Initial Reaction – Opportunity Missed, New York Jets Lose Ugly To Pats

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Before the season, many reasonable people would have signed up for the New York Jets being 1-1 after two games, with a 13-10 loss in New England on a short week. However, that doesn’t ease the immediate sting of losing a very winnable game to your rivals. Tonight’s game was there for the taking but the Jets made one too many mistakes and not enough plays. Turnovers. Dropped passes. Questionable play calls. Blown coverages. No loss to New England is easy to stomach but the Jets had a real chance to be 2-0 tonight and they missed it.

Geno Smith is a 2nd round rookie…playing on a short week against Bill Belichick. There was going to be mistakes and there is going to be more mistakes going forward. His first interception was a true killer, with the Jets in position for a game tying field goal in the 4th quarter. His 2nd and 3rd interceptions were both poor decisions that he simply has to avoid. However, he received no help from his offensive coordinator and his wide receivers.

Marty Mornhinweg was way too pass happy, particularly on a rainy night with a below average group of receivers. Chris Ivory had 12 carries for 52 yards…he needs more touches. Geno Smith dropped back 39 times…that is too many. You need to protect your rookie quarterback to an extent and Mornhinweg didn’t protect him at all tonight.

The Jets wide receivers were awful tonight. Stephen Hill had 4 receptions for 86 yards but a brutal fumble on a play that probably should have been a touchdown, along with a few drops. He remains unpolished with his route running and has no concept of catching the football with his hands and attacking the football in the air. Clyde Gates was an unmitigated disaster: 2 catches on 8 targets and at least 3 drops, including one in the end-zone. Gates looks like a poor man’s Hill, which is scary to say the least. Bilal Powell had a drop. Ryan Spadola had a drop. Help your quarterback out, fellas.

Defensively, the jets blew an assignment on New England’s first drive allowing an easy touchdown. After that, the Jets offense handed the Patriots 3 points due to Hill’s fumble. Beyond that. they were completely dominant. Tom Brady was 19/39 for 185 yards. Stevan Ridley had 16 carries for 40 yards. Yes, Julian Edelman had 13 receptions but they only went for 78 yards. None of the blame tonight can fairly be put on that side of the football. Special teams were a disappointment as Robert Malone struggled and Kyle Wilson was poor on punt returns, while the Jets opted to actually forego using a punt returner in certain situations. Bizarre.

What is concerning moving forward is that Muhammad Wilkerson hurt his ankle towards the end of the game and his status could be questionable for the upcoming game against Buffalo. There was also a sideline scuffle late in the 4th quarter, which led to D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Willie Colon being ejected…there is a chance, hopefully a small one, that they could be suspended for the Buffalo game.

Regardless, the Jets will now have 10 days to rest up and prepare for what should be a very winnable game in their building against rookie quarterback EJ Manuel and the Bills. Step back from the ledge Jets fans, it is just one loss. You have a rookie quarterback, there is going to be a learning curve.

Stay with us in the coming days for full analysis and breakdown of tonight’s action and preview content for Jets/Bills.

  • John C

    Joe, your tweets echoed mine for the game. We need more Ivory. Gates & Hill seem to have a low ceiling, maybe only serviceable at best. Your thought on Hill just not being natural seems right. There was one pass that went through Hills hands, that was covered well, and might not be considered a drop, but you just knew a future “great” one, would have caught. Regrettably, Spadola dropped his one opportunity as well.

    Geno turned into Geno Sanchez in the 4th quarter, but prior to that, he was victimized by poor WR play. The Jets should have used more two TE (and Ivory) since Bellichick was trying to neutralize Winslow. Marty seems to hesitate to go for the jugular, when the opportunities are there. They get to the NE 38 on a nice pass to Gates (if I remember correctly), and we get Bilal Powell for 2. I thought (besides 3 picks in the 4th), the killer for the Jets was the 3 consecutive drives in the 2nd quarter, where they lost yardage on each possession. They had an opportunity to assert themselves, and didn’t.

