200 Miles From the Citi

November 26, 2010 4:28 PM

It Could Be The Deference


It's no secret - the Jets have been getting off to slow starts recently.

The quality of the opposition has been such that it hasn't hurt the Jets too much - they've been able to make up for the lack of early points with late offense.

There aren't many pushovers remaining on the Jets schedule this year - meaning they'd benefit from fixing this problem.

So it was interesting to hear Rex Ryan offer a possible reason following Thursday night's game.

It'll be more interesting to see if he changes his approach in response.

The Jets have just 26 points in the first quarter this season.  In 11 games, they've scored in the first quarter in just 6 games, and in 4 of those the score was just a field goal (the other two were just one touchdown).  Thursday night was one of the five games the Jets were scoreless in the opening quarter.

After Thursday's game, Ryan said possibly the offense is having trouble settling into games because the Jets' tendency after they win the coin toss is to defer.  (Interestingly it seems that the Jets win the coin toss nearly every week.)

Rex Ryan's preference has been to defer, setting the tone for the game by putting his defense on the field.  And he says he likes the way his offense comes out and has been successful when they get the ball to open the second half.

But it may be time to change the approach.  It's not like the Jets' defense is like last year's edition.  They've been very good, but short of great.  Are they really benefiting that much from getting the defense out there first?  Seems to me the defense is going to be intense either way, and the shot in the arm the offense would get by being on the field first and getting into its rhythm would outweigh any negatives the defense would suffer by taking the field second.

It's hard to argue with 9-2.  But as good as the start has been, everyone acknowledges that there have been bumps in the road to 9 wins.

With the Jets heading into a huge game in New England, against a team on a record-setting streak at home, they're going to need to shake things up a bit to make sure they get to 10 wins.  You have to know the Patriots will game plan well for the Jets.  Maybe they're counting on the Jets starting on defense.

Maybe it's time for the Jets to throw the league a curve, and if they have the choice to start the game, they defer on deferring.

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