As all of us here at GGN are devout Jet fans (and in this piece I am not just referring to those who are unfortunately SOJ Jet fans) we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's in our nature, what can we do? At some point something will come back and bite us and prevent us from getting to the Promised Land. The question I pose is this; what exactly worries you the Jet fan? What is it that you think will come back and bite us. Now, as an aside, although I'll be discussing currents problems that face the Jets this is not to say that those same problems will be the ones that will ultimately lead to the Jets downfall. For example, last year the downfall of the Jets was there pass defense (aginst Indy) which was the leagues best as well as their rush defense (against all playoff opponents) which was also very good. Meanwhile, the 2 main problems the Jets had in the regular season, namely Sanchez and the ability to close out games proved to be the Jets biggest playoff strengths. so this is a very inexact science to say the least. (Note: None of this analysis will take into account the game against the Bills as that was a jayvee squad game if there ever was one. This analysis will also only look at football related problems and will not include any inane discussion about anyones feet or the like.)
Schotty: Schotty's problems are quite well known. e overcomplicates things too often and tries to get too cute and at times is very predictable (i.e. running between the tackles with LT on 1st down every time against Miami). Many times he also seems to favor the pass too much when he should be focusing more on the running game and at times favors the run when he should be looking to pass. There is also the strange facination with using LT over Shonn Greene even though Greene is fresh and LT is worn down by now. It is also frankly inexcusable that an offense with this much talent has not performed up to par. As we did'nt get a bye and therefore don't have a week off I don't think we need to worry about Schotty's penchant for overpreparing.
Mark Sanchez: At times this year Sanchez has been excellent (the 1st Pats game, the stretch of games where e led us back to victory, the Steelers and Bears games). However, at times this year he has just been plain putrid. He's gotten a bit lucky that he hasn't thrown more picks and many times even when he hits his man the throw is off mark. If the Jets are presented with the bad Mark Sanchez they will frankly go nowhere.
The Running Game: Now I understand that the running game is quite good, but let's face it, it's not the juggernaut it was last year. Last year the Jets could control the clock and thus the game with their dominant rushing attack. This year though that has not been the case. Although LT has had a good year, he has slowed down considerably since his quick start. I am still waiting for Schotty to use a much more healthy dose of Greene in the playoffs
The Dropsies: This has been a major that has affected Jet receivers all season long (with the amazing exception of Braylon Edwards who has been fantastic. The strange is that last year, I would have said that Cotchery had top-5 hands in the league with Edwards being bottom-5. How times have changed.) and has even potentially costed them a couple of games (GB and Miami). Not only that it seems that the drops come at the worst times a) late in games or in the redzone b) on days where Sanchez is off and really needs his receivers help (we're talking to you Mr. Holmes. Yes, you.) Holmes, Cotchery and Keller cannot afford to let the Playoffs slip through their hands.
Run Defense: Although the run defense has for the most part been excellent the entire year, that is just not the case the last few weeks. Both Matt Forte and Rashard Mendenhall ran all over the Jets. This simply cannot continue. Although the Colts have an atrocious rushing attack but they also had an awful one last year and that didn't stop them from running all over them.
Pass Rush Pass Rush Pass Rush: Wherever have you gone o Rex Ryan vaunted pass rush? The Jets once fearsome blitz attack has been nowhere to be found this year. Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas and the rest of the crew seem to have taken a year long vaction (my brother, although he's adevout Giant fan, has watched nearly every Jet game this year and recently commented to me that he didn't realize that Bryan Thomas was still on the team). Since the Jets play man-to-man defense it's imperative that the blitz gets there in time. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and frankly anyone who is not Brian Brohm will have no problems if there is no pass rush.
Safetys/3rd CB's: The Jets safety situation has been bad the entire year and it's only gotten worse the last few weeks with the multitude of injuries (although hopefully Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo will play this week). The problems can't all be blamed on the injury to Jim Leonhard as the Jets couldnt stop opposing TE's and secondary WR's even prior to his injury. Brodney Pool has been a disaster and Drew Coleman after a surprisingly nice run has lately begun to impersonate a sieve. It will be very nice if Darrelle Revis can shut down Reggie Wayne and Cro shuts down Garcon but if we let Jacob Tamme and Blair White get open, trust me Peyton Manning will find them.
Nick Folk: Enough said.