Welcome to the NFL, Rookie: Jets vs. Saints Instant Reaction

Well, I guess we aren’t going undefeated. You can’t win in the NFL when you turn the football over and the Jets let a great performance by their defense go to waste today. There are inevitable negatives when you start a rookie quarterback and today we were reminded firsthand that the Jets are going to lose some games this season because of Mark Sanchez’s inexperience. Yet, step back from the cliff Jets fans there is still plenty to feel good about for the 2009 season.

Sanchez, Offense Let-Down…The Jets defense held the Saints to 10 points today, forced Reggie Bush to fumble which set up the Jets only touchdown, held Drew Brees to under 200 yards of passing and a QB rating of 78.9…that should have been enough for a victory today. Unfortunately, Sanchez didn’t give the Jets a chance by directly handing the Saints 14 points. On his first interception, he locked on to Dustin Keller and turned a Jets red-zone opportunity into a 99 yard Saints touchdown. On his fumble, Sanchez needs to have the mental clock in his head go off and he has to get rid of the football. I also wasn’t crazy about Brian Schottenheimer throwing the ball twice on 3rd and 1 and then finally deciding to run on 3rd and 2 in the Jets goal-line personnel group. Regardless, the Jets still aren’t running the ball very well. Shonn Greene looked very good off the bench with 4 carries for 23 yards but then left with an injury. Why can’t this guy stay healthy? Chansi Stuckey has also pulled a disappearing act for the second week in a row.

Defense Is Real Deal…I already mentioned their impressive stats and they also stepped up with a goal-line stand and a stop on 4th and inches. This team is absolutely legit on the defensive side of the football. Darrelle Revis had another great game and David Harris was all over the field with 12 tackles. They received no help from the offense and still kept the Jets in the game until late into the fourth quarter.

At Least Feel Good About…the next 4 games on the Jets schedule – Miami (1-3), Buffalo (1-3), Oakland (1-3), Miami (1-3) and then a bye week…Calvin Pace is back this week…the Jets will receive less national attention now as a contender and most people will jump off their bandwagon as a contender allowing them to go about their business and deal with a little less pressure…we will get to see how Mark Sanchez responds to a bad performance on national television…at least he got this type of performance out of his system early in the season.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • The Iron Marshal

    Joe, agree on all counts – growing pains, but good within the cloud. observations follow…

    1) Team fought with tenacity, on both sides of the ball – it’s just that the defense was more successful. Love this never-say-die attitude; it’s absolutely essential for access to playoffs and long term success of franchise. Can’t say it enough, but I will: Thank God (and I can, cause i’m a fan since ’68 when I didn’t even have pubies yet on my horizon for another few years into the then future…) when Rex Ryan became HC of the team, and brought over Pettin & Plank in the staff, and Leonhard, Douglass and Scott as players. Especially Scott, he’s quickly becoming heart’n’soul of this team, the face I associate with the NEW New York Jets.

    2) Not for nothing, as the Saints were the better team today – but you gotta take heart from knowing that they’re not so invulnerable… Their vaunted “O” went from averaging 40 points to 10? And scoring that TD on a short field after a Jets Turnover? All things being equal and the season progressing as we fans hope, I wouldn’t be surprised if we play these guys again this year…

    With a by-then more polished Sanchez, a hopefully resurrected run game/pass blocking, and a defense which will have continued to improve over the remainder of the season along with Calvin Pace input, healthy corners (all of them) and a by-then rock solid Gholston, I see the Jets mauling the Saints in any such future encounter.

    3) Ok, will say it again, the Saints were the better team today… but I haven’t seen a bunch of gomer-referees giving so many calls to the home team since the last time the Jets went to Oakland. Can’t list them here in detail, but there were at least three clear holds they missed, a facemask on Sanchez for one of his sacks, a couple of personal fouls. One sticks out in particular, came during a late drive which resulted in the Jets stuffing them on the second of their 4th down attempted conversions. The Saints reciever took exception with a spot given to him by the referee and threw the ball angrily away even as the ref was gesturing towards him to give him the ball. The ref’s face actually registered the surprise and then something that almost looked like… disappointment… like a father saddened by a recalcitrant child.

    I thought this kind of thing was subject to penalty, though I can’t remember if it’s a delay of game or not. But it was a clear case of unsportsmanlike conduct. that’s a 15 yarder, and makes the ensueing play a 2nd & 23 instead of a 3rd and long 1.

    Not saying the officiating caused the loss; clearly not the case. Sanchez spotted them 14 – not blaming, just a fact. But I wish these zebras would have done a better job.

