Two preseason games into the reign of Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator, it doesn't seem like much had changed on the field. The Jets offense is still stuck in reverse, merely a place keeper between defensive possessions. The nature of defense is surrendering points, but last season's offense made playing 60 minutes of defense seem like a much safer venture. The offensive performance so far this preseason seems headed down the same path.
There is no denying that the New York Jets offense has looked horrific to this point in the preseason. That doesn't mean there's any reason to start smashing the panic button, but some encouraging signs would be nice this week. The Jets should have a more focused approach to attacking the Carolina Panthers this week, which will hopefully bring along better results.
Even though the Jets haven't done any game-specific pre-planning for the first two preseason games, they also haven't done some of the things Tony Sparano promised. The most important being deeps shots down the field. That might just be because it hasn't been there or it hasn't been called for whatever reason, but the Jets need to throw the ball deep this season to be successful.
There is no reason for the Jets to be hesitant about throwing the ball deep. When Jayron Hosley intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass on a short crossing route and housed it in the game against the New York Giants, it was very reminiscent of the passing game last season. the Jets refused to throw the ball deep, tossing checkdown after checkdown, until teams started jumping the short patterns and intercepting them. It's actually less risky to throw the ball deep, as an interception on a pass 40 yards downfield is basically a punt, while an interception on a short pass is much more likely to be brought back for a touchdown.
The Jets need to back those safeties off. Otherwise teams will flood the field with defenders and cut down on passing windows, much like they did in 2011. The Jets have weapons that can get down the field, even with Santonio Holmes absent so far. It would be nice to see the Jets at least take one shot down the field this week, if for no reason other than to show that Tony Sparano's talk about a vertical passing game wasn't all bluster.
Will anything change this season or will Jets fans be subjected to another season of checkdowns, sacks, turnovers and a remedial offense? So far, the Jets offense looks like it's still 2011.
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