Initial Reaction: Bad Times Roller Coaster, Bills Crush Jets

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The New York Jets continued their bizarre, incredibly frustrating season with a 37-14 whipping at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. This is a team that can still find no measure of consistency and yet because of how weak the AFC is on the back end, remain right in the thick of the playoff race.

Geno Smith was awful today. He finished 8/23 for 103 yards, with a fumble lost and 3 interceptions. The offensive line did a poor job protecting him (it was a particularly rough day for Brian Winters and D’Brickashaw Ferguson), however the turnovers remain inexcusable. On all of the interceptions Smith showed poor recognition of the coverage, as he failed to notice the underneath safety or corner undercutting his targeted receiver. The Jets are nowhere near good enough to overcome turnovers, particularly at this high of a rate. Smith is going to remain the starter going forward but his play has been declining since the Jets knocked off New England and he hasn’t proven himself to be the guy in 2014 yet…not even close.

The entire offense was alarmingly ineffective. Stephen Hill remains on a milk carton. The running game never got going and Kellen Winslow Jr was invisible in his return to the line-up.

Defensively, Dee Milliner took a step back after his progress against the Saints. He showed terrible ball awareness when allowing a first half touchdown to TJ Graham and was then beat deep again in the second half. Antonio Cromartie had Marquise Goodwin run right by him for a touchdown and end any hopes of a Jets comeback, continuing his underwhelming season. The Jets defense allowed EJ Manuel to go 20/28 for 245 yards without his top two receivers. They also failed to force any turnovers, which has been an ongoing problem this season.

What else can you say at this point? We are ten games in and the Jets only seem prepared to play every other week. They don’t just lose every other game, they get dominated and extremely sloppy with the football. It is frustrating to watch but expectations need to be tempered after wins and every loss shouldn’t be turned into a catastrophe. This is what this team is. They are wildly inconsistent and have 8-8 written all over them.

 

  • David

    And this is why New England will continue to dominate this division– Miami, Buffalo, NY Jets all too wildly inconsistent to be a threat.

  • KAsh

    Let’s be honest. The Jets are not that inconsistent.

    The defense is consistent. The d-line is the best unit in every game, followed by the linebackers. The secondary is the weak spot, but it chooses to challenge deep routes and the big play rather than press and get caught chasing a receiver from behind.

    The offensive line is average to slightly above average. They run block well against teams that are bad at stopping the run and pass block well against teams that are bad at rushing the passer. They even flash and stop good pass rushers. The running backs consistently gain three yards or more if the line allows them. The receivers do their job. This is not the best grouping or the best team, but it is solid.

    Except for one position.

    You are wrong. Geno has been declining since Atlanta. Buffalo was ground level. His interceptions were not just bad decisions or from bad recognition. He threw the ball straight at the secondary. One of the interceptions would have hit Cumberland in his ankle. The other was thrown five feet right of Holmes and straight at the chest of the Bills players that was standing there. Someone needs to check Geno’s bank account for mysterious deposits from the Buffalo area.

    Geno should not have been on the field in Buffalo. He should have been switched out at halftime at the latest. He was caught in a repeating loop: if he holds the ball, he gets sacked and fumbles it, but if he throws it, it gets picked off. The game is just moving too fast for him, and he is doing everything you never want a quarterback to do (holding the ball, not picking up the blitz, not feeling pressure, not recognizing coverages, not going through reads, staring down receivers). He needs to be benched before he becomes unsalvageable.

    This is not an indictment on Geno, but you cannot win the game with him right now. A game manager has to get the ball to the receivers who can make a play, and Geno is struggling with even this right now. He is too inaccurate to get the ball to the receivers in position to make a play and too insecure to force the ball down the field into tight coverage. Geno is at best an extra man on the field, and at worst aiding the other side. He needs to be benched for his own benefit.

    There needs to be incredible improvement by Geno to justify him starting past the game against Baltimore. The Jets winning while Geno hangs back and hands the ball off to Ivory and Powell will not cut it. If we are going to even consider a playoff run, we need to find a quarterback on this roster who is not a liability with the ball in his hands. I honestly do not think that can be Geno this year.

