Entering Sunday, the New York Jets knew all they had to do was win in order for them to make the playoffs and try to win their first Super Bowl in over 40 years.
Winning was the plan for Rex Ryan and company, but the New York Giants had another idea in mind. The Giants were and are still in a similar postseason situation, as the rest of their season relies on a win in next week's game.
On Sunday, the Jets started off well, as they were able to move the ball through the air and on the ground. They were able to capitalize on their opening drive by scoring a touchdown, and by the way they played on both sides of the ball in the first quarter, it seemed like it was going to be all Jets, all day.
As the game went on, the tide turned and the Jets began to have trouble moving the ball, except for when they went to the running game.
There were several occasions where the Jets' offensive line would produce a small hole but Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson would just push through those holes. These runs would go for solid gains of about five or six yards, and the Jets kept moving the chains.
For some reason, Brian Schottenheimer chose to switch his play-calling and run a bunch of passes that would result in incompletions and near-interceptions time after time.
Because of where the ball was and the result of the play-calling, the Jets would have to punt and give the ball back to the Giants' offense, which was being bottled up with the exception of a few plays (i.e. Victor Cruz' 99-yard touchdown).
Schottenheimer only called 19 running plays for Tomlinson and Greene. Meanwhile, he allowed Mark Sanchez attempt 59 passes.
It is understandable that the Jets and Brian Schottenheimer want to expand their horizons when it comes to their offensive playbook, but there needs to be more balance.
Prior to this year, the "ground and pound" was the Jets strength, and for the most part, it still is. In December and January since his rookie year, Shonn Greene has been electric. Greene has been able to run hard, making great cuts and pounding the ball for solid gains.
Brian Schottenheimer's switch from running play after play for nice gains to try and pass and then punt was not a one time occurrence either. The reason why I emphasize on this so much is because he did it several times. If you go to this live blog from Sunday's game, you will see that the Jets were moving the chains with the run but would switch to only passing and fail.
Brian Schottenheimer's failure to make good calls on offense kept the Jets from moving the ball past the Giants' 40-yard line and is one of the big reasons why they lost on Sunday and are just about out of playoff contention.
It would be hard to see Brian Schottenheimer returning as the offensive coordinator of the Jets next year with the many problems he has had this season. Not only has he done a poor job in past seasons when the Jets have made the playoffs, he did a horrible job against the Giants on Sunday, keeping the Jets out of the playoffs for the first time since Rex Ryan took over as head coach.
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