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot in the wild and wacky AFC. While this would be good news for most teams, the Jets seem to be different as they are currently a team that continues to find new ways to lose games. Whether it is a coaching blunder, untimely turnover, missed kick, or rookie mistake, Gang Green continues to find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. Lets take a look of some of the areas that need to be addressed in order for the Jets to “right their ship”.
Over the last couple of days rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has been getting blasted for his three-interception game on Sunday. While the rookie did not perform well, he did get the team into position to kick three field goals that were subsequently missed. In order for the Jets to make any type of run at a playoff spot, the offense, as a group, needs to get their act together. This starts at the top where coordinator Brian Schottenheimer needs to come up with direct and basic game plans for his young gunslinger. The Jets have the one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL, yet Schottenheimer continues to play call like Gang Green has a veteran quarterback running the show. If the opposing defense starts to stack the box, use the short passing game with slants and dump off passes to keep them off balance. Once the defense is back on their toes, run the ball out of a variety of formations. Currently the Jets have become way too predictable and the player suffering the most is the quarterback. Sanchez can make all of the throws, but the coordinator needs to make things a lot easier for him.
As for the quarterback, Sanchez has to be overwhelmed at this point. It appears that all of the blame for the entire season is being putting on to his shoulders, while the team as a whole, found ways to lose games. Someone in the locker room needs to step up and take on a leadership role on offense. Whether it is Thomas Jones, Jerricho Cotchery or Nick Mangold, someone needs to speak up and grab control of his unit. Speak out, support his quarterback and start sending positive, unified messages to not only the team, but to all of the naysayers out there as well. At 7-7 with the season on the brink, it is easy to start pointing fingers, and it is crucial for the Jets offense to rally together.
All in all the Jets have had a very good year on the defensive side of the ball, leading the league in several categories. With the playoffs at stake, now is the time for the defensive unit to raise their game to the next level. This starts with Rex Ryan who has to implement very aggressive game plans that will allow his unit to disrupt the opposing teams offense. The Jets defense must impose their will on the game, applying consistent pressure on the quarterback and creating turnovers. Coach Ryan likes to brag about this top ranked defense, it is now time for them to flex their muscles against two very good offenses. This Jets team will only go as far as their defense takes them.
As with every rookie head coach, there are going to be a lot of lessons learned throughout the season. Whether it is time management, game management, or personnel issues, there are going to be mistakes made. Now is the time for Rex Ryan and his staff to get on the same page, and get this team fully prepared for a playoff run. No more excuses and no more bravado talk. Put together a very clean cut, direct game plan that will allow the New York Jets to play the very best they can. Do not leave any room for error or confusion. Leave it out all on the field, with no bullets left in the holster. This is what it is all about in the NFL, put up or shut up, and now is the time for Gang Green to show what they have.
Tell us what you think on the New York Jets message board.