Preseason or Not, Jets' Offensive Struggles in Mid-Season Form
(Long Island, N.Y.) For fans of the New York Jets, the last thing that they use as a barometer of their team are games played during the month of August. Sure, everyone wants to see good things out of the entire roster and a few wins would be nice. But all you need to do is bring up the year 1992 and followers of Gang Green will shake their collective heads.
For the fans old enough to recall that season vividly, they wish that they can get selective memory loss. With them - and the younger generation - in mind, here's a quick recap: the Jets were transitioning away from the Ken O'Brien era and gave the young Browning Nagle (nicknamed "Nuke" for his strong right arm) the job. Bruce Coslet's bunch went a perfect 5-0 in exhibition games and were flying high with their new quarterback heading into the regular season opener in Atlanta.
Nagle fumbled the first snap of his professional career and of course the Jets lost. The entire team struggled and the 4-12 campaign was hardly the worst of it when you consider that it was also the same year that Dennis Byrd broke his neck during a late season loss to the Chiefs at the Meadowlands.
So even with the totally demoralizing 26-3 defeat at the hands of the Giants, 0-2 (and possibly 0-4) becomes 0-0 in Week 1. But there have been many signs to show that things will get a whole lot worse before they get better around here. But Rex Ryan only sees his glass as being half full, even with zero touchdowns after two games.
"(When) you put in a brand new offense, it's a work in progress, and when it's all said and done, we're going to be productive on offense," the Jets head coach said. "It's as simple as that."
The team defense, especially the starters, has played fairly well but both the offense and special teams have been atrocious. Joe McKnight committed a running into the kicker penalty on a punt and T.J. Connelly had two shanks, setting the Giants up even more during the rout.
The most glaring weakness taken out of last Saturday night's game was the ineffectiveness of the offensive line. Both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow were sacked a combined seven times and the Jets were unable to convert on fourth-and-one on a run up the middle.
"We got beat physically a couple of times and technique wasn't as sharp as where we want it to be," Ryan said of John Connor's first half attempt to move the chains.
Ryan was putting it kindly when everyone watching could see that that the fullback never had a chance on the play. The defensive lineman were wrapping him up before he even hit the line of scrimmage. Your big guys up front need to get a better push on plays like that and they also have to keep the quarterback upright so he can find an open receiver. Even though there are injuries in the receiving corps, players such as Santonio Holmes wouldn't be able to make something happen if he is not given the opportunity due to a breakdown in pass protection.
"We don't need to be at our best right now," Ryan concluded. "We need to be at our best opening day and I'm confident that when we get going, we will be."
If not, we may be in store for another long season such as the one 20 years ago. You remember that one...when the Jets had more wins in the preseason than they did the whole year. Just in case you forgot.
August 21, 2012 11:57 AM Eastern
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