New York Jets’ Week 15 Report Card


Dec 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass the ball during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets fell to the Carolina Panthers yesterday by a score of 30-20, dropping their record to 6-8, all but eliminating them from playoff contention. Let’s get right to the grades from yesterday’s performance:

QUARTERBACK: C Don’t get me wrong, Geno was not terrible. When he had time to throw, he made some excellent throws. He had some zip on the ball, and was accurate, for the most part. He also made some plays with his legs, running with the ball six times for 44 yards. The grade comes down because of the continued staring down of wide receivers. He does this, forces the ball into coverage, and throws a pick six. If he is ever going to make the jump in this league, this stuff has to stop.

RUNNING BACKS: B- When the running backs were given the opportunity, they performed quite well. Despite going against the number one rushing defense, the Jets averaged over five yards per carry as a team. Chris Ivory led the way with 11 carries for 66 yards. Bilal Powell added eight carries for 37 yards of his own.

WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS: C- Nobody in this group provided more than three receptions, so it was not a good day for this group. Jeff Cumberland did post one touchdown, on three catches for 50 yards. We haven’t seen a lot out of Cumby as of late, so that was an encouraging sign.

The most disturbing was the lack of anything from Santonio Holmes. It’s dumb enough to give a team bulletin board material, but you look even more foolish when you don’t back it up with a good performance. Holmes had to tell the word that the weak link in the defense was the secondary, and then goes and posts two catches for a whopping 14 yards. Some bad drops by “Tone” were involved as well.

OFFENSIVE LINE: C It was an up and down performance for this group, which seemed quite indicative of the Jets’ season, as I watched it unfold. They did a good job in the ground game, as we mentioned earlier, the Jets did average over five yards per carry on the ground. Kudos to them on that. No matter who is behind center, the Jets will not ever be successful if they can’t run the football.

In the passing game, it was a different story entirely. Geno Smith was sacked four times, and he was hurried the entire game. He did a lot of running for his life, which again, will never allow any quarterback to be successful. You have to keep your quarterback clean, and the line was not able to do that yesterday.

Dec 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) with the ball as New York Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace (97) pressures in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

DEFENSIVE LINE: B Until they tired out, the defensive line did a nice job, especially against the run. Although 131 yards were allowed, the Panthers rushed for under four yards per carry. This is par for the course for a tough defense like the Jets, and this defensive line is only going to get better.

They just didn’t get any pressure on the quarterback. That is what brings the grade back down.

LINEBACKERS: B+ This was the best group on the defensive side of the football, mainly because they produced the Jets’ two sacks. Calvin Pace is quietly having one of his best years of his career, posting his ninth sack of the season yesterday. Quinton Coples has started to come into his own lately, as he added a sack yesterday as well. I can’t give these guys an “A”, mainly because they weren’t able to stop a 72 yard screen pass from going to the house.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: D It was another afternoon where we learned how much this group needs to improve. They were not good yesterday, again indicative of the season the Jets have had. They allowed Cam Newton to be far too efficient with the football, as he went 16-24 for 273 yards and one touchdown. Newton was able to do what he needed to do, when he needed to do it. And Ed Reed was faked out of his jock on the 72 yard screen pass. Not good.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D Do I have to say more than, “blocked punt”? It was an easy blocked punt at that. The punt was nearly taken off of Ryan Quigley’s foot by the defender. Very bad.