On Sunday the New York Jets beat the Arizona Cardinals 7-6 at MetLife Stadium. The victory, the Jets fifth of the season, was arguably one of the ugliest games of the season. The lead story coming out of the game was that quarterback Mark Sanchez was benched after another dreadful performance. This move was met by cheers from the fans and appeared to somewhat inspire the players on the field. Sanchez’ replacement Greg McElroy went on to direct the team on a touchdown drive that ended up winning the game.
So now the New York Jets sit at 5-7 and remain a long shot to make the playoffs. The team is mired in a quarterback controversy where any one of three quarterbacks has a chance to start on Sunday. An argument can be made for each signal caller to start, but at the end of the day none of them appear to be the franchise quarterback that is needed to become a Super Bowl contender. The bigger issue in my eyes is that the sub-par performance at the quarterback position is taking the spotlight away from the most important problem that the Jets are dealing with which is an overall lack of talent. Yes, the Jets lost Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis for the year. But the fact of the matter is that Gang Green lacks explosive playmakers on both sides of the ball. The Jets do not have players that keep opposing coordinators up at night.
Take a look at the skill positions on offense and compare them to the best teams in the AFC. The quarterback position has been beaten to death so lets look at running back. Is there a Ray Rice or Arian Foster on the team? How about a wide receiver like Andre Johnson, Wes Welker, or Reggie Wayne? Where is the game breaking player on the Jets roster that can take over a game?
On defense the Jets have one of the best corners in the game in Revis, with Antonio Cromartie playing at a very high level. Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson has started to come on as of late but other than that where is there a strength on defense? Where are the true pass rushers that can disrupt an offense? Where are the powerful, explosive linebackers that can light up a ball carrier or quarterback? Where is the speed needed to defend in a league that is built around the passing game?
If you take a look at the Jets as a whole, what is the strength of the team? What is one area that you can put your hat on and rely on? The offense is dreadful, irregardless of who starts at quarterback, and the defense is not as good as Rex Ryan believes it is (Top 10). Lets be honest the Cardinals did not start an NFL caliber quarterback yesterday which is going to help the Jets pad their stats.
If you take an honest look at this New York Jets team the roster from top to bottom is lacking talent. In order to be a contender you need to have legitimate playmakers at the skill positions. The Jets do not have that. In order to have success over an extended period of time you need to have a solid roster that can overcome adversity and injuries. The Jets cupboard is bare. In order to be amongst the league’s elite you need to have proven leaders that refuse to lose and will do anything to win. Right now all the Jets do is talk the talk but forget to walk the walk.
At the end of the day the biggest story will always be about the quarterback position as that is what the league is built around. I agree that Mark Sanchez is not the answer, but the overall lack of talent on the roster is a huge concern as you look to the future. Smoke and mirrors can only go so far as Rex Ryan is starting to find out.