You have to wonder what New York Jets' coach Rex Ryan is telling owner Woody Johnson.
The Jets won a road game against the woeful Miami Dolphins (September 23) on the strength of two critical missed Fish field goals, one in overtime. Gang Green exhibited not one characteristic you might file under "must need" if you covet playoff contending status.
Normally, you suffer through the performance as a fan, and after an unlikely win, dismiss the negative aspects of the play. Not today. It's just not possible.
A brief summarization? The Jets allowed an absolutely awful Dolphin offense to march up and down the field, blowing them off the line of scrimmage as if there were cardboard cutouts of defensive linemen, amassing a mortifying 185 yards on the ground. Most occurred after the Dolphins' Reggie Bush was injured. As well, once again, the Jets could not get off the field on third down, allowing the awful Dolphin offense and rookie Ryan Tannehill to convert nine of 18. Repeating a maddening trend, the Jets somehow managed to take the lead in the fourth quarter, and once again, the vaunted but vastly overrated Rex Ryan defense permitted a long drive in the final minutes for the tying field goal. An losing Darrelle Revis to injury is no excuse. Teams play well every week missing great players.
On offense, if the Jets really use that term as classification when they have the ball - perhaps, immobility would be more appropriate - Mark Sanchez demonstrated a gnawing and glaring liability. In short, he stinks. Yes, it's an overused, colloquial, fan term. Unfortunately, it's the most facile way to describe his fault-filled repertoire. He overthrew, he underthrew, he missed open receivers, he was intercepted in the end zone. He made terribly bad decisions.
It's true he's not assisted at all by this "explosive" ground and pound nonsense, nor by an offensive line that's so leaky it needs a plumber, nor by a Mike Tannenbaum-supplied receiving corps that lacks, well, talent. But watch some other games. See quarterbacks finding receivers who have no star status, no enormous contract. Today, Sanchez earned a 58 passer rating, and in a league in which passing the ball is the preferred mode of transportation, he contributes mightily to a Jet team going nowhere, despite the 2-1 record.
You really have to wonder if Ryan is telling Woody Johnson this is a quality team. If he is, Johnson should consider it a sign of illness.
Glenn Vallach has been a football fan for most of his lifetime, but never played organized pigskin unless you consider the thousands of youth hours running slant routes on city streets. Don Maynard was his idol, an adulation he took seriously, complete with a number 13 stitched to his sweatshirt. He remains a New York Jet fan through so much disappointment and embarrassment over the years. Coach Rex Ryan has rekindled a dormant fire, but sometimes he feels as if he doesn't understand the likely end result of all his efforts. It has been 42 years, after all.
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