It's starting to feel a lot like 1996.
Sure the Jets have had their handful of losing seasons here and there since that time, but 1996 was the last time the Jets played as pathetically as they are playing now. That year they were 1-15, and Rich Kotite was canned after two seasons as head coach.
On Sunday, after the Jets were plastered by the Chargers 31-0, Rex Ryan offered up a Kotite-esq quote that makes you wonder how much time he has left as the HC of the NYJ, when he went up to the podium and said: "First I want to apologize to our fans ... those that are left."
Ryan then added after his morose apology:
"This is on one person and that's it. It's certainly not on a quarterback
and one individual that way. It's on me. Clearly got outcoached. I
thought we had a good plan going in and obviously that wasn't the case."
Not only was Sunday's loss horrible, it was down right embarrassing as the Jets looked more like a high school football team against the NFL team in the Chargers. San Diego did away with New York so fast that they might as well have had the equivalent of the high school 28-point rule in effect. Better yet, maybe a 7-point rule, because that is how lousy the Jets played on Sunday.
Geno Smith was his woeful self. The bumbling quarterback completed only four passes in 12 attempts for 27 yards. The Jets mustered only three first downs when Smith was in there and the longest drive of the day for Gang Green under Smith was 23 yards! 23 yards!?!?!?!?!
The Jets had no choice but to go with Michael Vick. Sticking with Smith would have led thousands of Jets fans to chant for Rex Ryan's job, but, they are doing that anyway. What was one to expect from Michael Vick? A miracle? Not on this day. Vick was equally putrid. Maybe it was rust combined with age and the Chargers defense, because Vick completed only eight passes in 19 passes for 47 yards. All told the Jets threw for 60 yards on the day from both quarterbacks.
In case you are wondering Chargers tight end Antonini Gates had 60 yards receiving on four catches all by himself for San Diego. That's how bad the Jets offense was.
Offensively, the Jets weren't innovative, explosive, nor motivated. Marty Mornhinweg's play calling once again has to come into question, as he was both ultra-conservative, and never adjusted the gameplan to fit a chaotic situation.
Defensively the Jets were easily pushed around. In addition to giving up 21 first downs and 439 total yards, they allowed the Chargers to convert 12-of-18 of their third downs, and running back Branden Oliver looked like Natron Means on Sunday, plowing through the Jets defense for 114 yards rushing.
In short, the Jets walked into Qualcom Stadium ready to lose, and they got humiliated instead.
The Jets players didn't seem to care, and it showed in every aspect of their execution on Sunday. Before Gang Green knew it it was 21-0 at halftime. The Jets could have brought Bret Favre in his prime out to play quarterback, the Jets were not going to win this game.
A performance like this by a football team would in most circumstances mean that someone would get fired. However, Jets owner Woody Johnson has already thrown his support behind Rex Ryan and John Idzik, but, owners like Johnson have the right to change their mind.
While a change at head coach would not do much to save this nightmare of a season, a shake-up is needed. Perhaps the offensive coordinator, Mornhinweg, should be the first one to go if there is indeed need for a scapegoat for this season already. Nobody would complain if that were to happen. Then again, he is the third offensive coordinator the Jets have had under Ryan.
For Ryan to come out and say "if there is anyone left" in regards to Jets fans is a total slap in the face at both Johnson and any fans that ARE indeed left with this franchise. Keep in mind this is the second insult thrown at Jets fans in a week. Earlier this past week Johnson said he wasn't going to spend all of the money the Jets had in cap space because he wanted to save money as a reserve.
Like I said last week it is up to Johnson to make the decision, and it is becoming clearer with each passing game he is going to have to make a decision soon -- if he is even capable of sucking it up and making such a move.
Then again, in defense of Ryan and his staff, they have little to work with and that rests at both the feet of Johnson and his GM, John Idzik. The Jets are short in talent at a lot of key positions, and will be hard pressed to win many more games this year as it is. It almost feels like Ryan has been set up to fail.
The end is near for Rex Ryan. Not only was Sunday the first time Ryan has ever started a season 1-4 as a head coach, it was the first time in his six years with New York that you could tell that he knew the noose is tightening.
By the way the Jets play the Broncos next week at MetLife Stadium. If 31-0 to the Chargers isn't bad enough, I hate to imagine what Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense will do next week.
You can listen to me tomorrow break down all the NFL action on BlogTalk Radio at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday.