Bye Week Check-Up – New York Jets

Now it’s time to check up on the 3rd place team in the AFC East – the Jets.  Rex Ryan was talking Super Bowl at the beginning of they year but it looks like the Jets have got ground to make up if they are going to make the playoffs.  The comeback win over the Chargers was a good start and they can now get rested during their bye week but they have two tough games looming at the outset of the bye that could make or break their season.  Here’s a look at the Jets so far.

Quarterback

  • Mark Sanchez (129 for 231, 1,545 yards, 12 TDs, 6 INTs, 83.0 QBR) – Sanchez has been seen as a disappointment by some but I think at this point what you see is what you get with the annointed “Sanchise”.  I don’t think he’s too bad, and I think the Jets did him a disservice to let one of his security blankets, Braylon Edwards, walk but he is what he is.  He’s still a guy that can get you to the playoffs.

Running Backs

  • Shonn Greene (114 for 426, 3.8 avg., 2 TDs, 503 total yards), LaDainian Tomlinson (34 for 111, 3.3 avg., 371 total yards), Joe McKnight (10 for 26, 2.6 avg., 55 total yards), John Connor (5 for 18, 3.6 avg., 27 total yards) – Greene has been a disappointment coming off of his breakthrough 2010 season with just a 3.8 avg. per carry.  Tomlinson has been so-so but I’ve been saying for weeks that they should get him involved more at this part of the season.  Joe McKnight is emerging as a multi-faceted threat.

Wide Receivers

  • Santonio Holmes (22 for 311, 3 TDs, 1 1Ds), Plaxico Burress (18 for 134, 5 TDs, 16 1Ds), Derrick Mason (13 for 115, 7 1Ds), Jeremy Kerley (9 for 82, 1 TD, 6 1Ds) – Santonio Holmes has had a much publicized slow start to the season.  Plaxico has been doing what he does best and the Jets would be wise to get him the ball more as he is productive when he does.  Kerley is trying to move into the slot role.  I usually don’t use the cross-out but that’s what you get when you are exiled from the team, as Derrick Mason was.

Tight Ends

  • Dustin Keller (25 for 372, 2 TDs, 17 1Ds), Jeff Cumberland (2 for 35, 1 1D), Matthew Mulligan (3 for 12) – Keller has been the Jet’s most productive pass catcher but even he seems to be underutilized.  The other guys are solid role players

Offensive Line

  • D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, Wayne Hunter, Vladimir Ducasse, Colin Baxter – This unit has played ok but with inconsistencies.  Ferguson is his usual Pro Bowl self.  Nick Mangold might be the team’s MVP judging by how poorly they played when he was out of the lineup.  The rest seem pretty pedestrian.  Baxter did not play well spelling Mangold and has been cut.

Defensive Line

  • Sione Pouha (21 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 FR), Mike DeVito (19 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 FF), Muhammad Wilkerson (17 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL), Ropati Pitoitua (10 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL), Marcus Dixon (5 tackles, 1 FR), Kenrick Ellis (4 tackles, 1 TFL), Martin Tevaseu (1 tackle) – This unit has been solid.  Mike DeVito is a solid workman-type player that thrive in Rex Ryan type defenses.  Ellis and Wilkerson are promising youngsters

Linebackers

  • David Harris (36 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT), Bart Scott (36 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 FF), Calvin Pace (33 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 TFL, 2 FF), Jamaal Westerman (16 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 FR), Bryan Thomas (14 tackles, 4 TFL), Josh Mauga (10 tackles, 1 INT), Nick Bellore (8 tackles), Aaron Maybin (6 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 FF), Garrett McIntyre (4 tackles) – The Jets linebacking corps continue to be beasts.  They have combined as a unit for 13 sacks in 7 games.  Harris, Scott and Pace are all studs.  Bryan Thomas is as well but he is lost for the year.  The combination of Jamaal Westerman and Aaron Maybin has wreaked havoc on QBs.

Defensive Backs

  • Eric Smith (44 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 3 PD), Jim Leonhard (27 tackles, 1 FF, 1 PD), Antonio Cromartie (22 tackles, 3 INTs, 5 PDs), Darrelle Revis (20 tackles, 4 INTs, 10 PD), Kyle Wilson (18 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD), Brodney Pool (17 tackles, 0.5 sack), Donald Strickland (14 tackles, 2 PD), Marquice Cole (7 tackles, 1 FR), Isaiah Trufant (4 tackles), Ellis Lankster (3 tackles), Emanuel Cook (2 tackles) – Darrelle Revis is the best defensive back in the league, and he might be the best player in the whole NFL and he is playing like it this season.  The safeties are above average.  Antonio Cromartie has been inconsistent but when he’s good, he’s good.  Wilson and Strickland are good guys in the nickel and dime.

Coaching

  • Rex Ryan is the same loud mouthed, hard nosed coach he has been in his first two seasons with the Jets.  Some of the things haven’t worked but most of it has.  Brian Schottenheimer has been criticized often in New York and will be under the microscope for the remainder of the season.  You can’t argue with the rest of the coaching on defense.

Remaining Schedule

  • @ Buffalo
  • New England
  • @ Denver
  • Buffalo
  • @ Washington
  • Kansas City
  • @ Philadelphia
  • NY Giants
  • @ Miami

The Jets have bounced back from a poor start to go 4-3 through 7.  The first two games after the bye may be the toughest on the remainder of the season.  If they lose them both they will pretty much have to run the table the rest of the way to contend for the division.  Call it a hunch but I see them losing those games and trying to claw back during the rest of the season.  I give them a 9-7 finish in 3rd place.

Twitter @ErikVenskus

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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