Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Week 2 is here and it is Patriot Week! Tonight the Jets fell to 1-1 losing to the Patriots 13-10 in an extremely ugly game. How did it happen? Here are the quick hits:
1. Geno falters in the second half – Geno Smith was 15/35 for 215 yards and 3 interceptions. Geno could not lead the final drive to tie the game he threw an interception to Aqib Talib. He did not throw an interception in the first half, looked poised and led an 11 play drive that resulted in a field goal while playing in good conditions. In the second half, while playing under heavy rain at times, he led a 58 yard drive for a touchdown to get the team back in the game but had two costly turnovers with the Jets inside Patriot territory in the 4th quarter. When the pass protection held up Smith played well but when the pressure came (other than a beautiful 22 yard throw to Holmes) Smith was off target. There were two chances downfield that were missed. One was a mismatch of Powell on a linebacker where Powell had a couple of steps but Smith overthrew and the other was a deep ball to Gates who was open but the pass bounced off of Gates’ chest even though it was under thrown. Stephen Hill caught a beautiful deep post but then fumbled it. Hill redeemed himself later catching a long deep jump ball in the early part of the 4th quarter but then had another drop later. Gates caught a deep ball to start the 3rd quarter on a nice throw. Holmes got better as the game went along and had 3 catches for 1st downs. Geno has been indecisive and has held onto the ball too long tonight. That has to do with building relationships with his receivers and should come over time. However the game does not look too big for him.
2. The running game returns – The Jets run blocked well tonight and Chris Ivory showed why the Jets traded for him running for 52 yards on 12 carries. He showed power and some nice moves in the open field. Bilal Powell scratched and clawed his way for hard-earned yardage with 48 yards on 13 carries. The whole line all had some nice blocks with Mangold getting to the next level well. Ducasse did a good job dealing with Wilfork. If we learned anything it is that Ducasse may be that stability at guard that the team desperately needs.
3. Secondary plays awfully – Patriot receivers were running free down the field whether it was Tompkins, Edelman or Dobson in the first half. The fact that the New England offense was so out of sync and had a few drops saved this from becoming a blowout. The pass rush was not getting home with the exception of a Leger Douzable/Garrett McIntyre sack and the back-end was getting exposed especially Dee Milliner who was abused along with Kyle Wilson. Antonio Allen and the safeties were not good in coverage either allowing Edelman to run free underneath for double-digit catches. The communication in the secondary especially during the hurry up offense needs to be addressed immediately during the 10 day break before Week 3. They settled down in the second half but New England’s struggles seemed more because of poor execution on their part than the Jets forcing mistakes. Darrin Walls did play very well especially in the second half with a couple of 3rd down pass breakups.
4. Run defense exemplary again – The Patriots run offense was neutralized for the most part by an active Jets defensive line. Kenrick Ellis, Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson all stood out in holding Ridley to under 3 yards per carry making the Patriots one-dimensional. They got consistent penetration forcing Ridley out wider than he wanted and the tackling was good. Demario Davis flowed to the football and played very well.
5. Not so special teams – Robert Malone shanked a punt and allowed multiple returns to a very dangerous returner in Julian Edelman. Kyle Wilson is a fair catch machine as a punt returner who is happy not to fumble. Konrad Reuland had a holding penalty that took a field goal off of the board. Luckily Folk made that field goal from 10 yards deeper the next play.
5. Sanchez news – Mark Sanchez told Rich Eisen of the NFL Network today that not only was he not a candidate for surgery at this time, he is ahead of his rehab and plans to return to the field in 2013. He also added that he won the quarterback competition which has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. Mark has always been a good teammate and a team guy but he really overreacted to the previous night’s reports that he was bound for IR. If he would have stopped at the fact that he plans to return in 2013 it would have been fine but true or not there was no reason to undermine Geno Smith.
6. Lost Composure – After the game clinching interception Nick Mangold uncharacteristically lost his cool and hit Talib below the knees out-of-bounds leading to a wild brawl where Ferguson and Colon were both ejected. Ferguson for throwing a punch and Colon pushed an official. This loss of composure could lead to a Week 3 loss if either or both are suspended.
6. Injuries – Wilkerson left the game with less than two minutes left with an ankle injury.