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Same Old Jets? Prove me wrong

January 27, 2010

 

Can Sanchez change the Jets culture?

It’s all settled in, the pain has subsided and I can now assess the New York Jets with an objective eye. So I’ll prepare myself for a punch in the face from Rex Ryan.

Same Old Jets. 

There, I said it.

After all the tough talk, pre-mature self-proclamations of greatness and sometimes, downright ludicrous comments from Ryan, the Jets ended their Super Bowl run in the only fashion they knew how: a devastating, gut-wrenching, slap the fans-in-the-face loss that saw the Jets 30 minutes away from the Big Game, only to have the “No. 1 defense” torched by Peyton Manning to the tune 30 points, 350-plus yards and three touchdowns.

The Jets defense may be ranked No. 1 overall, but it is a far cry from the defenses of the ’86 Bears, 2000 Ravens and 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s not even close.

The defense is good, but GREAT defenses don’t get lit like that. Granted the defeat came at the hands of the best quarterback of the last decade, the Jets had their chance at immortality, and let it slip away quicker than Tiger Woods out of the public eye. I mean, 1998 anyone?

It’s eerily similar how both those games ended, and until the Jets get over the hump, it’s still the same team to me. Prove me wrong Rex. I want you to.

As a Jets fans, it pains me to say this, but let’s be honest. Before the Colts and Bengals laid down in Weeks 16 and 17, the Jets were 7-7. Though they played well in the two playoff wins, they were beneficiaries of five missed field goals and awful coaching decisions (Lewis using two challenges in the 1st quarter and Turner onside-kicking in the 4th). If we want to be brutally honest, does a No. 1 defense give up 170 rushing yards to Cedric Benson, 300 passing yards to Philip Rivers and 350-plus yards and three touchdowns to Indy?

The last two Jets coaches led their teams to playoff berths in their first year at HC, only to flounder the next two years and get axed.

Will Ryan suffer the same fate?

I don’t know yet. Ryan needs to tweek a few things on both sides of the ball, and if he does, the Jets have a shot at being a contender. The defense needs a legitimate pass rusher, another corner and the offense needs another WR. 

Now, the one bright spot, at least for me, is Sanchez. The rookie looked great in the AFC championship, and  I hope this is a sign of things to come. But who knows, he could regress next year and be another nobody in three years.

Let me be clear: I don’t think that will happen, but who would have thought that after the 1998 AFC championship, Testaverde would blow out his achilles in the first game of the following season, starting a snowball effect that crippled the Jets for years to come? I definitely didn’t. But, c’est la vie. Next year will decide if I’m wrong or right.

But until then, my opinion won’t change unless the trends do.

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