    The D-Backs were burned some, and if Brady was on with some long passes that were open, it could have been worse. Wilson did actually have one great cover on a deep sideline pattern, but Walls showed that he deserves to play over Wilson in the rotation. No excuse for not doubling Edelman.

    Last thoughts – Malone was terrible, hope Mo is not serious.

  • mikeM

    Anyone know if the ex pats punter was picked up by another team Malone is not good

  • Jetsluva

    To me this isn’t about Geno not being ready. This is about WR’s drops and Marty not protecting his rookie QB by using the Run which was working VERY well. You can’t overexpose Geno like this. Against Belichick in the rain, Geno is gonna make mistakes if you force him to try and make something out of nothing. RUN THE BALL!!!

  • Mark Phelan

    Stellar defense? I can only imagine what the score would have been if Pat’s receivers ran their routes and caught balls.

    Stellar offense? I can only imagine what the score would have been if Jets’s receivers ran their routes and caught balls.

    What was going on with our OL protection? Sure Geno held ball too long on some plays, but much like the TB game guys were just waltzing into the backfield.

    Can Jets really afford to give away 15-20 yards of field possession on every punt?

    Their receiver averaged more than 10 yards per return. What other team would not even position a punt return receiver?

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I have a feeling that we are going to hear a lot of complaining this year about throwing the ball “too much,” but that is how MM calls games. Will he change his carrer-long tendencies? Will Geno & the WRs improve enough that it isn’t an issue? It’ll be interesting to find out.

    That was a very winnable game because of the defense, but the offense & special teams were anchors dragging the team down.

  • Pete B

    I have no explanation as to why Chris Ivory was not used more in this game. Bilal is fine for a change of pace back but Ivory should be getting the majority of the carries, not the other way around.

  • matr dontelli iii

    our punt return team has been virtually worthless the past two seasons. you said bizarre regarding the formation sans returner. while maybe unconventional, it eliminated the chance of a fumble, which given everything else wilson does poorly certainly can’t be discounted. i believe the punt that bounced in our favor late in the game gave us more yards than wilson did on any other punt. if he’s not gonna do anything productive with the punt we may as well not have him back there. he calls fair catches, lets it fall and hopes it goes into the end zone or catches it and runs left and right until he slips. at least he doesn’t wag his finger at the gunner.

  • Cpar14

    1) Bring back Braylon, I’m done with Gates.
    2) Why get away from the run if it’s working, build off it with play action.
    3) Kyle Wilson is clueless as a punt returner. Fair catch with 20 yds of open field.
    4) Demario Davis is a STUD.
    5) Ivory runs angry!!

  • joeydefiant

    I believe Marty has a strategy with Geno. He is going to let him throw and win or lose games so the kid can learn from his mistakes quickly. Why run the ball 50 times and hide Geno so by the middle of the season he is still making the same inexperienced mistakes. Put the games on his shoulders and let him learn. By the middle of the season bye week you have a good idea if Geno is it or he’s not. Who wants a QB you have to hide in the game plan? Marty throws to get the lead and runs to hold the lead. If Geno actually starts playing well the box will be empty and the run game will be able to make some big plays. For the last 4 years we have learned you cant win it all in the NFL byy ground and pound. Lets find out quick if Geno is a QB capable of carrying a team. I don’t understand why you would want to hide him and run the ball a lot then have no idea if you have a good QB or not.
    As far as the game. This defense is going to keep us in every game. Tom Brady had a worse game than Geno did. LOOK YOUR NOT REALLY IN TROUBLE UNTIL YOU LOSE A HOME GAME. RELAX.

  • Drew

    I disagree with the analysis on Marty.

    He is passing the ball because he Geno is inexperienced to a pro style offense. I am happy to see he is letting Geno run the offense he is familiar with. I thought MM called a great game. There were several plays where we took the top off the defense but our throws came up short. Hill and Gates may have had touchdowns if Geno puts the ball a little further. I am sure this is not an arm strength/accuracy issue, but rather a familiarity issue.

    Chris Ivory’s role was lessened after he fumbled.

