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New York Jets finished? A friendly ATL email debate

The guys from Around The League don't share the same opinion on the New York Jets' chances this season. After an ugly 28-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, is it time to add Gang Green to ATL's "Stick A Fork In 'Em" series?

From: Rosenthal, Gregg
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 12:12 PM
To: Hanzus, Dan; Sessler, Marc
Subject: Jets Fork Debate

GR: Apparently I'm the last person on the planet that hasn't officially given up on the possibility the Jets could wind up back in contention this year. My main point: 8-8 or 9-7 could still get the last AFC playoff spot. The Indianapolis Colts could easily collapse. The Jets have the tiebreaker on them.

Would it really be that shocking if the Jets got their record to something like 6-7 and inspired some "and you thought the Jets were dead" articles like everyone was writing when they almost beat the New England Patriots?

DH: Don't worry, Gregg. Antonio Cromartie has got your back on that whole "Jets will make the playoffs" thing. You guys should get all the kids together for a play date of chaotic proportions.

Seriously though, what have we seen from this team that tells us they have a 6-1 or 5-2 run in them? The Jets' remaining schedule is favorable, but can you safely assume a win in any of those games? If they don't beat the St. Louis Rams on the road next week, I can see the whole operation going into the tank.

MS: Gregg, as a friend, I'm asking you to gently put down the bath salts. The Jets have problems all over the field.

The idea of the Jets as this gritty Rex Ryan vehicle that still intimidates on defense is problematic. New York has allowed 29, 30 and 28 points over the last three games. The Jets had my attention with their play against the Patriots and Houston Texans, but the roster was a ghost ship in that loss to the Miami Dolphins. There isn't much talent here. They are what they are, an organization that's lost its focus.

DH: Has anyone mentioned the Jets went to back-to-back AFC title games not too long ago? The world is a cold and empty place.

GR: The Jets' defense isn't that bad. Ryan's history for raising this team from the dead is partly why I'm hesitant. Their defense is still a relatively tough team to prepare for.

Football Outsiders had the Jets in 19th in DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average statistic) before Week 10. That sounds about right -- a slightly below-average team. The Rams were 21st. The Colts were 27th. Much, much crazier things have happened than the Jets stringing together a few wins against similarly lame squads to get to, say, eight wins.

DH: The defense is OK, but it's not close to what it was when Ryan first got to town. Let's face it: The Jets have a Mark Sanchez problem. Ryan comes off as obtuse with his weekly insistence that Sanchez at quarterback gives the team the best chance to win. How can he know that if Tim Tebow never gets a shot? There's more to this story.

MS: Right now I'd take the Rams' quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, defense and coaching staff over what the Jets are putting on the field. The Rams are young and -- yes, inconsistent -- but developing. The Jets have less talent today than when Ryan arrived. It's a challenge to look around here and declare where the building blocks are. You can't. I don't dismiss the DVOA findings, but the team lacks a soul right now.

GR: They are still looking for a way to measure soul statistically. We need to get Nate Silver on this.

DH: "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier." -- Brandon Flowers

MS: If the Jets make the playoffs, I will march by foot to Florham Park. In the dead of winter, I will cross the country from Los Angeles to New York to apologize directly to Ryan for underrating this three-win outfit. Get the fork out.

DH: I will deliver Marc's eulogy. "Marc was a good man ... a man who should not be defined by one insane promise made in the body of a trivial work email chain."

GR: I will stick a fork in this elaborate scheme to set up my Hero Pick of the Jets this week.

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