I don’t even get mad anymore. I mean it. I really don’t. The Jets for the most part played great on Sunday. They played smart, they played poised, and they played around Chris Ivory’s hamstring issues that kicked in on the Jets first play from scrimmage. Ryan Fitzpatrick ain’t no Tom Brady (who avoided vaunted Jet pressure by throwing one step drop two yard passes all day) but he led this Jets team to game tying and go ahead drives throughout…until Brandon Marshall failed to hang on to a catchable TD that would have put the Jets up eight in the final quarter.
A failed 3rd and 17 stop followed when Julian Edelman got loose over the middle and helped keep a Patriot drive alive that led to the go ahead score In the fourth. Those two big hiccups that against every other team in the NFL might not have resulted in a loss, against the Belichick Brady Pats in Foxboro, they did.
This Jets team has a whole new flavor of professionalism to it. From top to bottom. By the way the club carries itself heading into a big game like Sunday’s as HC Todd Bowles told his 4-1 team “you’ve done nothing yet,” to the way it handled the disappointment afterwards. When Darrelle Revis echoed his coach’s one game at a time, lunch pail mentality, by saying “We’ll be alright. It’s week 7.”
The truth is, this is not some “same old Jets” fan mentality talking here. This is a long time diehard recognizing the difference better the two teams is mainly just one thing: Tom Brady. It IS a long season however, and now is not the time to panic or wave any white flags. It’s simply time to move on from a tough loss due to not playing perfect. Great but not perfect.
Gang Green would have gotten away with it against most others yesterday. Hopefully lessons were learned. I’m guessing from the body of work Bowles and co. have provided already, that they were. Teams can grow. The key is to hang in the race and stay relevant long enough so that when the team does improve, postseason hopes and the potential to go for a championship still await. Just ask the Mets about that. Onto Oakland.
Ivory Can’t Coast
Tom Brady doesn’t need a Chris Ivory. Or a Brandon Marshall. Throw him a few parking lot attendants alongside Edelman and Rob Gronkwoski and the legend always makes due. Yes Brandon LaFell was playing for the Jets yesterday with his six drops upon returning from injury, but the Jet offense as of now doesn’t run the same way with interchangeable parts, especially in the backfield.
Chris Ivory aggravated a hamstring on his first carry and wasn’t the same all day, albeit for a brief stretch late when he seemed to finally loosen up too little too late. The Jets are 4-0 this season when Ivory is healthy. 0-2 when he’s not. You do the math.
The Pats were missing pieces too, like their latest feature back Dion Lewis but again, you can’t compare the the two teams. Being able to be about the system over the player is something to strive for. In the meantime the cold hard reality is that without Ivory in the lineup or at 100 percent, the offense is just not the same.
3rd and 17
After Brandon Marshall’s opportunity to put the Jets up eight slipped way in the end zone, the Jets held a four point lead midway through the fourth, then forced the Pats into a third and 17 on New England’s subsequent drive. It seemed like the perfect time to get to Beady with the young Jet pass rushers and clamp down on his primary targets with some of the Jets quality cover corners. Instead, Julian Edelman of all people, broke free down the middle for an easy catch and first down. It was a dagger for the Jets, as the Pats continued the drive on their way towards a key go ahead touchdown 23-20.
I’m not qualified to tell Todd Bowles or anyone what he SHOULD HAVE done in that situation, but I can tell you what I would have done. I would have put Revis Island on Edelman, and Marcus Gilchrist or bug Antonio Cromartie on Gronkowski. I would have press covered and smothered those two all the way down the field, allowing Edelman to get into his route the way the Jets did was asking for trouble.
Even though the Pats were able to use their power and size in height mismatches at times with guys like TE Scott Chandler, if I’m in that spot, I want the secondary targets beating me on that play. Not Edelman. Or Gronkwoski. The moment that Edelamn caught that ball, it felt like the Jets control of the game had slipped away. Just being honest.
– People will probably question the Jets clock management in the final minutes. Maybe it could’ve been done better and saved some time but Todd Bowles wasn’t prepping for a score and some onsides recovery. He was prepping for a stop against a team up just three points, that was throwing every down and perhaps on their way to stopping their own clock. Odd sequence down the stretch. So was the Patriots method in putting the game away.
– The Jets are such a better team with the combo of Marshall and Eric Decker. They can be a next level offense though, if Fitzmagic can somehow figure out how to get Devin Smith the ball downfield. The pair continue to struggle with the deep ball. Whether it’s a lack of separation on Smith’s part, or Fitzy’s lack of arm strength, or both. This would be a key element towards taking a game like yesterday’s and changing the outcome of it.
– I hope nobody is sleeping on the Raiders and chalking up a road win for the Jets simply on paper. Oakland dismantled the high flying Chargers offense at home yesterday and have three big weapons on O in power/speed combo back Latavius Murray, speedy Michael Crabtree and the unstoppable rookie wideout Amari Cooper.
Todd Bowles talks about grabbing wins in drama-less fashion. “Stacking chips” he calls it. Move on from yesterday then fellas. Now. There’s no time for any emotional hangovers the way Rex Ryan’s Jets used to incur after tough losses in Foxboro. Better get ready to dig in and focus on another young team playing with something to prove too, out on the left coast.