1. My God, The Tackling – What if I told you these two plays below were touchdowns?
How is that even humanely possible? This isn’t Barry Sanders and Jerry Rice playing fifth graders. This is Demario Davis “squaring up” the immortal Taiwan Jones, who is 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage. This is Davis (again, of course) and Shoulder Tackle Cromartie with Michael Crabtree sandwiched at the 13 yard line with Marcus Williams standing in front of them. These two plays are a perfect microcosm of how the Jets played defense on Sunday.
How many changes are realistic while the Jets wait for Calvin Pryor to get healthy? I think the Marcus Williams experiment at safety may be canned after one week, with Dion Bailey moving back into the strong safety role. Davis won’t go from playing 60+ snaps per game to zero but Erin Henderson merits a longer look, particularly in certainly situations at inside linebacker. The Jets have already turned Quinton Coples into a less than 20 snap per game player. Make it even less and find ways to give a few more opportunities to Trevor Reilly or Lorenzo Mauldin. The Jets can’t fix their linebacker problems in season but they can work to minimize the regular damage Davis does and the consistent slog of nothingness that Coples gives them.
2. I Love You Man, But… – Brandon Marshall has had an immensely positive impact on the Jets offense this season and they are in serious trouble if he cannot play on Sunday to support whatever they put out behind center (one thumb Fitz, one shoulder Geno, Petty or veteran castoff to be named later). However, he dropped a must catch touchdown versus New England and needs to catch these two passes below, both of which should have been TDs. Whoever the Jets quarterback is, they are going to throw it to him in coverage (even if it is a poor decision), when he gets two hands on it…it has be a catch.
3. Horrifying Stat – Over the last two games Chris Ivory has 32 carries for 58 yards. The Jets won’t win many more games with the complete absence of a running game. The return of Nick Mangold, Bilal Powell and eventual integration of Stevan Ridley should all help.
4. GENO – Played a roughly Fitz level game against Oakland, throwing for 265 yards, running for 34 yards, throwing two touchdowns and having one interception. He threw into coverage occasionally and also didn’t slide…just like his predecessor. He did make two foolish plays in the final few minutes by taking bad sacks on a 2nd and 3rd down, including inexplicably running out of bounds on one play, instead of throwing it away. There are no excuses for those two mistakes, period.
However, Geno’s overall rate of production isn’t that discouraging considering he received no first team practice reps, had a backup center and zero running game or defensive support. Could he be competent enough to beat Jacksonville next week at home with a week of practice? Yeah, I’d say he could. BUT…
5. Quarterback Emergency Room – This is what we got out of Todd Bowles press conference
- Ryan Fitzpatrick tore a ligament in this thumb and will eventually need surgery. However, he could play through it without surgery pending pain management.
- Geno Smith has a shoulder bruise and is also listed as day to day (same as Fitzpatrick).
- The team is going to bring in another veteran (Matt Flynn?)
- Bryce Petty will likely get a few first team practice reps this week, in case both Fitzpatrick and Geno cannot play.
It sounds like we won’t get more clarity until Wednesday’s practice when we see how the next 48 hours treat Fitzpatrick and Geno. All of this really might not be sorted out until Sunday morning with this many variables.
One man’s guess: The Jets start Geno this week in hopes of having Fitzpatrick as close to 100% as possible for the following week’s Thursday Night game versus Buffalo. Petty is the primary backup on Sunday, with Flynn or another veteran castoff as the emergency quarterback.
On to the JAGS…