    Geno gets one more chance, but he needs to start sustaining offenses with the pass. He simply has not shown enough this year to warrant more. Two showings in the five wins and ten games played does not buy a lot of real estate.

  • mikeM

    The O Line is getting killed because Brian Winters is not ready to play in the NFL. if you want to blast the other rookies you better include Winters, he is getting pushed around like a rag doll.

  • KAsh

    A rookie guard struggling surrounded by two Pro Bowl veterans is something you can live with. Most NFL teams have at least one struggling offensive lineman. A rookie quarterback not being able to do anything, caught in a cycle in which both his decisions and indecisions are mistakes, is hurting the team in the short term and himself in the long term.

    Geno can develop into a great quarterback. But he cannot get there by being pushed onto the field when he should not be.

  • David

    Let’s be honest: The Jets in 5 years under Rex Ryan have not solved the most important position in the NFL, the QB! Today I felt like I was watching Mark Sanchez 2.

  • mikeM

    Terry Bradway has to go. Second round draftpicks of Ducasse and Hill just shows the bad judgement in talent he has running the scouting department.

  • Mark

    Today was terrible. The entire team played poorly. Going to Dave and busters the night before and canceling final position meetings was not a good idea.

    Geno was awful and he can’t have a performance like this again this season. I’d rather have him take 10 sacks and hold the ball.

    That said he was under significant pressure and when we fell behind he was forcing everything. The game spun away from him. I’m giving him my last rookie get out of jail free card today.

  • John C

    The D-Line got no pressure today, and there were far too many 3rd down conversions, throw in the deep passes, and it’s hard to make a case that the D played well, with the exception of against the run.

    Pundits like to say that Geno is resilient, or :gets over” his turnovers quickly, but, the truth is, Geno gets worse as games go on, if he has a bad break early. Today, it started with the pressure, which turned into the foolish sack Geno took, just before the missed Field Goal. This turns into the fumble, then the first pick, followed rapidly by the second pick, then (of course, by now you saw it coming), the inevitable Pick 6. I predicted it in the second quarter, You can get a read on this Jets team, particularly Geno, very early in a game. All that said, Geno did not lose it alone – the “fifth turnover” (the off sides on the punt), really kicked it all off. That being said, if Geno comes out and tanks in Baltimore, let’s say two or more turnovers – the Jets and Rex, will have to consider benching Geno, at least for a game, and down the stretch, they must be willing to admit when Geno just doesn’t have it, and be willing to pull him earlier in a game.

  • Not Since 69

    Agree with all previous comments adding this:
    Geno does NOT HAVE IT. Period. End of story.
    The only productive drive was when Simms went in and immediately marched the Jets into the endzone. Everyone knows what needs to be done. Are the coaches that stupid that they do not see it ? Want to save the season ? Simms time….Now…Not AFTER the Baltimore game. Enough said. Crikey !

  • Mark Phelan

    As we saw with the 2 long completions to Holmes, Geno can place the ball well…when he has time.

    Why did Manuel have all the time he needed and Geno not? Don’t we have the Sons of Anarchy? The Bills don’t have the Sons of Anarchy. The Bills didn’t just sign Ed Reed to cork any leak in the coverage damn. The Bills didn’t have their top receivers coming back from injury – in fact their two top receivers could not play yesterday. The Bills didn’t even have their regular kicker – and ours had a perfect record.

    When Rex took the boys out to relax on Saturday night his implicit message was: All we have to be concerned with is being too up tight. If we just relax (or has Richardson says – Have fun) we will show those odd-makers who the N.Y JETS really are.”

    He was right about that!

  • Lidman

    Life in the NFL with a rookie QB. Look, he’s clearly not ready to play. It will be disappointing if the Jets don’t make the playoffs, but it’s been a good ride, so far and they still are in full control of their own destiny. Beat Baltimore, Miami and Cleveland and they are likely to be the team.

