Palladino: Three Reasons Jets Won’t Make Playoffs

‘From the Pressbox’
By Ernie Palladino
» More Ernie Palladino Columns

Ernie is the author of “Lombardi and Landry.” He’ll be covering football throughout the season.

Thanks to Christmas Eve’s 29-14 loss to the Giants, the 8-7 Jets are in a heck of a fix right now. And it’s all their fault.

Oh, they can still make the playoffs if they beat Miami. They just need Cincinnati, Tennessee and Oakland to lose. Not much of a problem there, right?

They could have made this road so much simpler had they just kept their minds on their own business and beat the Giants. But that’s not the Jets’ way. In fact, they’ve botched this season in a number of different ways.

Owning the pessimism common to most journalists, this guy is saying the Jets wind up out of the postseason for the first time in the Buddy, er, Rex Ryan era. Here are three big reasons for that.

OH, REX: Bless that little heart in his tubby body, he does fill a reporter’s notebook. But that’s half the problem. Ryan put tremendous pressure on his team this whole season with his Super Bowl promises and such. And just when the Jets could have used a respite to focus and prepare for the Giants game, Rex turned up the heat with a steady stream of trash talk.

Of course, players follow their coach and many joined in the nonsense about becoming the big brother in town. First off, the Jets are about three Super Bowl victories away from that goal. Second, wouldn’t it have been enough to recognize this game as a continuance of their playoff lives? Did Rex and company have to elevate it to some stupid platitude about conquering the hearts and minds of New York?

Predictably, some Giants responded in less breathless manner. Tom Coughlin, a classy guy, didn’t want to hear any noise at all. “Talk is Cheap, Play the Game” was his mantra, and it worked. The Giants went through the week’s practices with so much extra energy — energy not spent on yapping — that Coughlin was actually surprised by it.

The results are obvious. The bulk of the Giants’ talking came after the clock hit 0:00. Jacobs threatened to punch Ryan and called him a “disrespectful bastard.” David Diehl ripped down the black coverings the Jets organization put over their Super Bowl insignias. The players laughed and had a good old time.

Meanwhile, nobody feels for Ryan. You want to talk, you’d better back it up. And putting immense heat on one’s team is no way to do it.

SWINGING GATES: The Jets’ offensive line has had problems all season, and Saturday was no exception. They run-blocked OK, but everybody does that against the Giants’ defense. But the pass protection? Didn’t exist. Five sacks against Mark Sanchez, including two from the league’s most electric young player Jason Pierre-Paul. Even Justin Tuck, almost invisible much of the season due to injuries, had a sack.

The situation won’t change much against Miami, which is not an easy out at this point. They only lost by three to New England Saturday, and they were up 17-0 at halftime. They’d like nothing better than to put an end to the Jets. So right tackle Wayne Hunter and that rickety inside blocking had better figure something out quickly.

THE REST OF THE LEAGUE: As enumerated up top, the Jets need Cincinnati (9-6), Tennessee (8-7) and Oakland (8-7) all to lose in combination with a Jets’ win. Or, Cincinnati and Tennessee lose, Oakland wins, and Denver loses to give the Raiders the AFC West title.

They might just get two out of the four in that equation, but it won’t be enough. Cincinnati faces a tough Baltimore squad that they’ve lost to once already, though they carry a two-game winning streak into that game. If Baltimore goes in full strength, the Bengals will probably lose. But the Ravens having already clinched at least a playoff spot with Pittsburgh, they could rest some key players to create an opening for Cincinnati. That’s not likely, though, since the Ravens are battling the Steelers for the division title and a home playoff game. So put Cincinnati down for a loss.

Tennessee could mess things up as they face a Houston squad that has locked up the AFC South. The Texans could play their starters a half and then cruise through the second half. A real possibility there. But Tennessee has been so up-and-down this year that they could easily fold.

The worst shot comes in Oakland, which plays a 7-8 San Diego squad that is likely to lose its coach. The Chargers come off a 38-10 wailing by the Lions, and they’ll probably be in no mood to play this meaningless game. The Raiders, however, have an outside shot at a wildcard spot, so they’ll be jacked.

Definitely put the Raiders down for a win.

Denver, going against Kansas City with a chance for a division title, already has a win over the Chiefs. Granted, the Chiefs are playing better, but you’ve got to go with Tebow and company on this one. So figure that scenario is out the window.

Definitely put Ryan and the Jets down for a long offseason for which they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

Is Rex to blame for the Jets woes? The offensive line? Leave a comment below.

  • John Rivers

    Will Rex be in NEW york Next year.

  • Phil

    Wayne Hunter and Ducase are terrible….soo true moose. What do you think of bringing braylen edwards back?…….

    I like schotty, hes a good O-coordinator but hes not right for this team. They need an o-line coordinator that fits this team mentality. He was good for pennington with the dinking and dunking bc pennington couldnt throw down the field but sanchez has the capabilities of throwing it down the field.

