Article first published as As Gang Green Turns: Sanchez Throws Season Away in 19-17 Loss to Miami on Blogcritics.
Three more interceptions this week and the situation starts to look pretty bad for QB Mark Sanchez, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and head coach Rex Ryan. We Jets fans have run out of excuses for these three, and even Schottenheimer's apparent benching of Santonio Holmes in the final minutes of the game seems meaningless. Giving Holmes a time out for bad behavior does nothing to save Schottenheimer; in fact, his lack of leadership becomes even more apparent when you analyze things.
The first person who needs to go is the big guy on top. I have often jokingly referred to Ryan as Humpty Dumpty, but after this game the reference has never been more obvious or fitting. Rex had a big fall this season, and you have to wonder about him lying in pieces outside MetLife Stadium. My bet is the players will collect their things and walk by indifferently instead of rallying the horses and men to try to put Rex back together. Honestly, it is his own fault and his fate is deserved.
Schottenheimer has been under fire all season, and he has more than anything mishandled the line and the receivers. It also seems like he has had Sanchez on auto pilot. Sanchez has fallen apart as much as King Rex, with his trigger-finger being so itchy that he just throws the ball without seemingly any thought process or plan. Without proper pass protection, and with receivers being covered and out maneuvered, Sanchez has been under the gun and shooting blanks. It is not a pretty picture at all.
The benching of Holmes at the end of the game was the salt in the wounds. On an offensive drive that mattered most, Holmes should have been in there, but not in Schottenheimer's world. He allowed whatever altercation happened between Holmes and a teammate to override good sense, so we have Holmes sitting on the sidelines looking like a kid in the corner in school. Unfortunately, the dunce cap goes on Schottenheimer for this final straw. If he isn't sent packing, something is rotten in the state of Jets country.
Of course, we Jets fans are bitter now, but we have to face facts and so does owner Woody Johnson. This team cannot be seen as a legitimate playoff contender; perhaps, it never should have been in the three years Ryan has been here. All his hot air made the perception that the team was more than the sum of its parts. It's kind of like dropping a Cadillac shell around an old Yugo. No matter how nice it may look, you will never get the performance you expect, and eventually the shell will break away, as it did for Rex this year.
If we learn anything from this 8-8 season, it is that we can only hope things get changed for the better. Jets fans shouldn't be thinking about how Oakland, Denver, and Cincinnati lost. Remember that Tennessee won. Besides, even if all the stars aligned and the Jets won, they no doubt would have been eliminated in the first round.
Next year we need to see a major change for the Jets. Sanchez should be thought of as a back-up QB for now, or trade him and get the right guy. The Jets should make a full court press to obtain Peyton Manning, and Schottenheimer should be shown the door. Finally, Johnson should take a long hard look at Ryan and decide whether his baggage is worth it. After three years of empty promises, the bubble has burst. It could be Ryan is shown the door too, and that may be necessary in order to purge what is wrong with this team.
It will be a long and lonely time for Jets fans in the months ahead, but maybe we should bite the bullet and watch the Giants. They have a solid head coach in Tom Coughlin, and Eli Manning is starting to look like he is in his brother's shadow no more. Jets fans may not like admitting it, but Big Blue has much of what the Jets lack. If we are honest with ourselves, we will know it is true and then we only have to hope that Woody Johnson realizes it as well and makes appropriate changes.
For now, the soap opera known As Gang Green Turns goes on hiatus. As in the TV world, that is never a good thing, and reruns just don't cut it because we know how it all turns out. Hang in there until next year, Jets fans.
Photo Credits: Humpty Dumpty - lyricsdog.eu/ Holmes - nydailynews