    However, I will not condemn Geno for not being Luck or Russell Wilson ‘ready’ for the NFL. I think RG3s performance this year has shown even fast starters, at QB, can regress. Heck, Eli Manning has been just as bad as Geno and he’s a 10yr vet and 2x SB MVP.

    I will however, go back to a situation that needs to be highlighted: Mark Sanchez was forced back into a meaningless game, by John Idzik (from everything we hear..who really knows). The NYJ have Matt Sims as their back up QB, so can they really bench Geno, and go with a guy who has NO NFL starts (it’s question, not a statement). I think Idzik never thought this could happen, so getting a qualified back up wasn’t a priority. Well NY has a chance to make the playoffs and Geno is a major hinderance to those chances. So, I send you all back to this column: http://turnonthejets.com/2013/11/john-idzik-man-blueprint/

    Idzik has been OK, at best. If Geno costs this team a playoff spot, the Sanchez move and not having a capable back up, is on him. In my mind, that would erase any good he’s done. I’m not condemning him, but it certainly prevents me from jumping on his bandwagon.

  • David

    I know I am different than some, but I am tired of hearing all this “Rookie QB” garbage. You are in week 11 (10 full games played); if he is not understanding the game by now, when you consider all the reps and stuff he got in Rookie Mini-Camp, Mini-Camp, Training camp, preseason, and regular season there is a problem. He is NOT a “Rookie QB” anymore I’m sorry!

  • Lidman

    By the way, stop it with the ‘Dave and Busters was a bad idea’. That isn’t why they lost. Geno played bad, held the ball too long, held it longer after he started to get hit (which was so counter-intuitive, but it happened…just go look), and made bad throws (at least 4 sideline overthrows to go along with his INTs) and fumbled. Yes, the secondary was bad (too soft early and another 2 deep balls), but if Geno just plays competently they would have been able to continue with their run/mix and maybe a chance in the 4Q.

    I doubt Rex had the guys doing shots and ‘boat races’ at the bar. Stop condemning a coach, who has won 5 games (2 against NE and NO) with the same QB who, all by himself, has given the team no chance, AT ALL, to win games at Tennessee, at Cincy and at Buffalo.

  • mark

    D&B was a bad idea, and contributed to our performance yesterday in my opinion. Not as much for the activity but that the final position meetings were cancelled to accommodate the event. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe or love Rex, I do.

    The Bills were motivated by it, that is for sure.

  • Lidman

    D&B had nothing to do with Geno Smith making bad decisions. This isn’t like Schwartz calling for a fake FG. The Jets were blown out and their QB gave them no chance to win. If it were a close game, and a key assignment were missed, I guess you could go back to this. Going through final run throughs wasn’t going to make a difference.

    I would also say, luck isn’t on the Jets side. As bad as they played v Tenn, Cincy and Buffalo, I’ll bet those games also were the best performances by each of those teams this season. Maybe it’s because of the Jets play, or maybe they just had a great game..much like Jets v NE, NO and Atl…

    Bottom line, go back and read the comments, on this site, week after week…the NYJ are certainly up and coming and we, fans, are now getting greedy (as we should), but if you’re going with a rookie QB, you’re likely not making the playoffs. Last year was an aberration. Look at Tannehill, Manuel, Dalton (as rookie), Weeden, Locker, Gabbert, Pryor, Ponder, Stafford (as rookie), Cutler (as rookie), Cam (until this year), Kaepernick, Bradford…QBs take time

  • mark

    I hear you. We all overreact to the game that was just played. Interested to read the position reviews later in the week. Actually maybe I will ignore my men in green till this Sunday!

  • Angel

    DAVE AND BUSTERS CAUSED THE LOSS?!?!? Are you people out of your minds?!?

    Geno’s fumbles and 3 INTs caused the lost!! Geno’s play SUCKS… and it’s BEEN SUCKING since Atlanta!

    I know it sounds like I’ve been bashing Geno from the beginning, but the truth is I haven’t. What I have been doing is challenging all these Geno worshipers who have been drinking the Kool-Aid since before Geno ever threw an NFL pass.

