What happened on Sunday afternoon was a travesty. The Dolphins beat the Jets 10-6. Chad Henne threw for 55 yards in the entire game. The Dolphins Offense was held in check. All 10 of the Dolphins points were as a result of Jets turnovers. The Jets Defense played extremely well. The Jets offense, well, let’s just say that they appeared to be physically present but their minds were elsewhere. I really don’t know what to say except the Jets Offense looked lost out there.
First Half – The Tempest
As I settled in on Sunday after going to church (Prayed for my friends and family’s health and well-being, prayed for a great end of the year at work and then slipped in a small prayer for the Jets), some supermarket shopping (gotta get those bananas and chicken), I was hoping that the game between the Jets and Dolphins would be a game in which the offense would finally wake up. When you have two pro-bowl caliber wide receivers, two really good running backs, a supposedly solid offensive line and a up and coming Tight end, you should be in good shape. Enter Mark Sanchez, the golden 1st round pick who has led the Jets to several last minute miracle wins. Despite assurances that the they buried the Patriots game ball, it appeared that someone secretly dug it back up.
In the first quarter, Sanchez’ first three throws were the following (forgive me if I get the order right, I am trying to forget it) an incomplete pass, a blocked pass and then an interception. The interception set up a field goal for the Dolphins. Dolphins 3 Jets 0. Ok, so the Jets Offense gets back on the field and Sanchez fumbles the ball on a strip sack. The Dolphins strike again with a touchdown. Dolphins 10, Jets 0. Deja vu? I am starting to think that the Patriots knockout on Monday is still affecting this team. The Jets Offense is walking around in a stupor, Mark Sanchez appears to be devoid of confidence and it looks to me that the Coach should pull him and insert Mark Brunnell. However, back out with Sanchez and the team stumbles some more before a glimmer of hope appears. Sanchez gets the offense moving down field and throws a perfect pass to Santonio Holmes…TouchDO…. What The Funk? Santonio literally drops the ball. Jets Kick a field goal 10-3 Jets. The TV camera pans the sideline and Santonio is striding on the sideline smiling and laughing. What is so funny Santonio? DO you think dropping touchdowns is funny? Do you think this offense will surely score touchdowns with ease later in the game? Have you seen this team in the last two weeks????
The defense keeps the Jets in the game as we go into the half trailing 10-3. I try not to panic, the wife comes over and says that I should stay positive as there is plenty of time to score a touchdown. Now, I start believing it and the smell wafting in from the kitchen is simply sublime…(yes, my wife, besides being an astounding business woman is also quite possibly the world’s best and most efficient cook), so I stay positive and await the opening of the second half…
Second Half – Same Shot, Different Day (replace the o with an i and you know what it’s like to be a Jets Fan for over 30 years)
Despite the positivity, the Jets score another field goal and inch closer. Jets 10, Dolphins 6. The teams trade field position and then it comes down to the final drive. We have seen this before. The Jets win at the end with a miraculous comeback. The Jets win….The Jets post game is littered with superlatives that enhance a never say die atmosphere. You would be mistaken this time, as I was. So the Jets get the ball and promptly get a first down. Then they get to third down and Sanchez throws a great pass which Cotchery fails to catch. The pass was leading Cotchery and he had room to run, 4th and 15. The miracle happens here, its a different culture, no more Same Old Jets..Sanchez will get it done. Nope. Sanchez gets sacked by Cameron Wake (the guy is a beast with 14 sacks after the Jets Game). Dejection. Final Score Jets 10, Dolphins 6.
Post Game Thoughts (Sad, Sad, Post Game thoughts)
Ok, so the Jets fall to 9-4. They lost to the hapless Dolphins who despite having an offense that was statistically worse than the Jets managed to score a touchdown. Now, the Jets are on the edge of a cliff. They have to play the Steelers in Pittsburgh, then the Bears in Chicago and they will end with Buffalo at home.
What did I see in this game:
- Mark Sanchez - Ok, let’s take a hard rational look at our QB. First, let’s all remember that he had started one full season at USC; the reason I bring this up is that you must remember that in terms of maturity level, that is pretty immature. Second, this is Sanchez’s second season in the NFL and supposedly the team improved its caliber of Offensive weapons to help Sanchez out. Third, Sanchez is from a warm weather state and attended college in a warm weather state; Sanchez was not used to playing in cold weather and last year under similar situations, he fared rather poorly. Fourth, Sanchez is under extreme pressure playing in NYC metropolitan area. Now that I have laid those thoughts out, how can we be so myoptic in our thinking when it comes to Sanchez. There are very few quarterbacks that come into the NFL and succeed rather quickly. We are seeing a QB who needs to mature in his progression of target selection, he needs to mature in selecting when to throw and when to tuck it and run and he needs to get more cold weather games under his belt. When asked if he would consider playing with a glove due to the elements Sanchez stated ” I have never used a glove before and I like to feel the ball.” Ok, well, you have never dealt with the fierce cold of the Northeast before joining the Jets so maybe, just maybe when you see the other quarterbacks from cold weather NFL teams use a sticky glove, maybe you should too. He fumbled a few times and one was on a throwing attempt…I am not saying that he would not have fumbled but, given the apparent problems holding on to the ball, I say give it a try. Sanchez needs to try some new things because it appears that if no improvement is made, the Jets could crash and burn at 9-7. For Sanchez to mature, we need him to try some new things and see how he adapts to his new NFL reality.
