Friday, October 21, 2011

Week 7-Revis Again

The Jets got what they needed on Monday night, a 24-6 victory over Miami that evened their record for the season at 3-3. Darrelle Revis came up with the kind of performance on national TV that will only enhance his reputation as the game's best cover man, and, at least for my money, the best defensive player in the NFL. Revis had three tackles, four passes defended, and two picks, including a 100-yard interception return that gave the Jets a lead they would never lose. Although the Jets needed a win more than anything else, their overall performance was nothing spectacular. The offense started out the game with four consecutive three and outs, playing at a snail's pace and with no sense of urgency. It took until the final possession of the first half before the offense was able to establish any kind of rhythm.

This continues to be an issue for the Jets, and I would imagine that it will be an issue for the rest of the season. The offense seems incapable of playing with any kind of pace or sense of urgency. Mark Sanchez gets to the line of scrimmage, and, whether his snap count includes legitimate instructions or dummy audibles, there is an endless stream of verbiage that usually concludes with Sanchez screaming, "Kill! Kill!" then rushing to get a snap off as the play clock strikes zero. As a result, the Jets offense always seems to be reacting instead of forcing the action. Until Sanchez settled down and made a few good throws to lead the Jets to a score at the end of the half, it seemed like a very real possibility that the Revis TD would have to hold up for the whole game.

It's hard to evaluate the Jets against a Dolphin team that looks like they are headed towards 2-14 or 3-13. New York's next 4 weeks can put the team in position for another playoff run, or effectively remove them from contention. This week, the San Diego Chargers pay a visit to MetLife Stadium, as the two teams face off for the first time since the Jets victory in the 2009 AFC Divisional Playoff game. The Chargers are a very talented team that always seems to underachieve, but, this year they're off to a solid 4-1 start and have a chance to assume control of the AFC West. Normally, it's a good thing for an east coast team like New York to face a west coast team like San Diego in the early window on Sunday, hoping that the team from the west will be a little sluggish at that hour. Of course, Rex Ryan made sure that the Chargers were paying attention in his weekly press conference, where he took some shots at Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner, stating that he would have a few rings already if he had gotten the Chargers gig back in 2007 when Turner took over.

By now, we're all used to this routine from Rex. It's a fairly simple plan; control the media narrative by making the game all about him, putting his team in position to have to back up the big talk, and keeping the attention off of his own team's struggles. Instead of talking about the non-existence of Plaxico Burress, the inaccuracies of Sanchez, or the disappointing performance of Shonn Greene, we're talking about Rex's mouth, which is just what he wants.

All I could think about on Monday night was how much better the Jets would have to play to beat San Diego. We're almost at midseason and the Jets have yet to be play a complete game on both sides of the ball. They will need a complete game against the Chargers, and the next 2 games at the Bills and home for the Patriots. It's almost November, when the better teams begin to separate themselves from the rest.

Kickoff on Sunday is at 1 pm.

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