Ohhh it may be seen as a holiday for some but it can become an excruciating reminder of something I don’t have. It isn’t really bad having tons of wings, chips and salsa, an opportunity to break out old-schooled jerseys, and hanging with a bunch of friends. What’s bad are those moments of reflection during the commercials. You are expected to watch the commercials but any devoted fan has a couple of moments when they reflect on how cool it would be to have their team make the Super Bowl. As a New York Jets fan, I saw a lot of key components that are separating the Jets from the Super Bowl.
1.) The Ravens offensive line: They had moments in which they struggled during the season but they really showed up in a big way during the playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers had trouble during the playoffs generating a pass-rush and that became an even tougher task when forced to deal with a line that was able to keep Joe Flacco upright throughout the playoffs.
You can look at the rapid improvement of old-timer Bryant McKinnie and rookie guard Kelechi Osemele as two of the biggest reasons for this. The Jets saw quarterbacks under duress the whole season and they would be wise to continue to improve the chemistry on the line or bring in an influx of talent at the LG and RT position. The Jets should only follow the footsteps of the pass blocking. They should try to avoid the mediocre play of the Ravens run blocking though, as they only were only able to muster up a yards per carry of 2.8.
2.) Dynamic play calling: Some consider it a chicken and egg game between a coordinator and the personnel of his team. A coordinator may be lambasted by critics for being bland and uncreative, but that may be because of a lack of dynamic players. A talented offense may open up the playbook for an offensive coordinator, allowing him to call a variety of plays that keeps the defense off balanced.
Whichever theory you subscribe to, credit goes to San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman for being an innovative football mind. He’s brought back some new run-blocking schemes that are typically seen on the high school level that have been incredibly effective in opening up holes for Frank Gore. They didn’t break out a lot of the pistol offense in this particular game but we saw an interesting running formation, such as the 3 flat running back formation for instance.
The Jets should implement some of the play-action and running schemes that the 49ers used. They could even take a couple plays out of Jim Caldwell’s playbook as he did an excellent job of taking advantage of Flacco’s strong arm. The emphasis on the deep ball would be a wise angle for the Jets to mix in to a possible West Coast system under new offensive coordinator Marty Mornwinheg.
3.) The QB: Both of these teams have two completely different QB’s but both of them have showed how dynamic they can be. Flacco followed the Eli Manning move by making a bold off-season statement, followed by a solid regular season and culminating in a phenomenal playoff run. Flacco earned his stripes and elite status by putting up some of the best playoff numbers we have ever seen. His decision making, deep ball, poise, and ability to move out of the pocket were supremely impressive. Colin Kaepernick showed his missile of an arm along with his scrambling ability that makes every fan gape in awe. Watching him is simply a treat and he leaves San Francisco 49er fans with a lot to look forward to.
The Jets are in obvious need of a QB but they are cap strapped and don’t have much room financially. Many pundits are claiming this to be one of the weaker QB draft classes so it looks as if the Jets will settle with bringing in a low-end, cheap QB to help compete with Sanchez to capture the starting spot for 2013. After that, all bets will be off, as they will most likely look for a more long-term solution in the draft.
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