Jets blow three field goal attempts, choke in loss to Falcons

What in God’s name is going on with all the blown field goal attempts in the NFL these days?

The Jets’ chances of making the playoffs entering Week 15 were slim, but at least they still had a shot. And with the Falcons officially eliminated from postseason contention with the Cowboys’ win over the Saints on Saturday night, one would have thought that the Jets would have taken advantage of the situation on Sunday and get a win over a depleted team. (Matt Ryan and Michael Turner both started for Atlanta, but Turner left the game after just one carry.)

But thanks to three blown field goal attempts, New York will likely be home for the playoffs this season as the Falcons beat the Jets, 10-7. Holder Kellen Clemens dropped a snap on the first attempt, kicker Jay Feely missed a chip shot before half on the second, and Atlanta blocked the Jets’ final kick with just under four minutes remaining to set up their game-winning touchdown drive.

The best and the worst of Mark Sanchez were on full display today. He threw an absolutely beautiful 65-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards in the first quarter to give the Jets a 7-3 lead, but he also turned the ball over three times, including on New York’s final possession. He took command of the Jets’ offense and moved the ball the entire game. But the turnovers killed him today, which has been the case so many times this season.

Give the Falcons credit, after they were eliminated last night they could have rolled over on a cold day in East Rutherford. But their defense played inspired and with a lot of help from the Jets, they were able to notch their third win of the year. If they can beat the Bills and Bucs the next two weeks, they’ll finish with back to back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. (Breaking one of the most embarrassing records in sports.)

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Mark Sanchez has PCL sprain

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez has a sprained PCL in his right knee, but may play through the injury as long as he can tolerate the pain.

Ironically, Sanchez had spent time learning how to slide with Joe Girardi, but hurt himself when he dove head first after scrambling. After the game, Sanchez even apologized to Girardi:

“I’m sorry to Coach Girardi,” Sanchez said. “He spent all that time trying to help me. And I know Rex wants me to slide and everybody wants me to slide, but in the heat of the moment I was trying to get the first down. That’s just the way I play.”

Outside of his hot start, Sanchez has suffered plenty of growing pains through his first year. But with the way backup Kellen Clemens looked Thursday night in New York’s 19-13 win over the Bills, Sanchez remains the team’s best option to win. Clemens completed just 1-of-2 pass attempts for 14 yards and looked like player that had no business being under center. He showed zero pocket awareness and it’s a good thing the Jets were leading when he entered the game so they wouldn’t have to rely on Clemens throwing vertically.

After playing on Thursday night, the Jets will have a few extra days off to rest before their Week 14 game against the Bucs. The extra time should help Sanchez heal, but team will have to evaluate his injury next week during practice.

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No wonder Rex Ryan didn’t want to bench Mark Sanchez

For those wondering why Rex Ryan hasn’t benched struggling rookie Mark Sanchez yet, I hope you were one of the four people that caught the Jets’ 19-13 win over the Bills on Thursday night on the NFL Network.

After Sanchez suffered a knee injury midway through the second half, Kellen Clemens entered the game and completed just 1-of-2 passes for 14 yards. The Jets showed little trust in him to put the ball in the air and I don’t blame them given Clemens’ lack of awareness in the pocket. It’s understandable that he would be a little rusty considering he hasn’t seen much game action this season, but that’s no excuse for him to look completely inept.

Nevertheless, the Jets hung on for the victory and kept their slim playoff hopes alive for another week. They rushed for a staggering 249 yards (Thomas Jones had 109 of those yards) and Braylon Edwards caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez right before half to put New York ahead for good. (Of course, he also had a potential touchdown bounce off his face early in the second quarter, so he gave his usual inconsistent effort.)

It doesn’t appear that Sanchez’s injury is serious and it helps that the Jets now have extra days off before they take on the Buccaneers in Week 14. Hopefully for New York’s sake, Sanchez will be healthy enough to play because Clemens is brutal.

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Rex Ryan to stick with Mark Sanchez

According to a report by the New York Daily News, Rex Ryan won’t bench struggling rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez in favor for Kellen Clemens.

Sanchez has followed poor outing after poor outing the past couple months and is now only two interceptions behind league-leader Jay Cutler. Sanchez has also seen his completion percentage drop to 52.1 as the Jets have lost six of their last seven games.

But wasn’t all this expected? Just because Sanchez and the Jets got off to a hot start doesn’t mean that it was going to last all season. After all, he’s a rookie quarterback that didn’t have a ton of experience in college and is struggling in his first year. That’s not uncommon.

It’s important that Ryan stick with Sanchez and see him through the rest of the year. If Sanchez can get through this season, then he’ll see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that he can play in this league. But he needs to learn from the mistakes that he’s making or else he’ll never develop. It’s Ryan’s job to do everything he can to help Sanchez transition to the next level, which includes supporting him when he isn’t playing well.

Confidence is everything to a young quarterback. Ryan chose Sanchez to be his starter in preseason and unless the young signal caller turns into Ryan Leaf over the next couple weeks, then he should remain the starter. Don’t forget that Peyton Manning struggled in his first season with the Colts, yet he remained the starter the entire season. I’m not trying to compare the two players, but the situations could wind up being similar in the end if Ryan allows Sanchez to suffer through his growing pains.

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Jets name Mark Sanchez starting quarterback

Even following his rough outing in the Jets’ second preseason game on Monday night, head coach Rex Ryan named rookie Mark Sanchez the team’s starting quarterback.


Despite a rough start against the Ravens in his last preseason game, Sanchez never lost his cool and battled back. The team has been impressed with his command of the huddle and the offense. Sources say the team has been impressed with how much he has not looked like a rookie. Drafted out of USC, Sanchez has gone 6-of-12 in two preseason games, with one touchdown pass and one interception.

Clemens, in his fourth season, is 9-of-14 for 84 yards in the preseason. He also has one score and one pick. Entering his fourth season with the Jets after being a second-round pick in 2006, Clemens also had a solid but unspectacular camp, but threw 12 interceptions compared to the rookie’s five.

I’m sure Ryan would have wanted a better performance out of Sanchez on Monday night before he made his decision official, but it’s not like Clemens did anything this summer to merit the job, so why delay the announcement?

The good news for Sanchez is that the Jets offensive line is solid. They also have a trio of backs in Leon Washington, Thomas Jones and rookie Shonn Greene that are more than capable of taking some of the pressure off Sanchez in his first year.

The bad news is that the Jets aren’t giving Sanchez a lot to work with in terms of receivers. Jerricho Cotchery is underrated and has been a consistent, productive receiver throughout his career. But he’s not a player that will keep defensive coordinators up at night and after him, the Jets will rely heavily on the inexperienced crop of Chansi Stuckey, David Clowney and Brad Smith.

If Sanchez continues to show the poise he did on Monday night when things weren’t going his way, he should do fine. That’s not to say that he’ll have a Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco-type rookie year and lead the Jets to the playoffs, but success can’t always measured in whether or not a quarterback can get his team to the postseason. (Especially if said quarterback is a rookie.)

Don’t go crazy on draft day and pick Sanchez in the middle rounds. He’s a rookie QB, and they’re notoriously undependable in fantasy circles, especially with all the depth available in leagues that only start one QB. It probably would have been better for the Jets WRs (especially Cotchery) if Clemens had won the job, as the two had shown a nice rapport in the past. Sanchez will no doubt have his ups and downs, so that means the Jets receivers are likely to as well.

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