The Jets should hang around, if . . . .

*Their run defense improves, which I think it will. Remember, a few weeks ago the run defense was terrific in Pittsburgh, so they have the ability.

*Run the ball better. I think Vlad Ducasse has a bright future, but this platoon at left guard, with Vlad and Matt Slauson, is hurting the continuity of the line. I’d put that on ice for a while, and just go with Slauson.

*Dustin Keller returns ASAP. While the Jets threw to Santonio Holmes a lot because they always looked to placate him, Keller is really Mark Sanchez’s favorite target. Keller and Sanchez have good chemistry.

*Aaron Berry gets up to speed fast. With Darrelle Revis out, they need to cover more by committee, and Berry has the ability to be a boon to their current cast of corners.

*Let Holmes rehab in Orlando. Let him go home to heal the rest of the season. There is no reason for him to be in the building. I will leave it at that.

*After Houston, aside from a couple of New England games, their schedule isn’t a killer. They can’t lose to beatable opponents like Indianapolis, Miami, Tennessee and Jacksonville.

*And the most important factor of all – Mark Sanchez needs to play better. I don’t think the injury to Holmes will hurt him that much. Now, he will be more apt to throw to the open man, and not force passes to anyone, like he did with Tone. Honestly, I think Mark is tired of kissing Santonio’s butt, on and off the field. It was grating on him.

But you can’t win in this league throwing as many incompletions as Sanchz has been. Matt Cavanaugh is a good quarterback coach, but I don’t agree with his theory that completion percentage is overrated. It’s not. Brady, Brees, Peyton, Rogers always seem to be lingering around 65 percent. Look how successful those guys have been over the years. You can’t sustain drives when half your passes hit the ground.

Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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