Sunday, December 9, 2012
Halftime: Jaguars 3, Jets 0
By Rich Cimini
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Quick thoughts on the first half:
1. Different week, same story. For the second straight week, the Jets trail at halftime, 3-0. But here's the difference: The Cardinals last week were a legitimate defense. The Jaguars entered the game ranked 31st in the league.
2. QB Mark Sanchez continued to struggle, losing a fumble (his 19th turnover) a missing a couple of open receivers. His strip sack -- Jason Babin beat LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson -- was another case of Sanchez showing poor ball security. All week, Rex Ryan preached, "Protect the ball." So what happens? Another careless fumble. With Sanchez at quarterback, the Jets have now gone 16 straight possesions without a point.
3. Maybe Ryan can insert Greg McElroy to provide a spark and save the game, as he did last week. Oh, wait, that's impossible. Ryan made the head-scratching decision before the game to deactivate McElroy. He dressed Sanchez and the banged-up Tim Tebow, which made absolutely no sense. Tebow, his fractured ribs still hurting, didn't even step on the field. What was the point?
4. The worst development was a potentially serious knee injury to rookie WR Stephen Hill, who slipped on the damp turf while reaching for a high pass. Hill, in pain, pounded his fist to the turf. Replays showed an ugly hyperextension.
5. The Jets are down to a patchwork offense. TE Jeff Cumberland pulled a hamstring, so here's the body count: No Dustin Keller. No Clyde Gates. No Hill. No Cumberland. They're playing with Konrad Reuland and Hayden Smith at tight end, with Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens and Mardy Gilyard at receiver. Yeesh.
6. The defense was terrific. It allowed one long drive, but the Jets forced a red-zone turnover. LB Bart Scott intercepted a wobbly paused by Chad Henne, who was drilled on the release by LB Garrett McIntyre. The Jaguars' field goal came after the Sanchez turnover.