New York Jets Struggling To Take Off: When Will They Hit Their Full Stride?

Cole TesslerCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets is slow to get up after he was knocked down on a play in the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Many experts thought that the Jets vs. Patriots game was supposed to be a title fight, easily the best game of the year. The Jets didn’t get that memo though. 

The Jets lost, 45-3, and were disgraced by the Patriots, but for the first time since Week 4, the offense and defense were on the same page.

Unfortunately, they were both awful.

After Week 4, it seemed like the Jets would get even better after their 3-1 start. They were getting their best pass rusher (Calvin Pace) and Mark Sanchez’s soon-to-be favorite target (Santonio Holmes) back from suspension. The Jets haven’t shown how good of a team they could be with these players.

In each game since the Jets' 38-14 win over the Bills in Week 4, the offense and defense haven’t played on the same page. At times, one side of the team needs to bail the other side of the team out in order to win the game.

Take the Packers game as one example of the defense bailing the offense out. The defense held the Packers' tremendous offense to three field goals, but the offense couldn’t put any points on the board, and as a result, the Jets lost 9-0.

The offense has bailed the defense out numerous times, including against the Texans, where the defense allowed the Texans to score 20 points in the fourth quarter. With the Jets down four, Mark Sanchez would lead the Jets on a 50-second touchdown drive, which eventually won them the game.

The Jets are a 9-3 team, but haven’t shown any real dominance since Week 4, with their wins since then coming against teams with records under .500. In the four games they've had against teams over .500 this season, they are 1-3. 

What does this mean?

It means the Jets have potential to be a good team, but they haven’t shown it. If Ryan wants his Jets to be regarded as a good team, the offense and defense will need to play up to their potential in the same game.

So when will they?

Rex Ryan built this team to succeed in the playoffs, and that's where I think they will finally reach their potential. Last year, the Jets hit their stride in the postseason, and both the offense and defense were able to play well. This year, with a better offense, expect the Jets to hit the gas pedal when it comes January.

They have potential to be a great team, but so far, it's only potential.