The Jets went into the season not having scored a TD on offense during the preseason while questions about Sanchez (and Tim Tebow) abounded. A 48-point outing in week one put that talk to an end – briefly.
Yes, that mighty Bills defense spent $100 million on free agent DE Mario Williams and their top draft pick on CB Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina – whom I’ve said is not a great cover guy and best suited for zone defense – the same defense that can’t stop anyone a month into the season. So it turns out that it was the Bills D that broke down…not the Jets’ offense that took off.
No, the Jets’ scoring output has been on a low ever since. They put up 10 against the Steelers…not unheard of especially playing in Pittsburgh, but 10 points won’t win you many games…especially when the offensively-challenged Oakland Raiders put up 34 on the same team the following week.
The Jets then managed 23 in overtime in Miami against a defense well-built to stop the Jets’ offense by happenstance, but the Dolphins don’t exactly help themselves or their defense with their lack of offensive punch.
Then came last week. 60 minutes, zero points against the best team in the NFC if not the NFL in the San Francisco 49′ers. Niners’ CB Carlos Rogers says the Niners’ players were talking on the sideline during the game about how the Jets’ defense ‘quit playing.’ While it may seem like a cheap shot after the fact, the Niners aren’t known to be a high-octane offense. They put up 37 and coasted in the 4th quarter and the talk persisted.
Has Rex Ryan lost control of this team?
They lost Darrelle Revis for the season during the Miami game. If that weren’t enough, they lost WR Santonio Holmes for the season with a Lisfranc foot injury against the Niners. Their best defender and best offensive threat – gone and gone. Yes it hurts, but injuries are a part of the NFL and always will be. Both players got injured on non-contact plays so that can’t be blamed. Human bodies are imperfect and can and do get injured every day in every occupation.
As Albert Breer pointed out on the NFL Network, the Jets weren’t the most talented team at the WR position anyway BEFORE the injury; now they may be forced to look outside the organization. Perhaps Chad Johnson should stay close to his phone – even though the Jets have the relationship with Plaxico Burress. I think Johnson’s the one that is hungry enough AND hasn’t lost the ability to play…with the right team. But what about the immediate future?
The question now has to be asked: Is this a team whose make-up is now molded for Tim Tebow to shine?
Yes, we’ve been inundated with Tebow, Tebow, Tebow ever since he signed. But now are the ‘lack of stars’ aligning to run the University of Florida offense? Oddly enough, that’s the direction everything seems to be pointing – even if the Jets ultimately don’t go there.
Think about it: they’ve lost their top WR and need to protect a defense that suddenly seems vulnerable. What’s the ‘bestest and cheapest’ way to do that? Answer: with a good running game to eat the clock.
The Jets drafted Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech in the second round…knowing he came from a triple-option offense, but looking at his upside down the road. He’s a grand physical specimen close to the “Megatron” mold but raw and unheralded as an actual threat at the position yet. So…what did he do in college? Answer: he made a great if overqualified run-blocker at the WR position.
Who did the Jets sign to coach the offense? Tony Sparano, architect of the resurgence of the Wildcat in Miami a few years ago. It’s the ‘single-wing’ formation from the 1950′s fad fame…along with the hula hoop and frisbee. ‘Ground and Pound’ it’s called. It’s what he was hired to do – take the Jets back in time to when football was 3 yards and a cloud of recycled prescription athletic turf shavings. Ehh…you get the idea.
The Dolphins also drafted West Virginia QB Pat White with the 8th pick of the second round – the idea being he could be a dual threat QB from the Wildcat in an attempt to extend and evolve the single-wing into the 21st Century, but it never panned out. White was south of 200 pounds and couldn’t take a hit so he left the league the year after he was drafted. End of experiment…or is Dr. Frankenstein being paged?
Tim Tebow was a first-round pick and the Jets caused a QB controversy in trading for him. Now, with Sanchez not producing (again), the injuries they’ve had AND the personnel they have left? It just seems that it’s more likely than not that Tebow will take the field in a Wildcat or Wildcat-like offense…or perhaps some version of the “T-Bone” offense he ran for John Fox in Denver last year.
Folks, this isn’t gonna go away quietly…not with the situation so seemingly molded to Tim Tebow’s wheelhouse…and getting there more and more every day.
Tebow is a fullback wearing a QB’s number. Rookie Stephen Hill is actually the “grizzled veteran” at blocking for the offense, or some close variant of it so he fits right in. Sparano’s got as much experience with “trendy” run-driven offenses as anyone and he isn’t afraid to experiment. Sanchez isn’t getting any semblance of a “regular” offense going and the injuries are putting a collar on what they can do.
It just seems like everything is pointing to some Tebow Magic down the road. After all, if he’s not there for contingency plans of some sort, why did they get him in the first place?
Stay tuned and don’t say you weren’t warned when you start seeing Tim Tebow on SportsCenter against the top-rated Houston Texans’ defense.