No Huddle – New York Jets Meltdown Edition

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TJ Rosenthal kicks off another week of New York Jets coverage at Turn On The Jets with his weekly No Huddle – Make sure to give TJ a follow on Twitter on Turn On The Jets a follow on Facebook.

The Jets had it all heading into week 11 in Buffalo. A measure of oh no don’t say it, prosperity. The return of Santonio Holmes and Kellen Winslow to bolster the offense. The addition of Ed Reed. An opponent playing without their two starting wide receivers. After being given the chance to heal up thanks to the bye week as well. All of this good fortune was too much of course for the franchise that thrives when it’s cornered yet nosedives when the coast is clear. In some, ways, the 37-14 drubbing to the last place Bills was just another blown Jet opportunity at some breathing room. In other ways the effort was more cause for alarm.

The “Dave and Busters” Trip Will Trump All Local Sports Stories Monday. Watch.

Word broke early Sunday morning the Jets ditched final offensive and defensive meetings for a trip to Dave and Busters restaurant. Were the Jets taking their eye off of the job at hand by subconsciously overlooking the Bills or just taking a pre game shot at some additional team building? Maybe a little of both.

Regardless of determining the reasoning behind it, what’s certain is that this made for tabloid story will have more local legs than the Giants four game win streak, the Knicks rough start and even the Jets putrid loss itself. “Why were they eating burgers and wings and not studying more? Do other teams engage in this sort of behavior?” Etc etc. It comes with the territory for the team the media finds more endearing when they are controversial. One that that due to their dramatic nature in victory and defeat is for the diehard, both easy to love and impossible to trust.

When Is It Fair To Question Geno Smith

Geno Smith is a rookie. Everyone understands that. The ups and downs of any first year pro are to be expected and must be tolerated (same speech goes for Dee Milliner again too). Geno has undoubtedly made plays with his arms, legs, and mind that have helped the Jets get to five wins. On the flip side, when he tanks he implodes. This is concerning. Part of being a pro QB is keeping a team in the game when hope is still alive. In losses at Tennessee, Cincy and yesterday in Buffalo, bad went to horrific for Smith too easily.

Pick sixes and fumbles rain down on the Jets when Geno goes south. The question is, when is it fair to wonder if the behavior that turns a downward spiral into a bottomless pit will begin to appear less frequently? The Jets were only down 10-0 late in the second quarter. The wings didn’t need to come off the plane the way they did for Smith from that point on.

What happens to Smith on his way from being the club’s caretaker to it’s resident pyromaniac? When does John Idzik begin to start adding up the disasters Geno has while searching for answers regarding long term stability at the position? This is not about any subtle call for Matt Simms. This is about defining the appropriate time now or in the future to question Smith’s ability to keep it all together at the very moment when a winnable game is slipping away.

The Reasoning Behind The Deep Drops

In the rookie’s defense, OC Marty Mornhinweg had Smith dropping back deep early and often when the Jets threw the ball. As a result, Smith never found his rhythm because the Bills stout defensive front had a field day. QB EJ Manuel and the Bills used quick outs and screens to offset the vaunted Jet pressure instead. Turning the young Jet defensive line into mere mortals. We can’t understand why the same approach, especially on a windy day, wasn’t taken by Gang Green’s offense.

Feed Santonio

It would be nice to see the Jets feature Santonio Holmes in the passing game more going forward. The misunderstood playmaker had two long catches when the game was still in the balance, and seems to come up with a play if the ball is thrown to him. There needs to be a focal point downfield. Provided that the hammy is good to go now, let it be Holmes. Who can force defenses to pay greater attention to him. He’s a guy who can strike that type of fear. Feed him please.

Quick Hits

– Nick Folk has had an amazing year. His miss yesterday in what seemed like a brutal swirling wind though, had an ominous feel to it. How did Bills K Dan Carpenter kick so accurately after Folk made it seem like FG attempts were a risky option? Did the wind just die down after the first miss of the year for Folk hero?

– Stephen Hill is an enigma. The kid has size, speed, and has played tough in some games this year. He just doesn’t seem to have a consistent feel for timing jumps, using his body, and spacing near the sidelines. Hopefully he figures it out before he slides down the depth chart.

