As the football world waits for the NFL's decision about punishment for New England's extracurricular videotaping on Sunday the Jets are doing their best to concentrate on the game ahead. In a way all of the attention being paid to Videogate is helping them escape media scrutiny of the way they actually played in the 38-14 loss. Most notably they are avoiding questions about the price they weren't willing to pay to protect Chad Pennington. Eric Mangini's meetings with the press have focused on the Patriots and, to a lesser extent, Pennington's injury but he hasn't faced much grilling about the decision to trade Pete Kendall instead of giving him a $1,000,000 raise.
The team's general manager, Mike Tannenbaum, did address the decision and stood by it.
“I understand we have to be accountable for our decisions,” Tannenbaum said last night by telephone. “We don’t shirk them.” He added: “We’re comfortable with the value we received when we traded Pete. I said that at the time, and nothing has changed.”
Whatever the NFL decides about the Patriots there isn't going to be any direct benefit to the Jets. They aren't going to forfeit the second game between the teams to the Jets nor are they going to move it to the Meadowlands which means that the team needs to redouble their efforts to fix the onfield problems. Adrian Clarke was terrible on Sunday, the rookie Jacob Bender probably isn't ready to do a much better job and if Pennington is able to play this Sunday he will be doing so at risk of suffering a much more devastating injury than last week's rolled ankle. The Newark Star-Ledger reports that he won't be in the pocket but that just means that Kellen Clemens, the future at quarterback, will be under assault because the Jets didn't do what was necessary to keep their offensive line at full strength.
It's time to move on from the ancillary story of Sunday's loss and move on to the main one. The Jets need to be much better than they were last week to avoid an 0-2 start that would be disastrous to their playoff hopes.