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Jenkins, Jets Take a Huge Tumble

By: Conor Reilly
10/21/09




Let's start this by making one thing abundantly clear: the New York Jets are 3-3. Out of 16, there are just five teams in the AFC with a better winning percentage. If the playoffs started this very second, they would be tied for the final spot.

Now that those facts are abundantly clear, we can begin.

The Jets are in complete and utter turmoil. Sunday afternoon, Mark Sanchez threw five interceptions. The special teams threw another pick on a botched field goal. With Jerricho Cotchery out, no receiver besides newcomer Braylon Edwards even showed up. The defense, though decent, lost their most important player (Kris Jenkins) for the season. Yes, they ran for over 300 yards. But to accomplish that and still lose the game takes a disaster of epic proportions. We are through week 6 now, and the good teams and bad teams are starting to separate. The two teams I see with the most deceiving records are the 3-3 Ravens (way better than that) and the 3-3 Jets (far more vulnerable than that.)

So what's happened the past 3 weeks? Well, Sanchez had his 'rookie game' in New Orleans (which, by the way, looks like a brilliant performance after what we saw this week.) Rex Ryan and the defense were caught woefully unprepared for the Wildcat in week 2. And on Sunday, Sanchez played like a rookie that doesn't belong anywhere near the field. It was a performance that absolutely terrifies the fans for the future. Throwing in windy Giants stadium after October is no ordinary task. After one game, Sanchez demonstrated that he is not yet up to that task.

At the moment, the mojo has just evaporated for gang green. The loss against Buffalo would have been bad enough with the Bills hitting the field goal at the end of regulation. It would have been quick, less painful, William Wallace-like. But the fans suffered through another 10+ minutes of overtime, which showed them over and over that something truly awful had overtaken the team. At the end, it had lasted nearly four hours, the Jets lost a huge part of their defense, their QB was nearly crying, and fans missed over 10 minutes of The Simpsons Halloween special that started at 8pm. Everyone was cranky. Until the Jets get back their mojo, the things that made them great for three weeks (pass rush, 3rd down efficiency, great special teams, etc.) they will continue to sputter.

But as football Yoda says, 'turmoil does not a season ruin.' There is time to get things turned around. Sunday, the Jets played like a team that should be 1-5. But they are 3-3 because of some great efforts against Houston, Tennessee, and the Patriots. Those three victories count just as much as the three ugly, ugly losses. There are no style points here. Ask the Arizona Cardinals about how much style points they got last year during their 9-7 regular season. Things can happen.

But there is an incredible amount of work to do. It starts in Oakland on Sunday--the same lowly Raiders that beat the Eagles last week. Clearly, as the Jets now know, there are no real pushovers in the NFL.

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