1) The running game – Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory combined for 22 carries for 44 yards and a miserable 2 yards per carry. There were very few to any holes to run through. Tampa Bay was a top-5 team against the run last year and it has carried over to this year. This has started to be a theme for the Jets, though. The only game they got push in the running game with the first team was against the Jaguars. They were stymied by the Lions, the Giants and Sunday. It will take time for the line to gel with two new guards but this does bear watching. The team needs a successful running game to take the pressure off of the rookie quarterback.
2) The secondary – Antonio Cromartie did not seem healthy on Sunday and that is not just because Vincent Jackson had 150 yards receiving. His hip seemed to bother him especially planting on slant routes. Dee Milliner played like a rookie and got beat early before settling down a bit as the game wore on. Antonio Allen also did not have a good game in coverage as he faired poorly when he was isolated one on one. The front seven’s pressure saved the secondary which is usually the other way around for this team. The development of Dee Milliner as the year goes on as well as a second safety emerging are the keys whether this defense is good or great.
3) The offensive line – The line was extremely porous today especially up the middle where there was a ton of pressure all day. The group did not block well for the run or pass. Geno Smith led the Jets in rushing with 47 yards scrambling which shows the ineptitude. The pressure up the middle seemed to come from missed assignments between center and left guard where Vlad Ducasse was. The line needs time to gel but a decision needs to be made on whether Ducasse or Winters are good enough to play or whether they need to go outside the organization for a veteran now that all contracts signed are non-guaranteed.
4) Injuries – No major injuries however Fox’s Jay Glazer reported that Mark Sanchez has a partially torn labrum that will require him to see orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday for a second opinion. In addition to that Sanchez also has a dislocated shoulder. Even though the Jets say he is day-to-day I imagine it might be a while before Sanchez suits up again and by then Smith may already be entrenched as a starter.