It's tough to be as inept as the Jets have been this preseason. Their offense is bordering on the historically bad after the first three games. The Jets have no touchdowns through the first three preseason games. They also have two Quarterbacks with QB Ratings under 60.0, and to make matters worse, three running backs averaging at/under 3.5 yards per carry.
Luckily for the Jets, Tight End Dustin Keller should be fine for the start of the regular season after pulling his hamstring.
"It's not that bad" Keller said in a text to ESPN. So that's a good start. Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley also returned to practice in the last week, bolstering a perilously thin receiving corps.
However, the biggest issue facing the Jets this season will be the Quarterbacks. Mark Sanchez has had his up-and-down's throughout his career. However, despite the negative press, his completion percentage, yards and touchdowns have gone up every year.
Honestly, if Sanchez wasn't in New York, I believe he'd probably be considered a better Quarterback, but with all the hoopla surrounding the organization -- and his penchant for poorly timed mistakes, he is where he is currently.
And that is in a competition against Tim Tebow.
Not on the field, mind you, but in the hearts of all the Jets fans. Who, at the first sign of weakness, will be calling for his head. This is obviously something the Jets organization would love to avoid, but how?
First, I'd simplify what I'm sure is already a simple playbook. Assuming Jason Smith can unearth whatever potential he had that made him the #2 overall pick in 2009, that should help immensely in the protection of Sanchez. That should allow Sanchez more time to diagnose plays and get the ball to a group of receivers with high upside.
Additionally, I'd also find a way to get Joe McKnight more involved in the offense. He was compared to Reggie Bush when he entered college, but never really lived up to that at USC. He has a chance to still become that type of player. He's explosive, and can make plays with the ball in his hands. He could be a poor-man's Darren Sproles out of the backfield, and on the occasional hand-off.
Furthermore, I'm also going to assume Stephen Hill holds off Chaz Schillens at the receiver spot opposite Santonio Holmes. Hill should provide a quality deep threat for Sanchez right away. Jeremy Kerley should provide more production out of the slot in his second year as well.
Santonio Holmes is still a solid receiver, as is Dustin Keller, and the two should lead the team in targets in the early going while Hill and Kerley work themselves into the offense.
The Jets were 4-6 in games Sanchez attempted 30 or more passes, so I think that's a good barometer of where his limit should be. Anything more than that and you could be looking at trouble. In only three of those ten games with over 30 attempts did Sanchez have a completion percentage above 60% (with one of those three being right at 60%).
At the end of the day, patience and perseverance will be what benefits the Jets passing game the most. Tim Tebow won't help your passing game, we've seen what he can do in the NFL. His presence, specifically inside the 10 yard line, could help cut down on Sanchez' mistakes and allow this team to succeed.
At some point, I imagine the coaching staff gets tempted to start Tebow, but ultimately I think Sanchez gives this team the best chance to win. He has the ability to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers. It would also help if Shonn Greene had a career year to take some additional pressure off.