New York Jets Commentary: Thanksgiving Mauling by New England Patriots Should Spell The End For Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez
The 49-19 Thanksgiving defeat to the New England Patriots should spell the end for Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez.
The duo once seemed destined to lead the New York Jets to a Super Bowl. However, they have since experienced a spectacular fall from grace.
As head coach Ryan has failed to construct a credible offense to complement some stout defenses. His biggest problem has been the quarterback he helped draft fifth overall in 2009.
Sanchez has failed to live up to his "franchise passer" billing. Despite leading Gang Green to two-straight AFC Championship games, Sanchez has regressed badly during the last two years.
He has become shaky and indecisive in the pocket and his accuracy is mediocre. That's resulted in the Jets going from division contenders to also-rans.
This wasn't supposed to happen to Ryan and Sanchez. They were supposed to key a revival that would overthrow the Patriots as the supreme power in the AFC East.
They appeared to be winning the fight when they dominated Brady and company in the 2010/11 AFC divisional playoff. However, since then Ryan's teams have consistently self-destructed.
Analysis: When in need of headlines or storylines, head to the AFC East division where there are plenty of them. The Jets speak for themselves, but the Patriots and Bills have a few of their own.
The Patriots started off the season with a few head spinning games, but have settled down in recent weeks and that offense looks like Tom Brady of old. He has found Wes Welker again, took long enough after the Super Bowl, and Brandon Lloyd is playing as good as anyone in New England could have hoped for. Gronk is, well he is Gronk. And while Aaron Hernandez has been injury plagued all season, they have had a new emergence of the running back spot as Stevan Ridley has given the Pats a new dimension to work with.
The Buffalo Bills sit at 3-5, in last place in the AFC East despite having one of the best running backs in the entire NFL in CJ Spiller. His individual numbers have been among the leagues best, the only problem, he's not getting the ball nearly enough.
Halfway through the season Spiller has 78 carries for 562 yards which ranks him as the in 15th place in the rushing yards category. His 7.2 yards/carry average is tops amongst all NFL running backs and the next closest is Adrian Peterson who comes in at 5.7, a whole yard and-a-half less than Spiller.
When the season started, would you have beleived me if I told you the Dolphins would be six point favorites against the Titans in Week 10? If you said yes, you're either a Miami fan or behind on your medications. Yet, here we are staring at a very good Dolphins team favored by almost a touchdown this week. Let's take a closer look at why I think they'll cover the number.
The general feeling around the NFL is that the Miami Dolphins have already exceeded all expectations, except their own. This was still meant to be a work in progress.
With rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill placed as the starter, it was very much a case of damage limitation. The first round pick out of Texas A&M has not had to be spectacular in helping his team to a 4-3 record.
Perhaps not being under the intense media spotlight of other rookie starters in his position has helped. After all not everyone can be Robert Griffin III.
So when he went down this past Sunday, under a 1st quarter sack by New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, with what first appeared as a serious injury to his left thigh and knee, it was a set-back in the Dolphins solid start to the year.
Last seasons team Most Valuable Player, backup Matt Moore came in and steadied the ship impressively to humiliate the Jets, in a one-sided 30-9 win. The victory lifted Miami into clear second place in the AFC East and if the playoffs started now they would actually be 5th seed.