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You can blame linemen, running backs, and wide receivers all you want, but the true center of this storm is QB Mark Sanchez.

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

“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.

 

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books '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 in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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