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As Gang Green Turns: Jets Offense Sputters in 16-11 Loss to Redskins

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“It’s only a preseason game; it’s only a preseason game; it’s only a preseason game.” Imagine coach Rex Ryan saying that as he clicks his heels together three times, hoping the good green witch will grant his wish and send him to the Land of Oz – the Super Bowl. He better hope for that kind of magic, because right now his offense looks like it is in serious need of a wizard to grant it some heart, some brains, and lots of courage.

In last night’s game against the Washington Redskins at the New Meadowlands Stadium, the first-team offense didn’t look any better than it did in last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers. It has scored only two touchdowns thus far in the preseason, and last night QB Mark Sanchez was 13-for-29 with an interception. He redeemed himself late in the game with an early fourth quarter ten-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Keller.

What is more alarming are the turnovers – two in the first half – and Ryan readily admitted that this was troublesome. “When you turn the ball over like that, it kills you.” There was a total of four turnovers last night, and Ryan rightly called that just plain “ugly.”

About the interception he threw, Sanchez said, “It was just a poor throw.” Uh, yeah, Mark, how about a really bad one. The Jets’ Vernon Gholston had recovered a fumbled punt, and Sanchez literally threw that opportunity away on the Redskins’ 34. It was a big mistake on a night of many of them for the Jets.

Sanchez was sacked twice because offensive linemen D’Brickshaw Ferguson and Damien Woody couldn’t protect him, but both LaDainian Tomlinson and Shone Greene shined in the running game, collectively gaining 142 yards on 23 carries. Still, Ryan has to be worried by what he sees at this point in the preseason with one game left on Thursday against the Eagles.

Another bright spot was the defense last night, holding the Redskins to three field goals over three quarters. But cornerback Antonio Cromartie got a holding call and was also penalized for pass interference, making everyone think just a little bit more about holdout Darrelle Revis. If his return is not imminent – and it appears more unlikely each day – Ryan will have more to worry about than his second-year quarterback and a very shaky offense.

Overall, what stands out in last night’s game is that the offense is faltering. You can blame linemen, running backs, and wide receivers all you want, but the true center of this storm is QB Mark Sanchez. While I remain a believer in him as a talented, smart and dedicated guy, it appears clear that he has to take a step back to take some steps forward. As Sanchez goes, this offense will go, and right now there is reason to be concerned.

 

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • kurt brigliadora

    I would’nt worry about the Jets.. l T and Sanchez have things under control,I think the Jets will win their first 6 out of 8 games…you cant ask for more than that!

  • jasonseabold

    I am really concerned no revis offense is sputtering the only bright spot was the running game. Sanchez is poised for a sophmore slump it appears. The redskins were the better team rhe only touchdown was we scored was against the redskins third team defense

  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    I hear you, Jason. I like Cromartie, but he’s not Revis. It’s more apparent every week. If we go out and lose those first two games at home (without Revis) things will look grim very quickly.