    Do not get too down on our young ‘project’ wide receivers. The weather clearly had a big role in the drops and fumbles as both teams had an unusually high amount.

  • mike

    for the record, the jets gave up one passing touchdown on an early gadget play to one of the best passing offenses in the league. we lost because our rookie qb made some rookie mistakes, mostly towards the end of the game when he was pressing. for three quarters geno played smart and confident.
    it’s just like jet fans to complain about everything that went wrong, blame the offensive co-ordinator already. WE ALMOST BEAT THE PATRIOTS, come on people

  • KAsh

    Two things of note:

    Ivory, at least up until yesterday, was either not as versatile or as trusted as Powell. When Ivory was the sole RB on the field, the play was almost always a run. Marty uses a versatile formation with lots of moving parts to hide his next play, so announcing a run through personnel will not sit well with him. Powell blocked, split out wide, and had some screens, and because he did all of that, he was on the field much more and got an almost equal amount of carries. Maybe Ivory is out of practice after missing most of the preseason – he has ten days to turn it around – but we will see more and more of Powell while Ivory does not contribute in other ways.

    Second, a lot of people are frustrated with the receivers. But I will point out two bits of evidence. One, when you include their college years, Hill, Gates, and Spadola all have less competitive experience than Geno. Two, when everyone targeted all night had a problem catching the ball, the problem is either the elements or it’s you. Yes, we can sit all day and talk about how receivers need to fight for the ball and secure it and make the catch. When you repeatedly put them in a losing situation, do not be surprised when they repeatedly lose.

    I will start with Hill’s fumble. Hill had beaten Talib. He was starting to separate. This should have been at least a chase down the field or a last second ankle grab by Talib. Geno throws a laser. All of a sudden, Talib is on Hill and they are wrestling to the ground. Talib kicks Hill’s shoulder and the ball comes loose. How did Talib recover on a play he was beat on?

    The ball goes straight to Hill’s outside shoulder. To corral the pass, Hill takes a short step and Talib catches up because of it. The throw did not lead the receiver where he needed and wanted to go: away from the corner and out into the open field. This is not even a matter of chemistry; Geno had no awareness of where that ball needed to go to help his receiver. You saw the opposite on the other side of the field, with Brady throwing to Edelman, who caught balls perfectly in stride or even accelerated into the catch, avoiding and beating tacklers.

    This is very elementary. You throw away from coverage and where your man can still grab the ball. Then, you can develop chemistry with him by learning where he wants the ball placed and how to throw it so that he remains in stride. Geno is not close on the latter, and he still struggles with the former. This goes back to the Bucs game, where he let Cumberland and Kerley get laid out from catching his pass. A QB more aware would have thrown passes that let the receiver go to the ground immediately or let them run and avoid the gang tackle.

  • Nikolas

    Bring back Braylon Edwards!!!!!!!

  • BubbaGump

    KAsh,

    I agree that Geno’s placement was a problem, virtually all night long, but the receivers aren’t blameless here. They made huge mistakes too that they shouldn’t be making given their experience, as limited as it might be.

    Hill’s fumble was caused because when he caught the ball he tried to fight through Talib by holding the ball 2 feet out on his right side. If he holds that ball tight, there’s no fumble, that’s just sheer inexperience and a brainless play.

    Also, everyone should be exceptionally hard on Gates for the first two drops. The first in the end zone he didn’t catch because he tried to trap the football between his chest and his arms. THe second because he tried to catch the ball with his chest. Rule #1 for receivers, catch the ball with your hands… if he had went after the ball with his hands instead of his body, he would have made at least one of those catches.

    Drew, I think the universal case of the dropsies were mostly about inexperience in the first 2 quarters and not about the weather. The weather was only really bad in the 3rd quarter and a light rain in the 4th; but most drops and Hill’s fumble all came in the 1st half, before the rain.

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  • joeydefiant

    Kash,

    Thanks for informing us that QB’s need to place the ball so the receiver can catch it in stride. Where did you get this valuable information?

    You should write “Football blog comments for dummies” then give yourself an award for writing it.