Initial Reaction – 37 Points?!? Jets End Losing Streak

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While today was a literal win for the New York Jets, 37-27 over the Oakland Raiders, the more important development was the positive performance of rookie quarterback Geno Smith and rookie cornerback Dee Milliner. Keeping in mind they were playing a mediocre team, the Jets had a strong offensive and special teams performance today, with a disappointing outing defensively. A win is a win and it was nice to see them snap their three game losing streak, especially while putting up nearly twice as many points in a single game than they did the past three games combined.

Smith threw an ugly early interception but was able to bounce back and by the end of the game was playing with much more confidence than we’ve seen from him in over a month. He finished 16/25 for 219 yards with a touchdown and also racked up 50 yards rushing with a touchdown. In terms of running the ball, Smith was decisive and showed excellent agility in the open field, particularly on a 32 yard scamper in the second half. He threw the ball better as the game went on and was very efficient on third down.

The return of a healthy Jeremy Kerley, put together with Santonio Holmes (3 receptions, 55 yards) and Kellen Winslow Jr (3 receptions, 61 yards) also being out there was clearly a boost to the Jets offense. Kerley returned with a bang, finishing with 4 receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. Smith floated up a pass into double coverage for Kerley in the end-zone and he went up and made a play for him. It has been a long time since a Jets wide receiver has done that for his quarterback. In that same instance, a player like Stephen Hill goes up to catch the ball with his chest, instead of attacking the ball at the highest point like Kerley did and the ball is intercepted. David Nelson also chipped in 4 receptions for 32 yards, in a balanced performance from the Jets pass catchers.

Chris Ivory further cemented himself as the team’s lead back with 76 yards on 18 yards, including a highlight reel 15 yard touchdown run where he seemed to break a tackle from everybody on the Raiders defense. Outside of a few misses from Brian Winters, who continues to struggle, this was a solid day for the Jets offensive line.

Special teams showed up in a big way today. Antonio Allen (who finally started to get more playing time again on defense, which was much deserved) blocked a punt and fell on it for a touchdown. Ryan Quigley also pinned the Raiders inside the 1 yard line with a punt and the Jets coverage units were very good on both kicks and punts.

After a strong first half, the Jets had a let down in the second half. Their usually dominant run defense allowed a long Marcel Reese touchdown run. They then allowed a long touchdown pass to Rod Streater when Ed Reed took out Antonio Cromartie by accident. Cromartie continued his awful season and it remains a mystery why Darrin Walls does not play over him. At least Rex Ryan cut back Reed’s role on the defense in favor of Allen.

Dee Milliner took a step in the right direction, showing better technique and awareness than we’ve seen in recent weeks. The secondary continues to have issues overall though as this was a tough game for Dawan Landry and there remained breakdowns in the passing game. Oakland should not be able to score 24 second half points on you.

Like we said earlier, a win is a win and we won’t sleep on the Jets beating a team they should at home. However, the schedule gets much tougher in the final 3 weeks. Carolina is one of the league’s best teams and has an elite defense. Cleveland is better than their 4-9 record indicates and also has one of the better defenses in football. Finally, Miami is likely to be playing for a playoff spot in week 17 and always presents a challenge. Let’s see if the Jets can handle a little success and turn some heads next week in Carolina as a heavy underdog.

  • KAsh

    Credit where it is due, Geno played one of his best games today. I liked that he saw everyone dropping back and took off for that huge gain, although I wish he had just went out of bounds instead of going for the touchdown and landing on his throwing shoulder. The Raiders front seven struggled to contain him all day and kudos to whoever noticed that Geno could break the right DEs ankle time and time again. He looked like himself at the start of the year, when the major problem was slightly off-target throws. The questionable decision-making is still there. The misses or near-misses are down-heartening. But it feels so good to see points scored and to think that we would have had 44 points if Holmes had held onto the TD pass in the endzone off Reed’s interception.

    Reed finally showed up. Good game by Allen. Good game by Coples. Cromartie dropped the ball again. Milliner looked like the veteran cornerback today.

  • Nick Evans

    like I said Kerley is the wildcard in this offense. And btw its nice to see Geno excel with some talent on offense.

    PLEASE GIVE ANTONIO ALLEN MORE SNAPS.

