TOJ Roundtable – New York Jets Pros/Cons Edition

The TOJ Roundtable discusses the biggest pro and con from the New York Jets’ first two games

The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Today’s question is…

What has been the biggest pro and con, for the New York Jets through two games?

Joe Caporoso – The biggest pro has been the positive development steps taken by a handful of young players, most notably Geno Smith, Demario Davis, Antonio Allen and Quinton Coples. The performance of high profile free agent acquisitions Eric Decker, Breno Giacomini and Chris Johnson has also been encouraging (despite Johnson’s struggles in week 2). The Jets signed Decker and Johnson to score touchdowns and both have obliged so far, while Giacomini has been a minor upgrade over Austin Howard at half the cost. This team has talent…more talent than they’ve had since 2010 and enough to be a playoff team in the AFC.

The biggest con has been the immaturity and mental errors throughout the roster and coaching staff. Penalties. Wasted timeouts. Sideline confusion. Dropped passes. Turnovers. Poor use of the backup quarterback. This team has talent but is not good enough to overcome so many self-inflicted mistakes. The running game has also been a mild disappointment, basically being shut down outside of one monster run from Chris Ivory.

Dalbin Osorio – The biggest pro, for me, has been the play of Geno Smith. Here’s a guy who couldn’t hit water out of a boat at times last season, and now is just humming along at a 65% completion percentage clip and making plays in a manner that behooves his two years of starting QB experience. There’s legitimate hope that Geno can continue his ascent and that the Jets found their quarterback of the present and future.

The biggest con has been the defense. This is the backbone of the New York Jets under Rex Ryan, and it’s concerning that they’ve let the offense down during the first two games. Derek Carr picked the defense apart early on before Rex made adjustments to counteract the quick throws of the Raiders offense, but the defense was struggling to generate any pressure on Carr until the second half. Then, this past week they blew an 18 point lead. I know some will point to Aaron Rodgers being on the sideline as proof that no lead is safe; however, this is a Jets defense that doesn’t care who lines up on the other side and has made elite QBs (Brady, Brees, Ryan) to name a few look pedestrian . No excuses for the defense right now, as they need to be better than they have been.

Michael O’Connor –  The pros and cons that we can eradicate from these first two games seem to be really sporadic, just like the games have been.

Even with all of the good play from these games, only two things have stood consistently strong: the running of Chris Ivory and the play from the front seven on defense. Ivory has ran hard and he’s surprising people with his elusiveness just like he did when he was hot last year. Chris Johnson has performed as well as we could expect, but he’s not the back who is able to make the best of poor run blocking, with the Packers’ game being a prime example of that. As for the front seven, the defensive line has played as dominant as advertised. David Harris and Demario Davis have been pretty stellar, as well. I have also liked what I’ve seen from Quinton Coples, though he should be getting more snaps in my opinion.

It seems odd how many things there are to worry about on this team at the moment when they’re coming off of half a game of excellence versus a very good team and a dominant game statistically versus Oakland.

First, there are the obvious problems with the secondary. Even Antonio Allen was burned by Jordy Nelson last Sunday, and Dee Milliner was rushed back into the lineup only to be buried by Aaron Rodgers and company on an ankle that was clearly hindering him. The offensive line as a whole has also been relatively spotty, with Brian Winters standing out with his turnstile performance versus Mike Daniels. However, the biggest con for me is far and away the discipline displayed by this squad so far.  enalties and crucial mental errors held them out of what could have been a 20-point victory versus the Raiders and flat-out lost them the game at Lambeau this past weekend. Rex Ryan does a lot of things right, and I applaud him for them; but he also has massive lapses in game-planning discipline and simply getting his team in the right mindset to play the opponent to their best abilities, and that cannot happen if they want this team to be even a bit more consistent than last year’s squad.

Dan MarcusThis is a funny question because I think we all keep a running tally of these things every week and they’re constantly subject to change but on with it:

In terms of “pros” I think the way the OL has performed and seems to be coalescing even with a new RT. It also appears that Brian Winters is taking the next step in his development. The addition of Eric Decker also has to be considered a “pro” because of the obvious chemistry that he and Geno have been developing as he gives the Jets a legitimate weapon that opposing defenses have to respect. On the flip side of that, this receiving corps looks pretty pedestrian when you take him away from it so you can consider that a con.

On the defensive side of the ball, you can’t help but notice that Demario Davis is turning into quite the player and is easily the fastest player in the front seven. Aside from him it’s pretty much business as usual for the rest, especially “The Sons of Anarchy,” who it is safe to say, have yet to hit their stride.

The cons are pretty obvious, the secondary is a deficient unit although you can’t help but be impressed with the early returns on Antonio Allen considering he is playing his third position in four years and came out of college as basically a linebacker. That said, it’s going to be up to Rex to find ways to take the heat off of the back-end of his defense if the Jets are going to make a run at a playoff spot. The second and final con is the inherent lack of discipline that we’ve seen so far between the stupid penalties, the skirmishes, and the ejection of Muhammad Wilkerson; it’s hard enough to win games as it is, let alone when you’re constantly shooting yourself in the leg. Having a gritty team is fine but when it starts costing you games, it’s time to reign it in.

TJ Rosenthal –  Pro: Geno Smith looks as though he will be able to handle the job and grow as the season develops. Smith is far from perfect but plays poised and puts mistakes behind him mentally. Forget the timeout fiasco. Geno stood tall under that pressure on the road and tied the game late with his TD throw to Jeremy Kerley. That showed something.

Con: The energy this team will bring every week still won’t overcome the lack of a big target at receiver and the cornerback issue. Players will improve and grow in both units but let’s face it. When push comes to shove, you either have the horses or you don’t.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports