Monday, September 29, 2014

After Geno-Led Nightmare vs. Lions, Jets Season Is Heading for Tailspin

LIONS 24
JETS 17

The circus has once again arrived in town. Forget about the fact that the Jets lost this game to a very good Detroit Lions team by seven points, because in retrospect it felt more like a 31-point deficit than a single touchdown. The Jets were outplayed, out-coached, out-hustled, and out-classed by the Lions in every aspect of the football game on Sunday.

Not once did it ever feel that the Jets were in the game, nor did it ever feel they had the capability of coming back and making it interesting. If they did, it would have been a crime since it would have masked this Phantom of the Gridiron disaster show. The Jets lost because they are, sadly, the New York Jets.

They lost for the same reason they lost last week to the Bears; the same reason they lost the week before to the Packers, and every loss for that matter during the Rex Ryan era. The Jets lost because as a team they lack discipline and the proper coaching, and they lost because they STILL do not have a quarterback.  (A story that is now decades old).

Mark Sanchez? Substitute him with Geno Smith, because the output is exactly the same. Nada.

To say Geno Smith was bad on Sunday is an understatement. He was woeful, and confirmed to the masses that the Jets need a quarterback change not next week, not two weeks from now, but right now.

On Sunday, Smith was 17-of-33 for 209 yards a touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble. In the first half the struggling QB threw for only 32 yards, ruffling the feathers of the Jets faithful. By the third quarter chants of "We want Vick" echoed through the entire stadium.

To make matters worse Smith threw a costly interception while being dragged down from behind on the Jets first drive after Matthew Stafford scored a touchdown to make it 24-10. Smith then fumbled the football back to Detroit after the Lions missed a field goal on their previous drive.

Smith then committed the biggest snafu of his young career, yelling obscenities back to a hecklers in the stadium. 

Only the Jets could create such drama. Geno Smith is done; he's a lost soul, whose NFL and Jets career is now an insipid path. 

The chants grew louder and louder to get Geno out of the game. Yet Rex Ryan didn't hear them, or, maybe he didn't want to. Ryan decided to back up his quarterback by telling the press after the game that he believes Geno Smith can "win games," and believes that he is the "guy" for the Jets -- refrains that we are used to hearing from Ryan -- because he used it just about every week in his bizarre defense of Mark Sanchez.

This is now the second time Ryan has watched a young quarterback wilt under the pressure of New York and become a virtual pinata for the fan-base to pick on. First it was Sanchez, who's proclivity for turning the football over and making "rookie" mistakes as a veteran quarterback became a thing of legend, and finally a thing of infamy after the "butt-fumble" of 2012.

Ryan defended Sanchez that night much the same way he's defending Geno Smith now: with nothing but the utmost confidence when we all know better that it is time for the Jets the part ways.

Not only is Geno Smith's Jets clock ticking, but so is Ryan's clock. And you might as well throw in Offensive Coordinator Marty Morhinweg and General Manager Jon Idzik into that fray too, because now it is up to Woody Johnson to sit back and realize that he needs to clean house.

Everyone got excited about a mediocre season last year that ended much the same way the previous two seasons ended -- out of the playoffs. Yet Ryan and the Jets treated the final two wins of 2013 against the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins as if it were the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. They weren't and those fans who clamored that Rex should stay are once again proven wrong.

Ryan should have been let go then, because if this thing spirals out of control now, he will be let go at the end of this season. Remember when Ryan admitted after the 2012 season that he didn't have the pulse of the team? Well, it appears he still doesn't have that pulse now.

Ryan doesn't seem to have the pulse of his offense, and has left in the hands of Morhinweg, who has done a terrible job of both running the offense and tutoring the young quarterback. Morhinweg should be out the door too.

Sadly today's events do not help Rex at all.

Geno Smith should know better than to yell at the fans, and defensive end Sheldon Richardson shouldn't be adding to it by telling the fans to "shut up" when it comes to critiquing the team.  This behavior makes the Jets look like a circus.

Ryan needs to get this group under control.

And how about Idzik? It was Jon Idzik who forced fed Ryan and Woody Johnson Geno Smith, drafting him as the guy to push Sanchez out the door as the "next franchise quarterback of the NYJ." It was Idzik who drafted Dee Milliner. It was Idzik who decided not to spend the $20 million in cap space this past off-season on free agents, and it was Idzik who decided not to bring back Darrelle Revis, and decided to pass up on every top free agent corner on the market this year. 

If Rex Ryan takes the fall for a season that appears heading for Rich Kotite-like proportions, Idzik shouldn't be far behind. If the Jets fans can't trust Idzik when it comes to picking players, how can they trust him with the next HC of the NYJ?

The sad joke in all of this is that Michael Vick is not going to solve the Jets quarterback ills either. He might make it exciting for a quarter, maybe a game, but not the season. He's old, brittle and diminished. There is a reason why the Eagles were willing to release him in the off-season.

The Jets have the same problem they have always had: they do not have a quarterback. It is amazing how one franchise still can't get one position right after all these years and all these decades. The names on the back of the jersey change, but the output at quarterback - for the most part - has been the same.

So, with a schedule of at San Diego, Denver, at New England, Buffalo, at Kansas City, and Pittsburgh coming up the Jets look destined for 2-8 or 1-9 before their bye week, especially if they play like this.

The season is falling apart.  It is time for Woody Johnson to assess, and make moves to put new football people in charge who will light a fire into the building and the fan base. Leon Hess waited a very long time before he let Bill Parcells "shop for the groceries." Woody Johnson needs to find his Parcells.

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