On Sunday the New York Jets picked up their sixth win of the season by beating the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars 17-10. This was not a vintage performance by Gang Green as the offense struggled to consistently move the chains, while the defense made some mistakes that kept the Jaguars in the game. At the end of the day a win is a win and this one produced a huge storyline for the Jets. The New York Jets are one game out from a playoff spot as several contending teams like the Bengals, Steelers, and Dolphins all lost on Sunday.
So what appeared to be a lost season for Gang Green has now turned into one that could actually include a run at a playoff berth. As ludicrous as that idea sounds it is a fact, and it will put a tremendous amount of pressure on Rex Ryan and his support of quarterback Mark Sanchez. Ryan’s decision to go with Sanchez against the Jaguars was met with criticism and Mark did nothing on Sunday to justify the support. Sanchez struggled with his accuracy and once again lost a fumble while being sacked. If it was not for the Jets running game, a dominant performance by Muhammad Wilkerson, and some lucky breaks (a Jaguars player ruled down, a ton of dropped passes dropped by Jax wrs) the spotlight would once again be on the Mark Sanchez vs. Greg McElroy debate.
This Sunday the Jets take on the Tennessee Titans, a team with more offensive weapons than the Jets last two opponents combined. In order for the New York Jets to have success on Sunday the offense, mainly Mark Sanchez, is going to have to play very well. This begs the question how will Rex Ryan handle his beleaguered quarterback? Will Ryan allow his offensive coordinator to open the playbook and spread the field with the passing game? Will Rex have a short leash if Sanchez and the offense struggles in the first half? Who will be the #2 quarterback, Tebow?
Rex Ryan is clearly in a difficult spot here as he could lose the locker room with hasty decisions. Ryan cannot afford to lose a game primarily due to his support of his quarterback. This is not about restoring confidence, this is about finding ways to win games and make the playoffs. If you are scared to run your offense, then the quarterback that you are playing should not be in the game. If points are being left on the field, then a change needs to be made. This is about productivity, not loyalty,pride, or ego.
It is going to be interesting to see how Rex handles this quarterback situation. It could be the difference in making the playoffs and keeping his job as head coach of the New York Jets.