November 23, 2012
Nothing 'butt' letdown for Sanchez, Jets
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
If there was a single play, one gawdawful YouTube moment, that epitomized one of the most embarrassing losses in New York Jet history, against a hated rival in front of a continent-wide Thanksgiving audience, well, cue the Mark Sanchez blooper reel.
About six minutes into the second quarter, just after the Patriots had taken a 14-0 lead, Sanchez stepped under centre, first and 10 from the Jets’ 31-yard line. At the snap, he turned, expecting to hand off the ball to Lex Hilliard, but the running back had already fled the backfield on a pass route.
Sanchez made a panicked run back toward the line of scrimmage, attempted a slide but ran face-first into centre Brandon Moore’s butt, just as Moore was being lifted right off his feet by Pats nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Sanchez went flying and lost the ball. New England’s Steve Gregory picked it up and raced 32 yards to make it 21-0 for New England.
The Three Stooges never did such inspired slapstick.
The NFL’s disciplinary committee is reviewing the play for a possible ass-on-helmet infraction. Okay, we just made that up, but there is no kidding about the state of the Jets in the wake of what turned into a 49-19 massacre.
They are an absolute mess, prompting one New York Post columnist to write: “There were turkeys all across America objecting to being compared to the New York Football Jets.”
The crowd at MetLife Stadium screamed for Tim Tebow but, it turns out, he was unavailable because of two fractured ribs suffered two weeks ago in a loss to the Seahawks. Why he was in uniform if he couldn’t play is as big a mystery as why team owner Woody Johnson keeps patiently waiting for GM Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan to put something other than a sad vaudeville act on the field in the NFL’s No. 1 market.
Maybe this will be the moment of embarrassment that tips him over the edge.
After the game, as he left the locker room, a reportedly grim-faced Johnson waved away reporters seeking comment.
HAVE SKINS PASSED BOYZ?
Rex wasn’t the only Ryan who had a miserable Thanksgiving. Rex’s brother Rob is the mastermind of a Dallas defence that was flayed and sauteed by Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
The Skins scored four TDs in the second quarter alone. RGIII threw touchdown passes of 68, 19 and 59 yards in that quarter on the way to a 38-31 win. At one point the Cowboys were down 28-3.
“That was about as bad of a quarter of football as I’ve been around in a long time,” Ryan said. “Our guys kept fighting because that’s who we are. We wanted to play better, there’s no question, and I think we will play better.”
Owner/GM Jerry Jones isn’t so sure, sounding like a man who realized his outfit has been passed by the ’Skins in the competitive NFC East.
“All I can do is just sit here and look at the numbers,” Jones said Thursday. “It looks like our best opportunity would be to end up with the best record in the NFC East. I don’t know what that’s going to be. I don’t know if 8-8 will get it there or not, and I sure don’t know if we’re going to be 8-8.
“I’m just like everybody. I see our numbers. I see where we are. I see how we played against this team.”
Griffin completed 20-of-28 passes, four of them for touchdowns, with one pick.
“That kid is a hell of a football player,” Ryan said. “Hell, there’s a reason you trade half your team to get that kid. Hell, with him and (Andrew) Luck, they’re going to be two great quarterbacks for a long time.”
Perhaps just in time for QB Jay Cutler’s return from a concussion, the Chicago Bears are overhauling their offensive line. Last Monday against the 49ers, the Bears failed to protect backup Jason Campbell, allowing six sacks and 11 other pressures.
Gabe Carimi and Chilo Rachal have been benched, and Jonathan Scott and Chris Spencer will take over at right tackle and left guard, respectively.
“This is not the first time in my career that people have doubted me, and it won’t be the last,’’ Carimi told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I just view it as an obstacle in my life.”
Had Carimi been more of an obstacle Monday, maybe 49ers’ Aldon Smith wouldn’t have had 5.5 sacks and seven quarterback hits.
Cutler took another step toward starting against the Vikings on Sunday at Soldier Field when he practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday.
“Before he can play, he has to be cleared by an independent neurologist,” Bears head coach Lovie Smith said, “and we’re not to that point.”
With Michael Vick still not close to getting clearance to return from a concussion, rookie Nick Foles will be at QB for the Eagles against Carolina Monday night. He started last week against Washington and threw two interceptions and was sacked four times as the Eagles managed only a pair of field goals ... Bad spot for the Buffalo defence this weekend. The Colts are fourth in the NFL in total yards per game (393.4), while the Bills are 27th in yards allowed per game (387.4). Buffalo must control clock with the run game ... K.C. leads the NFL in fumbles lost (16). Denver is second (13). Prediction: No fumbles when they meet Sunday.