  • Jim G

    The Raiders would have to be a lot better than what we saw today to be labeled as “mediocre”. They are one of the few teams worse than the Jets. Geno did show some improvement, but it’s not hard to improve from single digit QBR’s. He is still making the same stupid throws, and still staring down recievers. He threw the pick but also had two more that were dropped. I only bring up the dropped ones here because TOJ has no problem referring to dropped int’s when talking about Simms. So yes, Geno made a few good decisions, and made great use of his legs for a change. He still made some pretty poor short throws, while performing overall to be “serviceable”, at best.

    The Raider defense couldn’t generate any pressure at all, and Geno had plenty of time. Next week it’s Carolina, and that defense will bring the heat. Be prepared to see the same “bad Geno” that you saw the last few weeks reappear. Too bad the Jets don’t play the Raiders every week.

    I was just as stunned as the next guy when I realized that Oakland had no answer for the Jets high-power offense.

  • David

    Do or die for Rex and the jets… One game at a time… Threw on 1st down on more than one occasion for solid yardage. Gotta be willing to win the game with the O… Let’s see if Rec has faith next week

  • KAsh

    @Jim G

    Did Geno become a Pro Bowl QB or even above with Kerley and another week of practices?

    No.

    But you can congratulate your rookie QB for a (mostly) well-played game. Even if Geno plays at the same level for the rest of the season, he will not solidify himself as a starter next year. Improvements and flashes of a brighter future should be applauded anyway.

  • KAsh

    *above average

  • David

    Have come to the conclusion after today’s game with the Jets that it has nothing to do with lack of talent, who the QB is, Rex’s job security, etc: It is all about WHICH NY JETS TEAM is going to show up!

    The team that showed up today, especially on offense, can hang with anyone in the AFC.

    The team that showed up the last 3 weeks couldn’t hang with Houston, Minnesota, and Jacksonville.

  • paul

    Better overall team effort but it was against Raiders. Show the fans this the next three games and then we can all get excited about the future.

  • Rob

    Like we discussed before on Twitter, sit Cro with his bad hip and now head injury. Play Walls more. More AA at safety.

    Kudos to the offense and MM to start Geno in the up tempo offense. Quigley is getting better as the season progesses.

  • Steve

    Oh No David – It has EVERYTHING to do with lack of talent…

    jets have enough talent to toy with oakland at home but, The holes we knew the Jets had Pre-Season at WR, TE, OLB, S, CB and OL don’t just go away…

    Idzik is waiting with the hatchette – this team IMO is exactly what he thought it was and he’s ready to take step 2!!! ADD TALENT!!

  • glegly

    PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ANTONIO ALLEN MORE SNAPS! I liked the Ed Reed pickup but only if he used in spots, not to play every down thereby making Allen the backup. True to form, Rex went with “his guy” and it hurt Allen’s progress. Thankfully, he’s contributing any way he can.

  • glegly

    The lack of talent on this team is the reason ESPN put them #32 and Vegas had an over/under of 5.5 wins before Week 1 (I think it was 5.5). That lack of talent hasn’t gone away. It’s great to see wins over strong teams (Pats, Saints), but what does that mean if we end up 7-9 or 8-8? Finishing #13th in the NFL is almost the same as finishing #32nd.

    Good news is that at least we’re playing a lot of young guys. But we still have holes galore. Sing along, you know the tune:

    WR – Hill has taken as many steps back this year as a player can. Big need.

    TE – Winslow seems like a cancer, and who knows if he sticks around.

    OLB – Barnes was a nice idea, but he got hurt. Coples has had fits and starts in his new role. Hope it clicks, because it hasn’t yet.
    LG – Winters has been an abomination. Painful to watch. Affects the whole team.

    QB – That’s right, I’m not sold. But do we invest a first rounder, draft deeper or get a veteran F/A?

    CB – Holy Crap, Cro is a goner. He’s the reason I was ultimately okay with letting Revis go. Dee honestly looks like he was a converted WR that’s just learning the game.

    Yeah, so that’s six pressing positional needs, where it’s entirely debatable if we have someone to fill that spot in 2014 right now.

  • David

    I guess I’ll have to agree to disagree. The talent has to be there to put up 30 vs New England, 26 vs New Orleans, 30 against Atlanta, and 37 against Oakland.

    Have we had our bad games? Absolutely. But is it because of a lack of talent, or too many turnovers or poor defense?

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