New York Jets Week 12: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
By Craig Hoffman
Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets tackle Muhammad Wilkerson (96) sacks Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) in the first half at M
The Jets lost their second straight game in blowout fashion losing 19-3 to the Baltimore Ravens to drop to 5-6. This is the first time the Jets have deviated from the win one, lose one streak that they were on through the first 10 games. How did it happen? Here are the good, the bad and the ugly:
1) Muhammad Wilkerson is the best player on the field but might not be for long – Wilkerson was dominant again today registering two sacks among his six tackles, including one for a loss and three quarterback hits. Why might he not be the best player for long? Not for his own play declining but instead the rapid ascension of Sheldon Richardson. Richardson had a game-high nine tackles which included a 1/2 sack, three tackles for loss and a quarterback hit. Richardson should have had another sack but they ruled Tyrod Taylor was running on a read option play even though he made a pump fake while scrambling. Quinton Coples had a half sack and a tackle for loss and Calvin Pace had a sack as well. Damon Harrison, Demario Davis and David Harris helped with the run defense holding Ray Rice to 30 yards with 1.9 yards per carry and the Ravens as a team to 67 yards and 2.2 yards per carry.
2) The running backs when they had room – Bilal Powell had 41 yards on 11 carries and Chris Ivory had 35 yards on nine carries. Both looked good on a couple of drives where the offensive line finally got some push and opened some holes. Despite apparently spraining his ankle both high and low on the first play Chris Ivory ran extremely hard and had a nice 17 yard run in the 1st quarter. Powell had a very good 3rd quarter as the Jets came out of halftime determined to get the ground game going again.
3) Ryan Quigley punted for 411 yards – Ryan Quigley, who has been up and down with most of that being down had a good day today. He averaged 51 yards per punt on eight punts including three inside the 20. Nick Folk hit his only field goal try of the day, a 27-yarder to begin the scoring.
4) The Dolphins, Patriots and Giants lost – At least the Jets rivals lost that takes the sting off just a little bit. There isn’t much good to speak of from this Jets game so I need to reach a little bit but I know I did feel a bit better when the Giants lost as time expired and Cam Newton led the Panthers back from 16-3 down to beat the Dolphins.
Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) tackles New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) in the first half
1) The offensive line was offensive – Geno Smith was sacked three times and hit four times but the Ravens were around the quarterback pretty much every play. I cannot remember too many clean pockets for Smith. I don’t think any offensive lineman had an effective game although Ferguson had a couple of blocks in the running game that were good. The running game was only marginally effective as the team was losing the battle in the trenches. The team averaged 3.6 yards per carry which is slightly below average. No part of the offense made you feel like it was going to threaten Baltimore and a lot of that had to do with Baltimore controlling the line of scrimmage.
2) Any wide receivers on this team? Any? – Jets wide receivers had three catches for 60 yards. Jet wide receivers not named Greg Salas had one reception for 12 yards. David Nelson had 0 catches on 5 attempts including a brutal drop. Stephen Hill had 0 catches on 1 attempt and was asked after the game how he felt about being used so little and his response was. “I’m not worried about no snaps. Golly.”. (Quote from Jane McManus’ Twitter account @janesports) Everyone knows Geno Smith is struggling right now but he is getting no help from this wide receiving corp who are not making the tough catch and not consistently getting open. This is a position that will be completely revamped in the offseason with perhaps only Kerley guaranteed to return at this point.
3) The secondary can’t get it done – With the wind being a large factor the teams were not throwing as much as they usually did but when Flacco needed to he was able to make big plays against the secondary and score points. They were beaten twice deep. Once Torrey Smith beat Cromartie for 60 yards in tight coverage where it was a perfect throw and Smith gained separation with a slight push-off. On the second pass, a 66 yard touchdown to Jacoby Jones, Milliner was in the trail position and handed it off to Ed Reed who never located the ball properly and instead of intercepting it he let Jones catch it and walk into the end zone. The problems with covering the tight end cropped up again as Dickson and Clark combined for six catches and 79 yards.
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1) Geno Smith – Geno Smith finished 9-22 for 127 yards and two interceptions. Believe it or not a good amount of that yardage was late and inflated his numbers. There are excuses for Smith. Bad offensive line play, no playmakers, offensive game plan trying to hide him and have him not lose the game instead of having him try to win the game but in the end there is no spark. The offense never looked in sync and did not seriously threaten for most of the day. 7 of the 12 offensive drives were 3 and out. Ryan Quigley punted eight times and there were three turnovers. Smith has not been accurate and he has become more skittish in the pocket with the rush beginning to affect him. He doesn’t seem to have confidence anymore his body language and the look in his eyes tell the story of a struggling quarterback that might not be ready to start in the league yet. If there were a viable veteran I would turn to him at this point and have Smith learn by watching for a while but there isn’t and Matt Simms isn’t a good enough reason to pull Smith. I would still rather see if Smith can bounce back in the last quarter or so of the season than put Matt Simms in because he is not named Geno Smith. This year is still about evaluating and developing the young talent as part of rebuilding plan that is in year one. Rome wasn’t built in a day.