    Why?

    Because you hate Sanchez?!? Let’s compare Sanchez’ stats with Geno’s at the end of the year. But I’ll guarantee you this: You’re not going to have any playoff stats to compare with Mark’s dominant playoff run.

    Geno should have the quick hook [like Sanchez needed last year.] As soon as Geno throws his first pick or fumble, Matt Simms comes in.

    Period.

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  • Joe Caporoso

    Sanchez’s stats through his first 10 starts

    4-6 record.
    1185 yards passing
    10 TDs
    16 INTs
    3 rushing TD
    66 rushing yards
    4 lost fumbles.

    Geno’s stats through his first 10 starts
    5-5 record.
    2100 yards passing/
    8 TDs
    16 INTs
    3 rushing TDs
    174 rushing yards.
    4 lost fumbles.

    And then keep in mind Sanchez was a top ten pick and Geno was taken 39th. Sanchez had the league’s #1 ranked defense, an elite OL and the league’s #1 ranked running game. Geno has an average OL, middle of the pack D and middle of the pack running game.

    Also Sanchez did improve in the playoffs but was never dominant. He played well against Cincy and IND in 09 and NE and PIT in 2010. He was below average vs SD in 2009 and IND in 2010

  • Lidman

    I have to say, I agree with Angel. Say whatever you want about Sanchez the past 2 yrs, you can’t take away that he played big, in big games, with a similar formula to today’s team, in his first 2 yrs.

    Again, I’m not condmening Geno. He may turn out to be a very good NFL QB (you know Eli Mannning). But, it kind of stinks that this team could have beaten NE, in week 2, and likely would have been in games v Cincy, Tenn, Buff, and Pittsburgh with simply ‘average’ QB play.

    This is on Idzik….

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  • Lidman

    Joe..good stuff..what would be interesting to see is how did Sanchez perform in the 5-1 streak over the final 6 games? Geno still has that in front of him.

    I think the other thing that skews this is how bad Geno has been in their losses and how badly they’ve been beaten. I thought this was an interesting stat: 12 times, the NYJ have turned the ball over at, or inside their own 35yd line this year. All of these are Geno Smith turnovers. The only other turnover they have this year is Stephen Hill’s fumble vs NE, in week 2.

    Where they are picked isn’t proof of anything, to me. They were picked 34 spots away from each other. Smith was highly rated prospect. In ’09, 3 QBs were taken in 1st round: Stafford, Sanchez and Freeman and Pat White was taken at 44 (not a misprint). Last year Manuel was taken at 16, Smith at 39 Glennon at 73 and then Barkley at 98.

    In ’09, there were only 3 guys who were labeled as possible ‘franchise’ guys. Where last year, nobody was really considered a sure thing, but by the end of round 4, 7 QBs were taken. In ’09, it wasn’t until the 5th round for 7 QBs to be taken. So, in order to get Sanchez, in ’09, the Jets likely had to move up to 5. Where last year, they waited and still had Smith fall to them.

    While you say Sanchez wasn’t ‘dominant’ in ’09, he did go 41/68-60.3, with 4 TDs/2 INTs (1 of the INTs was thrown with just 2 min left and Jets down by 13). He played well and had them in the lead after 1H at Indy, as a rookie…you can’t beat him up for defense giving up 17 2H points.

    I agree with you on Geno. I do think if Sanchez were the starter, this team would be better. As bad as he played last year, I think the support he would have had this year, the suppport Geno has, would have allowed him to play at worst, as well as he did during their 2 playoff runs…but, we’ll never know…thanks Idzik.

  • BubbaGump

    If Geno stinks it up next week, Rex should have a quick hook. Make him accountable for his mistakes.

    Earlier in the year I remember hearing about all this “he learns from his mistakes” and “short memory” crapola.

    Unfortunately, Geno hasn’t seemed to learn anything in 10 starts. At this point, it’s worth pulling him quickly before things spiral out of control in the next game if things aren’t going well.

