New York Jets Week 13: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
By Craig Hoffman
Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half at M
The Jets lost their 3rd consecutive game in horrific fashion, this time falling to the Miami Dolphins at home 23-3. That dropped their record to 5-7 and all but eliminates them from playoff contention. This game was a failure on all levels.
I could try to scrounge up some good here like Chris Ivory’s 32 yard run, another field goal from Folk or the fact that no one was seriously injured but this game has no redeeming qualities. In keeping with that theme we will skip right to the bad.
1) What happens when the replacement you want arrives and then shows he isn’t that good either? – Geno Smith was so bad in the 1st half (4-10 29 yards one interception, we will cover that disaster later) that Rex Ryan and the Jets had no choice but to turn to Matt Simms, the same Matt Simms that some fans have been clamoring for a few weeks now. Simms came in and while the game was in doubt went 2-7 for 18 yards and should have been picked off twice when he threw right to Dolphin players. Simms led a nice drive where he only had to pass three times and converted a key 3rd down to David Nelson but could not get the ball in the end zone. Even after the Dolphins went into prevent defense Simms finished 9/18 for 79 yards and an interception. If I covered up their names and just showed the stat lines you wouldn’t be able to tell which quarterback did what. Who starts next week? Garrard?
2) The offensive line is bad – There has been a steady five year decline in the offensive line since Rex Ryan arrived. 2009 was one of the best lines in franchise history leading the league in rushing by a wide margin and allowing Sanchez plenty of time to throw. 2010 was almost as good. Since then with the departures of Woody, Faneca, and Moore among others and the slow decline of D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold the Jets don’t even have an average offensive line. It’s just bad. The pocket is small and collapsing when there is one, there are miscommunications all over the place that are allowing free rushers and the penalties have kept the offense from finding any rhythm.
3) Even the defensive line played poorly – The Miami Dolphins controlled the line of scrimmage on the offensive side of the ball. Considering they have one of the worst offensive lines going against one of the best defensive lines in the league in the Jets this should have been a mismatch in the other direction. The Jets had a measly one sack and four quarterback hits on Ryan Tannehill who sat back in the pocket and picked apart the Jets to the tune of 28/43 for 331 yards and two touchdowns. When they did get pressure Tannehill ran for 23 more yards. Miami was able to rush for 125 yards on a Jet team that allows that in two games combined, not one. Wilkerson, Richardson, Harrison and the rest were not a factor other than 2 4th down stops that kept the team in the game in the 1st half and a tipped ball by Wilkerson that Cromartie intercepted.
4) Do the Jets even have wide receivers? – With the Jet wide receivers there are three outcomes that happen on most plays. Option one they get no separation and the quarterback throws it away, throws it to the other team or takes a sack. Option two they get open and drop the ball when it is thrown to them. Option three they get open and the quarterback throws it nowhere near them. A 4th option of them catching the ball happens very infrequently. David Nelson had three catches on eight targets with two drops and a ball thrown about 10 feet out-of-bounds when he was wide open. Stephen Hill was proven to be alive when he caught a short screen pass for two yards and missed his other three targets. Greg Salas had one catch for 0 yards out of four attempts and that was it from the wide receivers. Holmes was active but only played three snaps. Kerley wasn’t active and still almost led the team in receiving today. You can’t delude yourself into believing that if the Jets got a “franchise” quarterback that all these problems would go away. The whole offense is broken and needs an overhaul. Geno Smith deserves a shot at competing for the starting job next year when the needs are hopefully addressed so he can be accurately evaluated.
Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks on the field prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M
1) The coaching – This hurts to write because I am such a big Rex Ryan supporter but his time may be up here. I personally would give him one more year to coach the 2nd year of the rebuild with all the upgraded talent through picks and cap space to see if he can lead this team to greatness. Ryan’s teams have only really had good weapons around the quarterback in 2010 and that offense was good. Rex doesn’t seem to have the answers to fix what has gone wrong this season. His answer is to reel it in play extra conservatively and try to win with defense and running the ball which is a good plan if you can carry it out. There are two problems with it. One is that it is not conducive to developing quarterbacks and ruins their thought process by playing not to make mistakes and unfortunately for him this time his defense can’t bail him out because the secondary can’t play his defense the way he coaches it and he is unable to attack as a result. He hasn’t found another creative way to get the job done and only so many motivational speeches work before losing blowouts takes its toll.
2) The secondary – Antonio Cromartie, Dee Milliner and the rest of the secondary were playing so far off of the Dolphins receivers today that it made it very easy for Ryan Tannehill to sit back and pick the Jets apart underneath. They didn’t even need to throw a deep ball just slants, screens, and crossing patterns. Simple three step drops to negate the rush and timing patterns run by the receivers. The defensive backs couldn’t press so they weren’t throwing the timing of the routes off. Dee Milliner had an up and down game making some nice plays but giving up a ton of completions. He was sent to the bench when he “attempted” to tackle Mike Wallace on his 28 yard touchdown. There were missed tackles, missed assignments and the realization is that this secondary just isn’t any good and isn’t getting better.
3) Geno Smith – Geno Smith was pulled again this time at halftime after leading the offense to 39 yards in the entire 1st half. The team only ran 17 offensive plays and Smith finished 4-10 for 29 yards and an interception. Smith missed a couple of wide open targets, didn’t look comfortable at all and his interception at the end of the 1st half was killer as it let Miami kick a 2nd field goal and have all the momentum going into the 2nd half. Smith’s lack of ability to move the ball resulted in less than 10 minutes of time of possession in the 1st half. That exhausted the defense and hastened their demise in the 2nd half. There was no other choice but to sit Smith in the second half. Whether or not he starts next week is not just a Rex Ryan decision it needs to be an organizational one because they may end up wrecking Smith’s confidence beyond the point of repair by continuing to play him.