Many of us have a lot to be thankful today and I am included in that bunch. In a world marred by war, poverty, hunger, unemployment, greed, need & homelessness, the Holiday Season makes me think of one basic human need.
We need it as much as the air we breathe. We appreciate competition and athletic prowess in the sports world, but we want to find a reason to believe. And that brings us to Thursday's Thanksgiving tilt at MetLife Stadium as the Jets will match up with the New England Patriots.
The Jets are 4-6 and not in a position to think about the postseason. But if they can score a victory at home over their archrival, then they playoffs won't appear unattainable. The closing schedule — AZ, @ JAX, @ TEN, SD & @ BUF — is not exactly Murderers' Row.
Will this be a special Thanksgiving for Jets Nation? We are about to find out.
Gang GreenGilboa, NY
Q: Tell me why I should not give up, sell all my Jets stuff and I have a lot — more than most — and become a New England fan. What can you do with this mess to give me more than 40 years of maybe next year? This week we are happy that N.E. is hurt. Is that all we can hope for? Is just not enough?
EA:Feel free to jump on the Patriots bandwagon. They haven't won a Super Bowl in close to eight years now, so they've been waiting a little bit too. I wonder how many folks in Patriots Nation thought of becoming Giants fans since the cross-town team has had their number in their last two championship meetings.
I hope you remain a Jets fan and keep your belongings rather than selling them. But if you don't, please give away your Jets gear to a local shelter or clothing drive because there are a lot of folks in need after Sandy and the temperatures are beginning to drop.
There were no celebrations around here when Rob Gronkowski was injured against the Colts. The Jets aren't sad that he won't suit up Thursday, but I don't think Bill Belichick is lamenting the fact that Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes are out for the season either.
If you watched the Jets, Patriots game in Week 7, the Green & White outplayed them for long stretches. They will have to finish the deal this time around.
Q: Glad to see Sanchez had the support from running game to post a solid (if unspectacular) game. Well done to the O. Also good to see that it gave the D a chance to breathe. Sanchez remains QB1 for me. Your view?
EA: Despite his inconsistent campaign to date, Mark Sanchez gives this team the best chance to win. He played a clean game against the Rams while completing 75% of his passes and coordinator Tony Sparano called a hell of a contest. I liked the way Sparano worked all three of the Jets top backs into the mix and the Green & White are going to win a lot of ballgames with 41 rush attempts. The offensive line has played well of late and the unit has confidence heading into this week.
They should be able to move the ball against the Pats, but they can't turn it over and they have to finish drives in the end zone.
Paul E.Monroe, NY
Q: First off on deflecting upset fans anger — nice job. I had high hopes for Sanchez's fourth year, that he was ready to move forward once and for all. He has regressed. Tebow is not the answer, but (it) might be better (less disruptive) for both if he got some whole series. What do you think?
Q: I think the Jets will try to have Tebow throw the ball a few times or use him in some trick plays. Do you think they'll try that?
EA:The plan with Tebow is going to change every week. At this point, I would be surprised if Tebow got an entire series of plays at QB unless it was a short scoring drive. You did see Tony Sparano break tendency against the Seahawks as Tebow put the ball in the air a season-high three times.
Also before we say Sanchez has regressed, we have to let the season play out here. There is more focus on No. 6 than in the past because he has to carry more of the load. I am in the big-time minority here, but I think this dude has a great opportunity in front of him. Expectations are high for every NFL starter and they should be.
AlanPort Washington, NY
I was at the first game at the Polo Grounds in 1960. My heart has been wrenched out so many times by this team, but I still love them. We need a new GM as his draft picks have been awful the past three years or so.
EA: You are a true fan Alan. The organization appreciates your support for more than 50 years, but I don't know if your draft analysis is fair. Let's just look a few of the names from the last two drafts: Muhammad Wilkerson (D1, 2011), Jeremy Kerley (D5, 2011), Bilal Powell (D4, 2011), Quinton Coples (D1, 2012), Demario Davis (D3, 2012) & Stephen Hill (D2, 2012). Wilkerson is going to be a star, Kerley has shown what he can do as a receiver, Powell has a nice all-round game and is coming into his own, Davis will be key a contributor for years to come, Coples has been solid and Hill will progress with time. The G. Tech product is raw and drops have been an issue, but he was worth that pick. Without studying all NFL rosters, I wonder if there is a better No. 3 in the league than Greg McElroy (D7, 2011).
Some of the criticism of the Jets is justified, but some of it is just shortsighted. After years of talking about the Jets problems at safety, nobody said the personnel department nailed it with LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. Do you know that Mr. T acquired Antonio Cromartie for a second-round draft pick? And the Jets special teams struggles have been well-documented, but what about the kicking of P Robert Malone? Malone has at least one 50-yard punt in every game this year.
Note: The Thanksgiving game has been dedicated to helping and honoring all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thursday night, the Jets will continue their support by partnering with the American Red Cross to collect monetary donations at all MetLife Stadium gates, with the team matching the total donation by fans up to $100,000.