Rex Ryan or Mark Sanchez? Who's the Real Problem for the Jets?

By Riley Schmitt

The New York Jets are currently 8-7 and in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in three years.  Since Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez came to New York, the Jets have been in the AFC Championship Game twice.  However, not everything is coming up roses for this squad.  Week in and week out, the Jets are in the headlines and not always for the right reason.  Jets fans won’t stand for a year of missing the playoffs.  There are rumors that the Jets are looking to move on from Sanchez, but none so far about Ryan.  Who’s been the real problem season for the Jets?  The young and maybe in over his head QB or the loud, gregarious and probably in too deep head coach?

I know Jets fans are going to bring up Brian Schottenheimer as the main problem.  That idea holds a lot of weight.  It’s not exactly fair to Sanchez if the Jets are putting him in situations in which he can’t succeed.  However, that is a entirely different argument for a different time.  He’s certainly a factor, but not essentially the main one.Take Sunday, for instance.  Sanchez threw the ball FIFTY NINE times.  I think mixing in the run would have helped just a little bit.

Then again, Sanchez wasn’t hitting throws that he should.  He eventually looked like he was petrified to be out there.  In NFL, your quarterback needs to radiate confidence.  Sanchez didn’t on Sunday and there’s been a few games this year that better QB could have won the game.

Sanchez is also extremely young.  This is only his third year, but he’s been in the fire the whole time.  There are numerous pundits who just don’t think he has what it takes to be a Super Bowl winning quarterback.  The turnovers still come in bunches and Sanchez had a chance to lead the Jets to a win on Sunday.  He just didn’t make plays.  If Sanchez cuts down on the turnovers, the Jets probably win and aren’t sweating a playoff berth.

Rex Ryan also should not slide by free of blame.  Ryan is a good to great coach, I will admit that.  However, his style keeps the Jets in the spotlight 24/7.  He’s always saying something controversial.  His spat with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs on Sunday, his interaction with a fan during the Patriots game, saying that he would’ve won multiple Super Bowls if he coached the Chargers, etc. etc.

Eventually, that grates on your players.  They have to go out and perform to the level of the pregame yap.  Sometimes, they just aren’t able to live with it.  Ryan is messing with a very dangerous double-edged sword.  His style obviously has its benefits.  You can’t argue with two AFC Championship Game appearances.  This season is different, though.  The results haven’t backed up the talk and Ryan’s act is wearing thin.

Maybe if the Jets fire Schottenheimer after the season, all these things go away.  Sanchez could have a competent OC come in and let him play to his strengths.  This in turn would lead to better results and Ryan’s yapping wouldn’t be a problem.  Those are big maybes though.

Right now, I throw the blame on Ryan.  Sanchez isn’t clean by any means, but sometimes he’s being asked to do too much.  That comes from the coaching staff and Ryan can pick his coordinators.  The pressure has been on the Jets all year and they haven’t delivered yet.  They still have a shot this year, however, and the Jets could make me eat my words.

New York won’t stand for a downtown for the Jets.  It’s up to Ryan to either back off his mouth or get the results out of his team.


You May Also Like