The New York Jets showed up today against the New England Patriots, more than you can say for them in many weeks this season. Despite having a chance to grab an upset, they fell late to the Patriots, 22-17 to drop their record to 3-8. There were bright moments but ultimately this loss demonstrated many of the team’s primary problems and why they are going to have a top ten pick this offseason.
Ryan Fitzpatrick put together this best performance since week 2, finishing 22/32 for 269 yards with 2 TDs and a lost fumble late. Despite this, his stat line required two acrobatic catches from Quincy Enunwa and still ultimately only generated 17 points. It just isn’t good enough. At 3-8, there is no reason to continue playing Fitzpatrick. The Jets need to use these final five games to evaluate Bryce Petty. Let’s see how he holds up on national television next week, let’s see how he holds up against all three AFC East teams down the stretch. The Jets need as much information on him as possible before this offseason. Fitzpatrick should not be back next year, regardless of a competent outing today. The book is closed.
Elsewhere offensively, Enunwa further cemented himself as the team’s best offensive player this season and future lead receiver with a 5 catch, 109 yard performance, which included another insanely athletic touchdown catch. The Jets have a special player on their hands and need to act accordingly, which means get him under long term contract as soon as possible and don’t hesitate to move from on from Brandon Marshall this offseason. Spread monetary resources around your roster. You can win with Enunwa, Eric Decker, Robby Anderson (who had an ugly fumble today) and the other young players at receiver.
It was another day of frustrating distribution for the running backs. Matt Forte had 13 carries for 27 yards. Bilal Powell had 8 carries for 36 yards. We have said this before, but he needs more.
Defensively, the unit did their job for the most part. Yes, they cracked late but ultimately allowing 22 points to New England should give you a good chance to win. They played well despite another no show by their two highest paid players, Darrelle Revis and Muhammad Wilkerson. Revis was beat by rookie Malcolm Mitchell for a pair of touchdowns and Julian Edelman for a big play down the seam. Wilkerson did nothing except jump offsides on 4th and short, continuing an embarrassing, abysmal season.
Leonard Williams, Darron Lee, Sheldon Richardson and Daryl Roberts brought it today. There is some young pieces across this defense but the Jets need to cut the fat. Revis needs to go. Marcus Gilchrist needs to go. If you could find somebody to take Wilkerson’s contract (doubtful), he needs to go. He is distantly the third best defensive lineman on a 3-4 team, who is setting a poor example for the young players on the team, on and off the field.
Beyond that, the Jets lost because they aren’t good enough to overcome losing on special teams (they had a blocked kick and no return game whatsoever) and the turnover battle (they gave up the ball twice and didn’t force any turnovers themselves).
The Jets have no business beating New England, who will be right back in the AFC Championship Game or Super Bowl this year. There is something to be said for nearly beating them with a below average quarterback and your two highest paid players being outright terrible. However, what it says louder is that THIS needs to be cleaned up…
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com