- Offense is stuck in Neutral - The Jets offense is clearly holding the team back. The defense played extremely well and actually held the dolphins to 10 points in very harsh weather conditions. The offense looked like they were playing in quicksand. The running game averaged 2.7 yards per carry and the passing offense was dropping balls, throwing picks and getting penalized. When the offense is out of sync, how do you get it to reboot? I think the Jets need think about using a moving pocket. Sanchez had several throws blocked at the line of scrimmage so I say have designed rollouts that will open up the passing lanes so Sanchez can throw without obstructions. It is clear that Sanchez is not tall enough at times to see over his linemen and linebackers are sitting in zones and waiting for Sanchez to throw the ball in their zones. If its true that he can’t see over his linemen, then do what the Pats did with Doug Flutie (a short QB), get him rolling on a designed rollout and allow him to get clear passing lanes. Also, I would incorporate more Brad Smith passing plays under the wildcat. Brad Smith was an all american passer at Missouri in college and allowing him to pass would force opposing defenses to back up whenever the Jets show the wildcat formation. Also, I think the Jets should have Shonn Greene run more. It appears that LT is a little gassed now and Shonn Greene is built to punish tacklers during the frigid cold months. So let Shonn be the feature back and get those defense tired of having to stop the bulldozer that Shonn can be.
- Rex Just Shut-up for now - The more our coach talks, the less believeable his claims will become. “We have a Super Bowl Caliber team” no, you don’t. “We believe that we have a QB who can win us a Superbowl” nope, as of right now you have a poor man’s version of Trent Dilfer, “We will win the division” Scratch that, you are two games behind the Pats with 3 to play, “We are the best team in the NFL” hahaha, no. Rex, try being humble this week, let the week play out, keep the jokes to yourself and just focus on the Offense instead of trying to come up with some snazzy one liners for your press conferences. We hired you to coach, not to entertain. I love ya Rex but the bluster comes off as BS when the teams is tanking and taking on water like the Titanic.
- Remaining schedule is Brutal – The Steelers at Heinz, the Bears at Soldier Field and the Bills at home. Seeing as we really have no home field advantage, maybe playing two games away will be a gift. The Jets in the New Meadowlands do not prosper. Additionally, the teams we will be playing are super tough on defense. The Steelers are a gritty gritty team, the Bears, regardless of the Pats blowout, are a smashmouth team and the Bills are starting to improve and believe in themselves. Conceivably, the Jets could pull off a Mets like disaster and lose the final three games to miss the playoffs entirely (that hurts to write as I am a Fan of both the Jets and the Mets…)
Bottom line is that watching this game on Sunday was a waste, it was nothing more than a re-run of the Same Old Jets. Time to switch the channel.
Irrelevant items of Note…
- MANBLUSH – So, driving with the wife and my daughter, my wife says “Honey, I am going into Sephora (a perfume/makeup heaven for the ladies), do you need anything?” WHAT? What could I possibly need in Sephora? I could reply “Yeah, can you pick me up some lipstick and that new MAN BLUSH…I need to make sure that I am not to pale for that meeting at the He-man Woman Hater’s club…”
- BUTT – I was riding the train to work the other day and it was a packed train, we get to the Roosevelt Island station and this guy tries to squeeze into the train. He makes it in and the doors close. As soon as the doors close, you can smell the rank putrid scent that can best be described as BUTT. The lady standing next to him says “Haven’t you ever heard of a shower?” The BUTT guy says “I have every right to be here”. What about our noses’ right not to smell a BUTT on our way to work. Just disgusting…
- AGED. – Walking through the picturesque neighborhood of Forest Hills, the family and I walked past a restaurant called “AGED.” . With a name like that I was thinking you needed an AARP card to gain entrance, the bathrooms probably had Depends dispensers and all the items are blended for you in the style you want (Chunky, medium or siliky smooth). Just a classic name for a restaurant…
Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iJtzwMpLMU – Check out this clip of what happens when you lie on the People’s Court!
And now the ending…
Perspective is important
Given what transpired this Sunday, I was a mess. However, my wife, the sage that she is, put everything into context. “Stop acting like a child, you start throwing a tantrum when they lose, you are not a child.” She is right, although we do look forward to these games after a long week at work, we need to detach ourselves right after the game. The Jets don’t pay me to cover them, the Jets don’t put money in my wallet, the Jets don’t provide me a home and whether they win or lose, I still have responsibilities to take care of. I am truly blessed to have a great family, a nice home, great friends and a great job. To let the Jets lack of effort ruin an otherwise great existence is pointless. Yes, I am a fan, but I cannot allow the Jets game outcome effect other parts of my life. They certainly don’t care about when I or my family get sick, when we have to make bill payments or when we get awards at work or school. We need to remember that the Jets are a distraction from our everyday life, and as such we need to come back to the real world after the game. So yes, it sucked that they lost, and yes, it stings that they seem to be backtracking after a promising start, but life will go on even when they lose. Life will go on. On that note, I hope everyone has a great week, and if I can shake this Jets hangover, I will submit another article very soon.
About the Author
Written by Gabe Hidalgo
I am a HUGE Jets/Mets fan.Blogging about NYC sports and life is fun for me, so join me for the ride...