Initial Reaction – Not Enough, Jets Come Apart Late In 30-20 Loss

Reaction to the New York Jets 30-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers

The New York Jets were competitive in Carolina today against a superior team. However, as they have done many times this season, they made one mistake too many to steal a victory. Today, it was a blocked punt that helped break the game open for the Panthers and a late game pick six to seal the deal. At 6-8, the Jets are only playing for pride the next two weeks as Rex Ryan fights to keep his Head Coaching job. 

It remains baffling why Ryan continues to play an ineffective, old Ed Reed over a rising young player in Antonio Allen. Reed was late to help on a DeAngelo Williams 72 yard touchdown and along with David Harris showed that the Jets still have speed issues on defense. Outside of that big play, the Jets defense was good, not great overall. They didn’t force any turnovers but they locked down in the red-zone and allowed the Jets to remain competitive up until the blocked punt, which looked to be a brutal mistake from both Garrett McIntyre and Tanner Purdum. Cam Newton finished with 273 yards passing and the Panthers had 131 yards rushing as a team.

Offensively, the Jets ran the ball surprisingly well. Chris Ivory gashed the Panthers for 66 yards on only 11 carries, Bilal Powell chipped in 37 yards and 8 carries and Geno Smith ran effectively with 44 yards on 6 carries.

Smith wasn’t very good but was far from the train wreck we’ve seen in previous road games. The pick six remains inexcusable but overall he finished 15/28 for 167 yards along with a touchdown, that came on the drive following his interception. Smith was under constant pressure from a Carolina front seven who regularly overwhelmed the Jets offensive line. Smith also holds the football for too long on many occasions which doesn’t help the issue. His wide receivers didn’t do much to help either, as Santonio Holmes dropped a pass early in the game and didn’t seem to be on the same page on many of his routes. This isn’t breaking news: the Jets need to improve the receiver and tight end position, along with receive more steady play at quarterback.

Any loss is frustrating but in the grand scheme of this season, this was one of the Jets better overall performances both on the road and in a loss. We predicted before the season that the Jets would be a 7-9 team and that seems to be exactly what they trending towards. They haven’t overachieved. They haven’t underachieved. They have some nice young pieces but overall still have many major holes, that will hopefully be addressed with their 40 million of cap space and likely 12 draft picks.

Let’s hope they continue to play hard and compete in the final two weeks and there are strides from the rookies and younger players. Let’s also hope we get to enjoy more Sheldon Richardson touchdown runs…

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • GaryG

    Jets just aren’t a very good team and are unable to recover from any mistakes. It takes a perfect game to remain competitive against a superior opponent.

  • Danish Jes

    Sheldon Richardson – Offensive Rookie of The Year 2013!

  • KAsh

    I think that Rex is just about on the borderline of getting getting canned versus getting an extention. While these last two years have been disappointing (three years, if you count the meltdown at the end of the 2011 season as an entire year; I don’t because it is rare to see the Jets at 8-5), a competent GM that seems to avoid flashy signings in exchange for taking talent at fair value should finally have the draft picks and the cap space (and the foresight) to improve one of the weakest rosters in the league. I would like to see what Rex can do with a mediocre roster compared with the decaying carcass he had over the past four years.

    The six-seven win predictions were always because Rex’s team was going to outperform itself, to overachieve. This team did overachieve, as Joe’s initial seven-game prediction was based on improved quarterbacking play, and stability at receiver, tight end, and running back, instead of street free agents, PED suspensions midseason, and season-ending injuries all around. A lot of other things happened during the season that revealed our total lack of depth everywhere except the d-line. Even where we seemed to have depth, like with Cromartie and Walls, we had no guarantee that the backups would be better than the starters, similar to what happened with Bart Scott and Demario Davis last year.

    Finally, Rex’s track record in developing defensive players has been impressive. Under Rex: Revis became the top corner in the league. Cromartie went from persona non grata with the Chargers to one of the league’s top corners for the Jets. Davis is a young, developing starter and future leader for this defense. Wilkerson, Harrison, Richardson, Ellis, and Coples speak for themselves. His worst blotch in the draft was Kyle Wilson. His accomplishments with only nine defensive draft picks over five years are amazing.

    Offensively, the Jets have struggled. Last year, we got a competent offensive coordinator and competent quarterbacks coach. They started developing their players, but they have had just one season and no offensive skill player additions.

    Overall, this roster is so bad that starting over with a new coach will not hurt all that much. But I feel like it would be a mistake to break the recent trends because the grass looks greener on other teams.

  • John X

    Actually, DLine has no depth to speak of as well – Ellis and Douzable are the only backups on the roster. Those starters have been durable all season.
    As you pretty much elude to – I wouldn’t be upset at either keeping Rex or replacing him. We’ll have to trust in Idzik who has had a full year to analyze this team and plot the future as he sees fit. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens on Black Monday. I can this this going either way as you can justify either stance.

  • Mark Phelan

    Im optimistic that MM with an infusion of talent next year can put together winning game plans.

    I am less optimistic about Rex. Forget the critics and the apologists, look at the number of pre-snap penalties. What happens before the snap is a reflection on the coach.

  • Lidman

    I’ll say it again: If you fire Rex, who do you bring in that you’re confident will get you to the next level? To fire him, in my view, would be a mistake. He’s been learning on the job, to be a HC. He’s not perfect by any means, and not making playoffs next year, would be death blow. That said, good/great coaches with good/great QBs miss playoffs all the time: Coughlin 4 of past 5yrs and Tomlin 2yrs in a row. Jets will make a concerted effort to improve offense and then the clock will start ticking.

