With all of this talk going around about how Tom Brady hates the Jets, about how good this season of Hard Knocks has been (it really is terrific TV) and the ongoing contract dispute between the Jets and All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, there hasn't been much talk about, you know, the actual on-field football product.
Well, with the way things have been going for the Jets offense this preseason, that's probably for the better. But after Friday night's embarrassing showing against the Redskins, things might start to change a little bit.
With the loss, the Jets are now averaging 12 points per game. While it's still only the preseason and that may not always mean a whole lot (see the 0-3 Indianapolis Colts), the Jets offense should be an area of concern for them and their fans.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez has struggled some. He's got as many touchdowns as he does interceptions and in Friday's game, the all-important third preseason game, he looked pedestrian at best. Running back Shonn Greene has been decent, but New York will need more out of him. Ironically, it's LaDaianian Tomlinson, the cast-off running back the Jets were chastised by some for picking up, who's been the team's best offensive player.
The Jets lost to Washington on Friday by a score of 16-11, which is really the perfect score to describe who the Jets are right now.
They've got a great defense. That's no secret. Even without Revis, the Jets will likely have one of the game's best defensive units. If they do work out a deal with him, then they obviously get that much better. But much like Friday night, that might not be enough.
Usually you like your chances when you only yield 16 points, but the Jets' offense was just non-existent. In fact, two of those 11 points came from a safety the defense forced.
They may not be able to always rely on their defense either. They're going to have to score points, a fact that is cemented by the schedule they face this season.
Just start inside the division. The Bills don't offer much of a challenge. But the Patriots and Dolphins? That might be a little more difficult. Brady has looked like the quarterback he was in 2007. And down in Miami, Chad Henne's progression as an NFL starter is coming along nicely, he's got Brandon Marshall to throw to now and Ronnie Brown is now healthy. The Patriots and Dolphins are candidates to light up the scoreboard any time they take the field.
If you go out of division, there are other established offenses waiting for the Jets. In a span of six weeks this fall, the Jets will have to deal with the Packers, Vikings and Texans, three teams with top-tier quarterbacks in charge of dynamic offenses, all able to put up points in a hurry.
The point is, the Jets need to figure out their offensive problems. The defense will be fine, but they'll be challenged. And while they'll be able to generate offense through turnovers and field position, it will ultimately be up to Sanchez and his offensive unit to protect the football and put it in the endzone, two things they've struggled mightily to do so far.
And if they don't figure it out, it will be a long year at the new Meadowlands for the Jets, no matter how entertaining they might be off of the field.
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