Game Recap: The Hangover, Part Deux
Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com
Woody Johnson: “We are supposed to be going to the playoffs in seven weeks!”
Phil: “Yeah … that’s not gonna happen.”
Really, this team sucks so bad I didn’t have the will to write anything up last night. The Jets games are starting to blend together in a smoothie of suck and I thought that if the Jets aren’t willing to pull it together, then why should I? Readers could just go back and read what I wrote last week …
Oh, that and I was mildly intoxicated.
Defense’s Last Stand — So the day that the Jets need the defense to show up, they do so in a rip-roaring fashion. Pressure? Check. Stuffing Marshawn? Check. Bringing down Russell Wilson behind the line? Check. They even scored the Jets only points of the game. But since the Jets offense was completely inept, it was as if it didn’t even matter. In the end the defense was gassed and the Seahawks (and Marshawn Lynch specifically) got away from them. Special teams and the offense did the defense no favors, which sucks, but has been the story of the season. The Jets can never get, as Eric Mangini immortalized the trope, “all three phases” of football going at the same time.
Wave it Off — Jeremy Kerley might be in the process of becoming a great receiver, but he is a horrible, horrible punt returner. Yes, when he actually does manage to catch the ball, hold onto it and run with it, he’s quite good. But Kerley’s judgement on when to fair catch and his ball control are so suspect. No more. I don’t really care who the Jets get and they can fair catch it on every play. It just needs to not be Kerley.
Sanchez is Terrible — When the Jets picked Mark Sanchez in the draft, I went insane. Insane from hate. There was a video of this that Anthony DeRosa shot of it, but unfortunately that video has been lost to the sands of time and YouTube copyrighting policies (Anthony had a penchant for booting copyright protected videos).
In short, I hated the pick. I hated that he played for a privileged USC program with too much talent around him to really hone his skills. I hated that he essentially played one year collegiately in that system and was essentially just under two years of playing time removed from high school. I hated that he was too short and was going to get balls batted at the line all the time. I hated that they traded up for an underwhelming physical player when they could have stayed put and taken a player who actually was physically impressive (Josh Freeman), though less pedigreed. It’s a good thing that Mike Tannenbaum put his old pal Eric Mangini over the barrel for that pick otherwise the clamor could have been a lot, lot worse if they gave up anything like the Giants had for Eli Manning. Over the next two years I wanted to make myself believe that Sanchez was good, that he was a leader. That he was mature. That he had poise. That he had a stable family life. That he carried his teammates shoulder pads. That he could lead this team to the promised land. Was he all those things? Sure, but a loving relationship with his father has not translated into his ability to properly read a freaking NFL defense.
But just like Draft Day 2009, I’ve returned to where I started. Mark Sanchez hasn’t properly protected the football for going on four years. Mark Sanchez has tried to make plays where there isn’t one and gotten burned for it for going on four years. Mark Sanchez has stared down receivers and been wholly unable to make more than one progression for going on four years. It’s enough. The truth is that Mark Sanchez will never be great. Firing Schotty last year was never so much about Schotty, as being able to determine whether it was Sanchez, or Schotty or both. While it might have been Schotty, it certainly is Sanchez as we’re seeing this year. The pragmatic approach to last offseason was right in releasing Schotty; that firing Schotty was going to be less taxing to the organization than the other, and so Schotty was fired. But now we know what Sanchez is. He’s like the emperor in The Emporer’s Clothes, as as the talent level has gone down, he’s slowly getting stripped away. He looked royal and regal with a stout line, a compelling running game, some talented receivers and a bonecrushing defense to back him up, but now he’s just exposed and foolish looking. Elite quarterbacks do more with less. Sanchez is not, nor ever will be, elite. This is not a player that the Jets could or should build around. But if they are going to keep him on as I expect they will in 2013, then they need to build in spite of him.
Ryan Is Turning Into Swimfan— Remember that crazy bitch from Swimfan? Ryan is quickly becoming obsessed with his all-consuming belief in the wonderfulness of his quarterback. Still, as a coach who values ball control football and defense, how does he see Mark Sanchez stare down a receiver, double pump to that receiver, then soft-toss a pass to that STILL SAME RECEIVER at the front corner of the end zone on a route that was BEGGING to be picked off and still think this is his guy? Mark Sanchez is slowly killing any credibility that Rex Ryan had. Check that. Rex Ryan is slowly killing any credibility that Rex Ryan had. He was yelling at reporters yesterday that he believes in Mark Sanchez because he believes in Mark Sanchez. Circular logic much, Rex? Of course, the irony here is that Swimfan drowned in the end of the movie because she couldn’t swim. Rex Ryan’s talent evaluation of his quarterback position is starting to resemble him slowly sinking to the bottom of the pool, unable to help himself.