It's brutal being a Jets fan, let me tell you. I feel for Cubs fans, I really do. Every year there's all this pomp and promise. You know your team is better. You feel it. Yet, every year, you end up disappointed and wondering when the next sport starts up.
This year was supposed to be different for the Jets. There was a new coach, new defensive personnel to improve an already strong squad, and a new attitude. Then it happened.
Allow me to set the scene: Roger Goodell walks up to the podium and announces the Jets have moved up in the draft via trade. They are using their fifth overall selection on USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, the hot prospect, the up and comer.
Jets fans had it all: elite defense, elite offensive line, elite run game, and a franchise quarterback.
The thing we all forgot was, well, it's still the Jets. And things would find a way to go wrong.
Well, go wrong they have.
I mean, things started out great.
Gang green beat three strong opponents to open the season (okay, Tennessee is awful, but we didn't know that at the time). We were flying high. And as always, it all came crashing down.
The first step was a loss at New Orleans. "We expected that. No big deal," we all said.
Then we lost to a (maybe not-so) inferior Dolphins team. "He's a rookie, we'll bounce back," we all said.
And then came Buffalo. Initiate panic mode.
My biggest issue with all this is the problem hurting us the most is the one we seem to be ignoring the most: our quarterback.
All I hear from the media and other fans is "He's a rookie," "This happens to all of them," "He'll bounce back," and "He's better than this."
Yeah well, he is a rookie. But, no, it doesn't happen to all of them. What about Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan? They didn't have these types of struggles. Sure, maybe their teams are better, but you can't say the Ravens' offense was that much better last year than the Jets is this year. And so far, Sanchez hasn't bounced back. He had a mediocre game at Miami, and imploded against the Bills.
The scariest thing is, what if he's not better than this?
Sure, he's shown flashes of brilliance, but not consistently. And it's been Brett Favre gun slinging-type brilliance, not Peyton Manning-type brilliance. Jets fans saw how well Brett Favre brilliance turns out.
On top of everything, I think I'm the only one who's worried. Like I mentioned, the media wants to take in Sanchez as their darling star. I can't remember a struggling rookie who's been babied like this. If I recall, Eli Manning was lambasted as a disastrous pick from the time he threw his first interception.
Sanchez has the third-worst quarterback rating in the NFL. I know that's not everything, but JaMarcus Russel is pretty close behind. That's frightening.
Actually, Eli Manning is the only reason I'm not ripping the hair from my head right now. Eli's initiation into New York was pretty ugly itself. The big, bad "B" word was being thrown left and right. But eventually Eli got comfortable in their system and next thing you know, he's carrying home the Lombardi trophy.
As a fan currently bleeding green, I can only hope "The Sanchize" can do the same.