Cue the clown car because the Jets are officially out of the playoffs with this loss in the Music City on Monday Night Football. Quite frankly, these guys do not deserve to be in the playoffs; and there are a lot of Jet fans who would agree with this statement. For quite some time the blame has not been on Mark Sanchez entirely. For starters, he was not surrounded by the proper talent that is needed for any quarterback to succeed in this league. Then, to make matters worst, New York tries to bring in Peyton Manning during the off-season. This had to belittle Sanchez’s confidence quite a bit. Of course, as we all know, they settled for bringing in Tim Tebow along with a new offensive coordinator in Tony Sparano. The former USC Trojan was destined to become mediocre this season. With that being said, it is fair to place most of the blame from Monday’s game squarely on his shoulders. Why? Try this on for size: Mark accounted for five turnovers in this game, including one on each of the last three drives of the game. Additionally, Tim Tebow had a better quarterback rating than Sanchez did in this game (and he only threw one incomplete pass). Sanchez was inaccurate with the football and was not playing with the proper vision that one would expect out of a fourth year quarterback. Despite the offensive woes around him this season, it is fair to place the blame for losing this game solely on #6.
Not all of what the Jets did was bad. Their defense was playing like a unit that wanted to make the postseason. Save one 94 yard Chris Johnson run and their defense would have allowed only 200 total yards of offense and 11 first downs. That is pretty darn impressive. Antonio Cromartie continued to shine in press-coverage and the Titans managed almost nothing when trying to throw the ball. Without his franchise-long run, CJ2K would have managed only 28 yards on 20 carries. So in the end, you can say what you want about this Jets team, but there is no denying that this defense is playing at a superb level and is deserving of much better than a 6-8 mark.
For Tennessee, the idea is obviously to transition from Matt Hasselbeck to Jake Locker. What they have in place is fine, but one thing the Titans may need to address (in addition to their defense) this off-season is the running back position. It may be necessary for them to pick up a big bruising back that could fill in as a nice complement to Chris Johnson’s finesse style of running. A more balanced running game will help alleviate the pressure greatly from Locker and it would probably make him a better quarterback.
Notice that there was not a whole lot of game-related insight provided in this entry. That is because there was not a whole lot of good football played in this game. The Titans were flagged 14 times for 111 yards. The Jets completed less than half of their passes and turned it over five times. What else needs to be said? The Jets need to hunt for another big wide-out who can help Mark Sanchez (or whoever Rex Ryan decides to roll out next season) during this off-season. Without a weapon at a skill position, this Jets’ offense is going to continue down the path that it has been going this season. Both of these franchises seem to be in rebuilding mode and it may be a couple more years before either of them can make some noise down the stretch.