The New York Jets sure had me fooled. With their 9-2 record going into last night’s Monday Night Football game I thought they could give the patriots a good game, boy was I wrong. I didn’t think not having Jim Leonhard would be a big deal, and it was. I figured both teams having the same amount of time off wouldn’t really benefit either team one way or another, and it surely did. I figured the Jets 9-2 record was somewhat of a legitimate argument to name them one of the best teams in the NFL and they clearly aren’t.
Jim Leonhard is not the defensive play caller as everyone knows, but he does call out the strengths, gets people aligned and makes audible calls when necessary. Most people usually see this out of a linebacker but for the Jets it’s Leonhard’s job. Not having Jim Leonhard is like not having your starting quarterback and he will really be missed on the defensive side of the ball.
Rex Ryan was completely outcoached last night, starting with his challenge early in the game even though he went for the fourth down anyway. And allowing Brian Shottenheimer to be primarily in shot-gun for the most of the first quarter. Why would the Jets deviate from their smashmouth football that got them to the AFC championship game last year. Everytime one of their running backs touched the ball last night they were able to make three to five yard gains. The Jets went down early and the Patriots were hitting on all cylinders with their offense, so why not try and slow down the game and take some time off the clock by running the ball and getting the game to 17-10 or at worse 24-10. The Jets also came more often with three man pressure than I have ever seen, almost scared to blitz and use their cover corners, things the Jets don’t normally do showed up last night.
And now their record, last night they were 9-2. They had lost two home games to good teams in the Packers and Ravens, which great teams don’t do is lose at home. They beat the patriots once, and lost last night. Other than that win, everyone else the Jets have beaten are in third or fourth place in their division. They are taking care of the sub .500 teams and losing most of their games to good teams. Now you can’t fault the Jets for their schedule because they have no control over it, but before Rex Ryan starts talking again, he should look at who they have played and realize they can’t be legitimate teams in the NFL.
I don’t hate the Jets at all, but I do think they are over rated in the regular season and if they can’t go back to their identity of smashmouth football and defense they can’t expect to get far in the regular season and the playoffs.