Tempering concerns is the knowledge Sanchez is playing with essentially half an offense. Three of his top receiving threats _ Santonio Holmes (rib, back), Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) and Chaz Schilens (ankle) _ are out with injuries.
The Jets have also shown very little flavor in an offense that was expected to be, in Ryan’s words, “vanilla with some sprinkles” against the Giants. In other words, Sparano has not yet unleashed the wildcat-style scheme with Tebow that Ryan has warned opposing defenses they will have to prepare for.
In fact, there were two plays in particular in which the Jets might have trotted out Tebow with the wildcat if this had been the regular season: on third-and-1 from the Jets 41 early in the first quarter, and fourth-and-1 from the Giants 36 in the second. Both times, fullback John Conner was stuffed for no gain.
“Yeah, it was brutal,” Ryan said. “Absolutely bad. You know, you’re trying to give it to the big fullback through there and they (hit him) in the backfield both times. I might’ve been more disappointed in those things than I was anything else.”
Right tackle Wayne Hunter has struggled as the starter since taking over the job last season, and Saturday was more of the same. He was part of three sacks by the Giants _ a fourth was negated by a penalty.
Sanchez has stood up for his embattled lineman, and so have Ryan and Hunter’s position coach, Dave DeGuglielmo. Still, the pressure coming from the right side is a huge concern. The Jets have worked on getting Sanchez to release the ball quicker, and he has done a better job of that. No quarterback, though, can get the ball off when there’s a defender constantly in his face.
“I have to perform or they will find someone else who is better,” Hunter said, adding that it was “tough sledding” against the Giants. “My main focus is to watch the tape and seeing if I can get better.”
Also, starting running back Shonn Greene had five runs of at least 5 yards, finishing with 36 yards on 11 carries. The Jets likely would’ve kept pounding the ball with Greene if it was the regular season.
“Are we pleased with what we put out there on film tonight? No,” Sanchez said. “Is it our best? Absolutely not. Do I know we can play better than that? Of course. It’s got to get better. It starts with studying this week and I know our guys will do that.”
Follow Dennis Waszak on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DWAZ73
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