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.