Saturday, October 13, 2012
Coach's big decision: Trick or treat?
By Rich Cimini
Halloween still is a couple of weeks away, but we saw some tricks last Monday night from Rex Ryan -- a fake punt, an onsides kick, two fourth-down gambles in his own territory and a cornerback playing wide receiver. Ryan knew he'd have to make some bold decisions to stay with the high-powered Texans -- and his strategy came within a couple of tipped passes of paying off.
Now the question is, does he remain Riverboat Rex on Sunday against the Colts?
In theory, Ryan shouldn't have to rely on gadgets to beat the rebuilding Colts (2-2). The Jets are the physically superior team and they should be able to control the game by doing the things they're supposed to be good at. They shouldn't have to steal a possession by trying an onside kick. If Ryan gets too cute, he'll be playing into the Colts' hands.
You may see some wrinkles on the defensive front -- they have to compensate for having no healthy nose tackles -- but it won't be anything too outrageous. An encore for Antonio Cromartie at wide receiver? He might get a play or two, but why push it? After all, rookie WR Stephen Hill and TE Dustin Keller are slated to return, which should give QB Mark Sanchez enough weapons.
Ryan's approach last week was appropriate, but this is a different week and a different opponent. There's a huge gap between the Texans and Colts. Precocious rookie QB Andrew Luck gives the Colts a puncher's chance, but the Jets should be able to beat him without having to trick it up.