    Then you can turn to Simms. Yes, he’s never started a game before, but this offseason it’s hard to argue that something clicked for him and he’s much better than he was last year as a practice squad player. The improvements Simms made between years shouldn’t be discounted, and while he’s played in garbage time, there’s no way to know what you have unless you give him the ball.

    If the Jets get destroyed next week (which is looking pretty likely given how crazy inconsistent this team is), Simms should start unless/until he proves he’s much worse than Geno.

  • Lidman

    One more thing Joe…I don’t think you should include Sanchez’ 2nd year, that’s ‘apples and oranges’.

    However, you did. So, while you say he was ‘below average’ v Indy, in 2010 you should point out this: Jets got the ball on their 13, with 4:53 remaining in 3Q, down 3 (10-7). He led them on a 17 play, 77yd TD drive in 9:54, to take a 14-10 lead. He went 5-5 for 47yds. He also had a 3rd and 7 conversion, from Indy 39 and a 6yd scramble on 3 and 1, at Indy 21, to keep the drive alive.

    Then after Indy takes the lead, 16-14. Cro had big return. With 53 seconds left, Sanchez went 3-3 for 38yds to get them in position to kick the winning FG (kind of like Geno v Atl).

    And, while you didn’t mention the Pittsburgh loss, it must be said the Jet D didn’t show up and they were down 24-3 at halftime. In second half, Sanchez went 13/18 for 171 and 2TDs (45, 4). He went 4/5 on 3rd down (passes), and the Jets had 2 4 and 1 run conversions. NY outscored Pittburgh 16-0 (ah the Jason Taylor Safety), but the Jet D gave up the 3 and 6, and Sanchez never got the ball back.

    Long winded point: when he’s needed to put together scoring drives, in big games, on the road, he’s produced.

  • KAsh

    The comparison between Sanchez and Smith is apples to oranges. They are two polar opposites as quarterbacks.

    Sanchez never saw a window he did not think he could fit the ball into. It seemed as if he only tried to make heroic, highlight reel passes into double and triple coverage. Quick twitch throws following snap decisions was how Sanchez played. This can be seen on his tape as far back as college.

    Geno Smith also has the same habits he had back in college. He is cautious and does not trust himself. In college, he threw into tight coverage; in the pros, he sees every throw as being tightly covered and either hesitates or panics as he throws. His prefered receivers are all veterans who can read defenses and know how to get open. The two problems with this are: 1) this usually takes more time, as his receivers have to completely beat whatever coverage is on them with double moves or by exploiting zone defenses, and 2) when all the throws are into tight windows or there are no holes because you are in the red zone, Geno cannot complete a pass.

    As for Simms, at least he tried to make the throws in Buffalo. Maybe statistically in practice Simms is worse than Geno, but in the real game, he at least attempts the throws you need to make.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Simms played against a prevent defense, comprised of backups. No throws he made in that game were relevant (including the pass he threw right to a Buffalo defender that was dropped)

  • BubbaGump

    Joe, there’s no way to tell how Simms would do when the game still matters unless he’s, you know, actually playing when the game still matters.

    If Geno keeps his downward trajectory, Simms should be given a chance while there’s still time to make a difference. Then we’ll actually see whether he can make the throws against NFL starters…

  • Lidman

    Kash…in college Geno had Tavon Austin and Steadman Bailey, who simply overmatched Big 12 corners (go look at some of the weekly scores in that league), so they were that open. Tannehill continues to hold the ball too long too, when guys are open. Let’s see if Geno makes the adjustment. Not only is he not seeing them as ‘open’, he’s also not trusting them to make catches.

    Would be interesting to see him pull it down more, and get 4-6yds if his first read isn’t there. That could certainly slow down the rush. DCs have to see he’s holding the ball for 3.5+seconds, regularly, so they simply send the house because they are willing to risk he won’t make that ‘hot throw’. He either takes a sack or throws it into the middle of the field.

