The New York Jets are quite possibly the hardest sports franchise to write about with the most available material. Of course, the story of the season is the Son of Christ himself, Tim Tebow, playing nice as the back up to fourth year starter and perennial mediocre quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Now, you may remember those happy years following Sanchez's fifth overall selection in the 2009 NFL draft. The years when the defense was at the top of the league, when the 'ground and pound' offensive was utilized instead of talked about and it actually worked, and when, by the graces of god, the New York Jets appeared in the AFC Championship game in back to back years. Flash forward two years and these, my friends, are the dark ages. Although, most ages for the Jets are dark ages. Any seasons without the names Namath or Chrebet on the roster, are most likely doomed for failure. This season, even though only five weeks have come and passed, is one of those seasons. Week in and week out Gang Green faithful prepare for inevitable heartache, even the wins feel like losses.
Last night, the undefeated Houston Texans came to the Meadowlands for, as Tebow pointed out, the 666th Monday Night Football game. Previously, the Texans had never beaten the Jets, but their 4-0 start and best roster they've ever carried were out to prove themselves. Led by easily the greatest running back in the game today, Arian Foster, the Texans were heavily favored especially with the Jets coming off a 34-0 disastrous loss at home at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.
Surprisingly, last night's contest was so close, that with four minutes remaining, Jets fans actually had hope. Sanchez, inevitably, threw the ball away to end the final drive and hand Houston their 5th straight win. A final score of 23-17 was nothing for the Jets to pout over, though. Sure, the name JJ Watt will forever send a chill down our spin. Houston's sophomore defensive end sacked Sanchez (he has 8.5 on the season) had six tackles, and three tipped passes including one on the last play of the game that sent hopes of a hail mary miracle to the ground with the ball.
While Sanchez will take the majority of the blame, and calls for 'Tebow Time' will echo from rooftops all over Manhattan, the Jets' biggest problem is simple: they do not have a receiving core. I'm not talking, Santonio Holmes is hurt so the other guys can't step up, I'm talking Holmes out for the season, rookie Steven Hill out since week 1, and Dustin Keller, although a tight end, has emerged as Sanchez's favorite target over their years together has yet to play a game. This leaves available options at Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, Clyde Gates, and Jeff Cumberland at tight end. Unless you're a die hard fan, none of those names mean anything to you and that probably has some sort of correlation with their skill level. Face it, you've heard of the guys who are good because, well, they catch the damn ball. Kerley has been a decent number two, but in Sanchez's eyes he's always ranked behind Keller, and his acceptability on the wide receiver core is often overshadowed by his multitude of missteps while on special teams.
At the season's start when Chad Johnson (Ochocinco, whatever the hell his name is these days) was cut by the Dolphins for headbutting his
wife ex-wife, many in New York expected him to at least be brought in to work out. Sad that the Jets receiving core was thought to be weak before the injuries to Holmes, Hill, and Keller. Aside from Ocho, Terrell Owens returned to the NFL this season. TO was signed to the Seahawks for about... five minutes (three weeks,) and has since been promoting himself, swearing he still has some of the old (very, very old) TO left in him. Following last night's demise, the wide receiver turned reality star turned wide receiver again tweeted:
Desperate plea? Maybe. But hey, the Jets' locker room is full of headcases as it is, and once upon a time the man was a legend, maybe Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, anybody left in that front office with a glimmer of a chance to win should give the man a shot! I'm just saying, the offseason was a complete and utter failure, maybe some old blood is exactly what this team needs. If nothing else, it'll keep them on the back page of the Post.