NEW YORK JETS: The Aftermath; Through the Eyes of a Giant Fan.
It's not easy being Gang Green. Saturday's woeful loss will be pondered till Spring. This loss was black; grey; bleak; dark; and many more sinister and colorful descriptive words like that....
That was the extent of my fun. I am a Giants Fan just so you know. In light of Rex Ryan's Super Bowl aspirations; and his Big Brother/Little Brother jive; and This is a Jets Town nonsense; and even his on-field exchange with Brandon Jacobs; and faced with the temptation to completely lambaste Rex the charlatan and the sycophants who picked up on his mantra and ran with it, I respectfully pass the opportunity to amuse myself even with so much material to work with. I actually like Rex. He's refreshing. And I don't particularly enjoy watching him have to worm away from something he might have said.
I'll just say this. To a man, Saturday's game was a lesson in humility. One team's Head Coach needs some. The other team's Head Coach preaches it. Yet both are good coaches. Maybe I'm out of context - in that perhaps what I choose to instill in my son, shouldn't apply to football players or coaches. So on a Fan level then, I guess I'm talking to some of you. I'm trying to run a semi-clean shop here; save for the sporadic light yet loose language. So I think this is as far as I'll go with this inner-city Giants/Jets rivalry amongst US fans.
Let's talk football. That I can do very fairly. Because if left to talk about what only really amounts to a few of you, I'd lose a level of decorum I try to maintain here.
* * * * *
For here's the reality of the situation. The Giants did what they needed to do in order to win. But the Jets did everything possible to lose. Credit ten penalties, three turnovers, and an Offensive Line that allowed Sanchez to get sacked five times for aiding and abetting an embarrassing loss. That's what should be near the top of every Jet Fan's short lists regarding what went wrong Saturday afternoon.
Then there are two matters specifically that should top the list. Two things failed the Jets miserably Saturday. First, someone came up with a horrible offensive game plan. And secondly, that same person failed to realize his plan was a hot mess, while also failing to revert to what the Jets do best in recognition of that fact. Why on earth did Coach Schotty get as far away from the running game as he did and ask Marc Sanchez to throw the ball fifty-nine times? I know Jet Fans wanted their Offensive Coordinator to ease up on Sanchez' leash. But what Schotty designed Saturday was no doubt the capstone on his body of work as the Jets' offensive play caller. For surely once the off-season descends upon Jet-Life Stadium, his work here is done.
The Jets Defense held the Giants to fifty-nine plays from scrimmage. The Defense gave Brian Schottenheimer every opportunity to possess the ball for thirty-six minutes and run eighty-nine plays from scrimmage. Yet the Giants ended the day with 332 total yards while the Jets came in at 331 total yards from scrimmage. That's a bizarre stat by any stretch.
Coach Schottenheimer took a page right out of Kevin Gilbride's playbook. He asked Marc Sanchez to throw fifty-nine times (which is obscene even by Gilbride's standards) and only called on Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson nineteen times. Together they gained eighty-seven yards and averaged 4.95 yards per carry. In a game that remained 10-3 up until the Giants scored with 0:13 left in the third quarter, there was no reason to drop Sanchez pack to pass time and time again; not when the Offensive Line couldn't protect him; and certainly not after showing success running the ball.
Only after having said all that should you Jet Fans admit that quite simply, Marc Sanchez was not up to the task. He started out strong and finished badly. At times it seemed as if he was throwing the ball into the twilight zone. Marc Sanchez got sacked five times. On two of those however, Marc had receivers open and pumped, but held on to the ball way too long causing a sack. Then there is the math of his game. Yes, he threw up fifty-nine passes. He completed thirty of them, but for only 258 yards? Is that all thirty completions get you these days? Look at the Offensive Coordinator for an answer to that. To say his play calling was suspect is being kind. And lest we forget the Jets' first touchdown came as a result of the Giants having twelve men on the field which kept the Jets' drive going.
But don't go dumping on Sanchez too badly. There was a much better way to attack the Giants Defense. And in coaches speak, Schotty didn't put his quarterback, or his offense, in a position to win.