Disaster struck at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, and it happened before a drop of rain fell from the sky. The New York Jets got destroyed up and down the field, in all three phases of the game, by the rival Miami Dolphins 30-9 and fell to 3-5 at the midway point of the season. With a full two weeks until their next game, the Jets have a lot of time to sit and think and figure out what the heck went wrong on Sunday and what needs to be be done to save a season that's just about on life support. Most people are going to point at Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, and say that a change needs to be made there. There are times where it seems like the Jets' offense couldn't be worse with Tebow, but Sunday's mess showed that there are too many problems currently with the Jets to think that a simple quarterback change - to a guy who would be the worst throwing starter in the league - will turn things around.
Here's the Week 8 version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
It didn't rain.
Mark Sanchez was inaccurate all day, showed very poor pocket presence and threw another bad red zone interception, giving him three of those on the season. In today's NFL, you just aren't going to win consistently with quarterback play like Sanchez has given them through the first eight weeks of the season. He hasn't been the only Jets problem, as much as people want to believe that to be the case, but he certainly has been a problem. On Sunday, while the Jets' special teams put them in a giant hole, the offense sputtered and failed to score before halftime. A good, well-coached, functioning offense would have put some points up and kept the game reasonable. Right now, with Sanchez, Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan, the Jets' offense is none of those things.
As far as the defense goes, they're going to get a pass because the offense was so bad and the special teams was shockingly inept, but in all honesty the defense is just as much to blame for the loss. They took two horrible penalties on the Dolphins' opening drive and struggled to contain Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas on the ground. Dolphins' backup Matt Moore came in for the injured starter Ryan Tannehill and moved the Dolphins down the field through the air on occasion with ease. Take the Dolphins' first possession in the second half for instance. The Jets had just scored a field goal (yipppee!), cutting the Dolphins' lead to 20-3. It was still a game at this point, and the Jets' defense could have stepped up and shut down the Dolphins and kept things reasonable. They didn't. Moore took the Dolphins down the field in no time and chucked a touchdown to Anthony Fasano that put the game out of reach.
That had to be the worst performance of a Mike Westhoff-coached special teams ever. You just can't win football games if you allow a blocked punt for a touchdown, a blocked field goal and your opponent to recover a surprise onside kick.
It's officially the time to start seriously questioning this Jets' coaching staff, starting at the top with Rex Ryan. Whenever an entire team plays that badly and gets blown out at home against an average-at-best opponent, it's irresponsible if you don't question the head coach. The Jets looked unprepared and disorganized all day; that's on the coaches. Which is not to mention Sparano, who has consistently left a lot to be desired with his play calling. Where was the sense of urgency? How are the Jets punting halfway through the third quarter when trailing 27-3? How are they not running hurry up and no huddle throughout the entire second half? Sparano and Ryan coached this game like a preseason game.
But again, it goes back to Ryan. Last season, the Jets lost their last three games. This year, they're 3-5. Do the math, it isn't that tough; that's a 3-8 record in their last 11 games. When you have a streak like that in today's evened-out NFL, it's an absolute cause for concern.