Harvin's Here, But Jets Still Lack Playmakers

I don’t have much to add on Percy Harvin, since more has been written over the past few days about the Jets trade for the enigmatic receiver than the Ebola scare. I will say this -- the general consensus seems to be that it’s basically a no-lose proposition for the Jets, given the fact that all they’re giving up in return is a likely fourth-round draft choice. Wasn’t that also the conventional wisdom when Tim Tebow came to town a few years back? How’d that one work out for Gang Green?

For what it’s worth, I like the Harvin deal. It is a low risk move, and he’s the kind of playmaker the team sorely needs. If only he played cornerback and returned punts.

Undoubtedly, the Jets offense has been subpar to date. Their red zone numbers have been deleted here because we’re prohibited from printing obscenities. Geno Smith has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, his receiving corps has dropped far too many balls, and the offense’s strong point -- the running attack -- has been underutilized because the Jets so frequently need to come from behind in a hurry.

But what about the defense? Where are the playmakers on that side of the ball? Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson are likely the team’s two best players, and they’ve consistently gotten pressure on opposing QBs over the course of the season, as has the entire Jets front line. The team’s 20 sacks through seven games are near the top of the league.

But how many times has that pressure led to a game-changing interception? Just once, when the San Diego game was still a contest and Philip Adams made a touchdown-saving play in the end zone. Then again, can you really call anything a game-changer in a 31-point loss? And, astonishingly, that was the Jets’ only INT of the year. That number looks almost embarrassed when you put it up against the 18 passing TDs the team has surrendered so far. Both of those rank last in the NFL, as do the three turnovers they’ve forced. Talk about a lack of playmaking.

And when the Jets make a stop on D, they all but kill any positive momentum from it with their putrid punt return game. They’ve returned 20 punts so far this year, for a total of 84 yards. Some teams have outdone that on a single return. The Jets’ longest return this season is 15 yards. In other words, through nearly have the year, they’ve haven’t broken one yet.

Harvin is a major talent. But unless he’s planning on playing defense and special teams too -- and remember, this is a guy who can get hurt sending a text (not too mention fighting with teammates) --he’ll be hard-pressed to turn around the Jets’ sorry season.

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