For the second consecutive week, the New York Jets (2-2) lost one their team leaders. This week it was Santonio Holmes, diagnosed with a Lisfranc foot injury and is out for the season. Last week, the Jets lost their best defensive player Darrelle Revis to an ACL injury. Surprisingly, the Jets have not placed Revis on the Injured Reserve list, Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan is holding out hope of a possible return if the Jets reach the Super Bowl.
The news is particularly tough as the Jets host another tough opponent this week at home, the undefeated Houston Texans (4-0). The Jets, as usual, are facing questions about the fate of their season after a 34-0 loss last Sunday at home against the San Francisco 49ers. The Jets were outplayed for the entire sixty minutes, easily Ryan’s worse loss of his head coaching career.
The performance of Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez has also come under question after last week’s loss. Sanchez completed only 13 of 29 passes for 103 yards and an interception. The interception was one of four turnovers by the Jets last Sunday, Sanchez also accounted for a lost fumble.
Looking forward to Monday night, the Jets face a tough challenge against a well coached Texans team. The Texans’ defense is ranked No. 1 in the NFL allowing the fewest points per game as well as yards per game. While the Jets’ offense, devoid of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, is ranked in the bottom third of the league in scoring points per game.
This week the Jets should only focus on themselves, do not worry about Houston. Go back to the basics, ensure they are sound on offensive regarding blocking, tackling and running. Defensively, simplify the schemes. Focus on the fundamentals, such as proper tackling techniques, shedding blocks and getting to the ball carrier.
The reasoning behind the get-back-to-the-basics approach for this week, is due to the recent season-ending injuries of two of the Jets’ leaders. The undefeated Texans should be a second thought for the Jets, as shocking and surprising as it may sound. If the Jets can accomplish these basic tasks, they will win. Remember, execution will always prevail against any opponent, despite the talent level of the opposing team.
Even with all the uncertainty surrounding Gang Green, they are tied for first place in the AFC East. Questions have surfaced about Jets’ backup quarterback Tim Tebow replacing Sanchez as the starting quarterback. These questions should be curtailed until the Jets are actually in danger or perceived danger of having a season slip away. Again the Jets are currently tied for the division lead, no need to make any unnecessary changes. One of the primary goals of every NFL team is to win their division, through the first quarter of the season, the Jets have accomplished this goal.
A win for the Jets ensures they will remain atop the AFC East for another week, irrespective of the outcome of the New England Patriots or Miami Dolphins games this week. The Patriots and the Dolphins both have the same record as the Jets, 2-2. The Jets have not faced Patriots yet this season. Earlier this season, the Jets pulled out an overtime victory against the Miami Dolphins, giving the Jets the tiebreaker against them. A win would be a testament to the coaching staff of the Jets’, which has to quickly adjust to new surroundings with their two top players out for the season.
A loss for the Jets, would give them consecutive losses and drop their record to under .500, both would be firsts this season. A loss would be clear evidence that the Jets’ are reeling from the major injuries they have suffered over the past couple of weeks. However, to keep a potential loss in perspective, the loss would only have the Jets in second place in the AFC East and only one game out of the first place, again pending the results of Sunday’s games.