The Jets righted the ship a bit today with a victory over the Raiders getting their record to 6-7. Only time will tell if this will lead to a final month push but this is a good start for the last stretch of the season. Here are the quick hits:
1) Woody Johnson reveals his thoughts about the team – Before the game owner Woody Johnson appeared on ESPN radio and said he was happy with the direction of the team specifically that Geno Smith is getting better from week to week and the defense. While I don’t agree with some of that statement it does show that Woody is committed to the vision of the team going forward and likes the player development so far which is a good sign for Rex Ryan. More on this in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly on Monday.
2) Geno Smith looks like an NFL quarterback with protection and weapons – He finished the game 16/25 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His first three drives of the 2nd half were scores. He had two touchdowns and a field goal. It is clear that Smith’s running is a key in the game plan as he ran for 50 yards and a touchdown. In the first half he missed a wide open throw to Winslow in the 1st quarter that would have been a touchdown and had a few throws that could have been picked but he looks more confident with a cleaner pocket and made some good throws including 1 to Winslow for a big gainer and another on a fade to Holmes for a touchdown that was dropped. Jeremy Kerley has shown why he is so valuable with 4 catches for 41 yards including 2 3rd down conversions and a touchdown. Santonio Holmes and Kellen Winslow both had 45 yards in the 1st half. Nelson had 4 catches for 36 yards. The play calling was much more aggressive today and Smith has responded.
3) The secondary plays better in the 1st half but gets torched in the 2nd half – They are playing press much better and not letting McGloin throw quick, easy throws. Instead they are forcing him to 2nd and 3rd reads which has kept him off target. Only a missed assignment that allowed Marcel Reece to run uncovered for 26 yards and a deep ball to Andre Holmes where he beat Cromartie badly marred the first half. Ed Reed picked off his 1st pass for the Jets reading the quarterback’s eyes and coming across the field to jump a crossing route. In the second half they played more off coverage and Raiders were able to generate big plays in the passing game including a 48 yard catch by Streater that made it through both Reed and Cromartie who bumped into each other. The defense could not get off the field and made McGloin look like a star. Milliner played a fine game but Cromartie was the one getting beaten all game.
4) Special teams terrific – Antonio Allen had a blocked punt he returned for a touchdown. Nick Folk made all 3 of his field goals including a huge 51 yarder and Ryan Quigley had an excellent coffin corner punt that pinned Oakland at their 2 and led to an interception. There was a lot of energy coming from the unit which is having a bounce back week. Nick Bellore recovered an onside kick late in the 4th quarter