    Joe, I don’t think Harris not catching DWilliams, in space, is an indictment of his speed…not many DBs would catch him. Plus, that play was more a result of mis-direction, because of Cam’s ablity to run, than is was anything else…Williams caught the ball and nobody was within 10-15 yards of him. Good play call by Carolina, and poor execution and assignment discipline by Jets.

    Kash, do you suggest Idzik is this ‘competent GM’. You realize the reason why Tanny made those ‘flashy signings’ was simply because Woody needed to win asap in order to sell PSLs for MetLife (it’s a business, remember that…always). It one sentence you talk about all the defensive players drafted/developed here, and just below it you say: “Overall, this roster is so bad that starting over with a new coach will not hurt all that much.” Which is it? They have a young, developing QB, 2 solid RBs, a middle of the road OLine. They are in desperate need of passing game talent. They also need secondary help. But, to say this roster has no talent is crazy.

    JohnX, they Jets have no DLine depth? Outside of Seattle, which rotates their DL, you’d be hard pressed to find a deeper group in the league. Remember, Coples lines up as much on the line, with his hand in the ground, as he does standing up. Ellis would start on 20 other teams, if not more, and Douzable has been a great find. DeVito and Pouha thrived here. Pace has been resurgent, this year (because of the talent around him), and has taken advantage of the constant 1 on 1s he gets. If nothing else, I think you can be confident that Rex can identify, and coach up DLine talent as well as anyone.

  • Jim G

    @ Kash:

    ” Finally, Rex’s track record in developing defensive players has been impressive”

    Well, just going by your list of defensive players that Rex has developed, one can conclude that Rex has a knack for developing first round draft picks. This is hardly “impressive”, since his grandmother could probably do the same.

    Rex is a decent DC, but does absolutely nothing well as a HC. If anyone knows of something he does well as a HC (without mentioning the defense), please let us know what it is.

  • Lidman

    If the Jets did nothing else, but cut down on TOs and not give up big plays, they’d likely be in the playoffs. Now, I get it: they have all these TOs (and don’t create enough of their own) and do give up the big plays-good move trading Revis by Idzik). Just look at everyone of their losses:

    NE-Dobson caught 39yd TD
    Tenn-Fumble recovery for TD, and Washington caught 77yd TD
    Pitt-Sanders caught 55yd TD
    Cincy-2 pick 6s, and AJ Green caught 53yd TD inside Jets 10.
    Buff–a 34yd TD, a 43yd TD and a Pick 6
    Balt–J Jones 66yd TD
    Miami–a 31yd TD and a 29yd TD
    Carolina-72yd TD and a Pick 6

    This doesn’t even take into account the long plays that didn’t go for scores, or the INTs that put the opposing offense in scoring position. Continued improvement in pass rush (hopefully Coples will be healthy and Richardson will come on in that next year) and help on the back end must happen.

  • Lidman

    Jim G,

    Guys play hard for Rex. Yes, there have been physical errors, but nobody quits on the guy. I think guys have quit on Coughlin.

    As far as developing players, I think all these guys developed and played well under Rex…remember, not everyone is going to be an All-Pro, but in order to have a great team, you need solid players, so the stars can flourish. I’d argue, he hasn’t developed enough ‘stars’, though this DLine may be changing that. I think these are guys that were good players who developed under Rex, to become solid pros:

    Jim Leohnard
    Eric Smith
    Bart Scott
    Mike DeVito
    Sione Pouha
    Kenrick Ellis
    Demario Davis
    Leger Douzable
    Antonio Allen
    Damon Harrison
    Heck…even Aaron Maybin had his best run as an NFL player under Rex and Antawn Barnes was playing well too.

    Ellis and Davis were 3rd rounders and eveyone else was either a late pick, or UFA..Cro was more known for his returns than ‘true CB’ play…nobody would have assumed Wilkerson would be the 2nd best DLman taken in that draft, and he would have been best if not for Watt. Go back and look at 2012 draft, and tell me what DLman or edge rushers are clearly better than Coples…more, look at the ones taken after him. The guy can teach the game. Is he a great HC? I don’t know. What I do know is Bill Belechick was a great defensive mind before he got Brady. Dungy was fired by TB, because he couldn’t get them over the hump, and then he had Manning and was great. Pete Carroll flamed out with NY and NE before he got Wilson. Parcells could only get to a certain point with NE, NY, Dallas and Miami. It’s a QB league. If you don’t have one, it doesn’t matter. Ron Rivera was going to get fired, if CAR lost to the NYG. Since Cam has sort of figured it out, he’s all of a sudden a good coach?

  • KAsh

    @Jim G

    Please go and look at the track record of other teams’ drafts. Developing first-round picks is easy to say and hard to do. Many first-rounders are obscure starters on their teams that not many outside their fan base know. This is easy because we share a media market with that great football organization, the Giants; they were supposed to have seven draft picks each year, but what happened to all of those extra players?


    You can never be sure that someone you do not know will “take you to the next level,” by which we mean the playoffs and the Super Bowl. That said, coaches are not fired because there is someone better available. They are fired when the GM thinks the HC cannot take the team farther than where it is right now.

    That is the question that needs to be answered: has Rex peaked?