Is Mangini giving team best chance to win?
AP Photo
AP Photo

Posted Dec 10, 2007

Jets coach Eric Mangini constantly says he will play the players who give his team the best chance to win every Sunday. But it’s hard to believe that he truly believes that mantra.

Especially with his announcement on Monday that Kellen Clemens is going to start at quarterback in New England. Yes, the same Clemens with a 59.6 quarterback rating against the Browns. Yes, the same Clemens who has a 61.1 quarterback rating on the season. Yes, the same Clemens who has thrown just four touchdown passes in six starts.

If Clemens had trouble reading Cleveland’s 32nd ranked defense, what is he going to do against the Patriots, one of the NFL’s best and most complex, on the road?

If Clemens had trouble diagnosing the coverages of Cleveland's 31st ranked pass defense, what is he going to do in Foxboro against one the NFL's most confusing, even for the most experienced quarterbacks?

This is a recipe for disaster.

And there is no way Mangini can really believe that Clemens gives his team a better chance to compete in New England than Pennington, who has years of experience dealing with the Patriots defense.

He’s way too smart for that.

Let’s just face the facts. The Jets are playing Clemens to see what they have in him, not because he gives them the best chance to win on Sundays.

So an argument can be made that Mangini, by starting Clemens this Sunday, is putting developing the young signal-caller ahead of giving his team the best chance to win.

And with that being said, the current point spread of 24.5 points is more than appropriate.

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