Now is the time for Jets fans to say the beating at the hands of the Raiders was "only one game", it's not the end of the season, come down from the ledge, the problems will all be corrected, etc. We'll even hear how bad the officiating was, how much the Raiders have improved, and other various excuses. But in all honesty, the Jets were thoroughly beaten in every phase of the game by a team with presumably less talent. And an abortion of an offseason nonwithstanding, we are still not the same team as we were one year ago.
The once feared "ground and pound" running game that dominated the point of attack, beat down defenses and broke their will, is nothing but a toothless paper tiger. We've gone from the best running game in football to one of the league's worst in two short years. The O-line, once the backbone of the offense, is broken, and the chemistry that made it special is gone. Not only do they seem incapable of winning matchups to create running lanes, the pass blocking is just as ineffective. Sanchez has been sacked 9 times already and is responsible for 5 turnovers in 3 games. Sound pretty bad? Now consider that this is against the league's 23rd, 13th, and 28th ranked defenses respectively.
Sorry for bringing up defense. Because the unit that is supposed to define the New York Jets and be #1 in the league isn't even in the top ten. Rex Ryan's loud, trash talking, intimidating defense that likes to suffocate QB's and beat you up physically got punched in the mouth on Sunday. And they didn't get back up. This was different from the blowout loss in New England last year when we were outplayed, out-schemed, and beaten with finesse. Because Oakland lined up and just kicked our ass. The beat us up like bullies on the playground. No wonder Sione described the loss as "humiliating". The swagger is gone. So is the mystique, as this defense has been exposed. The blitzes scare no one anymore, and we still have no pass rush. Jason Campbell doesn't even need to wash his jersey this week, because aside from being untouched, the guy probably never even broke a sweat. Our QB got sent home with a broken nose... It's not just about one loss. Look at the way this team is playing. If Romo didn't gift wrap our home opener we're 1-2 with everyone else yammering about the very issues I'm bringing up now.
Championship teams are rare. And dynasties can be counted on one hand, because teams don't stay good for long. There is a small window of opportunity to take advantage of your talent and good fortune. We've been on the doorstep, and blown it two years in a row now. Look what two years did to the Minnesota Vikings. The window is closing.