New York Jets Progress Report: Where Does the Team Stand Headed into Week 6?

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New York Jets Progress Report: Where Does the Team Stand Headed into Week 6?
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Take your pick.

It's an imperfect storm in New York right now, with the Jets battling injuries, an inept offense and an underachieving defense during a two-game losing skid.

They're 2-3? From the sound of things, they're 0-5.

The Jets were able to keep it competitive by taking chances, but their luck ran out. Whether that is becoming a new norm remains to be seen—although Rex Ryan certainly didn't dispel the notion after the game—but their desperation meter may be kicked up even higher coming off a loss that puts them below .500 for the first time this year.

Here's the outlook for the Jets headed into Week 6.

 

The Good

There's good?

Sure, you just have to look beyond the surface.

The defense really stepped up in the second half against the Texans, holding them to just six points in the final 30 minutes of play. In fact, outside of the 85-yard opening drive that finished with a touchdown, the Jets played very sound defense all night and frustrated quarterback Matt Schaub and company, holding them to 50-percent completions for the game. 

On offense, the Jets have sputtered out of control, but amid the drives that usually end in either punts or turnovers, there are some positives. The Jets have had a great drive going at the end of the first half against both the 49ers and the Texans, but both drives ended in Mark Sanchez interceptions. Hard to put the blame for those picks on anyone, with those two defenses being among the top five units in the league.

Searching for the good in this team is like searching for Lacoste at a thrift store—it's there every once in awhile, but incredibly rare, and by the time you get there, it's surely gone.

 

The Bad

Oh, where to begin.

Let's spin the wheel of misfortune!

The Jets need to avoid hitting the black thingy.
The pass defense has been in sharp decline since the loss of Darrelle Revis. That isn't shocking, but Rex Ryan was brought in as a defensive mastermind. It shouldn't be too much to ask of him to keep the defense intact absent one player, even if that player is Revis.

How about that run defense? Even if Revis were suited up, he wouldn't fix all the ails that have led to them allowing 4.9 yards per carry and 215 yards per game. The game is now dominated by passing attacks, but if you can't stop the run, you're sunk.

Part of why the play-action passing game was so effective against the Jets on Monday night was because the safeties and linebackers came up to defend the run nearly every time, which opened up big passing lanes on the back end. 

The offense? Shambles.

They can't run the ball, they can't throw the ball, they can't pass protect, they're not winning at the point of attack in the running game and they're not converting their red-zone opportunities into touchdowns.

There have been flashes in the passing game, but not enough to get past the grim reality that this offense lacks talent at the skill positions, a deficiency which was evident before the season and has only been made worse by the injuries.

Other than that, though, I'd say everything is just fine.

 

Glass Half-Full

It took some luck to get there, but the Jets stayed competitive against the only undefeated team left in the AFC, and even had a chance to win. 

Rex Ryan put his defensive guru cap on for the Texans game. After an 85-yard touchdown drive, the Jets settled down a bit and held the Texans to three field goals and just one more touchdown. One of the field goals came after a Mark Sanchez interception was returned inside the red zone before halftime.

The Jets proved they are willing to do whatever it takes to win, even if it means taking some gambles

 

Glass Half-Empty

No wonder Mark Sanchez is struggling—he's getting absolutely no help from the running game or the revolving door at the skill positions.

The Jets were already short on skill-position talent on offense, but injuries to Stephen Hill, Dustin Keller and Santonio Holmes have left the Jets short their two most talented on that side of the ball. Hill and Keller will return—Holmes will not—but does anyone really think those two are going to be the saving grace for this offense?

I don't need to tell you how important Revis is to the Jets defense, but it's clear that his absence is far from the only problem. The defense was supposed to be what kept the Jets competitive this year. So far, that's been far from the case.

 

The Outlook

How many wins will the Jets finish with in 2012?

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Two of the Jets' three upcoming games look very winnable. Aside from a road game against the Patriots, the Jets get home stands against the Colts and the Dolphins, the latter of which they already beat once this season (albeit at full health).

As mentioned above, the Jets are below .500 for the first time this year, but this team is a shell of the group we saw in the first three weeks. It would be one of the ultimate coaching jobs to finish above .500, much less make the playoffs.

It's possible, but the odds are stacked heavily against them. 

 

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.

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