Alain Poupart: Have to start with Tim Tebow because ... well, he's Tim Tebow. Why in the world did the Jets trade for him if they're not going to use him?
Rick Laughland: Isn't that the million dollar question! Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is vastly under-utilizing Tebow for reasons beyond my comprehension. The Jets' Wildcat quarterback is an unstoppable force down by the goal line, but for some unknown reason the coaching staff refuses to give the former Heisman Trophy winner a chance to find paydirt. Owner Woody Johnson all but guaranteed Tebow will be a Jet for the remaining three years left on his contract, but if Gang Green continues to neglect one of its most dynamic weapons, a trade during the offseason could be in the offing.
Alain Poupart: How much criticism has there been in New York about the work of Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator, and how would you assess his work so far?
Rick Laughland: Sparano has proven to be an average play-caller at best, and a slight improvement from former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. He seems to try and out think himself at times and strays away from what's working. He's helped the Jets get off to faster starts and jump ahead in several games, but his in-game adjustments have been rather poor. If I had to assign a letter grade for his performance this season it would be a C.
Alain Poupart: How would you compare in significance the return of TE Dustin Keller to the lineup to the loss of WR Santonio Holmes?
Rick Laughland: Keller is without question Sanchez's favorite receiving target and security blanket when the pressure is at its highest. As for Holmes' injury, there's no questioning the fact that the Jets have missed his big-play ability, but Jeremy Kerley has stepped up tremendously in his absence and there seems to be a more positive vibe around the team and in the locker room. While the Jets can't replace the production of a player like Holmes, the receiving corps is aiming to elevate their play by committee, which has served as a rallying point for New York's offense.
Alain Poupart: How big of a drop-off, if any, has there been in the play of the Jets defense since Darrelle Revis was lost to a knee injury?
Rick Laughland: It seems strange to say but the Jets haven't missed a beat without Revis in the lineup. Antonio Cromartie has been immensely impactful and has taken his game to a whole new level. Cornerback Kyle Wilson is rising to the occasion as the Jets' new No. 2 and the diminutive defensive back Isiah Trufant is enjoying his best season as a pro. Just like with Holmes, one player can't replace Revis, but the Jets have done a nice job of mixing in their coverage and playing collectively as a secondary to keep opposing offenses at bay.
Alain Poupart: Why should the Dolphins be concerned about the Jets running game? Should they even be concerned?
Rick Laughland: The Dolphins have a powerful front seven capable of stymying the league's elite rushing teams. I'd be surprised to see the Jets run the ball with moderate success against Miami. With that being said, New York will just need to keep the Dolphins' defense honest, by sprinkling in playaction passes with a few runs between the tackles, so Sanchez isn't a sitting duck in the pocket. Shonn Greene is finally hitting his stride, but I wouldn't expect another career rushing day on Sunday against Miami. The Jets will rely on the arm of Sanchez to carry them to victory.