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Fifth Down Feedback

The folks from the NY Times Jets/Giants blog, The Fifth Down have been good enough to answer my questions on the Jets. Here is the perspective looking from the other end of the telescope:

1)  Given that Jets management has laid out big money for free agents and paid for two number one drat pick contracts, is this Mangini's last season if he fails to make the playoffs?

New York fans are something. They definitely can sour on a good thing before its time, if good results are not forthcoming. Just ask Alex Rodriguez. The fans will probably start to get on Mangini; certainly, he won't be a sought-after guest for TV shows (as in his bizarre Sopranos cameo) or be referred to often as Mangenius. But I don't think the Jets' management is as interested in results. I realize that the addition of Brett Favre and $140 million in free agents can appear to be pieces of a win-now strategy, but I think it's probably more of a get-New-Yorkers-to-buy-tickets-now strategy. The Jets' postseason chances have seemingly improved, but that is mostly because of external factors, like the injuries to Tom Brady and Shawne Merriman. And, be honest, they weren't all that good in the first place. If Mangini can get to 9-7 or so, I think it buys him another season, at least, before the tabloids start to seriously breathe down his neck.    

2)  The Jets first round draft choices (Gholston and Keller) do not seem to be having an impact early.  Given that this team was 4-12 last year, how much are fans questioning these choices? 

Gholston was probably drafted so high based on his uncommonly good combine. Maybe he is just not that good. Not to mention that his job in the Jets' 3-4 is a lot different than what he had to do at Ohio State. But maybe he will figure things out. ...I am not sure what to say about what fans think, though. ...It's harder to get a read on Keller. Favre doesn't have his head all the way into the Jets' playbook, and tight ends don't get a lot of touches anyway.  
 
Also the Jets rookie CB, Dwight Lowery is getting good reviews, how has he looked so far?

I like the Jets' corners: Darrelle Revis is a young hotshot, too. That's a point of real strength on this team. 
 
3)  Brett Favre hasn't looked sharp in his first two games; do you expect the offensive performance to dramatically improve as the team gets more time on the field together?

I was talking to a friend of mine about this, theorizing (however foolishly) that perhaps Favre simply doesn't know enough of the playbook to be effective. His teammates were joking after the Week 1 victory in Miami that Favre was drawing plays in the dirt, and that he would shrug at calls from the sidelines and say "same play" a lot in the huddle. That aw-shucks act is a hoot when you win, but it just looks unprofessional in a loss. The Patriots game seemed like a real opportunity, and a lot of people, myself included, expected the Jets to (gulp) win that game. In the aftermath, the focus was on Matt Cassell's workmanlike effort, but the real storyline was Brett Favre's 181 passing yards, with a TD and a pick. Those are Chad Pennington numbers. ...But I guess that does nothing to answer your question. In a word, yes. I think that as the season progresses, so will the cohesion in the Jets' offense. But I wouldn't expect the Jets to become something like, say, the Chargers in 1980s. They are still no better than a 15-to-1 long shot to make it to the Super Bowl, even if Favre proves he can find his hind end with both hands.  

4)  What do the Jets need to accomplish in order to beat the Chargers this Monday?

I guess that stopping L.T. is a priority. The Jets' defense is allowing a robust 4.4 yards a carry. They will need to lower that number, ...and find a way to create some turnovers. 

5)  There were big changes in the Jets offensive line this year; does it appear to be significantly upgrade over last years group?


The Jets are getting more yards per rush this season, but their average rushing  yards per game is about the same. Probably that is a factor of having to play catchup against the Patriots. And. Through two games, Favre has been sacked five times and that is an improvement of at least a sack per game over last season. It might be too early to tell, but I think the addition of Woody and Faneca was money well spent.