There are a lot of things that the New York Jets are going to need to do if they want to remain in the hunt for the AFC East title, as they currently lead the division with two divisional wins. Let's take a look at what needs to be accomplished or at the very least, evaluated.
Running Backs - One of the interesting notes of this past game is that Bilal Powell started the game over Shonn Greene, and had 32 snaps to Greene's 18. This is a positive move, as it's becoming all too clear that Greene can't hack it as a starting RB. Overshadowing Powell's start of course was the fact that we played the San Francisco 49ers, a team notable for being extraordinarily stout against the run. Powell's turn doesn't get easier next week as we face the Houston Texans, an arguably better team.
One possible move for the Jets would be to trade for Chris Ivory. I know that we just signed Jonathan Grimes from the Texans, but anybody who believes Griffin is the answer is probably delusional. Ivory is a somewhat proven back that is just wasting away on the New Orleans Saints' bench. We could probably get him for a late rounder.
Injuries - Presumably, Santonio Holmes will be out for some time with a foot injury. We'll know more once we hear about the MRI results. If we do lose him to injury, we will have lost our top two starting receivers and tight end. With any luck, Holmes will be back soon, as will Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller. If they are all to return soon, then this is not a concern. If, however, it looks like they will miss more time, the team needs to look into signing a veteran wide receiver. From the free agent pool, Chad Ochocinco is probably our best bet, but I don't really want him. We will probably be forced to trade for a receiver, hopefully for another late round pick at most. We're going to need all of our top picks for the upcoming draft.
Tim Tebow - I enjoyed the way Tebow was used this Sunday as a fullback, as he had two very good blocks in pass protection. I also like how he is used on special teams, and I was happy to see him finally throw the ball. However, his usage is still, as a general rule, weird. The read running plays are becoming extremely predictable, and we're going to need to see him throw the ball, even if they are incompletions, to prevent the defense from creeping up towards the line. More and more we'll see him become less effective the less he throws. He also needs to be used more when the offense is struggling, as we saw against the 49ers. He can be an effective spark, we just need to utilize him.
Demario Davis/Quinton Coples - One thing that is becoming abundantly clear is that our defense is fine, generally, when the run is coming up the middle, but is still a dinosaur when the rusher gets to the outside edge. That's where most of the damage is coming from. And what better way to stop that then put in some speedy linebackers? Davis played about ten snaps this weekend, and that is a disturbingly low amount. He needs to play more, especially against speedy backs. Our run defense is going to be seriously tested this week against Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and Davis, raw as he is, simply needs to see more time. He'll only get better with experience.
Coples saw more action this weekend, as promised. His snap count increased to 41 snaps. This is a good move by Rex Ryan. We need more pass-rushing from our line and as Coples showed with two tackles-for-loss, he can do it. He just needs experience, and he won't get it sitting on the bench.
Antonio Cromartie - Just want to give a quick shout out to the best CB in the league, Cromartie. He gave up zero catches this week and was pretty great. He deserves some credit after talking big, then coming up big. Let's hope it continues. With the signing of Aaron Berry, I'm fairly confident in our coverage for the time being.
Pass rush - I was wondering where Aaron Maybin was this weekend. Then I realized he only had two (2!!!!!!) snaps on defense. Two. Let that settle in for a moment. Arguably our best pass rusher (admittedly situational) was on the bench for nearly an entire game where we struggled to get any pressure. Either Maybin is about to get cut, or Rex knows something we don't know. I don't understand why he was only on the field for two snaps. Will the real Karl Dunbar please stand up?
Mike Tannenbaum - Before the season started, I was a staunch Mike Tannenbaum supporter. But I'm willing to admit that I was wrong, and I think Tannenbaum's time with us is coming to an end. Our team has no depth and roster-wise has been getting worse each and every year. It's probably time to start looking for a new General Manager at the end of the season. We're going to NEED to hit a home run with an experienced guy, so who do you all think we should start looking at? I heard someone suggest Bill Polian. I might not be opposed to a return of Eric Mangini. We'll see. It's still early, but something to think about.
What else does the team need to evaluate in the coming week/weeks? Let us know in the comments below.