Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/4/12
Well the pace quickens without much warning eh? The regular season certainly didn’t leave with a whimper. Not in a journalistic sense at any rate. Not after it filled our papers and computer screens to the brim with bull fruit madness and lame brained gibberish.
 
What kind of fool would try to sort this kind of thing out anyway? Mark Sanchez proved he is still as bad as everyone thinks, Rex Ryan proved that he is still as big a blowhard as everyone thinks, and Santonio Holmes has single-handedly dismantled the captain system while he proving he is the biggest ******* on the Jets’ roster, which figures to be his only accomplishment of any merit this season.
 
And that is just the stink rising from Jersey. We haven’t even gotten to the slew of young and coming coaching prospects like Greg Roman or Bill O’Brien who will have to ruin their promising careers at either Penn State or Jacksonville, with few options in between. Or the fact that Stevie Johnson is the most famous Buffalo Bill, but is known only for his low-IQ celebrations, dropping game winning touchdowns (several in one game alone), and his ongoing disputes with God. Bill Polian and company are gone from Indianapolis and many are wondering what will happen to Peyton Manning when his $28 million bill is pushed under Jim Irsay’s nose. Angelo and Martz are out in Chicago, Spagnuolo is out in St. Louis, Morris is out in Tampa Bay, and Jerry Jones isn’t planning to share his mind consuming power any time soon. Up North Matt Flynn spent one magical afternoon under the white winter sun and moved his name above Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers in the Packers’ records books.
 
Babbling Jesus! Even in the depths of a peyote-fueled vision quest you couldn’t come up with this kind of atavistic palaver. Maybe you could be convinced that the President is actually an extremely furtive and articulate gerbil with a penchant for flogging parties, or that you will soon be hosting a tea party for a writhing pack of seafaring iguanas, who will all be expecting the most modern of conveniences.
 
Maybe you could believe those things, given the right circumstances and chemical composition, but the sheer pace and weirdness of the NFL since Sunday night is hard for even the most addled mind to keep up with. Which is why only a fool would try to make any sense out of it. And that, my friends, is what makes you a pro.
 
Chaos in New York
 
We will get to Rex Ryan and Santonio Holmes in due time. For now we will turn our attention to Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is, in many ways, a far greater concern for the Jets’ front office than Holmes or Ryan. As the franchise quarterback Sanchez was supposed to lead this team places, but his three pick performance to end the 2011/2012 season only posed the same questions we’ve had for three years now. It’s unfortunate because he is the only prominent member of the team who isn’t an insufferable braggart.
 
Despite being the only vaguely likable member of an unlikable team Sanchez has his shortcomings. While he certainly improved from last year (throwing nine more touchdowns), he still hasn’t made substantial progress in some key areas. His completion percentage was still a paltry 56.7% with a meager 78.2 quarterback rating. There is certainly a chance that Sanchez will prove himself to be a very good quarterback, but his obstacles are growing at a worrying rate.
 
Sanchez has to contend with a clownish head coach, a mercurial top receiver who is universally hated in the locker room, a defense that is losing its bite, a running game that is losing its wheels, and a growing list of irrational haters/lovers.
 
The haters are multiplying, while the lovers are coming from stranger corners every day. One such lover was Colin Cowherd, who proclaimed that Sanchez has been doing the “Tebow act” for two years, winning games single handedly for the Jets and getting none of the credit, while Tebow has done nothing and is getting all of the credit. Well pick through that turd if you dare. The nut of this rhetoric is Cowherd’s Bayless-style “taunt the audience with un-truths”...but I’m not in the mood to discuss this kind of intellectually lazy bull sh*t.
 
We’ll just let the stats and the actual results tell us the truth. In Sanchez’s first two seasons as the starter the Jets boasted a top-five defense and a top-five running game and they advanced to the AFC Championship game. This year the defense was still a top-five unit in terms of yardage, but it allowed an average of 4 more points per game, and the running game slipped to 22nd in the league, and the Jets missed the playoffs.
 
Sanchez is not the Jets’ only problem, but there is something to be said when a quarterback throws three interceptions in a must win game, and is consistently replaced in the lineup by wildcat operator Jeremy Kerley.
 
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
 
Brian Billick found himself in the unenviable position of describing several historic events at one time on Sunday. The game between the Packers and the Lions provided the most combined net passing yards (971) in a single game in NFL history, the only NFL game where two passers threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns, and saw Matt Flynn set the Packers’ single game records for passing yards (480) and touchdowns (6).
 
Unfortunately Billick earned the ire of both fan bases in the process. Lions’ fans complained that Billick spent too much time gushing over the Packers’ backup. Packers’ fans complained that Billick is a Lions’ homer and seemed to be hoping for a Detroit win. Some situations provide no opportunity for victory, even when you are one of the best guys in the booth. Billick himself wasn’t ready for any it, “I thought we’d see a lot of running today…” he said.
           
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
 
This weekend served as the main phase of the marketing thrust for the movie Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a film which tries to capitalize on something that Alan Jackson was all over in 2001, and whose own title serves as a critical description. We are used to films made as Oscar bait, and we are used to artists who attempt to capitalize on national tragedies, but rarely do we get the two so seamlessly wrapped up in one another. As Peter Howell writes "The film feels all wrong on every level, mistaking precociousness for perceptiveness and catastrophe for a cuddling session. It's calculated as Oscar bait, but the bait is poisoned by opportunism and feigned sensitivity".
 
They Are Who We Thought They Were!
 
Denny Green is getting weirder with age. He is starting to look like a demented version of Al Sharpton, and his commercials are providing a strange look into his increasingly haggard psychology. According to Green, his game plan IS Coors Light. I have a lot of experience with terminal dope fiends and chemical freaks of various make, and the most troubling step is when the vice becomes the plan. You start off going to parties and doing cocaine while there, but soon you are doing cocaine in order to get through the party. The same logic applies to Coor’s Light, in some crude sense of my meaning.
 
The people at Coors are becoming a halfway house for wild jabbering ex-coaches. If I were a coach, and I sensed that my career was about to take a staggering downward turn, I’d just get up to the podium and start spouting apocryphal gibberish that no one could decipher. I’d lose the coaching gig, but in two years I’d have a lucrative contract with Coor’s, and I wouldn’t be EXPECTED to say coherent things.
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