– Sheldon Richardson had a tremendous read and took the proper angle in snuffing out a screen to Fred Jackson on a third down. The play didn’t amount to much for the Jets on Sunday but skills like that will help win games on future Sundays for a long time to come. This kid has veteran instincts and an all pro feel for the game already.

– 5-5 still means the Jets are in the hunt for an AFC wildcard spot. Yet being unable to string two wins together sure dampers the playoff spirit as a fan, doesn’t it?

– What would the Jets record be right now if Mark Sanchez would have been the starter all year long? Let us know your thoughts. Out of curiosity.

  • Steve

    I think the record is still 5-5 with Sanchez. Certainly not like he doesn’t turn the ball over himself… The problem in the losses has been a defense that gets stymied and beat over the top, an OL that’s getting destroyed at times and a lack of weapons….I know the Sanchez fans don’t want to hear it but, under those conditions we’re in the same exact boat.

    Funny, when the Defense Puts pressure on the opposing QB – and the OL allows the Run game to work and gives the QB time, the jets win SHOCKING I TELL YA…..

    Bills flipped the script and beat the Jets just like the Jets beat New Orleans and New England….I could watch tape of just the Line play and pretty much tell you who wins these Jet games…

  • mike

    what’s so troubling about the last four jet losses is that they were team losses, which is to say they weren’t the result of a single bad break or any one guy on the roster blowing the game, but they are complete shitshows. when the jets lose, every jet plays a crucial part in making the loss as ugly as possible.
    you could blame douzable, milliner, cromartie, geno, the o line, the pass rush, the linebackers, the head coach, the offensive game plan, and the defensive game plan. how the hell can a team be .500 when absolutely everything can go wrong like that? how does the same team that just beat two future hall of fame quarterbacks leading two super bowl contending teams also lose four games to four teams that simply aren’t that good?
    it’s mind-boggling, and one way or another it does come down to coaching. i love rex ryan, i think he should get an extension because i can’t think of any other hc that would have this roster at 5-5, but the horrendous losses during which the jets get out-schemed, out-played, and out-hustled in every phase of the game are starting to mount, and those losses are extremely hard to take.

  • KAsh

    I honestly believe that you cannot keep sending Geno out there. There is this myth that people learn in the heat of the moment, with the pressure in your face. But in that moment, we all return to our basic training. Up to now, we did the equivalent of giving him army boots, shoving a rifle in his hand, and pointing him towards the battlefront. He needs to be pulled out and Coach Lee needs to drill him to not stare down receivers and to let the ball fly when he sees an opening. This is not about Geno taking responsibility because he is not responsible for how he is playing. He is just on the field, and his instincts are moving him around.

    You have never named Geno the long-term starter to build a sense of accountability in him. If you keep him as the starter after horrendous performances, you are killing that sense of accountability by negligence.

    As for the Sanchez question, I think we would have been 6-4 with Sanchez, with 7-3 and 5-5 as outliers. The twist is I think we would have swept the Patriots. Sanchez would also probably had stronger wins against the Bucs and the second Pats game. I think the Titans game would still have been a disaster (I am assuming that high-interception games stay high-interception games) but the Bengals would not have been such a blowout (that game got out of hand because the defense was getting pulverized while the offense did not even try to keep up). We might have beat the Bills on Sunday if we kept up with them, but we might have also lost to the Saints with Sanchez taking some risky shots downfield. You have to remember that Sanchez settled into a groove of 3:2 TD-INT ratio for every season after his rookie one, with the exception of the Sparano shitshow. Had he kept that up, he would have had 24 TDs already on the season.

  • David

    I have friends who live in Western NY that were at Ralph Wilson Stadium yesterday and they all told me the same thing– The Bills are up 7-0 at halftime if Geno Smith is not playing. 3 of the Bills 4 scoring drives in the 2nd quarter were 35 yards and less!

  • Tom L

    Hard to say what the record would be with Sanchez behind center. Would Marty have called as conservatively as he has been lately, all year? If he did, I believe we would have a worse record. We aren’t 5-5 without some of those big time plays from Geno.

    And I don’t think we’re 2 or 3 pick sixes away from a better record either. It seems every loss is a blowout, especially on the road. Would Sanchez have beat Tennessee? Probably not, as seen last year. Buffalo? Who knows. Cincy? No.

