Throughout this entire season, I have been debating what to think about the Jets. There have been games that have shown me signs of a playoff team, and then there have been games like today. The Jets' performance against an underrated Miami Dolphins team showed me everything I needed to know about this Jets team, and probably more than I wanted.
What did I learn? I learned that this team is very mediocre. Of course, key players like Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes have been lost to injury, but it says a lot about the depth of the overall roster when the Jets allowed a punt and a field goal block in one game.
Sure, the Jets are only 3-5 going into the bye week, and I'm not denying that anything can happen in this crazy NFL season. But as from what I've seen through the halfway point of this season, the Jets are not a playoff team. Not even close.
What is exactly wrong with the Jets? The better question is, what isn't wrong?
First off, the defense has not been great this season. The Jets defense ranks 30th in the league in rushing yards per game allowed, but it has been very good against the pass without Revis. The Jets have allowed an average of just over 24 points per game, but some of this should be blamed on the offense.
For instance, in today's game against Miami, the Jets surrendered just one drive longer than 44 yards which was Miami's 63-yard opening drive that ended in a field goal. The Jets gave up 30 points, but the offense gave them horrible field position to work with.
Who deserves the most blame for the Jets' struggles?
The Jets offense has been atrocious other than two games against Buffalo and Indianapolis. Their biggest problem on offense has been their quarterback. Mark Sanchez has the second worst Total Quarterback Rating in the league at 32.2 and has been a turnover machine recently. Sanchez does not have much to work with, but it is clear that he is not the future of this team.
Despite his struggles, I will certainly not blame Sanchez entirely for this 3-5 start. The running game hasn't been good enough either. The Jets average only 3.7 yards per carry, and the offensive line has struggled to consistently provide holes for Shonn Greene to run through. Greene has played better recently, but 161 of his 432 yards this season came in the win over Indianapolis.
Jeremy Kerley has emerged as a reliable target in the absence of Holmes, but other than Kerley and Dustin Keller, the Jets receiving corps is depleted. Chaz Schilens is a sub-par receiver at best, and rookie Stephen Hill has shown off the flaw that everyone except Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan saw before they drafted him. He can't catch a cold.
Is it finally Tebow time? Absolutely not. I'm not saying that Sanchez deserves to start, but since Tannenbaum decided to give him a three-year extension for $40 million, they may as well just keep putting him out there.
Defensively, the pass rush is awful. The Jets have recorded only 10 sacks this season, which is half a sack less than J.J. Watt has by himself. The key to Rex Ryan's blitz schemes is a strong interior pass rush, and the Jets defensive line does not provide that.
Although the players on the field have been disappointing, a lot of the blame should fall on Mike Tannenbaum. He has assembled this roster, and if the team continues to slide, he should be the first victim of the offseason.
The New York Jets are a 3-5 team that does not have much going for it. There are so many flaws on both sides of the ball that it is hard to imagine the Jets hanging around in the playoff hunt.