    4) List of Gripes/Concerns:
    >What’s up with the run game?
    >What’s up with Greene? Can he not stay healthy? He tweaked the ankle again.
    >What’s up with the pass protection?
    >Why oh why did I see the Saints Left Defensive End (Damien Woody’s responsibility) get through unchecked something like 8 or 9 times today?
    >Why no help assigned by Schotty on that DE? >Why no Clowney? Even if he comes onboard just to streak down the sideline and take a couple of defenders with him, have Mark chuck a long one down there to keep ’em honest…
    >Why no screens? The Jets are pretty good at that kind of play.

    Meanwhile, in the rest of the AFC East…
    1) Patriots didn’t so much win this one as Baltimore lost it; and they lost it with what can only be seen as a defense that’s lost something of it’s edge. Missing Ryan, Scott, Leonhard, anyone??? I think it’s Rex; though having Madbacker and Jimmy is huge, too – but it’s primarily the Rex effect.
    2) Miami wakes up, gets a W – next week they’ll lose again; they do not match up well against the Jets in any aspect.

    Jets are in first place, went 3-1 where honestly I thought at beginning of season that they were a 2-2 start, maybe a 1-3 given the toughness of the competition. The Defense is Studly, having performed much greater than even the glimpses of Rex’s new changes and Scott’s impact gave us during the PS. And they’re not fragile; I think teams are going to get bruised when they play the Jets.

    Overall am happy where the team is, how they are responding to adversity, with their toughness, with the chip on their shoulder, and unity. I see very good things from them during this next quartet of games… 7-1 at the break is very within reach.

    T I M

  • bruceharper

    1. Momma said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this, my momma said,etc.

    2. I’m definitely for finding a cure, etc., but the Jets hat that Rex Ryan was wearing-with the pink brim-was the ugliest article of clothing ever worn by a non-Bengal, (or after last week, Seahawk.)

  • Joe Caporoso

    The good news is that we will finally see this defense at full strength next week with Pace, Sheppard, and Strickland back in the lineup (fairly confident that latter two, especially Sheppard will be back from their injuries)…I am worried about Shonn Greene’s ability to stay healthy because he was well on his way to becoming a big part of the offense, because he was exploding through the hole today and running tough…also i believe damien woody tweaked his ankle which could we something to watch for on an offensive line that has struggled this year

  • jetbo

    Time to move on
    Bring on the fish

  • I hate to say this, but I think the Jets needed this.

    Sanchez needed the bad experience to overcome and learn from. I think from now on he will be more mobile, and judicious with the football.

    The defense needed to prove they could take on the top ranked offense in the NFL and practically shut them down. From now on other teams are on notice that this D is for reals!

    Rex now has the opportunity to drop the hammer on this team and let them know they are not as good as they may think. He can use this to build momentum and beat the teams they should beat for the next 4 weeks.

    My observations:
    1. I’ve seen this from the preseason: Vernon Gholston lining up with his hand on the ground = penetration and big plays for the rest of the D. He’s not exactly playing DE but I think he’s been the Jet’s best DE so far. He wiffs on some tackles and has been just a shade late to the QB, but I think he starts to get there in the next couple of weeks. We may have a player here.

    2. Sanchez gets in a rhythm and starts staring down receivers and not changing the snap count. He definitely has the talent to look off the defenders but, this is something I think he’ll master as he becomes more experienced. He’s the kind of smart competitor that can use these horrible mistakes of last game and turn them into lessons learned.

    3. Woody is slipping and I’m even seeing Faneca losing a step. Jets need O-line depth and some new young blood in there next year for sure.

  • Joe Caporoso

    I am also concerned about Woody and Faneca, although they could be off to a slow start because of their missed time in the pre-season…I am fired up get Calvin Pace back in the line-up this week however.

    it will be interesting to see how this team responds to their first loss of the season, they need to take care of business the next four weeks

  • The Iron Marshal

    Yep, there is that to look forward to. Champions are measured not by how long they stay standing, but by how quick and decisively they get back up and start smackin’ the opponent.

    would go one further, Joe; I welcome this defeat. Teams are gonna lose and you might as well lose in the way least likely to damage your chances. In this regard, a division loss would have been much worse.

    Faneca does look a step slow – here’s to hoping all the trade-ups that Tanny has been pulling in recent years – which albeit have gotten us some stud performers – won’t start biting us on the backend as depth/age issues start their inevitable creep.

    T I M

  • The Iron Marshal

    PS: one final comment (well, at least for today!) – I think the Jets are going to tear the phish new and multiple orifices next Monday. Something tells me that the coaches led by Rex of course, and the team, led by my man Scott, are going to use this to light a fire under the guys.

    Not that they need much, they’re not lost like last year, but for a team like ours that has suffered so long from the “same old” moniker, this defeat – and how they respond to it – is a key juncture in the creation of the New NY Jets.

    T I M

  • Joe Caporoso

    i also got a good feeling about this week but Miami won’t lay down for us in their building…big week for the Jets franchise coming up