Do the Jets Have it in Them to Turn Their Slow Start Around?

Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants pushes off the tackle of Andre Dyson #21 of the New York Jets on his way to a touchdown 

Sitting at 29th in offense and 28th in defense, the Jets are searching for answers sitting at 1-4 with an upcoming showdown in Philadelphia that may make or break their season. The team has not played four full quarters all season, and that was never more evident then Sunday when they led the Giants by 10 points only to lose 35-24. “Wherever we are, we did it to ourselves,” linebacker Victor Hobson said Sunday. “We don’t have anybody to blame but ourselves.”

The issues on offense have to do with the poor play at quarterback by Chad Pennington, who threw three picks on Sunday, one of which was returned for a score. Pennington has thrown six TD’s and five interceptions, with all five coming in the last two weeks, in losses to the Bills and Giants. The most glaring number in the passing game is they are averaging just 6.9 yards per attempt. As for the running game, it was supposed to be much improved with new feature back Thomas Jones, but instead has been in stall mode much of the season. Jones has shown his frustration, and bailed before the media got into the locker room Sunday. He has run for just 290 yards this year, an average of just 58 yards per game.

The defense has had its issues as well, allowing just over 367 yards per game, and 127.6 yards on the ground per contest. Teams are putting up an average of 27.6 points per game, ranked 27th in the league. Missed tackles, botched assignments, and just utter confusion seems to have plagued the defense to this point. One glaring play Sunday as an example is when Giants wide out Plaxico Burress, playing on a bad ankle, caught a short pass near the sideline, stiff armed CB Andre Dyson, then went the distance for an easy score.

Can the Jets recover at this point? They have rebounded from slow starts in the past, and back in 2002 when they were 1-4 they won 8 of their last 11 games to go 9-7, then beat the Colts in the first round before losing to the eventual AFC Champion Raiders a week later in Oakland. Something feels different about this team though, and that’s not a good thing after just five weeks.

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