|Geno Smith was benched for the second half. (AP photo)|
For the second straight game the Jets couldn't score a touchdown. For the third straight game, the Jets were blown out of the building. For the third straight game, the Jets were beaten by teams that are mediocre at best. Now, the team has gone from owning sole possession of the second wild card just three weeks ago to having little chance to make the postseason.
Sunday's 23-3 loss to the Dolphins was an embarrassment, the kind of game that gets the head coach fired. But this season shouldn't fall on the shoulders of Rex Ryan. The man who needs to own up to this whole mess is general manager John Idzik. He's the one who wanted Geno Smith to be the team's quarterback of the now and future. He's the one who didn't want Mark Sanchez to be the quarterback this season, even though he had proven he gave the team the best chance to win.
Idzik is the one who refused to sign a capable wide receiver to play for the team. He's the one who traded a draft pick for Chris Ivory. He's the one who couldn't find a reliable backup quarterback. He's the one who put together a plan for this organization that nobody completely understands.
Idzik wanted to completely blow up the team, at the expense of this season. It's finally worked. The Jets are all-but dead in the postseason race. Ryan is back on the hot seat, where Idzik wanted him all along.
Ryan shouldn't be in danger of getting fired, however, for this simple reason: Idzik didn't give him a chance to win with this roster and the Jets still were tied for the final wild card spot entering this week. The Jets have zero playmakers on offense. Zero. That's Idzik's fault. The receiving core is horrendous. The running game isn't anything special. The offensive line is passable. The quarterbacks? All three of them can't play in this league. Congrats, Idzik, you put together a roster with three quarterbacks that all stink. How in the world are Jets fans going to trust a man who can't even find a quarterback with any talent to play in the NFL.
Finding a franchise quarterback is difficult. Finding a quarterback who can play is easy. Idzik couldn't do it. And who has faith in the general manager to draft the right guy next season?
This was a disgusting afternoon to be a Jets fan.
Here's our in-depth look at the Jets loss to the Dolphins Sunday afternoon as we hand out Game Falls for those that were responsible for this defeat and the season as a whole. Game Balls? No way.
John Idzik: The two biggest draft picks of the general manager's tenure with the New York Jets have been Dee Milliner in the first round and Geno Smith in the second. Sheldon Richardson was the team's second first-round draft pick, but something tells me that had more to do with Rex Ryan than Idzik. Already, Idzik has had a horrible track record building the team through free agency. David Garrard and Mike Goodson were terrible signing. He might have gotten rid of some big contracts, but that was going to happen with or without him. The worst marks on his career so far, however, are the Milliner and Smith selections in last year's draft. Milliner has to be the worst first-round draft pick in the NFL this year. He's so bad he's been benched three times already this season. It happened again Sunday against Miami. Smith proved he was a waste of a draft pick with yet another horrible outing against Dolphins, getting benched for the third time this year as well. This time it wasn't in the fourth quarter of a game already out of hand, this was at halftime for a quarterback who has no shot to start in this league ever. Two of the lasting images of the game and season for that matter was Ryan talking to Milliner on the bench after he allowed a catch and missed a tackle that ended up resulting in a touchdown and Smith sitting alone on the end of the bench late in the fourth quarter with his head down. Milliner might still have a chance to be good, but he's given no reason to believe it. Smith's time as the Jets starting quarterback is quickly running out. He likely starts the rest of the year before the Jets draft or sign another quarterback. But it's all Idzik's fault. He's fallen flat on his face on every big move he's made this season and he gives the fan base zero faith he can be the guy to build a winner. Idzik brought in zero playmakers to help whichever quarterback played this season. He didn't want Mark Sanchez to start this season, even though he's clearly a better quarterback than Smith ever will be. Idzik will get more time to prove himself, but so far he's been as terrible as the team has been the last three weeks.
Geno Smith: It's over. With his benching at halftime Sunday, the Jets made it official they will be going in another direction next season. Smith likely will get to play the rest of the year to give him every opportunity to show what he's got, but the writing is already on the wall. Smith was just 4-of-10 for 29 yards and an interception. He missed a wide-open David Nelson twice, with throws that came nowhere near the intended receiver. There was no pressure. He flat-out missed Nelson twice. I'm sure that was the final straw for Ryan, as it was for fans, who booed the pathetic offense every chance they could. The Jets had two first downs and 39 total yards at the half. The worst part about the quarterback situation is the Jets don't have an alternative. Matt Simms was terrible in the second half and David Garrard hasn't even gotten into uniform yet. Mark Sanchez doesn't seem so bad now, does he?
Matt Simms: He had the opportunity to grab the starting job for the rest of the season, but Simms turned the ball over twice and led the team to just a field goal. He's wasn't much better than Smith, which is saying a lot. Simms was 9-of-18 for 79 yards and an interception in the end zone. He had a fumble after a breakdown on a handoff to Bilal Powell, who obviously thought Simms was going to keep it. He was sacked three times. Worse yet, Simms couldn't provide a spark to a team that desperately needed one. The crowd went wild when he entered the game. That was the only time someone from the offense was cheered. On a positive, at least we know for sure Simms can't play at this level.
Dee Milliner: You knew it was coming, right? If you watched the game, you know how bad Milliner looked on the field. He was beaten time and time against by Brian Hartline, a pedestrian receiver who was catching passes from a low-level quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. Hartline had nine catches for 127 yards and a touchdown against Milliner and Antonio Cromartie, who was bad again. Milliner was benched after he missed a tackle on a Mike Wallace 28-yard touchdown. Milliner needs a crash course in how to cover during the offseason or this will be another high-profile miss on a draft pick.
Antonio Cromartie: He was beaten by Hartline on a 31-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter that put the Dolphins up 13-0. Cromartie had an interception on a jump ball, and does show he wants to make a difference in the game by returning kicks, but he's just been bad this season. He's played down to his fellow cornerbacks' level of play instead of them rising to his level.
Ed Reed: We were all on board with the signing of Reed after he was released by the Texans, but it looks foolish now. Reed has done nothing for the team, proving his career his over. He missed a tackle on the 31-yard touchdown by Hartline at around the 13-yard line, which could have changed the game. Well, if the Jets had any kind of offense. Reed simply can't play anymore.