    I personally would’ve liked Sanchez to start the season and have Geno take over mid-way, but seeing his huge turnover issues now may be for the best. If he cannot turn it around, this is a solid draft to need a QB. If he can, fantastic.

  • KAsh

    @Tom L:

    8-8 is not a record you want to draft a new QB. If one drops to wherever we are drafting, do you really want the fourth or the fifth QB or the second or the third OLB, WR, maybe first TE, RB, DB?

    And for what? So that you can go through another year with ineptitude behind center? To just have another rookie QB with a shaky offensive line, questionable receivers and running game, and a defense that cannot put the game away?

    A much better idea would be to go out and get an experienced veteran starter. Geno can challenge him, I guess, but the job will be the veteran’s to lose.

  • mike

    kash, you can kill geno all you want, as you do after every loss, but that doesn’t negate the fact that, as i said above, the losses this year (except for the first new england game) have been complete meltdowns of the entire team and the whole coaching staff. it’s not geno’s fault that the defense made ej manuel look like peyton manning.
    a quarterback change at this point in the season, when the team still has a very good shot at a playoff berth, is not only a move that would scream desperation to the locker room, but would also be pretty stupid considering that you’d be slotting in matt simms, who’d probably be a practice squad qb on most teams in the nfl.

  • joeydefiant

    stop blaming the offensive line. geno smith holds the ball the longest out of every nfl qb to make a start this year and its not even close. no protection is going to be able to protect that long. the funny thing when he throws it quickly (under 2.5 secs) he has over a 70 percent completion rate. (stats from football outsiders and pff)

  • John C

    What is it exactly, that Geno has shown, that people do not believe Simms could do as well? I know Simms appearances have been against “3rd stringers” (the same kind of players that knocked Sanchez out for the season), or against a “prevent defense”, but really… are people saying that Simms can’t run (Wrong), that he doesn’t have a strong arm (Wrong), that he isn’t accurate (Wrong), that he doesn’t have good pocket awareness (Wrong). The only thing negative, you can say for sure, is that Simms was not a 2nd round draft pick, and was not given the starting job, despite being the 4th best QB in camp (Geno finished behind Sanchez, McElroy, and Simms, in any quantifiable category in pre-season.

  • Nep Oznat

    Let’s face it: if Simms and Geno were both players that Tannenbaum had brought in or if they were both players that Idzik brought in Geno would not be the starter now. The only reason he IS starting is the same reason Aboushi and Campbell have not been cut and placed on the practice squad: Idzik wants to justify his picks.

    Idzik preaches “competition” but that’s all just words and hypocrisy. That attitude will hurt the team in the long run.

    Those of us who said at the beginning that he is not ready to play this year were right. Our chance of playoffs went down in the 4th Quarter of the Giants game and this season even then had a predictable ending.

  • Johnny

    The problem last week was the offensive line. Geno hardly had a shot. When they give him time he produces, it is that simple. Look at what brady did last night when carolina was all over him, nothing. That is why we need to focus on the OL. I don’t buy the lack of offensive weapons either. At least not for last week. We have two good running backs, decent WRs and decent TEs. If the QB is given time, they can run there routes and geno can deliver the ball. The loss is on the offensive line. The focus is all about geno but it is misplaced.

  • KAsh

    @Johnny

    Brady shredded the Panthers. The Panthers offense sustained drives and ran the clock, keeping Brady off the field. Geno needs to watch Brady’s performance from last night on a loop, and pay particular attention to how Brady always knew just when the pressure would get to him and threw the ball right before. Brady got sacked just twice, but got drilled something close to ten times and the Panthers still needed the refs to gift them the game.

  • Jon Richter

    It was unfortunate for Folk that he had to be the first one to try a FG. He kicked it from the left hash towards to middle and the wind blew it way right. When Carpenter kicked he was on the right hash and kicked it a bit more left directly into the wind so that it didn’t get blown so far right.

  • Johnny

    Kash,

    My point was not that brady did nothing the whole game; but that he did nothing when he had pressure in his face. I don’t recall to many plays last week where Geno dropped back and had time to scan the field and deliver a pass. In games where he has been given time, he has been pretty good.

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