The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports
Man, oh man. Where to even start with the three-ring circus known as the New York Jets and their clueless, inept ringmaster, head coach Rex Ryan? They're seemingly the only team that could embarrass themselves in victory, as the Jets downed the New York Giants in overtime, 24-21.
Let's begin with analyzing the play of rookie quarterback Geno Smith. The prevailing thought entering the game was that Smith basically had to completely spit the bit in order to not be the Week 1 starter. Well, he did just that, throwing three first-half interceptions, essentially bequeathing the job to fellow signal-caller Mark Sanchez. Smith even pulled his best Dan Orlovsky imitation, running out of the end zone for a safety.
Even by Jets standards, it was an extremely embarrassing play, especially since it came from a quarterback selected in the second round of April's draft.
Then, Ryan made the incredible decision to insert Sanchez, his likely Week 1 starter, into the game midway through the fourth quarter, where Sanchez would be flanked by second and third-teamers. It was an asinine call that was easily first-guessed by every armchair quarterback in the nation.
What could possibly go wrong in that situation? Well, everything.
Sanchez was absolutely crunched by Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin and left with a bruised shoulder. His immediate status is now in doubt.
In the past two-plus years, Ryan has made a number of outrageous coaching decisions, but playing Sanchez in the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game may have taken the cake. After the game, Ryan spoke about wanting to "win the game" as if it were Week 10 of the regular season.
Newsflash, Rex: IT'S THE THIRD PRESEASON GAME. What, pray tell, are you trying to win? The ridiculous "Snoopy Trophy" given to the winner of the annual Giants/Jets preseason clunker?
This was as egregious as it gets. Jets owner Woody Johnson made a fatal error by not dismissing Ryan along with deposed general manager Mike Tannenbaum. This is now a wasted year for the Jets. Ryan is a dead man walking, and everyone knows it.
Now, it's anyone's best guess as to who the Jets' starting quarterback will be when the team hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. If Sanchez is healthy, it'll likely be him, and he'll continue to perform his best Jason Voorhees impersonation, because whenever you think he's out of the picture, he appears again to cause more chaos. If Sanchez can't go, it'll likely be Smith, and he'll have to be sure to know the dimensions of the end zone, lest he risk another safety.
Regardless of who plays, one thing is for certain: Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis, a former Jet, will be licking his lips. And Ryan will be one game closer to his inevitable dismissal.