Questions Looming for Jets, Who Need a Win and Help

The Jets go into Miami this week and defeat a Dolphins team that is looking to play spoiler for their AFC rival.  The Jets must win on Sunday, and get some help from other teams in order to make the post season.

The Jets need the Bengals to lose, the Titans to lose, and the Raiders or Broncos to lose to get in the playoffs – that’s asking for a lot of help!  The hardest part could be just getting a win against the Dolphins.  The Dolphins are playing much better this last half of the season compared to the first half, where they started 0-7.

Against the Giants last week, the Jets threw the ball 59 times, which doesn’t exactly qualify as a “ground and pound” offense.  That’s not what the Jets do to win games.  They are a run-and-play-solid-defense type of team.

There has been speculation that offensive coordinater Brian Schottenheimer will be gone at the end of the season.  The game plans for the Jets this season have been very up and down.  Some weeks they seem to abandon the running game and throw the ball way too many times for either the team or quarterback Mark Sanchez’s well-being.  Other weeks they rediscover the running game, which for the most part helps the Jets rack up victories.

Coach Rex Ryan has been in Schottenheimer’s corner all year and he has taken the blame for the offensive struggles.  “I’m the head coach, it’s on me.”  But there is plenty of blame to pass around on this subject.  The team needs to get faster on offense and get a breakaway runner that can “take it to the house.”  The Jets have been missing that element.

This will be a big off-season for the Jets with many possible changes looming.  The biggest question is: is Mark Sanchez the answer long term answer at quarterback?  It looks like he is going to have to be for at least two more years.  He is owed $8.5 million next year and there currently isn’t a better option out there at quarterback.  There have been rumors of Peyton Manning to the Jets if the Colts select quarterback Andrew Luck in the draft, but that’s a stretch and personally, I don’t like this move.  Number one, we don’t even know if Manning will be cleared to play next year after having neck fusion surgery.  Also, he’s missed a whole years with the neck surgery, and it’s tough to believe he will be mobile and durable enough to handle a sixteen game schedule.  This would be another version of the Brett Favre “circus” that all Jets fans remember.  The Jets released a class individual and a winner in Chad Pennington for Farve, who only stayed one season.

But first things first – how about a win in Miami on Sunday!

Grab Bag:

Three Jets were voted to the Pro Bowl – center Nick Mangold, defensive back Darrelle Revis, and offensive lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson.  The Jets were angry about linebacker David Harris getting snubbed, as Rex Ryan said yesterday, “Harris has made more plays than anybody in this league.” Harris has five sacks, four interceptions, and 84 tackles this year.

On the injury front, DE Ropati Pitoitua broke his hand against the Eagles in the second quarter.  He has been practicing with a club on his hand and expects to play Sunday.  The Jets signed practice squad DE Ricky Sapp this week to be part of the 53 man roster.

For the Dolphins, running back Reggie Bush has been ruled out for Sunday.  Also, offensive tackle Jake Long is out with a triceps tear and John Jerry will take his spot.

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has said he would like to continue playing next year.  This is the last year on his contract with the Jets, but he says he feels great and wants to continue playing.  “I want that championship!”  Given his age, it’s not clear if the Jets will bring him back.

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