Taking a page from Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck, the Jets came out conservative last night and remained conservative in their 10-9 loss to Baltimore.
Blame it on the offense; blame it on the cornerbacks; blame it on the officiating, whatever you want. The truth is that the Jets are not ready for Monday Night. In what was supposed to be a true New York Must See Event, the Jets sputtered throughout and left the crowd scratching their heads at the playcalling.
1. Nick Folk was solid on FGs. Made all three. His kickoffs were high and short which is acceptable, but it would have been nice to see some touchbacks.
2. Punter Steve Weatherford was fantastic. 6 Punts for a 45.7 average with 4 punts inside the 20. Sadly, one of the 3 best players on the field.
3. Third downs are all you needed to know about the game. The Ravens, with a ton of help from penalties converted 11 of 19 on third down, while the Jets were 1 for 11. Extend the drive, wear out the defense, and win the game. It’s that simple.
4. Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith had a great game on D. Probably 2 of the other 3 best players on the field. Leonhard was solid on punt returns as well.
5. Bryan Thomas, Bart Scott, and Sean Ellis were controlling on Defense and punished the Ravens with big hits, including Ellis’ highlight sack on Flacco, causing a fumble.
6. It’s nice to have a Defense like the Jets. It really keeps you in every game, regardless of the offense. The Ravens averaged 1.4 yards rushing.
7. It’s not nice to have a QB or coordinator who is afraid of making a mistake. Not throwing the ball really hurt the Jets last night, especially against a Defense who can stop the run.
8. Mark Sanchez or Brian Schottenheimer need to watch some film this week. Unable to get into any sort of rhythm, Sanchez (10-21 for 74 yards) seemed uncomfortable and hesitant, often changing plays at the line. A nice deep throw to Keller (which was called back), and an overthrow to Cotchery were all the deep passes he threw. That’s just not going to do it in the NFL. Especially with the officiating last night. Which brings us to…
9. Antonio Cromartie. First the good news, his sticky fingers picked off Flacco inside the Jets 5 for a beautiful INT. Now, the bad news; Cromartie was victimized all night long by Flacco and Anquan Boldin. Time and time again, Cromartie and rookie CB Kyle Wilson were called for holding and pass interference penalties, setting the tone of the game. The Jets were called for 14 penalties for 125 yards, giving the Ravens practically a 40 minute time of possession. Unacceptable. Cromartie needs to wake up immediately or the Jets are in major trouble.
10. Shonn Greene needs to forget this game ever existed. 5 carries for 18 yards doesn’t fully explain how bad Greene was. A fumble and a dropped pass add to this career lowlight for Greene. Bad game all around.
11. LaDainian Tomlinson T is slowly becoming the teams lead RB. All through the preseason Jets fans thought LT was just getting work in; the truth is Ryan was seeing how good he really was. LT just might be the teams leading rusher this year.
12. Darrelle Revis was Darrelle Revis. It takes a special athlete to command the respect that Revis had last night. After missing the entire preseason, Revis was barely challenged by the Ravens.
13. Ray Lewis. Say what you will about Lewis, that guy can flat out play. Not bothered by age, Lewis was all over the field making plays. The Jets seemed willing to run the ball up the middle every possession at Lewis. Didn’t work.
14. The Jets offensive line was bad in the preseason and bad in the opener. Not just Matt Slauson, but D’Brick as well. When Sanchez did try to throw the ball, he had barely enough time to avoid being mauled by the Ravens D.
15. Jason Taylor. You didn’t think Jets fans were going to cheer for you this quickly, did you? Despite a solid game, Taylor was not 100% well received by Gang Green.
16. Aside from his dumb running into the kicker, which extended the drive and led to the games only TD, and his illegal shift which negated a long pass to Keller, did Braylon Edwards play last night?
17. Oh Kris Jenkins. How it would have been nice to see you this season. Jenkins, going down in the first quarter with an obvious knee injury, will be evaluated today. Didn’t look good.
18. Overall impressions obviously mixed. The Defense was hard-hitting and set the tone for the night. Being on the field for 40 minutes is simply too much. The Jets need their offense to pick up the pace and lend a hand. It’s time to see what Sanchez can do and that means getting the ball to his receivers.