Elster's World

Monday, October 08, 2007

Time To Make A Move

Ed's note: I wrote this post when very tired. When you write when tired, you make mistakes. The Ravens of course won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer. It shold be noted, however, that his opponent that day was Kerry Collins - not exactly an all world model QB himself. Apologies for the mistake (which I will leave in for the world to see) but perhaps that exception proves the rule - you need to be able to play on both sides ot the ball to win the big one - unless you are playing a crappy Giants team that had to "push all its chips into the middle of the table" to be in the big game too.

I like Chad Pennington, noodle arm and all. I do. I recognize how important a role he has played to the New York Jets organization. How he makes up for the weak arm with smarts, moxy and savvy. How well he runs the no huddle offense and how well he recognizes defenses and makes all the right calls at the line.

But, sadly, with his weak arm it doesn't make any difference.

In the NFL there are 2 types of playoff teams. There are those teams that make the playoffs and those that actually have a chance to win the Super Bowl. With rare exceptions, teams need to be able to play both ways to win the big game.

Look at Baltimore. They have had a great defense for a number of seasons now and every year they are included in the list of "Super Bowl Favorites". But they never win. Why? Because you don't win Super Bowls with Trent Dilfers and gimpy Steve McNairs. You win Super Bowls with Brett Favres, John Elways and that guy from the Patriots.

The Jets made the playoffs last year by being JUST GOOD ENOUGH. They scored just enough points, ran the ball just enough, held on to the ball and played just enough defense to eek out 10 wins and a chance to get stepped on by the Patriots.

And sure, if the Jets aspirations are to be perennial playoff contenders - if they are happy with just being there, then yes, Chad Pennington is your guy. He runs the offense well, doesn't usually turn it over (today's disaster notwithstanding) and so long as you don't need yards in chunks, he can get you down the field in slow, 14 play, 9 minute drives.

But it's becoming increasingly, and painfully, obvious that you can only go so far with Pennington as your quarterback. Simply put, he can't throw hard. He can't throw deep. He only has a changeup when sometimes you need a fastball.

I am a big Pennington fan - I'm not a basher. Sure I have bashed him in the past, but as a fan, that's been my right. I am trying to write this dispassionately. As a BLOGGER. As a Jet observer. If we could sew Kellen Clemens arm on Pennington, I'd say you would have the best quarterback in the league bar none. Including Manning and Brady. But you can't. It's a fantasy.

The Jets are 1-4. They are going nowhere fast. The defense, 4 years later, still can't stop the run. They still cannot pressure the opposing quarterback. They still can't run and they still can't block. If Mangini sticks with Pennington can the Jets make the playoffs? Possibly, though doubtful. Not with guaranteed losses to Dallas and the Pats still on the schedule.

But then what? Another first round flame out at New England or Indy? Is that what it's all about for the Jets? Is being a perennial playoff satellite good enough?

I'm not saying that Kellen Clemens is the next John Elway. For all we know, he's the next Browning Nagle. But we also know what we get with Pennington. They guy who moves the ball, slowly and methodically, doesn't turn it over, doesn't do anything flashy. Good leader. Etc.

But he's also the guy who floats his 40 yard vertical throws. And the guy with no gas on his 20 yard outs. The guy, in other words, who never wins you a Super Bowl.

So Mangini and Tannenbaum and the rest of the gang need to figure out what kind of team they want to be. And how best to get there.

While the anticipated decision hangs in the air like a Pennington wounded duck.

7 Comments:

  • You make legitimate points about the Jets, but this post also includes perhaps your most bizarre statement ever:

    "Look at Baltimore. They have had a great defense for a number of seasons now and every year they are included in the list of "Super Bowl Favorites". But they never win. Why? Because you don't win Super Bowls with Trent Dilfers."

    Uh, yeah they did win a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 7:48 AM  

  • Your editor's note is even more silly than your post. The Ravens dominated the NFL and made it through the playoffs before beating the Giants team you degrade. Just say you made a mistake but that generally defense alone can't win a Super Bowl, and move on.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 9:43 AM  

  • That's exactly my point - the ravens team was an exception to my "rule"???

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:57 AM  

  • Yes, but you used the Ravens and Dilfer as the epitome of your "rule."

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:01 AM  

  • I said i was going to leave in for the world to see and changed the ravens to tyhe exception that proves the rule in the note.

    can we not quibble on this. The Jets season is in tatters, the mets are a mess, the Knicks are a league wide joke and my beloved Rangers looked pretty crappy against the Senators sat night. except for the king that is.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:25 AM  

  • The Knicks will have a good year, unfortunately.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 11:19 AM  

  • I now see one advantage of living in Indy.

    By Anonymous Bob Miller, at 10:57 AM  

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