Thursday, October 27, 2011
Jets at the bye: Three questions
By James Walker
The New York Jets (4-3) are enjoying their bye week following a two-game winning streak. Overall, the Jets have underachieved in their first seven games, but remain in the postseason hunt.
Here are three issues facing the team:
Can the Jets win on the road? The Jets are a stellar 4-0 at Met Life Stadium. That's keeping the team afloat. But New York has looked awful on the road, where the team is 0-3. The Jets have to play much better away from home to make a push for the playoffs. The biggest surprise is the Jets haven't "packed their defense" when they travel. New York has allowed an average of 32.7 points per game on road. The Jets are not built to win shootouts and have little chance when the defense allows that many points. Three of New York's next five games are on the road.
Is ground and pound here to stay? Jets running back Shonn Greene had his first 100-yard game of the season in last week's win against the Chargers. That's a good sign, but certainly not enough to say the Jets' ground-and-pound offense is officially back. New York rushed for a season-high 162 yards against the Chargers. The Jets' much-maligned offensive line had its best game of the season. But I need to see this group dominate the line of scrimmage for three or four games in a row before I feel comfortable saying New York's offense has turned the corner.
Will New York stay together, play together? It is no secret the Jets can be a volatile bunch. Maybe it's the collection of personalities. Maybe it's the pressure of playing in New York, or a combination of both. But things were very close to imploding during the Jets' three-game losing streak. Players began pointing fingers and lacked focus. The Jets are a talented bunch when they have their act together. They need to do a better job of staying together, especially during rough times. It's a long season.