If you are among the apparent vast majority of people who are downright giddy to see the Jets explode into a bloody sprawl of flailing body parts and Post backpages, all told, you're better off having the Jets win yesterday, like they did, somehow, 23–20 in overtime against the Miami Dolphins. A loss yesterday would have, for all intents and purposes, derailed the season right then and there; the Jets would have hit rock bottom before they even had a chance to fall that far. No, you want this to be drawn out. You want this to be a slow burn.
The Jets deserved to lose yesterday in about eight different ways, and even though the game was a win, it will without question be remembered solely for Mark Sanchez bouncing a pass off Tim Tebow's helmet. But this was far from a good news day for the Jets. Here are all the bad things.
Mark Sanchez. Oh boy. That Week One Bills game feels like a long time ago. Sanchez was dreadful yesterday, going 21-for-45 (!!!) with one touchdown and two interceptions. He looked rattled and antsy all day, often throwing the ball out of bounds anytime he got nervous. This was against a defense that is hardly imposing. Sanchez is playing like he did last year, when Jets fans all turned on him in the first place. The Jets made a concerted effort to get the ball to rookie Stephen Hill, who scored two touchdowns in Week One and was targeted nine times. But he didn't have a single catch. Sanchez has gotten aggressively worse in the last fourteen months. This is a problem.
The offense in general. Yeah, the preseason offense is back. The Jets now have two touchdowns in the last eight quarters and one in the last thirteen possessions. They're oddly terrible in the red zone, too.
Tebow. Actually, Tebow himself is sorta playing great ... as long as he's not on offense. He recovered a key onside kick last week and had a vital, terrific fake punt yesterday, one that he apparently called himself. But the worse Sanchez plays and the more positivity Tebow brings (minus the balls off the helmet, of course), the more about Tebow we're going to hear, and that just brings everyone that much closer to the Jets trying him at quarterback more often. (You can still tell every time Tebow is interviewed that, as polite as he is about it, he wants that starting job.) Maybe Tebow would be better than Sanchez at quarterback. But probably not. And every game, he's a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency away from it happening.
Darrelle Revis. And here's the real disaster. The all-world cornerback wasn't talking about his knee injury after the game — we'll find out the official diagnosis later today — but it absolutely does not look good. Revis is the difference between an above-average defense and a top-tier one, and with Sanchez and the offense playing the way they are, the loss of Revis would be devastating. This looked like a middling team before Revis's injury yesterday. Now? Look out.
The Jets were a missed Miami field goal from a scorched-earth, apocalyptic loss yesterday. With Revis out, and Sanchez as bad as he's ever been ... you can't help but think that armageddon is more delayed, rather than denied. At least the scab refs weren't the ugliest thing on the field yesterday.
And after all this ... the Jets are in first place. (Frame those standings.) This crazy freaking franchise.