150 total yards, 7 first downs, 3 lost fumbles (2 returned for touchdowns), 1 interception returned for a touchdown - these are the stats put up by the Jets' offense last night in Baltimore. The only positive is that it probably cannot get any worse than that, although you never know when it comes to the New York Jets.
QB Mark Sanchez committed all four turnovers, and if the first three can be blamed on the offensive line, the last one that clinched the game for the Ravens was 100% fault of the Jets' signal caller. This one throw put me on the side of people who have been saying all these three years that Mark Sanchez is a bad quarterback who hasn't improved much since his rookie season. He still missed wide open receivers, he still makes dumb throws into coverage, he can't win consistently unless he's supported by a powerful running attack that takes pressure off him.
The problems on the offensive line were pretty much expected. C Colin Baxter struggled badly last night, but he's an undrafted rookie free agent after all. This offseason was the first one during Rex Ryan's tenure when the Gang Green failed to improve their squad, they only made it worse. With OT Damien Woody retired, the Jets replaced him with OT Wayne Hunter who's struggled as well. The only decent backup was OL Robert Turner who was lost for the year in preseason. Depth behind Turner? Well, there's OL Vlad Ducasse who would have been cut a long time ago if he wasn't a second round draft pick and Rex wasn't so stubborn to admit that the team made a mistake when they drafted him.
The problems on the offensive line directly affect the running attack that has averaged 71 yards/game this season, ranking 30th in the league (only Seattle and Tennessee are worse). RB Joe McKnight showed tremendous speed last night returning a kickoff for a touchdown and also getting to the quarterback on defense. Yet, he's not used in the offense at all. Time after time the Jets use RB Shonn Greene who usually gets a few yards running up the middle and loses yardage when the Jets try to run outside simply because he doesn't have the speed to be an outside runner. That's when the Gang Green should use someone with speed, like McKnight.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has received plenty of criticism over the years for his stubborn, predictive, conservative playcalling. Another question that should be asked is what exactly this offense does all week preparing for the next game. Almost every week we witness exactly the same thing - the Gang Green offense comes out totally flat in the first quarter, while the other team racks up points making Sanchez play from behind. Do they prepare for games at all or do they just rely on the defense to limit the damage and then make halftime adjustments? The same sometimes can be said about the defense as well. Last night was another example, as the Jets allowed over 150 yards in the opening quarter.
Then, there's also WR Santonio Holmes who, just like he did it last season, blamed his teammates for last night's loss. He called out Sanchez and the offensive line. Everyone knows that Sanchez and the O-line were terrible last night, but does a player, especially a team captain, really have to say that to the media? This has to be addressed by Rex Ryan's coaching staff and addressed promptly.
The New England Patriots (3-1) are next, and the Jets might as well be looking at their third loss in a row. This might be the game that will make or break this season for the Gang Green. C Nick Mangold, who missed last two games, is expected to be back. OLB Bryan Thomas, however, is out for the season with a torn ACL. So, here's another decision for Rex Ryan - who will start in his place? OLB Aaron Maybin wrecked havoc in the Ravens' backfield last night, as he registered his first NFL sack and forced a fumble. Is he ready to start?