Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterbackMichael Vick
(1) warms-up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Today the Jets played against the Chargers in San Diego in what was pretty much a must-win game, even if it is just Week 5. Did they do it? Here are the quick hits:
1) Inactives – Eric Decker was inactive today with his hamstring injury still being unresolved. Joining him on the inactive list are Kenrick Ellis, TJ Barnes, Ben Ijalana, Chis Owusu, AJ Edds and Dakota Dozier.
2) Embarrassing – The Jets weren’t just beaten in the 1st half, they were embarrassed. They couldn’t throw, they couldn’t run, they couldn’t stop the run and they definitely couldn’t stop the pass. Nothing went right. This is the worst I have seen a Jet team look in years. The 2nd half was the same story as the 1st.
3) Geno Smith was terrible but it wasn’t all on him – Geno Smith was under pressure on 85% of his passes because the offensive line could not block San Diego’s blitz packages or even 1 on 1. Couple that with rushing for only 3.7 yards per carry and 7 1st half penalties and the down and distances were skewed. Smith was terribly inaccurate finishing 4/12 for 27 yards and an interception on what amounted to a hail mary to Salas as time was expiring in the 1st half. Ultimately, however, Smith is responsible for the offense and was rightfully replaced to start the 2nd half.
4) Vick replaces Smith to start the 2nd half and was actually worse than Smith – Vick provided no spark to the offense as the Jets continued to punt. The pressure on Vick was relentless and the makeshift group of receivers just weren’t getting open. Vick finally led the Jets on a touchdown drive but it was nullified when he threw an illegal forward pass. Just the cherry on top of a terribly frustrating day. Vick finished 8/19 for 49 yards with 6 of his completions on a final drive where San Diego played prevent defense.
5) The Chargers went up and down the field at will – Philip Rivers was 14/19 for 244 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception in the end zone. The Chargers connected on 4 plays of over 30 yards in the 1st half and Darrin Walls was beat thoroughly before leaving with an injury. Other than Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and occasionally Quinton Coples or Calvin Pace the Jets couldn’t cover or tackle. The height of frustration was that San Diego was 9-10 on 3rd down in the first half, converting on long ones such as 3rd and 17 and 3rd and goal from the 12 seemingly with ease.
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On their final 1st half touchdown drive, the Chargers shoved the ball down the Jets’ throats running the ball which is inexcusable. Nothing changed in the 2nd half as the Jets lost both Richardson and Harrison to injury which allowed the Chargers to have more time and room to operate. The Jets were torn to pieces by 3rd string running back Branden Oliver who went over 100 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving. Rex Ryan also thought letting Antonio Gates being played 1 on 1 was a good idea. It wasn’t. Rivers finished 20/28 for 288 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.
6) The Rex Ryan era might be coming to an end – The game plan wasn’t good again with the offense being too conservative in the 1st half and the defense getting picked apart. The players were listless and didn’t play with urgency and haven’t this year when the chips have been down. This team is underachieving and Ryan will be held accountable at season’s end. The Jets didn’t show up prepared to play today and that falls on the coach inevitably.
7) Injuries – Sheldon Richardson left the game with a neck injury at halftime. Darrin Walls left with a knee injury in the 2nd quarter. Damon Harrison left the game with a leg injury in the 3rd quarter. Richardson and Harrison returned late in the 3rd quarter then Richardson left again late in the 4th this time with a leg injury. David Harris left the game in the 4th quarter with a shoulder injury. Willie Colon left the game late in the 4th quarter.