Tuesday Morning Quarterback: Week 5 Jets vs. Texans
By Alan Schechter
Oct 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets coach Rex Ryan reacts during the game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jets 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Well, it’s a day later than normal since the game was last night, but here it comes. The Monday Morning Quarterback, disguised as the Tuesday Morning Quarterback. There definitely is a lot to talk about, coming out of this 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans, so let’s get right to it.
First of all, you can’t give the Jets enough credit for having some fight in them. I am not normally a guy that likes to talk about “moral victories”, but everyone came into this game thinking that the Jets would be run out of the building. That just didn’t happen. Until just a couple of minutes left in the game, the Jets had a chance to win, and you have to give the Jets a lot of credit for coming to play, and making it a football game.
Let’s talk about the offense first. The running game is going nowhere, and it’s time for Shonn Greene to start warming the bench. I have always been a Shonn Greene supporter, but it is time. Greene finished the game with 8 carries for 26 yards, but if you take out his late 12 yard carry, you are left with 7 carries for 14 yards. Shonn Greene is going nowhere fast, and it is time to give Bilal Powell a chance to show what he can do. He showed some good burst last night in a limited role, with 4 carries for 18 yards. Time to give Powell the reigns.
Jeremy Kerley is quickly becoming an offensive threat that other teams need to take note of. He is getting to play much more due to the injuries at wide receiver, and making the most of the opportunity. 5 catches for 94 yards is another step in the right direction for Kerley. Watch out for him going forward. Chaz Schilens is an excellent route runner and has great hands. He only recorded 29 yards on 4 catches, but watching this guy play, you can tell that he is going to be an excellent possession receiver.
Let’s talk about a guy that everyone likes to take their shots, at, quarterback Mark Sanchez. He certainly had a game that is worth dissecting.
Oct 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) throws a pass during the second half at MetLIfe Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jets 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
14-31 for 230 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. Again, Mark Sanchez completed under 50% of his passes, which is not acceptable. He made some big time throws, and kept the team in the game, despite having a weak corp around him. However, there were three opportunities for Mark to make plays that would have changed the momentum of this game, and he didn’t make them.
One was the throw to Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie made a move on the cornerback and had him beaten by approximately 4 yards. If Mark Sanchez could have led him with the ball, instead of throwing it on the outside shoulder near the sidelines, it very likely would have been a touchdown. Instead, it was a long incompletion.
The second was the interception at the end of the first half. It was such an important one because it looked like the Jets were going to take it in and tie the score at 14. Mark was looking sharp, and the team was moving down the field quite nicely. But then, JJ Watt makes an athletic play to tip the pass, and it ends up in a field goal that opened up the Texans lead to 17-7. If the Jets score there, this could have been a very different football game. I don’t put that one as much on Sanchez, the offensive line has to do a better job at keeping the lineman’s hands down. Mark can make a better throw that wasn’t behind his receiver as well, and this was a huge momentum changer.
The final one was the throw to Cumberland that effectively ended the game. Yes, Cumberland got his hands on it, and if you can get your hands on it, you can catch it. But blame has to be put on Sanchez as well, as the throw was quite high. If Mark makes a throw that is more accurate, it sets up a manageable fourth down, and maybe the Jets get a chance to win this thing at the end. Instead, it’s a pick. That is what drives everyone nuts about Mark Sanchez. He can make great throws, and then horrible ones in the same football game. It’s hard to understand.
Oct. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan (right) stands on the sidelines with offensive coordinator Tony Sparano against the Houston Texans during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Texans won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
We definitely have to give some heat to Tony Sparano for the way he handled the game last night. The worst of it related to the communication. There was confusion on two separate occasions in the second half, where the players didn’t know who was supposed to be in or out. Mark would come in, Tebow would run in, one would run out. It was a big problem. The Jets wasted two timeouts, because they couldn’t get the plays and the players in. Inexcusable. If Brian Schottenheimer was here, we would have killed him for that. We have to kill Tony Sparano for that as well.
He also clearly has no idea as to how to use the Wildcat starring Tim Tebow. A prime example was early in the fourth quarter. The Jets were down 23-14 at the time, and Tim Tebow had just set the Jets up first and goal from the three after a 13 yard run up the middle. It seemed like the team was ticking with Tim in the lineup. However, they run just one more play for Tebow, run Sanchez back in, and two unsucessful plays later, settle for a field goal. You have to have a better feel for the flow of the game if you are the offensive coordinator. When the one quarterback is in a rhythm, don’t take him out for substitution’s sake. Tim made a great run, he set the team up at the three. Let him take a couple of shots to punch it in. Don’t just go back to Mark, now nobody has a feel for the game. It has to be handled better.
By the way, Tebow threw a great deep pass that got deflected, and I can watch him run the fake punt any time.
Oct. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Brooks Reed (58) and linebacker Mister Alexander (54) try to tackle New York Jets running back Joe McKnight (25) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Texans won 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Great job by Joe McKnight on the kickoff return, taking it 100 yards to the house, exactly when the team needed it. He brought the team back to within striking distance at 20-14. The Jets have recorded a kick return for a TD in 11 years straight. It’s an NFL record, and the Jets specials have been special for a lot of years now.
The onside kick was not necessary, despite the fact that they almost made the recovery. Chaz Schilens had the opportunity to make the play and didn’t, but that doesn’t make it a great call. The team had just come off the 100 yard kickoff return, and had the momentum. The onside kick is such a low percentage play, and when it doesn’t work, it kills the momentum. That is exactly what happened here, as the Texans made the recovery and extended their lead with a field goal. Kick it deep next time.
The defense was inconsistent as well. The pass defense was better, allowing Matt Schaub to only go 14-28 for 209 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Give a heck of a lot of credit to Antonio Cromartie, who held Andre Johnson to record 1 catch for 15 yards. Shades of Darrelle Revis out of Cromartie with the quality coverage. The pass rush, however, still isn’t any good. Again, no sacks were recorded by the Jets, which is unacceptable. It’s time for Quinton Coples and company to start making an impact in the backfield.
The run defense wasn’t very good, other than a few spots, as well. Arian Foster ran the ball 29 times for 12 yards and one TD, a huge game against the vaunted Jets’ defense. For the game, the Texans averaged 4.8 yards per carry, which is never going to be acceptable. However, the team made stops when it needed to. Any time the Jets needed the ball back, the defense came up big and gave them the ball back. They didn’t stop the run nearly enough all day, but they made stops when it was necessary.
Oct. 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) intercepts a pass intended for Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
By the way, you cannot say enough about the game that Antonio Cromartie turned in last night. Other than turning the wrong way on the Owen Daniels early TD, Cromartie was terrific. Andre Johnson was a non-factor in the football game, thanks to Antonio. Hopefully his play will continue.
All in all there were some good things to take out of the game last night. But, they still have to improve before the Colts come in next week. Andrew Luck is playing well, and has his team playing well. The Colts will not be a push over, and the Jets will have to work hard to get back to 3-3.