COMMENTARY | It's been four weeks since I've posted an article about the 2013 New York Jets, mainly because it's the NFL preseason.
No one can judge a team after the first two preseason games. Starters rarely play. Coaches are more interested giving guys on the backend a chance to prove their worth. However, preseason Game 3 is usually the litmus test. Starters and major role players play a majority of snaps and jobs are won and lost at this point.
And after preseason Game 3, this is what we know about the New York Jets: They are simply the most dysfunctional franchise in all of the NFL.
1. The New York Jets need a new quarterback. Now. This has been an ongoing debate among fans and pundits for months, but there's a real urgency to it now.
Rookie Geno Smith had gift-wrapped the starting quarterback job for Mark Sanchez throughout the preseason until head coach Rex Ryan's inexplicable decision to play Sanchez behind second- and third-stringers late in Saturday's game against the New York Giants. Rex's call has turned the Jets' quarterback situation into a complete mess (I know, what was it before, right?).
Let's be honest: Neither Sanchez nor Smith is the best answer. But at least Sanchez was managing games (albeit in preseason). He completed two-thirds of his passes, tossed as many touchdowns as picks and looked the part more than Smith. The official report from the Jets is that Sanchez is day-to-day, but don't believe it. As of now, Geno Smith will be your starter come Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For how long will be the question. The Jets aren't handing the keys to Matt Simms or Greg McElroy. They need to find someone who can back up Smith for the interim, because Rex's antics in preseason Week 3 have cost the Jets their starting quarterback.
2. Someone call Michael Turner's agent right away. No one wants the New York Jets starting running back job. So it's time to get someone in there who can at least look the part.
Bilal Powell is your leading rusher with 27 carries for 98 yards. Look closer, though: Take away his 37-yard scamper against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, and he's at 26 carries for 61 yards -- or 2.35 YPC. Eek. That's still better than Chris Ivory, who's touched the ball only 14 times and is averaging 2 yards per carry. Somehow, Mike Goodson is still on this team, and he hasn't even showed up for a single day of training camp. Oh yeah, and the Jets just cut Joe McKnight on Monday.
Besides Turner, here's a quick list of running backs still looking for jobs in the NFL: Cedric Benson, Chris "Beanie" Wells, Brandon Jacobs, Jahvid Best, Joseph Addai. Maybe the Jets are playing coy with Ivory because he's been injured. Maybe they're waiting to see who gets cut in the next two weeks. But the way it stands now, the Jets' backfield is almost as hideous as its signal-callers.
3. The wide receivers aren't as bad as we thought. No, really. Here's some good new, Jets fans: This has actually been a surprising group, considering the quarterback situation.
Whether Rex Ryan's edict to the receiving corps had anything to do with their performance is questionable, but Stephen Hill (7 catches for 83 yards), Ben Obumanu (7 catches for 115 yards) and Kellen Winslow (7 catches for 76 yards) have been more than serviceable. Plus, recently signed Mohamed Massaquoi and rookie Ryan Spadola have added some spark to this squad, enough that the Jets made Braylon Edwards a casualty during the Jets' latest round of cuts on Monday.
And word on the street is Santonio Holmes will be back and ready to play in the season opener after missing all of preseason. If Holmes can be eased back into the rotation, this has the makings of a decent group.
4. Rex Ryan won't last the entire 2013 campaign as head coach. Short of winning the Super Bowl, it would have been tough for Rex to keep his job no matter what after this season.
He was usurped by new general manager John Idzik immediately on draft day. He was told the quarterback decision wasn't his to make, but rather a team decision. Then, the decision to play Sanchez last week. Finally, his comical (or sad, depending on your point of view) press conference after the game.
This season is going to end messy for Rex. He's not seeing eye-to-eye with his bosses and we're not out of preseason. He just placed his starting quarterback on the sidelines because of irrational thinking. His defensive playcalling is about to get harder with the loss of Quinton Coples (who won't be back before Week 2, at the earliest).
The Rex Ryan Era for the New York Jets is on life support. Don't let it surprise you if John Idzik pulls the plug by midseason.
5. The New York Jets won't win more than five games this season. And that's being generous. They might split their games with the Buffalo Bills, who are facing their own quarterback problems. Aside from that, who can these Jets realistically beat? The Tennessee Titans? The Oakland Raiders? The Cleveland Browns? The Carolina Panthers? That's five games. And they're all maybes.
Jets fans, you've got 16 games to endure before we start talking about the Jets' selection in the 2014 NFL draft. Let the Jadeveon Clowney Watch begin.
James Moffat has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications.
Check out his other work on the New York Jets here, or check out his recent work regarding the Jets:
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