It can’t be enjoyable if one is a fan of the New York Jets. Let’s start out with the Tim Tebow situation. I’m going to ask a question, class. Why was Tebow so successful last year as Denver’s starting quarterback? Tick tock tick tock. I did not hear the correct answer, so I will tell you.
First, Tebow is not the world’s greatest passer, nor is he going to make the world forget Barry Sanders as a runner. However, he is an adequate passer, and he is a better than average runner. To answer the question, however, I have to pose another: What kind of a field situation enhances a runner’s capabilities? Tick tock tick tock. Again I did not hear the correct answer so I will tell you. An open field!
The reason why Tebow was so successful last year was because almost every play he ran started with him fading back to pass. What did this do? Receivers were running down the field; defensive backs spread out trying to cover the receivers, opening the field. Tebow would scramble. One place where Tebow is exceptional is his judgment on when to pass and when to run. Once the passing formation had started to develop he could see the run opportunities. The field was wide open with gaping holes here and there and Tebow could gain substantial amount of yards running. So, in order for Tebow to be effective as an offensive back, the play has to start with him fading back to pass with potential receivers running out, spreading the field.
But how have the Jets used Tebow? Except for two plays this year, it has been entirely as a line-plunging running back in a running formation. His talents have been totally wasted by the Jets, because he has not had a spread field giving him the opportunity to use his judgment about when, where, and how to run. The Jets have totally dissipated his capabilities. And these guys get paid big bucks to make decisions like this.
Now to the issue at hand. The Jets have a quarterback named Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is not a smart quarterback, as he proved Oct. 21 when he took a terrible sack on the last running play of regulation, and fumbled on the final play of the overtime because he couldn’t decide whether to try to throw the ball away or tuck it down and keep it for another play. So he chose the third alternative; he fumbled in a key situation, a Sanchez specialty.
Even worse, if possible, Sanchez leads the league in passes tipped by linemen. While this might be partially the fault of a weak offense in line, it’s mostly the fault of Sanchez. Sanchez can’t even throw a normal screen pass. Several times this year he has had potential large gains squandered because he couldn’t throw the ball over a rushing defender, when all he has to do is lob the ball over the defender’s head. But this simple maneuver is beyond Sanchez’s capability.
Finally, the Jets’ defense. Everyone knows that the best defense against Tom Brady is to pressure him with a big rush. So what did the Jets do today in defending against a Brady two-minute drill and in defending him in the overtime? They relied on a three-man rush with eight defensive backs (akin to the constantly discredited “prevent” defense), which might keep Brady in the pocket but gives him scads of time to pick out a receiver, which makes Brady akin to Superman. And that’s what Brady did twice driving his team down for a tying score and then a winning score. Something has happened to Rex Ryan’s brain because several years ago he did pressure Brady and that’s how the Jets beat New England. Now he seems to have forgotten the word “blitz.” Stupid, stupid, stupid.
To summarize, the Jets are hopeless. Although Sanchez is from USC, which has never produced a Super Bowl playing quarterback, he is not a totally horrible quarterback. But he can’t function without a strong offensive line. The Jets have Tim Tebow, who is capable of functioning without an offensive line, as he showed last year. But they simply do not understand how to use him.
Until they bench Sanchez, give Tebow a shot, and revise their offensive game plan to suit Tebow’s unique talents, it’s R.I.P New York Jets.