The Jets gained a measure of revenge and beat the Patriots at home to run their record to 4-3. Geno Smith stepped up big time and the defense had some timely stops. Let’s check out the quick hits:
1) Geno Smith had an up and down game but showed promise- Smith was 10/18 for 159 yards with one TD and one interception in the first half. Overall he finished 17/33 for 233 yards with one touchdown and one interception with one rushing touchdown as well. He was accurate in both the short and intermediate passing game but missed a few deep. He thrived on 3rd down where he converted his first six. The chemistry between he and Kerley and Cumberland is really developing. Kerley had eight catches on nine targets for 94 yards. David Nelson had four catches for 80 yards and Cumberland had three catches for 41 yards. Cumberland had a key drop in the end zone of a sure touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Smith was strip sacked by Chandler Jones in the 3rd quarter. Smith redeemed himself with a couple of terrific drives to take the lead in the 3rd quarter including two scrambles that were beautifully executed. Geno was able to take the clock down from 6:30 left to just over two minutes but another drop by Cumberland gave New England another chance which they used to tie the game and send it to overtime. They responded with an excellent drive aided by a NE penalty on a Jet missed field goal attempt. Folk finished it with a 40 yard field goal.
2) Except for that pick-6 he threw - As the Jets were driving for a 3rd score Smith threw into a locked up David Nelson and it was easily picked off by Logan Ryan and returned 79 yards for the touchdown. It was a crushing blow to the momentum and ended up costing them the game. The Jets can’t give up 14 point swings and expect to win.
3) Defense struggles early but rights the ship - After a 10 play 80 yard drive by Brady on New England’s 1st drive the defense held the Patriots to only one other touchdown on a very short field thanks to a long Edelman punt return in the first half. Other than a Sheldon Richardson/Calvin Pace sack late in the half there had been no pass rush and Brady has had all day to throw. That had to change. It did in the 3rd quarter. Coples with a strip sack to start the 2nd half. Wilkerson and Harrison also had second half sacks. Antonio Allen with a pick 6 to get the Jets back in the game in the 3rd quarter. On the next possession Demario Davis stuffed Ridley on 3rd and short to force a punt. Antonio Allen did a much better than expected job on Gronkowski having 3 big pass breakups and a pick-6. Game on the line two minutes remaining Jets up 3 ball on the Patriots own 16. Great defenses win the game. Good defenses lose it. The Jets defense was too passive and it almost cost them the game. They were forced into overtime.
4) Offensive line gets mixed reviews - The offensive line did a spectacular job giving Geno Smith a ton of time in the passing game in the first half. Despite two sacks against Geno had plenty of time on most plays to go through his progressions. In the second half back to back sacks took the Jets out of field goal range. The running game hasn’t gotten going only 3.4 yards per rush and was not able to convert a 3rd and 1 that would have extended a drive. They had to control the line of scrimmage to control time of possession and keep the defense fresh for the 4th quarter. Marty Mornhinweg deserves credit for sticking with the run to give the offense balance even when it wasn’t working. The rushing offense was still able to rack up over 150 yards and took over in overtime. Ivory had 104 yards on 31 carries.
5) Special teams terrible – Both Ryan Quigley’s low short punts and some awful kick coverage allowed Julian Edelman to flip field position all by himself. He had two long returns including a 38 yarder that set up a Patriot touchdown. Nick Folk was spotless on field goals and extra points but his kickoffs were short and returnable. Cribbs has started to prove valuable as a punt returner.
6) Penalty struggles rear their ugly head once again - four offsides penalties (one declined), one illegal substitution, and one defensive holding in the first half. All except for the defensive holding penalty were preventable pre-snap penalties. Willie Colon had a huge false start in the 3rd quarter. Douzable had an offsides in the 3rd quarter and Austin Howard had a false start in the 4th. Stephen Hill was called for offensive pass interference on a deep ball he caught for a 50 yard touchdown.