Rapid Reaction: Seahawks 28, Jets 7
November, 11, 2012
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
SEATTLE -- So much for Antonio Cromartie's playoff guarantee. Once again, the Jets were all talk, no action. They embarrassed themselves for the second straight game, committing three turnovers and generating no offense Sunday in a 28-7 loss to the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
What it means: It's official: The Jets (3-6) are a train wreck. They've dropped five of their past six games and have no hope because they can't score. Their only points came on a defensive touchdown. When defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is your leading scorer, you've got problems. The Jets' problems run deep, and this looks like an organization headed for an offseason shake-up.
Quarterback change? If Rex Ryan doesn't bench Mark Sanchez now, he'll never bench him. Sanchez was terrible, committing two costly turnovers -- including his fourth red zone interception of the season. The question is, could Tim Tebow do any better? Probably not. The offensive problems go way beyond Sanchez (9-for-22, 124 yards). There were unblocked blitzers, and the receivers couldn't get open against the Seahawks' physical, man-to-man coverage. It was a deadly mix, and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano had no answers.
The Jets produced only 185 total yards. Their only real scoring chance blew up when Sanchez telegraphed a pass from the Seahawks' 6, and it was intercepted at the goal line by Richard Sherman.
If Ryan benches Sanchez, he can't go back. Does he want to go down that road? The Jets have scored only one offensive touchdown in the past seven quarters. It'll be a small miracle if Sparano survives this debacle of a season.
Tebow throws! Hey -- whaddya know? -- Tebow has a new role: Designated Screen-Pass Thrower to Jeremy Kerley. Tebow, who attempted only two passes from the quarterback position in the first eight games, went 3-for-3 -- all short passes to Kerley. Yeah, that really rattled the Seahawks.
Tebow played a total of seven snaps on offense (plus three penalties), but his presence at times did more harm than good. Tight end Dustin Keller was penalized twice for false starts, and the Jets had to burn a timeout because there was confusion with the personnel grouping. What a mess.
Kerley's miscue: Does this sound familiar? The Jets committed a costly mistake on special teams. This time, Kerley muffed a punt, giving the Seahawks a short field and allowing them to march for a go-ahead touchdown. This marked the third straight game in which the Jets were undermined by their once-formidable special teams. When you're so limited offensively, you can't afford to give away field position with your special teams.
Silver lining: The Jets' defense did a lot of chirping during the week, saying how it was planning to rattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson -- and backed it up for three quarters. The defense pressured Wilson (12-for-19, 188 yards, two TDs), contained Marshawn Lynch (27 carries, 124 yards, TD) and scored on Wilkerson's 21-yard fumble recovery -- a strip sack by Mike DeVito.
For three quarters, the Jets had two bad plays on defense, one-on-one plays in which they got beat deep. Kyle Wilson and nickelback Ellis Lankster allowed 38- and 31-yard TD passes, respectively. Eventually, the defense got tired or lost hope -- or both -- as it turned into a fourth-quarter embarrassment. The ultimate indignity came when the Seahawks scored on a gadget play, wide receiver Golden Tate throwing a 23-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice.
Look, a pass rush: The Jets benched Aaron Maybin, last season's leading sacker, but their pass rush never looked better. They recorded four sacks, harassing Wilson with clever blitz packages. Eventually, the Seahawks countered by letting Wilson keep the ball on designed runs, throwing the Jets out of whack.
What's ahead: The Jets are on the road again next week to face the Rams, which means a showdown with former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.