13 December 2010
That was the original banner for the new Rex Sanchez. The Likely Lad and I initially declined it because we felt it portrayed Sanchez in too timid and apprehensive a light. We thought the Jets quarterback should have a look of determination in his eyes, even if there was a comedic value to it.
Through eleven games Sanchez validated our decision.
In the past two weeks he has made us look like damn fools.
For the second straight week the Jets were held without a touchdown, "improving" their record to 0-4 when they fail to find paydirt. Blame the cold weather, blame dropped passes, blame a porous offensive line, but if you can't admit Sanchez has violently regressed in the past two weeks you are extremely naive and I am very jealous.
After the sack/fumble on the game's final drive (they all blend together at this point), Sanchez laid on the ground for about five seconds longer than he had to. His face read of a little California boy who wanted to snuggle with his teddy bear and have his daddy read him a bed-time story. (I know I'm in no position to question his manhood, he would probably dominate me in any statistical comparison measuring it, but the cajones he showed versus Miami (Week Three), Cleveland, and Houston have disappeared.)
Is it fair to blame Sunday's loss solely on Sanchez?
Of course not. There were roughly 14 different avenues I could have traveled down in finding a scapegoat for today's 10-6 loss, but I chose to take the one with the brightest lights and most traffic running through it.
Here were the other 13 streets I declined to journey through.
1. REX RYAN IS A DUH-FENSIVE CAWD-NATUH! Schottenheimer is ATROCIOUS! Yaw the head coach, Rex! You call da plays!
2. The Dolphins punter---I refuse to memorize his name---was reincarnated as Ray Guy on steroids.
3. It's hard to rip on Santonio and Cotchery when they make so many big plays, but their two drops today (one in the end zone, one on the final drive) absolutely killed the Jets and definitely hurt Sanchez's feelings.
4. You can get away with Slauson replacing Faneca at left guard, but not if Wayne Hunter is playing for an injured Damien Woody.
6. Braylon Edwards is useless. Fifty bucks says he goes off in the media and is heavily fined by next Monday.
7. I'm all for screwing with the opponent, but "Strength Coach" Sal Alosi going knee-to-knee with a Dolphins player during a punt return was disgraceful.
8. This actually reinforces my original point, but Deion Sanders just said this on the NFL Network: "Team built for now. Quarterback built for later." Weeping like little girl.
9. LT is old.
10. The Jets backup quarterback is Mark Brunell. I'm not suggesting Sanchez be demoted to the bench permanently, but on a day like today it would've been nice for the Jets to be able throw in a real NFL quarterback to play the fourth quarter. It's Sanchez or bust with this team, and at the moment "bust" doesn't seem so bad.
11. Winning the Broncos, Lions, Browns, and especially Texans games may have been a bad thing. The team decided to wear blinders after each of those victories instead of admitting there were glaring holes in their game. Now, in Week Fifteen heading to Pittsburgh, it may be too late to fix those flaws.
13. Nick Folk was the Jets best player today. That's never a good thing.
I'm really struggling to write more about today's game. Losing usually results in compelling headlines and in the blog world, fun-to-write, comical stories, but not Sunday's loss. It was so deflating even my sarcastic, self-loathing humor evaporated into a cold State College night.
I did have two good laughs during the game, though. The first came when our Cleveland-trip partner asked if the plot where the New England game ball was buried had been arranged for a couple's grave. And then when Sanchez spiked the ball on first down on the final drive, our house dog who was watching the game in my room, shot up from his perch on the floor and turned his back to the TV.
The animals always know first.
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