  • Joan Russo

    I really do not know what to say..This has been a lost and confusing year..The team chemistry seems to be gone..Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards and good ole reliable Cotchery are gone..All who were terrific players.. We have to get rid of Schotty he really sucks and let’s go and get a suitable passrusher to help Sanchez out..He brought us to 2 AFC championships..I know with the right players around him this quarterback can bring us to a superbowl..I know everyone does not see this now it is hard to but this quarterback has so much potential and it is still only his 3rd year..II am frustrated just like the rest of the fans but it really has been a really bad year just chalk it up to that..The whole team played like crap and lost crucial games not just Sanchez..Give him a break..

  • DCLaw-1

    I think Namath and the Jets are a sure thing against the Colts.

    • LOL

      Joe Namath predicted the Jets will beat the Giants on Saturday – he still bleeds green, Jets 27, Giants 16

      Well he was almost right on one thing, the final score (29-14), but picked the wrong team winning.

  • Joe Namath

    Bottom line: Sanchez does not belong in the NFL. The Jets need a real QB. He is so over-rated it is a joke. This has nothing to do with race or ethnic. Why not go out and get McNabb. At least he can throw the ball. Sanchez should be working at Dunkin Donuts.

  • mister

    As a Patriot fan i am laughing out loud. Your QB stinks and would be a backup anywhere but in NY where he was overhyped coming out of USC. Your coach while he did beat the pats last year hasnt won anything and this year all his yapping has gotten him is 2 beatdowns by the Pats, and one each by Reid and Coughlin. Same old Jets, they dont deserve to make the playoffs even if the above teams blow their games. All they have done the last 2 years is back in off another teams loss so let just say it like it is they aint that good.

  • dano_in_ny

    I think the mindless mouthing here is on the part of the writer. Ryan and all the Ryans are master motivators and game planners and it has been no small feat for Rex to bring the Jets from Man-no-genie to 2 AFC championship games, better than all but 1 AFC team both years. His motivational tactics were meaningless to the playing of the game. I think 2 things about the Jets ability at this point: 1) the CBA allowed them only to sign as many free agents as they lost. To get the fast results, they hired aging stars like Bart Scott, and the CBA prevented them from regenerating the 30% of thge team they needed. They were highest on the number of signings they made of FA post-CBA, but by then there were slim pickings. 2) they are facing questions about the o-line, the o-coordinator, the QB. With all these questions, not saying which one(s) are valid, the offense is misfiring at the wrong part of the season, and the Giants, with their own problems, were able to play better, Be happy for Rex and for 2 AFC-Championships, they don’t come easy, from a 2nd-3rd year QB? Count your blessings and recharge for next year.

    • FYI

      Dano, it’s two AFC Championship game appearances, not AFC Championships, let’s be clear about that.

      • marcus

        Two AFC Championship appearances both losses. Spoken like a true underachiever. We made it twice so Rex is god??? The guy is a joke and will be back on someone elses sideline as a D coordinator within 2 years. He has lost control of the team and his act is wearing thin now that he cant cash in on his promises. Do you think Bellichik would have let Santonio get away with his BS dance in the ednzone down 18 points at Philly? No he would be benched or even cut. How about Shotty? BB would have sent him packing last year when it was clear his offensive game plans were a joke. Rex is now standing by his O coach and QB in week 17. What a guy. Enjoy the offseason NYJ fans….

    • Mandi

      Wow Rex really motivated the Jets to play well against the Giants. Who only seem to get motivated to play the Patriots until of course fat Rex opens his mouth….

  • In Search Of....

    Has anyone heard from Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts? We need to have the cops look at every mental hospital, gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in the metro area. They have to be hiding somewhere. They were so sure the Jets were going to beat the Giants Saturday & go on to the win Super Bowl.

    This Jets defeat must have them going crazy mad. It’s bad enough the Mets have sucked and now here comes the Jets, their only salvation to live.

  • gary

    O line and just not enough depth on team. That goes directly to Mr. T. Sanchez is the guy, but cannot do it from his back or getting rushed all day. The Jets are the only offense that nobody is ever open. How many times does Sanchez drop back and all his reads are covered. lack of imagination on O,no protection of the QB, bad depth and draft picks like Ducase, Wilson and Gholston are huge issues for them going into the future not the QB.

    • WHAT?????

      Sanchez is the guy? What QB have you been watching all season long? You must some how have Sanchez confused with Rogers, Bree or Brady. Great QBs find their target. Great QBs find a way to win. Sanchez even standing, with all the time in the world can’t throw the ball more than 15 yrds.

      The problem with Sanchez is that he CAN’T READ THE DEFENSE, that’s one of the reasons why against the better teams he’s on his ass all day.

      You’re dreaming if you think Sanchez is the guy.

      • moose

        The first thing the Jet’s gotta do is replace Wayne Hunter. He is nothing but a back-up. Your correct, this team has no depth what so ever…When are they going to realize that Kyle Wilson is a bust,we already know about Ducase…They need to draft well this year and fill some gaps through free agents. Get a 1a type of QB behind Sanchez. And Pray that schooty gets one of these open coaching jobs…I like to see Callahan call the play’s next year….

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