Sometimes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Others, the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
And then occasionally, the gangrenous whole is every bit the sum of its misshapen parts. Enter, the 2012 New York Jets.
This is a team so poorly conceived, so hastily thought out, so lazily executed, it makes Shaquille O’Neal’s movie career look like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Take for instance, new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. Ask yourself something: when you watched the 2008-11 Miami Dolphins, did you ever think to yourself, “I’m not sure who’s running the show here, but one day I want them coordinating my offense”?
Then consider the “offense” Sparano has “installed.” When watching Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators, did you ever find yourself thinking “this offense seems like it would succeed in the AFC East?” No, not the one Tim Tebow ran to perfection en route to a national title in 2008-09 and Sugar Bowl win in 2009-10. The offense Meyer tried to use after Tebow left. The one that featured more quarterbacks than there are days of the week?
Throw in the No. 1 cornerback lining up at receiver, a running back turned cornerback turned running back taking a direct snap, receivers who weren’t good enough for the Jaguars and Raiders and a lead back with less burst than a Geo Metro and you have the Jets offense.
It’s no wonder Mark Sanchez can’t complete a pass. The problem is, if there’s one person in the Jets offense committed to anything, it’s Sanchez to not completing passes.
Sanchez has now completed less than 50 percent of his throws in four consecutive games.
That’s something neither Blaine Gabbert nor Jimmy Clausen has ever done. Not even Tebow ever accomplished such a “feat” with the Broncos last season.
It doesn’t matter how few weapons you have. If you can’t complete more than 50 percent of your passes even once in four games, you shouldn’t be starting in the NFL.
Which brings us back to Tebow. No, Tebow probably shouldn’t be starting in the NFL, either. You know what else he shouldn’t be doing? Coming in for two snaps at a time.
If the Jets are actually interested in making this thing work, the least they could do is occasionally “script” Tebow more than back-to-back read options. How exactly is he supposed to impact a game if there’s literally zero doubt as to what he’ll be doing?
The Jets can make all the excuses in the world and promise all the corrections they want. It won’t change the fact that the offense they’re attempting to win football games with is one of the most fundamentally flawed and hopelessly doomed units assembled in some time.
Of all this summer’s fantasy darlings, Cedric Benson was perhaps the least likely.
A soon-to-be 30-year-old chugger who topped 4.0 yards per carry just once during his four seasons in Cincinnati, Benson was everything the Packers’ offense was not.
But that was the beauty of it. While Aaron Rodgers and Company were gashing holes in the secondary, Benson would take advantage of soft fronts for easy, consistent gains, doing his best to keep both opposing defenses and the Packers’ playcalling honest.
Although tough matchups in the 49ers and Seahawks dented Benson’s early-season numbers, that’s exactly what he was doing.
Until Sunday. That’s when Benson departed with what appeared to be a fairly innocuous foot injury. 24 hours and one Lisfranc sprain later, he’s out for at least eight weeks, fantasy owners are in a lurch and the Packers are up a certain creek.
James Starks and Alex Green aren’t the answer. If they were, Benson wouldn’t have been signed in the first place. But it’s up to fantasy owners to decide which is the lesser evil. At this point in time, it’s clearly Green.
Phoenix Rises Down
Benson wasn’t the only running back getting bad news Monday. For Ryan Williams, it was devastating.
After missing his entire rookie season with a torn patellar tendon, Williams’ first active NFL campaign will end after just five games and 2.8 yards per carry. A shoulder injury is to blame.
With Beanie Wells on I.R. - Designated For Return until at least Week 12, Arizona’s backfield situation is even murkier than Green Bay’s.
One of La'Rod Stephens-Howling, William Powell and Alfonso Smith is likely to emerge as something resembling a lead back, but for now the Cardinals will use the dreaded “hot-hand” approach.
LSH looks like the most sensible near-term add, but it could be Powell who eventually carves out the most tangible fantasy role.
Rough Fate, Scott
For Bernard Scott, the third injury was not the charm. After hand and ankle ailments limited him to just one game through Cincinnati’s first four, Scott tore his ACL in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins.
The injury leaves the Bengals with no speed in the backfield behind the lead-footed BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and has fantasy owners mulling “Cedric Peerman or Brian Leonard?” The correct answer is “neither,” but if push comes to shove, Peerman is the choice.
Running Back Quick Slants: Patriots coach Bill Belichick was cryptic when asked about Stevan Ridley’s second fumble in as many games, but the loose consensus is that Ridley is unlikely to land in the doghouse like he did late last season. … Norv Turner basically admitted he’s through with the Jackie Battle song-and-dance and once again committed to Ryan Mathews. "Everything I’ve said about him in the offseason, every time he’s had adversity, he’s come back stronger,” Turner said of Mathews. “People want to count him out or say, ‘Hey, you can’t count on this guy,’ but he’s come back stronger." … Javon Ringer will miss 4-6 weeks with a torn left MCL. Those are 4-6 weeks he won’t be putting heat on pathetic Titans starter Chris Johnson. … Rashard Mendenhall (knee) escaped his 2012 debut without further injury. … Adrian Peterson’s ankle injury is “mild,” and coach Leslie Frazier expects him to be “fine going forward.” It’s not a concern for Week 6.
Quarterback/Receiver/Tight End Quick Slants: Robert Griffin III (concussion) was “feeling good” Monday, and experiencing no headaches or dizziness. The Redskins are hoping he can be cleared for Wednesday’s practice. … Jake Locker (shoulder) has already been ruled out for Thursday Night Football. … Matt Cassel has yet to be officially ruled out for Week 6, but coach Romeo Crennel said it was “highly unlikely” he suits up against the Bucs. Ready or not, the Brady Quinn “era” is about to begin in Kansas City. … Jermichael Finley (shoulder) “has a chance” of playing Sunday. Finley thinks his chance is a good one. … Alshon Jeffery will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. A Week 9 return would be a best-case scenario.