Rough day. Real rough day. If you are one of those traditional Mets Jets Shea Stadium folks, my heart goes out to you. I once played four years of minor league baseball and since then have lost my diehard affinity for the Yankees I once had as a kid. Baseball as a fan, it took a while to recapture, but I’ve been a Mets guy lately. Their story is more vibrant. Youthful. These current Yankees are beat up and tired to me. They need to rebrand and reload full scale and never will. They’ll always try and win now. At all costs. To their detriment.
The Mets are the Jets. Forever striving. Eternally an arms length away. It’s a story I just gravitate to effortlessly I guess.
The Jets were as good as a mile away from Derek Carr all day yesterday during the Jets 34-20 loss, as he mimicked the old Tom Brady two step drop. The corners were no lockdown group either. All day long you kept hearing “Crabtree, Cooper.” Not “Revis, Cromartie.” They couldn’t stop a nosebleed all day. It was hard to watch for a fan base that was hanging it’s hat on this unit.
The offense was under heavy duress heading into the game, with stalwart Nick Mangold out and it only got worse when Fitzpatrick got hurt early and Geno Smith and Chan Gailey sought to find solid mutual footing for an entire half.
There’s playing hard and there’s playing smart. Fitzmagic should know, or should have been drilled by his coaches that the only head on risk to take should be near the goal line and maybe only during crunch time, especially when the drop off is Smith, a guy who willingly took sacks out of bounds rather than throw the ball away and save the yardage down two scores late. Further proof of a questionable feel, and game sense that frightens the daylights out of many of us.
Smith however, actually did a nice job in relief of keeping the Jets in the game. Cutting what felt like a game over situation at 28-6 late third quarter to 34-20 with the ball and 7:00 to play.
So now we await the MRI for Fitz’s hand, assuming it’s Geno’s team again. With a defense that has underwhelmed for two straight weeks and doesn’t seem as capable of leading the charge to victory as it once did. Temper the expectations folks. Assuming that you had some growing ones. That’s all I can say. You’ve been warned.
Fitz and the Late Game Musical Chairs
Damn you Fitz. I know you play hard and tough. I know guys with beards don’t slide but I just knew this would happen. In fact I told a buddy the night before in a bar that your reckless style had a shelf life closing in fast to its due date. I told my friend “watch we will see Geno before you know it, with the way Fitz thinks on scrambles.” It’s that sixth sense of impending doom we Jets fans own. It’s in our DNA.
What the hell went on during the game’s final drive too by the way? Geno gets popped, comes out of the game, Fitz comes in with the soft cast and finger, gets the Jets into the red zone, then Geno comes back! Gets knocked down again! It was too comical. He’s in, he’s out he’s in he’s out. Time running out. Need two scores. No timeouts. Gotta hurry! Gadzooks. What a scene.
This Was No Trap Game
The Jets didn’t fall victim to one of their typical yearly west coast bashings due to overlooking the opponents and or some travel hardships, or any emotional hangover from the Pats game, as they often did in the Rex years. They lost their starting QB and got their heads handed to them by a hungry talented young offense. That’s all. Latavius Murray was fast and powerful. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree looked great together. Derek Carr resembled a young QB with real awareness and growing potential.
The Raiders took it to the Jets the way I hoped the Jets were going to take it to the Pats last week. Undaunted by any reputations, records, or outside perception of what the outcome was going to be. This was no example of any Same Old Jets futility. Yesterday one team was quick to the punch and the other was not. Plain and simple. Let’s call it what it was. A beat down. The Jets defense forced their first punt with 7:44 left in the game. Enough said.
– I get it that the switch to Geno was a shock to the system. That it was unsettling for the offense to start but for two quarters? Wait, wasn’t this the team’s starter going into the season?
Why was it so hard to identify and go after passing routes Geno could be effective with right from his first series? Was backup center Wesley Johnson scaring the Jets OC into ground and pound conservatism? Johnson seemed OK out there.
By the time that Gailey and Smith got on track and abandoned the three runs and a punt strategy, it was a three score game.
– Pryor. Skrine. Mangold. Fitzpatrick. Powell. Decker banged up. Ivory off the hammy issues last week. Football. Brutal sport.
Injuries hit teams everywhere on Sunday. Big names too. The Jets had some key pieces out prior to yesterday and the list grew on the fly, when they really needed all hands on deck. Week to week league. Often times it’s just a matter of which team is healthier.
– 4-3 is not tragic but we all had hopes that this defense would be looking like the Broncos D by now. Shutting down Aaron Rodgers into submission. That’s how you do it! Nobody said this was a 12-4 team though. It’s just the way 4-1 fell to 4-3 and the way things unfolded yesterday that make it feel like things have suddenly gone awry.
– I once played for KC Royals GM Dayton Moore when he was an asst coach in the renowned Valley league. An elite summer league. The team was based in Winchester, Virginia. The league was in the Cape Cod of the South it was known as. The guy was feisty. Tough. A no quit guy. So was his team. Tremendous two strike battlers. High IQ base runners. Complete players who handled the bat, fielded well and put pressure on the base paths every chance the could. The KC pitchers let the Mets hitters chase balls out of the zone and they did. All series long. Smart.
The Royals are a great club who exemplify his energy and approach to the game and deserve congratulations more than Terry Collins deserves scrutiny. The more resourceful team won and that’s the truth. Hopefully the Mets take a piece from this disappointment and grow from it.
– All is not lost with the Jets at 4-3 but again, it always feels that way when you chase a Patriots team that never loses. If the Jets were in the NFC East where 7-9 could get you to the postseason, they’d be a game up right now.
Dallas is 2-5 yet a game back of the first place Giants in the loss column. Try that trick in the AFC East and you’d be five back right now. A little perspective is helpful too sometimes I guess.