Written by: Mike Mitolo
It has officially started. Jets fans have pressed the panic button, the smell of 1986 is in the air, and “The Same Old Jets” just might have walked back into town only to find the Pittsburgh Steelers and their all time 15 -3 record vs. Gang Green (1-0 in the playoffs) with them.
Many that follow the green and white, including yours truly, are going with the gut feeling of a 9-7 finish, possibly missing the playoffs altogether. At the same time, we are hoping and praying that like in the past, in some big games the Jets were expected to lose, they wind up winning.
If it’s all going to happen the way it’s “supposed to”, then the Jets are due. Playing the Steelers could be the final acid test at proving they have what it takes to win in December & January.
And maybe, the last chance at regaining any momentum and swagger this team once had. This would be huge as the team attempts to make the playoffs.
Especially for Mark Sanchez who in my opinion should have been benched after his first series in the 3rd quarter against the Dolphins, regardless of the notion the young QB would completely unravel because of it.
This quarterback situation here is different. Mark Brunell has had his day in the sun and there is no immediate threat to job security. The thinking should be “bring in the veteran and see if his years of experience can get a mental edge on the defense and try making something happen that way.”
The signs of inexperience and the tendency to tighten up in games of importance have once again, both come to light. Brian Schottenheimer, once considered a top head coaching candidate, has been perplexing many times this year with his game planning and questionable play calling. Running the “wildcat” on 4th & 2 is enough to make you shake your head.
Schottenheimer’s lack of adjustments, both during the game and at halftime also raises questions, along with fact that getting the most out of his players has not been one of his priorities – just ask Dustin Keller.
Mark Sanchez and his receivers need to find the offense that played the first 12 weeks of this season.
Sanchez must make plays with his arm to push through and get 7, because it’s pretty obvious that any confidence placed in kicker Nick Folk, was left in Cleveland along with 3 missed field goals. Anything short of a touchdown might not be enough.
Did anybody catch Jay Feely’s highlights last week?
Sione Pouha and the rest of the Jets defense needs to spring board off of last week’s impressive performance and make it a nightmare for the tough Big Ben. Not an easy task.
If both sides of the ball and the coaching staff can all meet somewhere in the middle this Sunday, it might just be “Those Same Old Jets” pulling out the big win no one expects them to get.