Editor’s Note: Hell hath no fury like a Jets fan scorned. And they’ve been scorned, a lot. Here with his emotional reflections on the first non-playoff campaign of the Rex Ryan era, Nick the Apprentice.
Let me preface this by saying this is solely my humble and heart-broken fan opinion.
After going to the Jets/Giants game a couple Sundays ago, I had time to grieve the loss of my team in 2011 and prepare for a long offseason.
I knew the Jets wouldn’t make the playoffs but I was hoping they might give me a little satisfaction in winning their season finale. Nope.
So instead of singling-out a scapegoat like Mark Sanchez, I’m just going to point the finger at everyone, from top to bottom. But we can start with Sanchez – at the bottom.
His father is a fireman, but Sanchez must be a momma’s boy because he is about as cool under fire as boiling water. One of the main things you want to see out of a third year quarterback is the ability to stand in the pocket, sense the rush, and deliver a strong throw.
Sanchez is arguably one of the worst quarterbacks at sensing the rush, and when he does, it looks like his life is flashing before eyes. He makes the worst of decisions when he’s under pressure. He can take hits so I don’t doubt his physical toughness but maybe he needs some more of that mental toughness that Emmitt keeps talking about.
The Jets also struggled protecting Sanchez, who was sacked a career-high 39 times this season. Let’s jump to the top and blame GM Mike Tannenbaum for that one. He let go of offensive tackle Damien Woody, and unspeakably allowed Wayne Hunter to step on the field instead.
Remember “Wedding Crashers”? That’s like allowing the most over-served groomsman give an impromptu toast at the reception and not interrupting him. Disaster.
Tannenbaum wanted Sanchez to be able to air it out more this season, but forgot that you have to give your quarterback some time to throw. Hunter is horrendous all-around, so the GM’s mistake also severely curtailed the Jets ability to ground-and-pound.
As for everyone in between, I love Rex Ryan and I think most fans have his back. But naming Santonio Holmes a team captain? That almost worked out as well for the Jets as naming Bill Belichick head coach.
Holmes single-handedly lost the Eagles game – because if he uses two hands the Jets might not have been down 14-0 so quickly. He was non-existent for much of the season and has become what the Jets feared he might, a headache.
The defense had some injuries, but the safeties who did play performed in a way that basically required Darrelle Revis to cover two positions. Ryan’s team was last in the league in allowing points off of turnovers, mostly because it gave up so many, but also because his bend-but-don’t-break defense broke.
Even the Mike Westhoff-coached special teams seemed to muff kick returns at the most inopportune times. To say I’m frustrated is an understatement, I’m more like Hue Jackson in his post-game press conference – p***ed off. Anyway, I guess there’s always next season.
I’ll leave you with this clip of a Jets fan, which sums up the season watching Sanchez run around like his GQ hair is on fire: