This week the Jaguars host the Jets in what should be a close, hard fought game. While the national media might tend to view the Jaguars as a team that just can’t get it to work, the Jets are no better as they are slowly falling out of the hunt with their own controversies and poor performances.
The Jaguars have had trouble putting points on the board this year, as it’s been tradition to for the past few years. The concern has always been to get a solid player at the wide receiver position since Jimmy Smith retired. While some play has come from the likes of Matt Jones, Torry Holt, Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas; all were either patches and or expendable. With drafted receivers Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon, the problem seems to be solved but other major concerns shine brighter with the quarterback position. Chad Henne can win games and has shown bigger play than Blaine Gabbert, but who’s to say either are the answer? Gabbert was drafted to be the future of the franchise, yet in two years hasn’t be able to win the amount of games he was thought to win even through improvement. Gabbert is conservative who checks down too often, only throwing a deep ball when in the last seconds of a game. Henne on the other hand has everything to lose as he was the back up going into this season after his departure from Miami. When your job is on the line you have to let it fly.
The Jets have a similar problem but with three names, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy. The fans and media of New York are a fickle breed. Winning is important and appealing to anyone, especially to such a highly populated city. Mark Sanchez, the incumbent starter, remains the starter this week even after getting benched in place of McElroy last week. Fans love anything “not Sanchez” right now. Had Tebow been in for Sanchez, the story would have been bigger but not as controversial as now three quarterbacks could start any given week.
The locker room will be divided as every player should favor one guy over another, as they all bring something to the table that gives the team a chance to win. However, quarterback is a position seldom played by more than one player for each team pending injury. The Tebow experiment is all but a bust, and after last week McElroy is the fan favorite. Tim Tebow has the been the best passer on the team statistics wise, save one hesitated McElroy touchdown.
The Jets locker room is definitely a tense place to be right now even if Sanchez has been given the green light for this week. With the team divided and distracted, the psychological edge will hands down go to opposing teams which will impact not only the offense but the entire team as well. Going forward no one knows who exactly will be the quarterback, the incumbent starter, the fan favorite, or the next best thing, but McElory said it best last January as the Jets Locker room can’t be a fun place right now.
- Antonio Furgiuele