Live From the Meadowlands: It’s Monday Night!

I was in attendance for Jets-Texans yesterday and got to watch the almost-destruction, almost-miracle, almost-Sanchez-led-comeback, definite-killer-interception in person.  Here are a sprinkling of thoughts both on the live experience and on the game itself.

1. First Texans fans sighting

I have seen 3 Texans games so far and this one was the first where there were a noticeable amount of Texans fans there.  They were not nearly as overwhelming as the 49ers fans from the week before, but there were some nice pockets of fans around.  I guess finally fielding a playoff team and being a decade in has allowed this team to gain some out-of-state fans.

2. This guy made a great shirt

Luckily, we only have to stop at step 1 of that shirt.

3. Oh man.  The Jets might make a game of this.

The crowd was killed a few minutes into the game as the Texans skipped down the field and scored quickly.  Most figured the Jets were done, but the Jets came back with Sanchez connecting to Jeff Cumberland for 6.  The crowd was back and all because of one man.

4. Antonio Cromartie wants you to believe that he indeed is the #1 Cornerback in the league now that Revis is gone

Everyone’s favorite baby daddy started the Jets charge by picking off Matt Schaub on their second possession.  From there, he completely shut down one of the premier wide receivers in the league in Andre Johnson, only allowing a single catch for 15 yards.  Since Revis has gone down, Cromartie has been everything he said he would be.  The only bad play he’s really had all year was losing sight of the ball in the end zone against the Steelers in Week 2.  Holding down one end of the field will only help the Jets get back to running their type of defense.

But that was not the only words he backed up…

5. Perhaps Cromartie is the Jets 2nd best WR as well

Cromartie went deep early in the game and just missed connecting on a long gain.  He looked good getting a two-step lead on his corner and had Sanchez hit him a little more into the field, or Cromartie had the same feet-in-bounds skills of the injured Santonio Holmes, perhaps their first connection would have been positive.

6. The Jets run their stadium scoreboards in terrible ways

Shortly after the Jets squandered their first drive, the Jets put on a video recapping the drafting of Mark Sanchez.  It doesn’t take a smart person to realize that if you put this video up right after the Jets offense stalls, your QB is going to get booed.  Jets did these types of things multiple times during the night.  It would be nice if they could exercise a little caution with the team already against the wall.

7. Jason Hill, Soul Killer

Jets fans finally got what they were waiting for: a big time Tim Tebow throw.

Too bad it went to Jaguars flame-out, Jason Hill.  Yes, the man who once called Darrelle Revis overrated and proceeded to not even play in said game, was wide open on a perfectly called Tebow pass play, was hit right in the hands with the football……and dropped it.

Thanks for coming, never-was.

8. Mark Sanchez and his attraction to defender hands

Quickly becoming an issue is Sanchez’s ability to throw the ball right into the hands of defenders on any short throw.  According to Rich Cimini, Sanchez had as many passes tipped as short passes completed last night.  He now has had 4 straight games with a completion percentage under 50%.

Tremendously weak weapons or not, he has to complete passes and has to get the tips back under control.  His interception in the red zone was not his fault, but rather the freak play of J.J. Watts, but the amount of times this happened during the game falls on him. Sanchez must figure this out, or he will just be seen as inept.

9. Joe McKnight is fast

I had great seats to yesterday’s game and just happened to be sitting on the left sideline as McKnight came flying down the field on his TD return.  This guy, while not the sharpest tool in the box, has amazing athletic skill.  It is on the Jets and on McKnight to find ways to involve him in the offense.  He is their best chance at RB and capable of being a very needed option out wide.  They need to limit areas where his head might get in the way – like when he lost 8 yards on a Wildcat play late in the 4th.

10. From this point forth, Shonn Greene shall only be referred to as “Shonn Greene 2 Yard Gain”

In some ways, Shonn Greene is the most consistent Jet player out there.  You know what you are getting – Greene hand-off, Greene down 2 yards past the line of scrimmage.

He runs into the line and he falls.  He has no moves.  If he attempts a move, he falls or is caught up to immediately.  His one attempt in the open field – the Sanchez screen pass – ended when he ran directly at the one defender he had left to beat.

It’s time for Bilal Powell, or McKnight….or Grimes or anyone to take this job from Greene.  Other than some few and far between games, Greene has never shown the qualities nor the capabilities to be a featured back in this league.

11. Jeff Cumberland – Self-loving, QB-bus-throwing, self-overrator

Cumberland has had anything but a successful time replacing Jets star Tight End, Dustin Keller.  Against the Dolphins, he ran a route too long that led his defender into perfect position to pick off a Sanchez pass in the end zone.  He took 4 games to contribute in any meaningful way.  So finally after getting a touchdown last night, he unleashes this hell of a quote, both throwing Sanchez under the bus, and self-inflating to a nauseating level:

A Jumbo Elliot-level fumbling of a football while coming down with a great catch is not enough to start anointing yourself as a great athlete, nor has he done nearly enough to start throwing blame on his QB who has been playing with low-level players for much of this season.

11. Rex Ryan: A Physical Wonder

Let’s end this on a positive note.

Who knew how well the lap-band works?  Rex, who has stated he has lost over a hundred pounds since his surgery looks like he’s in great shape.  It’s great seeing that he has committed and has been successful towards his goal of eating better and it very much shows.

Jets lost.  They’re 2-3.  To players there is no such thing as a moral victory, but to fans?  If the Jets are going to give the effort and enthusiasm they did last night, they will have a chance against the lesser teams they face coming up.  With the additions of Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller back to the lineup, Sanchez will have more weapons to throw to and perhaps will be able to find more of them in the end zone.

Maybe not all hope is lost, Jets fans….or maybe we’re just getting enough rope to hang ourselves with.  Either way, there’s still some football to look forward to, and that’s better than we thought a week ago.

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