I am praying to survive this week and reach Sunday's demolishing of the New York Jets by the Indianapolis Colts because my head wants to explode with all the J-E-T-S stuff the East Coast Media is laying on so thick these days..
I'm not hating here. I believe the Jets, a mediocre team, have grabbed a great opportunity and are holding on with superhuman grip in making their way into the AFC Championship game.
They took advantage of two teams laying down for them the final two weeks of the season -- after the head coach himself said the season was done -- to qualify for the playoffs. Then they beat a flawed and wounded Cincinnati team in the first round of the playoffs and a San Diego team that had a wide receiver that could kick better than the kicker and a man who has never won a championship-caliber game as the head man.
And so now the Jets are the best thing since turboprops?
You guys are as guilty as the media of overstating what the Jets are. I've read some of the comments about how the Jets formula should be the Dolphins formula going forward. You know, run the ball like crazy, play aggressive defense, win championships!
A couple of things: The Jets have not won any championships. The Jets will not win any championships during this postseason. And they do what they do out of necessity, not out of choice.
First, separate the Jets defense from this conversation. That unit is championship caliber. They deserve great respect and admiration for playing an attacking style of football few teams match. It's the reason the Jets allowed fewer points than any other.
But the offense?
Rex Ryan on Sunday called it, "old fashioned ground and pound football." He said it with pride as if that's what his plan was all along. And I'm calling B.S. on that.
The fact of the matter is the Jets are ground and pound because when they tried to be what they truly want to be -- a multi-dimensional team with a dynamic passing game as well as dynamic running game -- and they recognized they don't have the horses to do it.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez threw more interceptions than TDs while the Jets were hoping to be a multi-faceted offense. And the team lost games against the likes of lesser teams such as Buffalo, and yes, Miami, during that time.
How do I know the Jets don't really want to have a one-dimensional offense based completely on the league's best running game? Because Ryan has said so himself. I've heard it with my own two eyes (LOL).
Earlier this year, when the Jets figured out they had a fine defense and running game, they recognized they needed to throw the ball to win championships, so they went out and traded for wide receiver Braylon Edwards to do just that.
Ryan called Edwards, "the final piece of the puzzle," when the trade with Cleveland was made.
Ryan said the Jets gave up good players for Edwards and that would, in turn, prevent teams from stacking the box or disrespect New York's ability to go downfield.
"I think we get a receiver who draws a team's attention," Ryan said. "It's almost about what the defenses can't do to us anymore."
Of course, we know Edwards hasn't quite become the consistent threat the Jets had hoped. But that's irrelevant to this writing. The point is the Jets desperately wanted to become something greater than "ground and pound." They knew they were incomplete without a great downfield threat and gave up players and draft picks for a wide receiver they thought would, pardon the pun, bring that completion.
And that brings me to you guys, the Dolphins fan community. I've been hearing troubling rumblings from you about how the Dolphins should mimic the Jets. I've been hearing that the Jets have the right formula, which in many regards is akin to the Dolphins formula, and so Miami should simply stay the course.
All the Dolphins have to do to make it to the AFC title game next year is spend this offseason improving the defense and then ground and pound -- the passing game be damned.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Once they are eliminated on Sunday, the Jets will go into the offseason and continue to address their flawed offense. Their young QB won't be a rookie forever and they will try to surround him with more weapons so he can throw the football. I guarantee you this.
Yes, they will continue to run because Shonn Greene looks like a star in the making. Yes, they will continue to play great defense because Kris Jenkins will come back next year and the draft will augment what they already have, which is scary.
But they will also look to throw the football like a championship team.
And so it would be a mistake for you, and certainly for the Dolphins, to get lulled into thinking that simply running the ball and playing great defense will match the Jets.
Defense and a running game may indeed be good enough to get a into the playoffs when a couple of teams lay down. It may be good enough to advance in the playoffs when you face teams like the Chargers that continue to under-achieve in the postseason year after year after year, dating back to 2007.
But it isn't otherwise good enough. To be a complete team you have to, well, be a complete team. The Jets know this. And they tried to address it even as the season was underway.
I just hope and trust you know it. I hope and trust the Dolphins know it.
Yes, you have to run and play defense. But in today's NFL you have to do that other thing just as much if not more: You have to throw the rock. Just ask New Orleans, Minnesota and the Colts. Those are the teams to mimic.
Not the Jets.
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