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The Jets' Quest for a Touchdown Resumes

The Jets head into Sunday night still looking for their first preseason touchdown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Let's hope this isn't the extent of the Jets' offensive output on Sunday night.

    No matter what kind of offensive struggles you prefer, the Jets have just the thing for you.

    They haven't scored a touchdown in two preseason games, they've turned the ball over, committed silly penalties, failed to convert in short yardage, benched a starting offensive lineman, missed key players because of injuries and then there's the whole Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow circus at quarterback. The sad thing is that we could probably keep going with that list for a while longer without running out of real problems the Jets seem powerless to solve.

    Sunday night will provide the team with their next chance to prove that last bit wrong. All week long, the Jets have been saying that they have confidence in where their offense is headed this season and that the problems have as much to do with keeping things vanilla as they do with any shortcomings on the roster.

    Sounds good, right up until the point you remember that they also expressed all kinds of confidence in Wayne Hunter this offseason. Austin Howard is now the starter at that spot, which should tell you all you need to know about putting stock in the words coming out of the mouths of Jets.

    As much as it might bother Rex Ryan to learn it, the time for talking is done and the time for action has come. The results of these games might not matter and the game planning might be minimal, but that doesn't do much to fill the air with any real belief that the Jets are just waiting for the bell to ring to start playing offense that isn't better suited to a junior varsity high school team.

    It looks like Santonio Holmes will play this weekend, which could finally give Sanchez a chance to move the ball since the Carolina defense will actually have someone worth keeping their eye on during every play. And Howard can't be any worse than Hunter, so the team should gain some previously unrealized advantages from that switch.

    The best thing of all would be seeing the team grind out a drive or two using the power running-based scheme that they've been touting since Tony Sparano became the offensive coordinator. Even if they don't score a touchdown, eating some clock and picking up first downs would be a major step forward for an offense that's been stuck in park while trying to find a way to start the car and get themselves into neutral.

    You'd like to be beyond baby steps at this point of the preseason, but the Jets have to start somewhere. Sunday pretty much needs to be that place because the Jets are running out of time to figure out how to play offense without offending the masses.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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