How would you grade the 2012 NFL midseason report card for the New York Jets? Is there a grade low enough? Do they deserve an F? After all, they are only one game below .500 this season. So, would a failing grade be fair? I think a more realistic grade for the Jets through the half way point in the 2012 NFL season may be that of an incomplete.
As in, the Jets are an incomplete team, in every way possible.
The entire team, more or less has been a disappointment. They are overhyped, inconsistent and turnover prone in a division that has been far more open and competitive than many people would have believed. The New England Patriots sit atop the AFC East, but hold just a two game lead over the Jets, who come in with an underwhelming 3-5 record thus far. They began the 2012 campaign with a 2-1 record, but have now dropped four of their past five games in embarrassing fashion. And while they may not want to admit, things could get much worse.
On offense, things are once again a mess. The Jets signed Mark Sanchez to a lucrative contract extension that left many people scratching their heads. What exactly had he done to warrant such a deal? But making matters even worse is that the team then went out and traded for Tim Tebow. It was said that Tebow would come in with a special set of plays to run the wildcat offense, headed up by new offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano. Needless to say, that has not happened.
Not by a long shot.
The Jets rank 26th in passing yards this season. Sanchez has been awful, and Tebow has barely seen the field. The team is toward the bottom of the league in almost every passing category, which does not make it easy on Shonn Greene and the rushing attack. New York is 16th in the league in rushing yards per game, but that number is a bit deceiving. Green had one monster game to help spike his numbers, but he still averages under four yards per carry once again. The Jets have lost some games by a wide margin this season, and the offense is to blame for a lot of the problems.
On defense, it has been difficult for New York. Once they lost Darrelle Revis for the season, everyone knew it would be an uphill battle. With the offense playing so poorly, the defense has to be on the field far more than other teams. That has led to the Jets ranking sixth in opposing passing yards per game, but just 29th in rushing yards per contest. As the games progress, opposing teams simply run the ball to run out the clock against an exhausted Jets’ defense. That leads to their brutal rush defense numbers.
But I don’t simply blame the offense for the Jets’ struggles. Nor do I blame the defense. Or the special teams. This team is not run well, and it starts from the top. Woody Johnson puts too much faith in the people running his team. Mike Tannenbaum should be the next general manager who loses his job after bringing in the wrong players, especially on offense. Rex Ryan is not getting as much out of his players as coaches must demand. The players play the game, but the front office and coaching staff is supposed to put them in the best position to win games.
The Jets are not doing that.
The second half schedule is slightly easier for the Jets than the first eight games of the season. Still, if they don’t drastically improve in all aspects, things will not get much better for New York. While finishing with a .500 record is still quite possible, a trip to the NFL Playoffs seems almost out of reach already.