Jets’ many flaws clear in loss to Texans
Mark Sanchez had his moments – good and bad – for the Jets. Tim
But some of the Jets’ biggest flaws were on full display in
their 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans. They couldn’t run the ball,
the defense couldn’t stop the run and Tebow still isn’t running on
the field much.
And now, the Jets are running out of answers.
”We could’ve won, we should’ve won,” wide receiver Chaz
Schilens said Monday night. ”We got in the way of ourselves again.
Sooner or later, we’ll fix it.”
At least that’s the hope for a New York team that’s 2-3, but
feels an awful lot worse than that. After all, this is a franchise
that once had its coach guaranteeing Super Bowls, a team known for
spunk and swagger. That’s not so much the case these days as some
players spoke as if Monday night was a moral victory.
”It was a lot of courage, a lot of effort that we showed,”
Tebow said. ”It wasn’t always perfect and we always didn’t execute
the way we want to, but you can never question our toughness or our
effort or our character.”
The Jets’ performance was certainly better than what they showed
in a 34-0 drubbing against the San Francisco 49ers last week. But
plenty of questions remain for the Jets, who lost for the first
time to the Texans.
”We helped them,” a weary sounding coach Rex Ryan said on a
conference call Tuesday, about 10 hours after the loss. ”We made a
mistake and they made the plays. That’s a good football team.
Obviously, you can’t help them, and that’s the disappointing thing
The running game still hasn’t been able to get going, averaging
just 3 yards a carry as Shonn Greene gained just 26 yards on eight
”Well, we have to get the run game going,” Ryan said. ”If we
can run the ball, it’ll open up a lot of things in the passing
game. We have to be more efficient running the football.”
And they have to better at stopping it, too. Arian Foster zipped
through missed tackles all over the field for 152 yards, making it
seem as though Houston could run at will.
That’s becoming a disturbing trend for a Jets defense that has
looked slow at times – despite Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike
Pettine insisting in the offseason that the unit become faster.
Last week, the 49ers ran for 245 yards, and Miami had 185 two weeks
”We still have some things we want to clean up and try to get
better on and just continue to work,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie
said. ”This game, we fell hard on the back end, too. We missed a
couple of plays out on the field and when we just go back and look
at it, I think we will get a whole lot better, too.”
Joe McKnight had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to
get MetLife Stadium rocking as the Jets cut the deficit to 20-14,
but things went sour on the very next play as Chaz Schilens
couldn’t handle an onside kick attempt.
And then, there’s the whole quarterback quandary with Sanchez
Sanchez went 14 of 31 for 230 yards, a touchdown and two
interceptions. Ryan thought he played ”pretty good,” and said
there was ”no question” Sanchez is still the Jets’ starting
quarterback – despite many fans and media calling for Tebow to get
more time, and perhaps even slide into the starting role.
That’s despite Sanchez’s 48.4 completion percentage being
dead-last in the NFL, and his 66.6 quarterback rating ranking 31st.
Still, it isn’t all on Sanchez. He had four passes tipped at the
line of scrimmage and a few drops by his receivers, including one
by Jeff Cumberland that led to a game-sealing interception. Sanchez
is also playing without top receiver Santonio Holmes, out for the
season with a foot injury, and rookie Stephen Hill and tight end
Dustin Keller sidelined by hamstring issues.
New York’s receiving corps is so thin, even free agent Terrell
Owens tweeted at the Jets – practically begging them – to call his
agent to sign him.
”You never say never or anything,” Ryan said when asked about
Owens. ”We’ll look at all options, like we always do.”
But it appears the Jets have no interest in Owens – or Plaxico
Burress or Chad Johnson, for that matter.
”I would assume we would go with the same crew,” Ryan
That means, for now, it’s Schilens, Jeremy Kerley, Clyde Gates –
who was scheduled to have an MRI on an injured shoulder – and newly
signed Jason Hill – who dropped a perfectly thrown pass from
Ryan thinks Keller, who has missed the last four games, might be
back against Indianapolis on Sunday.
”I’m encouraged,” he said. ”When I talked to Dustin last, he
felt he was going to be able to go this week, so I think that will
give us a huge boost.”
Ryan was also hopeful about Stephen Hill being able to return,
and that can only help Sanchez.
Meanwhile, Tebow was on the field for only seven offensive plays
when many expected this to be his big breakout game for the Jets.
He ran for a first down on a fake punt, and also took a snap and
rumbled 13 yards up the middle for another first down. But that was
about it for Tebow, who is doing his best to hide any perceived
frustration about his minimal role.
There was also some confusion at times Monday night, forcing the
Jets to call timeouts when Tebow ran onto the field. That was
caused, in part, by inexperienced players not being clear on
personnel groups – not just Tebow.
”I think when you have a guy and you just pick up a guy and
he’s with you for four days and he has to go in, he hasn’t
practiced any of that stuff with Tim as a quarterback,” Ryan said,
apparently referring to Jason Hill. ”So if you call the package,
for whatever reason, we had some issues with the
Just add it to a lengthy list of things the Jets are trying to
fix these days.
”For us to be 2-3 right now,” Schilens said, ”is not
indicative of who we are.”
NOTES: C Nick Mangold was expected to have an MRI exam on his
right ankle, but the fact he was able to return to the game after
being carted from the sideline was a promising sign. Ryan told 98.7
ESPN that he expects Mangold to play vs. Indianapolis. … LB Josh
Mauga has a torn pectoral muscle, and will miss the rest of the
season, according to a person with knowledge of the injury. The
person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity
because the team had not announced the severity of the injury. …
DT Kenrick Ellis is believed to have sprained a knee ligament, but
it was uncertain how much time he may miss. … Former Bills and
Raiders OT Ed Wang tweeted that he had a workout with the Jets, but
headed home without being signed.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and