It’s hard to believe the number of excuses being made for Kellen Clemens’s play so far as the starting quarterback for the Jets, and the claims that the “Thanksgiving Massacre” (as many now like to call it) was just “one bad game”. It wasn’t. If you don’t want to believe what you’ve seen in the games, just look at his stats. In fact, in the one win the Jets have had with Clemens at QB so far, he threw one touchdown … for one yard (he was bailed out by a big game by special teams, the defense, and Thomas Jones). His output been just awful, and so has his accuracy.
Nothing has yet to be seen. You are seeing what this offense truly is: pathetic. Sorry folks, but some of you wanted Chad Pennington’s head on a platter, just to give Clemens some starts for the sake of experience, because he’s supposed to be the “future” of this team. The truth is a sad one: that Pennington had this offense over-achieving and hanging around in games against teams that they shouldn’t even have been in. It’s becoming more and more clear that almost every other team, even “bad” teams, are at another talent level in terms of offense. Clemens isn’t bad, but he just doesn’t appear to have anywhere near the same level of intelligence, composure, and experience to keep a bad offense in games against quality teams. Please don’t tell me that he is still young and learning, and that things will get better: that has been the theme so far this year, and the results have not been good. Just look around the NFL right now to see the output of other “young” players that are making solid contributions to teams that played poorly last year.
Sure, Clemens is supposed to have a strong arm, but I really don’t see that making a difference in this team when the accuracy isn’t there, and when the plays being called are not designed to take advantage of it. A QB sneak on 2nd and 12? A draw play on 3rd and long? Who is that meant to fool, when everyone in the arena knows they’re not going to even try and go deep more than twice a game?
It’s time to look at the big picture and see this entire offense (including players and coaches) for what it really is. Start looking at the stats instead of ignoring them; start looking at the enduring play trends and their results.
And now that Pennington has been run out of town, fans may actually come to miss the intangibles he brought to the offense and the things he was able to do here that maybe another quarterback won’t.
I am done blaming the defense for these games as well. There is only so long you can play hard and keep your team in the game when the other side of the ball does absolutely nothing.
I hate to keep drawing parallels, but we shouldn’t forget that Pennington stepped into a very similar situation with Vinnie a few years ago, and the results were a bit different. Had Pennington had a single game like this in 2002, I think there would have been another change at QB in that off-season.
At the level of the NFL, it is not “unfair” to judge the QB on just a few games. Look at the other 1st-time starters on other teams this year, and the success some of them have had and brought to their teams. And don’t forget that our previous QB was being judged as soon as the first snap of the season took place. Hard to say that anything’s “fair” when last year’s playoff QB gets jeered off the field with an injury in the middle of Game 2.
All in all, I can’t even begin to express my frustration: not only with the way the starting QB was thrown to the wolves when things went bad for the team, but for the absolute ineptitude that we now call an “offense” as as result. This was a playoff team last year. And now I’m seeing one of the worst teams I’ve seen playing in green, and just about anywhere else, in a long, long time.