  • Angel

    I purposefully said, “END of the YEAR” stats cause I wanted to give a fair comparison. I don’t think it’s fair to pick the first 10 games.

    I think you need to look at the big picture.

  • Lidman

    Angel, at 4-6, would anyone have given Sanchez a chance at making the playoffs? Jets also caught a schedule break as both Indy and Cincy had nothing to play for. They still won those games, but let’s go glass 1/2 full and say Geno gets us some wins. Now Buffalo certainly played better than most would have thought, but other than Carolina, who is the team the Jets have no chance at beating here:
    @Baltimore
    Oakland
    Miami
    @Carolina
    Cleveland
    @Miami

    I’m going glass 1/2 full and say, just as they did in Atlanta and vs NE, and NO, Rex rallies them past Baltimore this weekend, which leads to a 3 game win streak, a tough loss in Carolina and win out the final 2 to go 10-6…KC stumbles and they get KC in round 1, who fits them like a glove..they pull off the upset. Rex terrorizes Peyton, who has made some poor decisions in big games and then they hand Brady another bad home loss. Jets v New Orleans on Feb 2, in the wind and snow….Canyon of Heroes here come the Jets!!!! It’s a slow Monday folks…

  • KAsh

    Simms played well against a prevent defense? Great. Geno cannot manage that.

    You are very dismissive of Simms (mostly because he has had no career starts, which is absurd because everyone never had a career start at some point in time), but Geno is dying out there. Opposing teams do not have to blitz Geno. If they drop seven back, Geno will just bounce around in the pocket then either take a coverage sack, scramble out of the box to throw the ball away or incomplete, or try to run (which is the best of the three, but minimized by leaving a linebacker spy). Geno is bad against the blitz and against coverage. He is simply too indecisive at this point in his career to excel in any aspect or against any defense.

    @Lidman

    I have talked about Geno’s receivers back before we drafted him. Simply put, three or four of the losses WVU had last year were due to teams simply keeping up with them (not beating them). Geno had throws he could have made in those games, but he never did. This is what actually led to people questioning his deep ball accuracy: Geno can throw deep, but with the exception of two passes with Rogers covering, he avoids tight windows like the plague.

  • David

    I think with the whole thing to, it should show Idzik that one of the things on his “to do” list this off-season is find a viable, experienced backup QB. Let’s be honest, from what I have seen so far in the Tennessee, Buffalo, and Cincinnati games is that the coaches have ZERO faith in any of the backup QB’s.

    With that said, I think Matt Simms deserves a chance to play. People dismiss me, but how do you know anything until you give him a chance? And last time I checked, and you can call it what you want, he was the only QB to throw a TD yesterday for the NY Jets. As has been said before, with an “average QB,” the Jets are running away with the #6 spot in the playoffs and EASILY contending, if not leading in the AFC East. An “average QB” who doesn’t turn the ball over beats New England in week 2, has the Jets in the game yesterday in Buffalo, has the Jets in the game against Tennessee, and beats Pittsburgh.

  • Lidman

    Kash..funny, I see it a bit differently. I think many of his INTs come from his hubris of thinking he can stick any throw in there, because he could in college. I also think his 4 worst games: Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Cincy and Buffalo saw him see a lot of blitz pressure. Ithink his comp % v 5, or more, rushers is in the bottom 3 of the league. He’ll certainly stand in, but he makes the majority of his errors, as you’d expect, there. Let’s hope the game slows down for him with more reps.

    But, you’re 100% correct in his holding on to the ball. See PFF last week: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/11/12/32-observations-week-10-2/

  • John C

    Joe, Have to rip you a bit, on trying to discount Simms TD drive – but it’s not surprising. Yes Simms threw a bad ball – so I guess it’s a fact that he sucks worse than Geno – yet somehow, the balls he throws right on the money, were on the money because it was “prevent” or second-string, or whatever excuse you’ll use today. Give it a break – No one is saying he’s Tom Brady, but your refusal to even consider that he might do as well as Smith, detracts from your creedence as an evaluator. The NFL is loaded with UDFAs who outperform top draft picks.

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