To get you set for the Colts week 6 match-up with the New York Jets, we sat down (figuratively) with Brian from TheJetsBlog.com to discuss some of the more pressing issues facing this week's opponent.
My questions are in bold, his answers are in italics. Yes, I'm prejudice against underline.
Mark Sanchez has struggled this year: does the blame fall solely on the quarterback's shoulders, or are there other factors contributing to his struggles?
Both. The proof is in the pudding and Sanchez's completion percentage had dropped way down this year to below 50%. I think that the offense has steadily degraded from 2010 and now we're getting a real good look at how far it's come. Sanchez hasn't made the improvements that folks would expect, and so there's essentially been no offset. That said, there's been a raft of injuries among his pass catchers so far this year and I do think that him getting Dustin Keller and/or Stephen Hill back this weekend could be a boost.
Speaking of Sanchez, we have to ask: how long before the Jets give Tebow a shot at the starting job. Also, is the push from fans to see Tebow real, or is this more of a media-created story?
Heading into the season, there was always the oddball fan who wanted Tebow, but in our humble opinion it a controversy driven in most part by the media. The way that Sanchez has played since the Pittsburgh game though has caused many fans to start to think about whether or not it would be worth putting Tebow into the game as the quarterback. More than anything, most Jets fans want to see the Jets put their money where their mouth is when it comes to this Wildcat that the coaching staff keeps talking about, but rarely using in games.
Last question about the offense: the running game has been pretty mediocre this year, is this because of Shonn Greene, the Offensive line, the scheme, or a combination of things?
I think it's a combination of things, but if I had to rank them, I would make Shonn Greene the main culprit. The line hasn't played it's best, but it's a mediocre unit right working through a move away from zone-blocking. It's not executing as well as it should, and if Nick Mangold can't go for the Jets this weekend ... that might be all the Colts need to win. Back to Greene, he seems unable to gain yards early in any season over the history of his career for whatever weird reason and this season is no different. While his line isn't playing lights out, he should be performing better than he has so far this season.
Rex Ryan's defense has been uncharacteristically bad this year: they are giving up 172.4 yards per game on the ground (31st in the league), and they have been unable to muster much of a pass rush. Is this all because of the injury to CB Darrelle Revis, or are there deeper problems on the defensive side of the ball?
There are deeper problems on the defensive side of the ball and it starts with their injured Nose Tackle Sione Pouha, and now his backup Kenrick Ellis as well. Behind them, the linebackers are getting into position to make plays, but have looked out of sync and unable to wrap up ballcarriers. This has translated to all the problems on the Jets. Unable to stop the run, they've been unable to get into their more unconventional blitzes. Losing Revis hurt this team, no question, but there are larger issues that need addressing this coming offseason.
The Jets, in part because of their own confidence and self-promotion, were thought of as one of the Super Bowl favorites entering the 2012 season. Now at 2-3 after 5 games, it looks like they may have to fight just to make the playoffs - are Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum's jobs safe if the Jets do miss the playoffs, and what are the fan base's feelings towards both men?
I could foresee Rex Ryan being spared should the Jets miss the playoffs, but I don't think that GM Mike Tannenbaum makes it. The Jets had a lot of holes to fill this past offseason, and made some questionable moves (trading for Tebow, not taking the out on Santonio's contract, some high-round draft misses) that were distractions from some of the real problems. The public outcry will be huge and while I think that Rex and Tannenbaum have some good synergy between them, I don't think that Mike wanted Rex as the coach at the start and I think that the coach's influence is waxing while the GM's influence might be waning when it comes to the owner ... and all is going to get taken into account at the end of this season.
Thanks to Brian for the opportunity! You can find his questions (and my awesome answers) here: http://thejetsblog.com/reports/behind-enemy-lines-five-questions-for-coltsauthority/
(If the link doesn't work right away, it's only because I made this post too early and his post isn't quite live yet. Blame me)