Leftover thoughts on the New York Jets week 7 win over the New England Patriots.
1. I am writing this while watching the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings play the worst football game I’ve seen since the Jets played the Titans on Monday night last season. Be happy we’ve come a long way since then!
2. Jeremy Kerley is quietly putting together a terrific overall season and proving himself to be the Jets most reliable and consistent wide receiver. He has 24 receptions on 37 targets, with 19 of those receptions going for first downs. Kerley leads the Jets with 319 receiving yards and has a pair of touchdowns. He has been nearly unstoppable on third downs and is a natural fit for Marty Mornhinweg’s offense. On the other hand, yesterday was a disappointing step back for Stephen Hill. On 2 more targets this season (39 total), Hill only has 19 receptions for 317 yards and 1 touchdown. Yesterday, he failed to attack the football at the highest point on more than one attempted reception and continues to body-catch instead of using his hands. He will never take the next step in his development until he utilizes his size and catches the football properly.
3. Quinton Coples had his first sack of the season yesterday and brought pressure on Tom Brady’s pick six. However, on the whole he looked sluggish coming off the edge and particularly late in the fourth quarter was barely getting any push out of his stance. As of right now, Garrett McIntyre is a better player and should be seeing more time. I’m not sure if Coples isn’t healthy yet or isn’t comfortable in the defense but until he figures it out, he shouldn’t be an every down player.
4. Similarly, Darrin Walls is currently a better player than Dee MIlliner on the outside at corner. I understand the desire to bring Milliner along but he should be alternating reps at a minimum with Walls who made nice strides from the Tennessee game through the Pittsburgh game.
5. What a performance from Antonio Allen yesterday, who held his own in one on one against Rob Gronkowski as well as anybody could have. Allen has been improving with each week and is making a case to be a long term starter here on the back end.
6. The Jets were extremely wise to play aggressively late in the fourth quarter when they had the football. They dialed up two deep play action shots in an attempt to prevent Tom Brady from getting the football back, which is the right approach against him. The game would have been over in regulation if Jeff Cumberland could have a secured a very catchable ball along the sideline. It was a rough game for Cumberland yesterday who remains inconsistent and probably better suited to be a situational backup. Imagine if the Jets had Kellen Winslow Jr and Holmes yesterday instead of Cumberland and Hill?
7. John Idzik deserves credit for cherry picking David Nelson and Josh Cribbs off the scrap heap this season. Nelson had a huge 4 receptions for 80 yards yesterday. He is a big receiver who knows how to get open and has very good hands. Don’t forget how productive he was in Buffalo when healthy. Cribbs was an immediate upgrade in the return game and brought juice to the Jets Wildcat package. Right now the Jets #3 and #4 wide-outs weren’t on the team after week 4 but are still being productive.
8. If the Jets did alert the officials to New England breaking the “push” rule on field goals because they had done it in previous weeks…that is nothing but excellent coaching and preparation. Well done, Rex and company.
9. Bilal Powell likely needed a week of limited action. Think about how much work he has received since the beginning of the summer due to the injuries around him. Chris Ivory showed an ability to carry the load with 34 carries and now Powell will be more fresh and hopefully healthy going forward.
10. It has been a roller coaster with Geno Smith so far this season. However, if you can’t see the natural talent he has and why the Jets are staying with him all season and likely after this season, you aren’t paying attention. Smith has an ability to let mistakes roll off his back and continue to play with confidence, regardless of what happens throughout the game. He has a cannon for an arm and more mobility than he is given credit for. He is going to grow with each passing week and when the Jets spend some money and draft picks at tight end and wide receiver? Watch out.