The New York Jets lost in gut wrenching fashion to the New England Patriots tonight, 27-25. Nick Folk’s game winning 58 yard field goal attempt was blocked as time expired, sending their record to an embarrassing 1-6. For the fourth time this season, the Jets lost a one possession game and they now have six losses to teams with a combined record of 25-11. Yes, the Jets played well in a game they were 10.5 underdogs but ultimately a loss is still a loss and nobody gives a damn about moral victories when you are on a six game losing streak.
The positives? Geno Smith took another step in the right direction. Tonight was his best game of the season, finishing 20/34 for 226 yards with a touchdown, along with 37 yards rushing and no touchdowns. He finally went back to utilizing his legs and played with a degree of confidence we haven’t seen from him since the first half of week two. Smith also led an impressive touchdown drive in the fourth quarter and a two minute drive with no time outs to set up Folk’s field goal attempt. He completed passes to eight different receivers and was able to get back up from multiple big hits. It wasn’t a perfect game. He missed a big throw on a two point conversion and still can be a little sloppy with his mechanics but overall Smith has progressed the past two weeks.
Oday Aboushi had an encouraging debut at first glance (we’ll look more at the tape this week) and the offensive line finally showed up. Chris Ivory gashed the Patriots for 107 yards and a touchdown. Chris Johnson had his best game of the season with 61 yards on 13 yards and 19 more receiving yards. Eric Decker had 4 catches for 65 yards, including 2 for 42 yards on our old friend Darrelle Revis. It appears he is fully healthy from his hamstring issue. Defensively, the Jets were back to stopping the run, Darrin Walls played well on the outside, Calvin Pryor avoided any major mental errors and Antwan Barnes showed some juice in his debut. Jason Babin was also moved into the starting lineup in place of Quinton Coples and played well.
The negatives? Antonio Allen was responsible for two touchdowns, in about the ugliest manner possible. He had a blown coverage at safety in the first quarter on a long touchdown for Shane Vereen and then was beat by Danny Amendola on a 3rd and 19 for a touchdown in man coverage. The Jets went another game without forcing a turnover. They, again had poor clock management, by burning two timeouts in the third quarter that were desperately needed late in the game. Jeff Cumberland played well (3 receptions, 50 yards, TD) but the other receivers beside Decker were quiet (29 yards for Kerley and 11 yards for Nelson). It is a negative that Quinton Coples has been benched for Babin, considering where he was taken in the draft.
Rex Ryan may get some criticism for his decision to onside kick, which is fair considering how the game played out but hindsight is 2020 and considering how their defense has played in those spots recently, it was an understandable move to an extent. Marty Mornhinweg called one of his better (if not best) games of the season but we have to askL How do you run that 2 point conversion play with Eric Decker on the sideline and Chris Ivory in the slot, not the backfield?
There is 10 days now for the blame game to be thrown around but basically we know this, the Jets are good enough to compete with likely playoff teams but not good enough to beat them. We’ll see how they play in the coming weeks against those who probably won’t be playoff teams (Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Tennessee, Minnesota, Miami). A strong finish isn’t off the table and is needed for Rex Ryan who is now 15-27 in his last 42 games, 43-44 overall and only 14-17 against the AFC East.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more analysis and discussion but for now we need to go have nightmares about blocked field goals and missed two point conversions. Goodnight!