After watching Mark Sanchez against the San Francisco 49ers last week, it's rather apparent that the New York Jets current starting quarterback is in need of some help.
In fact, every quarterback in the NFL needs some form of help, no matter how talented he is. The best offenses operate seamlessly as one with each member of the team doing his part.
While Sanchez has been downright horrific in his past three games, the rest of the offense beyond receiver Santonio Holmes hasn't exactly been lighting it up, either. Now that Holmes is likely done for the season due to injury (per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports), the rest of the team is going to have to take a big step forward.
Here's a look at the players who must step up for the Jets to get back on track.
Chaz Schilens/Jeremy Kerley/Jeff Cumberland
If Sanchez struggled with Holmes on the field, just imagine how bad it could get against the Houston Texans with Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley as his top receivers.
Holmes led the team in catches (20) and receiving yards (272) before going down against the 49ers. Tight end Jeff Cumberland is second in receptions with 11 for the season. Kerley is second in receiving yards with 197. Schilens led them all with 45 yards against San Francisco.
Defenses won't be focusing on Holmes this time round—New York's other receivers must step up against a Texans defense allowing six yards per attempt (second only to San Francisco) while ceding opposing quarterbacks to complete just 52.9 percent of their attempts (second to Philadelphia).
Part of the problem is that the Jets offense has no balance now. Sanchez is being asked to stand out on an island and beat teams by himself, and he's simply not a good enough quarterback to do that.
The Jets haven't completely abandoned their philosophy (26.8 carries per game, 16th in the NFL), but they aren't doing anything with the run game; that's the issue. They are averaging 3.2 yards per carry (30th in the NFL) and have posted only one rushing touchdown through four games.
While some of that has to do with a suddenly porous offensive line, you also have to wonder whether Shonn Greene really is the answer for the Jets. It's not like he's a former first-round pick (he was selected in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft), and he's averaging 2.8 yards per carry this season.
Houston is allowing 4.3 yards per carry this season but hasn't given up a run longer than 19 yards and has yet to allow a rushing touchdown. Greene's long this season is 14 yards.
Can somebody please explain to me what has happened to center Nick Mangold?
While the entire Jets offensive line has had its issues, this is a guy who was, without a doubt, the best center in the league for years. Not only did he allow a sack and two hurries against the 49ers, he was constantly pushed around by San Francisco's front seven when run blocking.
Mangold was the worst player on the Jets' offensive line against the 49ers, and that's saying a lot. He has to perform better if the Jets have any chance of getting back on track.