Here's where we are with New York Jet football.
Since there wasn't one person anywhere in the pigskin universe who considered a Jet victory possible against the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football (October 8), the close loss was perceived as encouraging. So, we have been transported back to pre-Rex Ryan days, when victories against good teams were nearly inconceivable. It will now have to be enough to herald superior effort and slim point differential, because talent or coaching certainly won't be enough to prevail.
While, yes, the Jets played a better game than anybody considered reasonable, they still lost and never really appeared to threaten the Texans, though they presented a few problems. Matt Schaub had some difficulties near the goal line, settling for three field goals. Considering the yardage they gained on the ground with Arian Foster (152 yards), total yardage rolled up (378 yards), interceptions they nabbed (2), and huge disparity in time of possession (35 minutes to 25 minutes), they probably should have scored a more impressive victory.
The Jets played with appropriate desperation - fake punts, onside kicks, etc. - and in sports parlance, hung around long enough to have an opportunity late in the game. The two enormous holes on the Jets last night were obvious - the ones Arian Foster were cruising through untouched for most of the night, and the quarterback, as always, for the New York Jets. The rushing defense continued a year and a half decline for a unit once proud and now embarrassing. Mark Sanchez is the more visible, though no more important, problem. Sanchez short-circuited whatever energy the team mustered with throw after throw into the hands, heads and bodies of defensive linemen. He supplemented that with his normal array of underthrown and overthrown passes. His two interceptions doused any flame the team might have ignited. In fact, you can develop a credible argument the Jets might have emerged victorious without the dreadful histrionics of this diminishing player - diminishing right in front of our eyes weekly.
Sometimes it seems Sanchez is playing for the other team. Unfortunately for Jet fans, there are no options.
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.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Jets page
- · Yahoo! Sports Mark Sanchez page
- · Yahoo! Sports Houston Texans page
- · Yahoo! Sports Matt Schaub page
- · Yahoo! Sports Arian Foster page
- · Dennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press, Texans stay unbeaten, hold on to beat Jets 23-17