30 August 2010
|You're right. I looked much worse watching Friday night's game.|
When you have a team with Super Bowl aspirations like the Jets though, you expect the hitches in your glorious plan to be minor and easy to overcome. With this team, however, those flaws have gone from innocuous to downright alarming. And it only took a week.
Take Mark Sanchez, for example. Everyone assumed Sanchez's meteoric maturation in last year's postseason was a sign of things to come, that his largely dreadful regular season was a distant memory. I was on board with that line of thinking. I ignored the fact the team had to neuter him during the season's final two weeks to ensure they made the playoffs. And now, I feel like a damn fool. That's not to say I've lost faith in the 2010 version of Sanchez, but just that I'm quite fretful of a repeat regular season performance.
In three preseason games Sanchez has thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions and he has led the team to only one touchdown versus a first-team defense. Moreover, he's making terrible decisions. He looks downright jittery in the pocket, which can be contributed to his uncertainty with new wrinkles in the offense and the offensive line's lack of protection (particularly on the edges), or it can be chalked up to him being far more book smart than he is street smart. I know Sanchez spends coach-like hours in the film room, but just because you love it, doesn't mean you're good at it.
Then there's the injury to Calvin Pace. You could argue with many starters sitting out the final preseason game, the Jets escaped the summer months with very few key injuries. And that is true, but the injury to Pace---a broken foot that will sideline him for six weeks---is huge. He is the team's best pass-rusher and with games against the Ravens and each AFC East team in the season's first four weeks, the Jets can ill-afford to lose an integral piece of their defense. The Jets pass-rush was an issue last season even with Pace in the lineup, so to subtract him from the equation is a frightening proposition.
Both of these issues are dwarfed by the elephant in the room, or in this case, his absence from the room. Darrelle Revis is still not in Florham Park, N.J. and I'm starting to freak out. I really did think a deal would get done before last Friday's game, but it appears Tim Cowlishaw's report was complete rubbish. (It was a bad week for Around The Horn contestants, as Mariotti was arrested for felonious actions and Cowlishaw totally butchered the Revis story.) Now, with his holdout at 28 days and the regular season half that many days away, it appears the Jets may begin their most anticipated season since 1999 without their best player. At least that year the Jets lost their MVP in the season's first quarter, this year it appears he will never even take the field.
As you may have noted, the title of this article has "Part I" in it. The implication being this is not the first and only time I'll greatly overreact this season. In fact, I expect this to be a running theme. When expectations are as high as they are for the Jets, the slightest bump in the road feels like driving into a brick wall. I just hope they find a way to navigate around this roadblock.
|< Prev||Next >|