Unlike the Colt’s game where the defense kept it close enough for Sanchez and the offense to wake up and win it, or the Patriot’s game where everything clicked and we saw one of the best overall games by a Jets’ team ever, last night’s game in Pittsburgh proved what the pundits have been saying all year – the Jets are not a complete team ready to win a Super Bowl. While at times we saw some good play on both offense and defense – it almost all came in the second half. In all fairness, the Steelers played an amazing game and did a very good job of moving the football and controlling the clock.
In the end I think that the Jets had a good chance but were snagged by some major coaching missteps. I’m still in shock after the last touchdown they didn’t even try an on-side kick. I mean, seriously, the Steelers had been moving the ball well – racking up 166 yards on the ground at the end of it – you have to take the gamble and believe that even if you can’t recover the football you can stop them before any damage is done. Even if they manage to get a field goal, it’s an 8 point game and you can still tie it and send it to overtime. I’m also amazed at the play calling on that goal line stand – I know that no matter what the calls were, if the TD doesn’t come everyone is going to second guess – but usually in that situation you play to your strengths – a wild cat, a straight up run, a play fake or an option, a gadget play.
One last thought before I wrap it up. I understand the rules about roughing the kicker, and I know the Jets benefited not long ago from a similar call where Weatherford was tackled, but the refs have to have some freedom to judge intent. While this was an infraction because the ball wasn’t touched it would be like throwing a flag for a hit on the quarterback that started prior to releasing the pass but connected a split second after release. The NFL should take a serious look at the rules surrounding this penalty as it can be a true game changer like almost no other infraction.
Much as I’d like to same it was the “same old Jets” that went out to play today, it definitely wasn’t. I think the Jets have proven over the past two years that they can be a force and should not be taken lightly. I think in the end we same Mark Sanchez grow and mature as a player and Rex Ryan as a coach. I think that if the Jets can take the same level of play that we’ve seen through most of the season and add some consistency that has been lacking the Jets have a good shot of being in Indy in Feb. 2012.