There is plenty of speculation on why the Jets missed the playoffs after being 8-3, then finishing 9-7. Was it Favre? NO, it was no Favre's fault. Yes, he made bad decisions but we must blame the play calling of both the offensive and defensive coordinator.
Brian Schottenheimer was giddy with Brett Favre mania he seemed to lose sight of the fact the New York Jets were built for the run.
I will take the last game against Miami as my example. First, several situations called for the run, especially third and fourth down and short to go. The pass was used, which is OK once or twice, but not three or four times with the AFC's leading rusher.
Next, you have two great tailbacks including Jones the AFC leading rusher. In the shadow of Jones was Leon Washington who was underutilized in the second half of the season. He played a large role in the Titans game in which he went 8 carries, 82 yards, and two touchdowns including a 60 yd. TD run.
In the last five games after that, he only had 17 carries with two TDs. Against Denver, he only had two carries in a game that was influenced by heavy rain and a struggling Brett Favre.
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I know that the Jets had Jones, who proved to be a great tailback and was able to pound the ball for decent YPC. But I feel the Jets should have taken the Giants' approach with different styles of tailbacks that can give a change of pace.
Instead, Washington was underused down the stretch, which led to the Jets' demise and i blame Schottenheimer for it. Also, he didn't realize that Favre just doesn't have the big play arm anymore. In the beginning of the season they kept the passes in mid-range, between five and 10 yards and allowing the receivers to get the YAC.
As the season progressed, they extended the field and Favre's weaker arm was not able to deliver the zip and accuracy he used to.
This obviously contributed to the nine INTs down the stretch because they felt they could take advantage of "weaker" defenses. This was not the case.
While the defense was less the issue down the stretch it certainly could have been used to their advantage. Sutton, the defensive coordinator, refused to use the blitz which is redundant in a 3-4 defense. I understand having faith in your down lineman but the blitz wasn't even used against a Seattle offensive line that was inexperienced and unprepared.
If they blitzed then they would have given Wallace less time to throw. While i still stand by my opinion that the offense was the problem against the Hawks which failed to score a big touchdown early after a great opening drive.
Favre was awful down the stretch, but at least give the play calling its fair share of blame. If this team was well coached they would have been playing bonus football in the playoffs and may even be playing right now in the AFC Championship game. But since they failed late Mangini is out and Favre looks like he is on his way out, too.
This, to me, opens the opportunity of a fresh start by letting Brett Ratliff be the QB and incorporating the 4-3 defense which relies less on speed on our linebackers, and that is something the Jets don't have, speed.