Yes, the New York Jets are technically on top of the AFC East standings thanks to winning both of their divisional games thus far.
There probably hasn’t been a team in too long, however, that was as inept offensively while in first place. As was the case with the Chicago Bears last season when Jay Cutler went down with injury, it seems like the Jets are destined to fall to the bottom of the standings within the next few weeks.
For that reason, the Jets should begin looking at how they can improve the team after the season. And it starts with the Quarterback.
After this Monday’s match up against the potent Houston Texans, the Jets will officially resemble a team in disarray as the second quarter of their season begins.
During the Rex Ryan era, they have been counted out at many points. For example, after their Week 10 loss to the New England Patriots–in which Sanchez threw one touchdown and four interceptions– their record stood at a disappointing 4-6.
They did not resemble anything close to a playoff team, nonetheless a team that would ultimately be 30 minutes away from facing Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl.
An optimistic Jets fan can point to that game as reason to believe this team can overcome the negativity currently surrounding the team. Rex has also displayed his incredible motivational techniques which has enabled the team to win several difficult road games during his tenure.
Rex’s motivational tactics will not be able to mitigate the disaster that this season will soon become, and the abysmal play of #6.
The team was supposed to be built on a strong running attack, as the club was during the first two years of the Rex/Mark era. The running game has been non-existent thus far, ranking 24th in the league with 86.5 yards per game.
Shonn Greene has not resembled a feature running back, and it appears the team has not recovered from losing Thomas Jones and LaDainian Tomlinson during a three-year stretch.
Sanchez benefited greatly from having an elite running game, which enabled him to complete play action passes and quick slants.
The wide receiving corps was already thin in the beginning of the season, and has become razor thin after losing Santonio Holmes for the season.
General Manager Mike Tannenbaum used the 43rd overall pick on Stephen Hill in order to add a deep threat, which has not worked out so far.
Then there is the quarterback situation.
While Sanchez has not been a Pro Bowl caliber passer yet, he seems to have lost his confidence completely while playing without his security blanket receivers such as Dustin Keller and Holmes.
It is certainly not a recipe for success to lose legitimate pass catchers to injuries, but great QBs find a way to keep their team in the game.
The Jets may be keeping tabs on the top QB prospects in the nation such as Geno Smith or Matt Barkley in order to bring in a new franchise QB.
There is a lot of money invested in Sanchez, but if winning is the ultimate goal Woody Johnson should not hesitate to find a superior pocket passer than Sanchez, who has not had multiple games in his career with sub-5.0 Quarterback Ratings.
While the Jets have plenty of problems to address, much of it would sort itself out if they had an elite QB under center. If Sanchez was an accurate passer, players like Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland would be sufficient play makers.
The season is only four weeks old, and Rex is already in a significant conundrum. He will continue to speak positively of the team, but one has to wonder whether management privately wishes the team will continue to fall apart in order to rid themselves of the Mark Sanchez era.