"We've done a lot of talking in our meeting rooms about how things can change if we were to stretch the ball a little bit more down the field," wide receiver Santonio Holmes said. "I may be criticized again for saying it, but I think it starts up front. And the big guys know it. (If) they give Mark enough time to sit in the pocket and complete passes, I think everything changes.
"If you can't protect the quarterback for four, five seconds, then there's no point in dropping back seven yards to throw a football when he doesn't have enough time."
Holmes later admitted that he "could sit here and complain as much as I want to about protecting our quarterback," but realized that the offensive linemen have myriad responsibilities on each snap that factor into keeping Sanchez upright.
The Jets' inability to consistently stretch the field is the latest concern surrounding an offense that was maligned for weeks for not being able to effectively establish a run game, either.
The protection issues, which didn't surface against the Patriots, have prompted opposing defensive backs to sit on predictable short routes by the receivers. Holmes recalled only one or two times all season when he caught a pass off a double move, an unthinkable number for one of the league's best playmakers. Asked whether the Jets should take a more liberal approach with more shots downfield, Holmes tried to be as diplomatic as he could.
"If you were in my shoes, what (would) you think?" said Holmes, one of three Jet receivers to question the offense in recent weeks, as the Daily News reported Sunday. "It's tough. You want to answer these questions, but you got to do what you got to do. Just show up and play."
Holmes finished with four catches for 60 yards and a TD against the Patriots and has another great matchup this week against the Dolphins, who have given up the fourth most Adjusted FPA to WRs this season.