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Rookies Fall Back Down to Earth

By: Conor Reilly

How quickly the tide turns.

Two weeks ago, the Jets were on top of the world. The team was a perfect 3-0. Mark Sanchez had the Rookie of the Year award in the bag. Head coach Rex Ryan wasn't backing down from anyone as the Jets out-muscled opponents. The defense hadn't given up an offensive touchdown, as the frenzied fans tried desperately to name the unit (D-Rex, Broadway Blitz, Revis and the Buttheads, etc.)

Now? Let's just say the fans have a lot more things on their mind than "Name that Defense." Unfortunately, none of these things are very positive. Gang Green fans were perfectly willing to accept the defeat in New Orleans. Tough road game, great offense, and Mark Sanchez is required to have that 'rookie game.' But that loss in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football...now that one's tough to swallow.

Just as Mark Sanchez had his 'rookie game,' Rex Ryan also had one of his own last night. And believe it or not, Ryan's might have been uglier. The Dolphins came into this game 1-3 and, on paper, the vastly inferior team in terms of talent. But the Miami coaching staff took the gameplan Rex presented before them promptly deposited it into the shredder. And then the toilet. If you told a Jets fan that the team was going to score 27 points and the offense wouldn't have a turnover, they would bet their house it would be a victory.

But it wasn't to be. Rex Ryan, deemed the 'mad scientist' for his ferocious defense, had his Frankenstein turned into a Teletubby on Monday. Maybe it was overconfidence, leading to a lack of preparation. Maybe it was that south Florida heat. Maybe the Dolphins are a lot better than people think. But one thing for sure is that there's going to be some silence for a while. The masses will laugh at Bart Scott & co. if they try to preach their greatness this week.

But maybe this isn't a bad thing. Truth be told, the Jets were anointed way too prematurely this year. They have three winnable games coming up (hosting Buffalo, @Oakland, and hosting Miami for what they hope will be sweet revenge.) The media won't hear of their dominance anymore, but maybe the Jets will like this new strategy of 'go about your business first, then talk.' And hey, if they win all three and go into that bye week at 6-2, nobody will have a problem with the mute button being shut off.

At least for a little while.


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