Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
The first quarter of the season is complete and the Jets are 2-2. They lost today to the Titans in Tennessee in ugly fashion. Here are the quick hits:
1) Geno Smith’s ball security was terrible – In the first half Smith threw two bad interceptions and lost a fumble when he did not protect the ball with two hands. In the second half he tried to switch the ball from one hand to the other while he was being sacked behind his back and lost it for a Tennessee touchdown. Smith’s turnovers let the Titans have 28 points off of those turnovers as the defense could not bail them out. Smith was almost sacked for a safety when a screen went bad and he was not outside of the tackle box. He did not have an awareness of where he was on the field just like in the Giants preseason game. He also got forced out of bounds on a 3rd down scramble that he could have made more of an effort to get by cutting back inside and taking the hit. These are the ups and downs of a rookie quarterback as he had 3 really good 3rd down throws for completions on 3rd and longs but he needs to get past this because he gave the Jets no chance to win with his play. Smith was 23/34 for 289 yards with one TD (Cumberland) and two interceptions. Holmes only had one catch on five targets for 25 yards and left with a hamstring injury. Winslow had 6 catches for 72 yards. Kerley had 4 catches for 65 yards.
2) Defense cannot stop Jake Locker – Locker lit the Jets up in the first half to the tune of 16-19 for 130 yards and three touchdowns. That included a backbreaking touchdown on the last play of the 1st half to blow the game open. When his first read was open his decisions were immediate and correct. He has still not had a turnover this season in stark comparison to Geno Smith’s 10 for the year. As good as the Jets were at taking Chris Johnson out of the game and as good as the pass rush continues to be with two more sacks in the first half (Barnes, Pace) the Jets are not covering well in the secondary with Walls getting torched especially as well as the fact they are not forcing turnovers. Smith needs the help of having short fields and the defense needs to help him out. Wilkerson knocked Locker out of the game in the 3rd quarter with a semi-late hit that seemed to break Locker’s hip. That brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick who was terrible but even he threw a 77 yard touchdown to Nate Washington that was aided by the referee not getting out of the way and Cromartie getting beat on a double move.
3) Bilal Powell continues to impress – Bilal Powell had 9 carries for 51 yards in the first half as well as a catch on a check down that he turned into 36 yards on his own. A lot of the yardage was up the middle then cutting back the same as last week. He looks like one of the top backs in the league right now and a very pleasant surprise. However score and situation took him away in the second half as he finished with 66 yards on 14 carries and 3 catches for 42 yards.
De Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
4) Offensive line struggles in pass protection – Geno Smith got hit and hit often by the Titans as he was sacked twice, hurried over 10 times and knocked down at least eight times. There were free blitzers coming from everywhere and it bothered Smith. Everyone but Ferguson had a poor game especially in the middle of the line.
5) Penalties killing the Jets again – The Jets had seven penalties for 55 yards in the first half with most of them being very sloppy though none on Kyle Wilson. Ducasse had a couple of penalties, Colon had one, Kerley had an illegal shift penalty, there were personal fouls on McIntyre for a late hit and on Obamanu for unnecessary roughness on a kickoff. Colon’s illegal hands penalty negated a 1st down inside the 20 then an illegal shift immediately after almost cost them the field goal. In the second half they added three more for 11 yards bringing the total to 10 penalties for 66 yards.
6) Injuries – Stephen Hill left the game with a head injury in the 1st quarter and did not return. Jeremy Kerley left the game in the 3rd quarter he returned during the next series. Santonio Holmes went down with a hamstring injury not an aggravation of his Lisfranc injury thankfully.
7) Special team return teams are terrible – Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates are not helping the team change field position at all. Kerley has a bunch of fair catches and three yard returns while Gates only got past the 20 once this season and that was to the 23. There are no holes to run through either. On the positive side Nick Folk has been terrific with two 40+ yard field goals and touchbacks on his kickoffs.