Seattle set the tone for this game on the very first play from scrimmage.
New York took the ball first, and very likely regretted that choice immediately. The Jets first snap went to Mark Sanchez, who then tried to set up a screen pass to Shonn Greene. Seattle tore through the Jets offensive line, got in Sanchez's face in just over one second, forcing him to throw the ball away.
There was trouble brewing for the Jets, all right.
Fullback Lex Hilliard dropped a pass from Sanchez on a first down play. On second down, Tim Tebow comes in, throws a designed swing pass and gains just one yard. Why the Jets needed Tebow to do that, I just don't know. Sanchez comes back in and throws a ten yard out route that gains a first down for New York.
Entering the game, Seattle had sacked opposing quarterbacks twenty-five times. Had New York not called a screen pass on their first play, Seattle would have added their twenty-sixth, right from the very beginning.
Over the last two seasons, New York has seen its rushing attack diminish significantly. How significantly? Try thirty yards per game fewer in 2011 and so far this season.
On this, the Jets first drive of the game, they handed off to halfback Shonn Greene four times, gaining positive yards every carry. Soon though, the Seahawks clamped down defensively, and New York had a fourth down and one yard to go at the Seahawks 40.
This play, this fourth down typifies the true identity of the 2012 Rex Ryan New York Jets. Despite Seattle settling in and creating a virtual wall of humanity, Ryan calls for his team to "go for it". Ballsy move.
So the Jets, having spouted off during the bye week about how many new plays they were installing for their "Tebow Formation", must have something good called in for this fourth down play, right? If you're a Jets fan, you really wished.
Sanchez took the snap, handed off to Shonn Greene who proceeded to run directly toward his right guard. The right guard who had already been flattened by second year linebacker Mike Morgan who immediately flattened Greene as well.
Seattle took over and two plays later, Russell Wilson throws a bomb to Golden Tate, scoring a 38-yard touchdown.
The Seahawks were on their way to their sixth win of 2012. New York scored a touchdown, their only touchdown (or score, actually) of the game, with just under four minutes to go in the first. Mike DeVito sacked Wilson. Wilson fumbled the ball. Muhammad Wilkerson picked up the loose ball and ran it twenty-one yards for a score.
Wilkerson should be made a captain on the Jets roster, if he isn't already. Had it not been for him, New York would have laid a big old goose egg on the scoreboard. As it is, the offense was shut out.
This game turned out to be great fun for the Seahawks, great ulcer-causing embarrassment for the Jets. Hopefully the Jets gave Sanchez a birthday cake on the long flight back to New York.
Seattle OWNED the New York Jets, 28-7. What five things can be learned?
1) Mark Sanchez is barely mediocre.
He was the quarterback when the Jets went to back-to-back AFC Championship games, but then, Rex Grossman was quarterback for the Bears when they played the Colts in Super Bowl XL. How is Grossman doing these days? Third string for the Washington Redskins, behind two rookies.
Regarding Sanchez, his career passing stats really speak for themselves. After Sunday's loss, he is 35-21 as a starter. Currently, he has a quarterback rating (70.4) that is lower than his career average rating (71.7). He has not surpassed 3,500 yards passing in a season, ever. Perhaps the most telling stat: five out of his nine games this year, Sanchez has had a completion percentage of 46.7% or lower.
2) For you "Fantasy Owners": If you CAN pick up Golden Tate DO it.
Tate was picked in the second round of the 2010 draft and immediately did not contribute much. He didn't even start a game in his rookie year. Last season, he came along a little more, starting five times and totalling 35 catches. This season, he is a starter, he has 26 catches so far, and he is becoming Russell Wilson's favorite deep threat receiver.
3) This game is proof the Jets trade for Tebow was more "marketing move" than actual "football move".
Rex Ryan can insist Tebow was a "football move" until he's blue in the face, but nobody is buying it any more. Entering the game, Tebow had played only fifty-five snaps all season, some of which were on punt coverage. Punt coverage. So, Ryan made the trade with Denver for a special teams position that is generally considered a "throw away job"? Wow.
Tebow sure hasn't been the "secret weapon" the fans were promised, a player who could be a quarterback, or a fullback, or a tight end, who knows? Tebow was going to give defenses fits because nobody would know for sure where he'd line up or what he would do on any given play.
As I wrote earlier, Tebow came in the game on the Jets first drive, to throw a swing pass. A designed swing pass, no trickery involved, no reverses or laterals, nothing. The Jets didn't line up in a strange formation trying to confuse Seattle's defense. Just a regular play, a play that Sanchez could run just as effectively.
Instead of Tim Tebow, the Jets should have used their cap space on say, ANY other position. Because.....
4) Admittedly or not, the Jets are headed for a "re-build".
Rex Ryan would have fans believe that he is coaching a championship caliber team. The truth is, this team is an utter disaster, with two or even three drafts worth of holes to fill.
No longer do they have a play making wide receiver, a dominant defender, a reliable runner, a brick wall of an offensive line. Worst of all, they gave their under-average quarterback a big money contract extension this off season.
There are some hard times ahead for New York and their fans.
5) Pete Carroll doesn't get enough credit.
When Mark Sanchez decided to enter the 2009 NFL Draft as an underclassman, Carroll was vocal about it being a bad idea. Carroll pointed out the low success rate of underclass quarterbacks, and indicated that Sanchez will likely be, at best, mediocre. He entered the draft anyways, and in spite of the AFC title game appearances, how is he doing?
Carroll made the bold move to name Russell Wilson his starting quarterback over free agent and assumed incumbent, what's-his-name. Oh, right, Matt Flynn.
Lastly, how much of an 'I told you so' grin is there among Seattle management as rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin continues to dominate on defense? Nobody, outside of BleacherReport.com, gave Pete Carroll his due credit for, as it turns out, a wise draft choice.