The Jets Defense, more or less, have held up their end of the deal. They have held down good receivers, stifled running attacks, and generally looked impressive. They have a 6-2 record, which is very good this season considering how much every team has lost to every other team. One has to consider the Jets in any discussion about which team is the best in the AFC. So how is it possible for them to suck so much? I’ll break this down into 4 easy pieces.
1. Santonio Holmes – I know he’s kind of a big deal. I know that he is a Super Bowl MVP. I know that he is supposed the be the down-the-field threat that the Jets have lacked for while, but what has he actually done? I’m not going to talk about any actual numbers, because numbers can be misleading. ESPN is doing a series right now comparing the Jets and Giants statistically, unit by unit. In their analysis they came to the conclusion that the Jets receivers were better than the Giants receivers which, if you’ve watched any of the games, you’d know is completely ridiculous. Santonio may have had some big catches so far, but Hakeem Nicks has been far more reliable. Holmes has yet to catch balls reliably, which isn’t a trait you want in a #1 receiver.
2. Braylon Edwards – Speaking of dropped balls, we come to Braylon Edwards. Edwards has the ability to be an Anquan Boldin, instead he’s a far less tolerable Marshawn Lynch. He’s good for one or two big catches a game, but he drops twice as many. Also, he just does not fight for the ball. If the ball comes to him, he may or may not catch it. If there is any resistance at all, he either doesn’t make a break for the ball, or doesn’t fight the defensive player for the ball. In other words, he just Does Not. He’s the opposite of a DROID. Edwards doesn’t DO, he HAPPENS, which is a distinct difference. Watch film of Edwards and film of Kenny Britt and you’ll see what I mean.
3. Jericho Cotchery – He is the Michelle of this Destiny’s Child. He is often useless and forgotten, for good reason. He’s not fast. He’s NEVER open, and he does nothing to take coverage away from the other receivers. He’s an albatross hanging around the neck of the Offense. He’s constantly covered and has zero ability to get himself open. He does not get many YAC and the worst part is that all of this mediocre behavior only happens on the rare occasions when he does catch the ball. Cotchery has become a huge dropper, and is not the third-down threat that he used to be. To think that the Jets cut Danny Woodhead and kept Cotchery is, well… You can see for yourself how that turned out. The Jets are stuck with one big Al Bundy of a loser at 3rd receiver.
4. The Sanchize. – Look, I like Mark Sanchez. I think he’s a great kid, and a wonderful human being. But he has to be more accurate on his short passes. A lot of them end up at the feet of the receivers. He is so desperately afraid of interceptions he often throws passes away from both the defender AND the receiver. He needs to be more confident, and the team needs to have more confidence in him. Under center he’s more neurotic than Roman Polanski at an extradition hearing. If he put more passes on the mark, he would at the very least shoulder less of the blame for the pathetic Offense. If the Jets really want to make it past the first round of the playoffs, they have to be able to score more than 0 points against the better teams out there. I don’t see the offense getting any better, and I also don’t see the Jets getting very far into the playoffs. Unless they somehow acquire a much, much fancier WR, the Jets O is going to be… wait for it… grounded!
John Minus is a noted Bon-Vivant, Raconteur, and all-around Anti-Hero. He has a podcast called the Alter Negro Sho and co-hosts the Non-Productive Podcast. He can be contacted on twitter: www.twitter.com/DonCoyote and on his Facebook page John “Alter Negro” Minus