New York Jets: The Good, Bad and Ugly of the First 4 Games of the Season
They say the NFL season can be broken down into four mini-seasons and each team can track its own success in four-game stretches.
With the first quarter of the NFL season in the books, it's the perfect time for our first check in on the New York Jets' season.
We've seen blowout wins, shutout losses and plenty of injuries, and that's only in the first four games of the season. Here's a recap of the New York Jets' first four games: The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Even Revis-less, the defense is the Jets' backbone and may be the biggest contributor to the team's success.
Looking at the 34-0 score from last week, the defense may seem to need work, but I'd argue the defense was only scored on so much because the offense kept putting it in difficult positions. The 49ers possessed the ball for almost 37 minutes (62 percent of the game). Any defense is going to tire after being on the field as much as it was.
League-wide, the Jets are in the middle of the pack among defenses in interceptions and forced fumbles. At this point they need to get to the quarterback a bit more though. They currently sit at 5.0 sacks on the season, which is fourth worst in the league.
That said, few defenses have had to deal with such an inconsistent, anemic offense. In the process of doing its part in stopping the opposing offense, the Jets defense has actually managed to put some points up on the board (two touchdowns).
If the offense can begin to pull some of the weight and win the field-position battle, the defense's stats should improve and begin to reflect how well it has actually performed.
Good: Special Teams
No surprise here. The special teams unit has always been one of the Jets' biggest strengths.
At 17.0 yards per punt return and 27.1 yards per kick return, the Jets deep men rank third and seventh best in the NFL, respectively.
Joe McKnight has proven that he is the next generation of solid Jets return men, joining the ranks of former deep men Brad Smith and Leon Washington.
The kicking game has also been solid. Nick Folk hasn't truly been tested much this year, his longest attempt being only 39 yards, but he hasn't missed a field goal or extra point so far this season.
Obviously not how you envision starting a season.
Darrelle Revis' left knee injury is a confirmed ACL tear, and he will likely miss the entirety of the 2012 NFL season. Any time you see a player go down grabbing their knee with no contact, it should raise an alarm.
There were ramblings that, with an early surgery, Revis could return to the team if it went deep in the playoffs. That's a big hypothetical for the Pro-Bowl corner and the team.
Then of course there was the Santonio Holmes injury last week, an injury that was doubly ugly: 1) in that Holmes got hurt and 2) the play resulted in the 49ers scoring a "nail in the coffin" spirit-killing touchdown.
Few details have been released by the Jets about the nature of the injury, but the prognosis seems to be a Lisfranc injury that will require roughly six months of rehab.
There's no way to positively spin having two of your best players go down with season-ending injuries.
Bad/Ugly: The Offense
The biggest struggle in writing this article was deciding whether to categorize the offense as bad or ugly. Ultimately, I decided on both.
Things seemed to be off to a great start in Week 1 when Mark Sanchez went 19-of-27 for 266 yards and three touchdowns. It was a pleasant surprise following the offense-less preseason.
In the following three games, he hasn't posted a completion percentage above 50 percent and has more interceptions (three) than touchdowns (two).
But the blame shouldn't be Sanchez's alone to bear. The Jets' rushing attack is ranked 24th in the NFL at 86.5 yards per game. Shonn Greene's longest carry on the season has been a 14-yard dash Week 1 in a rout over Buffalo. On the season, he is averaging 2.8 yards per carry and has only found the end zone once.
On top of New York's existing struggles, Holmes' injury doesn't bode well for the squad righting the ship any time soon.
Bad: Woody Johnson's Interview with Bloomberg
I don't care what your political affiliations are. Woody Johnson's answer to Bloomberg TV asking him if he would rather see Mitt Romney win the election or the Jets have a winning season was a low moment for Jets fans everywhere.
Johnson, of course, chose the former:
Well I think you always have to put country first. So I think it’s very, very important that for - not only us - but in particular for our kids and grandkids that this election come off with Mitt Romney and (Paul) Ryan as President and vice president.
Figureheads get asked fluffy questions like this all the time and simply sidestep them or give vague answers. But not Woody Johnson.
The day after your team takes a 34-0 pummeling, it just isn't what your fanbase wants to hear...especially if they're democrats.