Jets face uphill battle after loss to Miami

Written by Chris Kolb

Topics: AFC East, New York Jets

If you ask most fans around the league how they feel about the Jets current predicament with regard to their post-season future, it’s doubtful you’ll find much if any sympathy. Coming off an off-season in which their coach all but proclaimed them to be the eventual Super Bowl champions and a feud between the front office and their star cornerback that played out on TV each week, that lack of concern comes as no surprise.

Sitting on a 9-4 record and second place in the AFC East, the Jets rightfully feel they’re still in control of their destiny, but after being utterly annihilated last week in New England and following it up with a pathetic effort today at home against the Dolphins, the vultures are slowly beginning to circle the club in hopes of finding an easy meal for the taking.

As it stands right now, the Jets are still in line to earn a playoff spot via the wild card, and given the talent they possess, it’s hard to imagine they’d suffer a collapse big enough to keep them on the outside looking in. Then again, with crucial road games remaining in both Pittsburgh and Chicago coming up in the next two weeks, it’s tough to see how New York will be able to right the ship and maintain their grasp on that wild card spot, unless they can somehow find a way to solve the issues they’ve had offensively in recent weeks.

To make matters worse, the Jets will undoubtedly be dealing with a multitude of questions this week surrounding strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi and his decision to stick his knee out into the legs of Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll, tripping him as he ran down the sidelines trying to cover a punt. Distractions are never good, but when they show up at this time of year and come as a result of a stupid decision by a low level coach such as Alosi, it’s tough to stomach, and even harder to get past to focus on the next opponent.

Aside from Alosi’s horrific decision making skills, the Jets have plenty of issues to deal with, none more important than the downward spiral that quarterback Mark Sanchez is currently in, with eight touchdowns and 12 interceptions to his name since week six. Fixing him has to priority number one for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, especially in light of him having to go up against one of the biggest ball hawks in the league next week in Steelers safety Troy Palomalu.

The next two weeks will undoubtedly show the resolve of this team and their head coach, for all the reasons outlined above, and if the Jets can somehow pull together in an effort to find their way once again, they have more than enough talent to make a deep run into the playoffs. If not, they can expect to see an off-season full of what ifs and harsh criticism that will be richly deserved.

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