Schwartz: Time To Push Panic Button On Jets’ Offense?
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By Peter Schwartz
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After Bilal Powell was dropped for a 4-yard loss in the third quarter, an NBC camera caught Jets head coach Rex Ryan shaking his head.
Maybe Rex needs to change his mind.
Just a thought, but perhaps his starters should get a few plays against the Eagles’ backups on Thursday night in Philadelphia, as the Jets have now gone three preseason games without scoring a touchdown.
“It’s disappointing not scoring a touchdown this game, as well as the first two,” said Ryan. “We have work to do, but I think we made some improvements. I really think we’re going to get this thing turned. We have to.”
And time is running out.
I know it’s only preseason and the Jets have shown a basic, vanilla offense so far, but this is getting to be an alarming situation. The season opener against the Bills is less than two weeks away and new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is probably already losing sleep.
But while Jets Nation is getting ready to push the panic button, there is still a feeling among the players that this will get corrected when the curtain goes up for real.
“The way I see it, we’re saving all of our good stuff for the regular season,” said quarterback Mark Sanchez. “We just feel like there’s good stuff right around the corner, and we’re steadily improving and now we’ll need to make a big jump for this Buffalo game coming up, but we’ve got some time.”
It’s true that the Jets have not unveiled everything, but their offensive futility has reached historical proportions.
According to NBC, the Jets are the first team since the 1977 Atlanta Falcons to not score a touchdown in their first three preseason games. New York has played 12 quarters, had 35 drives, and called 174 plays without finding the end zone.
Not even a Quinton Coples sack and forced fumble that gave the Jets the ball at the Carolina 12-yard line could help Gang Green find the end zone. A third quarter drive was stymied when Matt Slauson committed a personal foul.
With Tim Tebow at the helm, the Jets moved the ball on the final drive of the night, but they came up short — again!
“Obviously, we wanted to put it in the end zone, especially at the end trying to drive downfield and win the game,” said Tebow who threw a terrible pick in the game and should have had two interceptions but another was dropped. “Unfortunately, we came up a little short. I think we got better at some things. We still have to continue to improve and find a way to win the game.”
There’s no sugarcoating this. The Jets’ offense has been underwhelming during the preseason to say the least. However, I think we all have to table final judgment on this until we see what the Jets look like on September 9.
Was there a small semblance of improvement?
Is there cause for concern?
Absolutely! Because at this point, the Jets’ offense has been… offensive!
JETS MASH UNIT
Dustin Keller suffered a hamstring injury on the first play of the game when he hauled in a 24-yard reception. He did not return and neither did Josh Baker after he sustained a right knee injury when he took a shot from Josh Norman on an incomplete pass in the end zone. Also, David Harris suffered an ankle injury and Stephen Hill was shaken up.
The best tackle of the night was recorded by a stadium security guard who brought down a fan as he was jumping off of the lower level wall and onto the field in-between the third and fourth quarters.
The Jets wore their road white jerseys at home for the 2nd time in the preseason.
While I was having dinner in the press box, I was watching the Jets Super Bowl III “America’s Game” on NFL Network. I couldn’t help but overhear some people chatting at the next table who were also watching the show. One of them was clearly from out of town as he asked someone else, “Is Shea still standing?” I guess he didn’t get the memo.
The Jets will wrap up their preseason Thursday night with the “Backup Bowl” against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The starters will not play so expect to see Greg McElroy at quarterback for most of the game with Matt Simms finishing up.
That’s all for now! Check back soon for more!
Sure, it’s just the preseason. But are you concerned about the offense? Be heard in the comments below!