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Following Loss To Steelers Jets Have Several Questions To Answer

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For the second year in a row the New York Jets fell short in the AFC Championship as Gang Green lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-19 on Sunday.   This loss is as tough as it gets for Gang Green as they battled back from 24-0 deficit and had several opportunities late in the fourth quarter to put themselves in position to win the game.  In the end the Jets pathetic performance in the first half of the game was just too much to overcome.

As you look forward for the New York Jets their  “Super Bowl or Bust” mentality  has put them in a precarious situation as they head into the offseason. The organization will have to make several difficult decisions that will dictate the team’s success going forward.

Offense

Schottied again- Just when you thought offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer had the offense running in rhythm, Schotty brings out a terrible game plan against the Steelers.  The Jets offense had several issues against the Steelers from poor time management, to questionable play calls, to formation problems, to personnel issues.  So the question for the Jets is what should the organization do with Brian Schottenheimer?  An argument can be made that the Jets should promote offensive line coach Bill Callahan and fire Schottenheimer.  My take is that the Jets should retain Brian as you do not want to disrupt the development of Mark Sanchez.  It appears that every offensive coordinator in the NFL has had their ups and downs this year, unfortunately for the Jets Brian had one of his tougher days in the AFC Championship game.

Flight Boys- The New York Jets made some aggressive moves to trade for wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, now the team needs to figure out a way to retain them as both of these playmakers are free agents.  Gang Green is really in a bind at the wide receiver position as both Braylon and Santonio will be looking for huge pay days, Jerricho Cotchery is coming off of a bad year, and Brad Smith is a free agent as well.

Should the Jets franchise Santonio and sign Braylon long term?  Should the Jets sign Braylon and let Santonio walk? Will Gang Green have to release  J-Co in order to get both of these guys signed? This situation could quickly become a mess for the Jets.

Defense

Secondary is free- Believe it or not almost the entire Jets secondary can become free agents this season.  Take a look at the potential list of free agents for the Jets: Antonio Cromartie, Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, Drew Coleman, Marquice Cole, and James Ihedigbo.  Are you kidding me? Obviously the big name in the group is Cromartie, who had a solid year for the Jets playing opposite Darrelle Revis.  Now whether his performance was worth a huge contract extension I am not so sure.  Can Kyle Wilson develop into a starting corner? Who should the Jets bring back to play in the nickel and dime situations? And how important was the play of safety Eric Smith this postseason?

David Harris- New York Jets linebacker David Harris is arguably one of the most underrated players in the NFL.  Harris is a very physical player and clearly one of the leaders of the Jets defense.  David is set to become a free agent and should have no problems landing a solid deal with another team.  Do the Jets offer Harris a big-time contract? If so, will the Jets have to cut a player like Bryan Thomas in order to do so? I think Gang Green may be in jeopardy of losing Harris which will be a setback to this defense.

Super Bowl or Bust- As you can see it was truly “Super Bowl or Bust” this year for the New York Jets.  Gang Green made several moves to try and win it all in 2010 and came up short.  Now the team’s aggressive moves come back to haunt them as there is a very good chance that they are going to lose several valuable playmakers.  With the likelihood of a salary cap whenever the next season starts, Gang Green could find themselves relying on the draft to upgrade the personnel on their roster.

Parting Shot

On Sunday I attended the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh and could not have had a more miserable experience.  I have been traveling to Jets game for years and understand the rowdy, alcohol fueled nature of an NFL game.  It is one thing to get rowdy and trash talk and it is another to put fans in a situation where they do not feel safe.  From the snow balls being thrown, to the verbal threats, to the physical confrontations, the experience at Heinz Field was terrible (lets keep in mind amongst the fans being tormented were women and children).  To make matters worse the State Troopers inside the stadium could have cared less as they were more interested in watching the game than addressing the hostile situation.  You know it is bad when you have ushers and fans coming up to you after the game apologizing for others actions.

I just would like to take a second to thank the two security guards in the Heinz field parking lot that protected several Jets fans as they waited for taxis.   There could not be a more hostile situation and I still cannot believe a brawl did not break out.  Hopefully in the future the state troopers will decide to get out of their cars and help out instead of sitting around the corner talking to their buddies.

I think it is safe to say that I will never return to Heinz Field.

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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