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Peter King on M&M: ‘The Jets are all but out of it’

11.18.11 at 2:01 pm ET
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Peter King

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined Mut & Merloni on Friday at noon for his weekly appearance. King talked about Tim Tebow leading the Broncos in their win over the Jets on Thursday night and the Patriots distancing themselves in the AFC East.

Tebow led the Broncos on a 95-yard drive late in the fourth quarter and capped it off with a 20-yard touchdown run to give Denver a 17-13 win. The loss drops the Jets to 5-5. The Patriots are 6-3 and face the Chiefs, who will be without Matt Cassel, this Monday night. King said that the situation is looking pretty hopeless for New York at this point.

“One of the most telling things last night is that the Jets fell to 4-5 in the conference. They have five conference losses right now,” King said. “That’s huge in order to get into any legitimate wild card discussion. … At the absolute bare minimum, they have to go 5-1 down the stretch, and they may have to go 6-0. Whenever you’re talking about that and whenever you’re looking at, even though the Jets have a relatively easy schedule down the stretch, I thought the game at Denver would be relatively easy. When you’re playing at Philadelphia and when you’re playing the Giants, and when you’re ending the season at Miami, which is always a bugaboo game for you, I think the Jets are all but out of it.”

King also said that he doesn’t like the Bills’ chances within the division after their recent struggles. So, despite their flaws, King thinks the Patriots have a firm hold on the AFC East for right now.

“I think it would stun everyone if the Patriots didn’t have a two-game lead over both teams in the division this weekend, but we’ll see,” King said.

King also said that the AFC in general is wide open, but that if he had to pick anyone to come out of the conference, he would select the Texans.

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

On the AFC picture: “I think it’s totally wide open. After the last few days, after Matt Schaub goes down, I think New England has got a good a chance as anybody to win it and go to another Super Bowl. Does that mean they’re a great team? No. But they seem to have fewer weaknesses right now, even though you look at them and you don’t say that this is one of the best teams that Bill Belichick has ever had. It’s that every other team in the conference is having major problems right now.”

On the Texans: “They’ve got an excellent two-headed monster in the backfield, they seem to be able to move the chains without a great passing game and they’re playing really well on defense. If I had to pick a team right now, even though they’re going to be playing with Matt Leinart, I would pick Houston if I had to pick one team to come out of the AFC.”

On Tebow and his play with the Broncos: “Here’s a guy who at a time at this point in NFL history, where every team in the NFL except for one is making its living throwing the football. This is one of the hottest team in football and they have a quarterback who can’t complete half of his throws. … It just goes to show, and I talked to John Fox about this the other day, it just goes to show you, when you’re the coach of the team and you have a player who does things a certain way, if you’re coaching and trying to win, why would you try to fit a square peg in a round hole? Why wouldn’t you try to play to his strengths?

“But if you ask me whether this could sustain anything or work long term, I don’t think it can. But if you’re the Denver Broncos, why wouldn’t you do it now? It’s working, you’re winning and your defense is playing fantastic.”

On Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense: “If you’re going to run kind of a ball-control offense, they don’t play really deep-strike football with the Jets, if you’re going to run that kind of offense, you’d better be able to move the chains and complete a lot of intermediate throws. He has not been great at that, he just hasn’t been great at consistently moving the chains. After a while, I think it’s going to become apparent that he’s not the kind of guy who’s going to be the high-efficiency quarterback.”

On Andy Reid’s status as coach of the struggling Eagles: “I think they’ve done a good job of shutting up in Philadelphia, management, ownership, everything like that, they’re just not saying things right now. … But I would still be very surprised if Andy Reid got whacked at the end of the year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went out and got a defensive coordinator other than Juan Castill0. But I think the key question is: Is this team still listening to Andy Reid? Is it still tuned into Andy Reid? I am told, categorically, yes, it is. If you make the playoffs nine out of 12 years and then in the 13th year, when everybody is very optimistic, and you have a disastrous season, is that enough to fire the head coach? I think that if he’s getting tuned out, if there’s examples of guys taking liberties with Reid and not respecting his decisions, I would say get rid of him. But I don’t hear that.”

Read More: Andy Reid, Mark Sanchez, Peter King, Tim Tebow
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