Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan slams a cup of water down during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets were thoroughly beaten and embarrassed Sunday in San Diego 31-0. At no point was the team competitive in the game. What caused this disaster? Here are the ugly details:
1) The Rex Ryan Era is ending – The saddest thing about this game is the fact that it shows that the Rex Ryan Era is coming to an end. This team was in the midst of a three game losing streak and needed this game in the worst way and they didn’t show up. The offense amassed 151 yards for the whole game. They didn’t get over 100 and threatened the all-time record of 65 until the Chargers started to play prevent defense. There was no creativity to the offensive game plan, just straightforward drop backs by Smith. Very few screens and draws to keep the defense honest which let the Chargers defense attack. That led to the panic move of inserting Vick for the 2nd half. Vick was even worse than Smith.
Defensively, the mistakes began before the game with Rex Ryan not dressing Kenrick Ellis which left the Jets with only four defensive linemen on a day where it was 110 degrees. The defensive game plan to single cover Antonio Gates backfired with Gates going for four catches and 60 yards with a touchdown. The Chargers had 4 plays over 30 yards in the 1st half and a couple of more in the second half. There was too much single coverage, too many missed tackles and not enough fire. The players didn’t play for Rex today and that’s his hallmark, without that his shortcomings outweigh his benefits and that is a recipe for change.
2) The offensive line was terrible and was at the root of the Jets’ offensive woes – Officially the Chargers were awarded five quarterback hits but the total pressures they amassed was easily in the teens. Nick Mangold got bullrushed letting up a sack while grabbing the face mask of the defender. Winters was a turnstile and Willie Colon commits the most penalties in the league. The Jets had 60 net yards passing on 13/32. They opened very few holes in the running game, with Vick and Smith’s scrambles taken out the Jets had 71 yards on 18 carries which is slightly below four yards per carry. It didn’t matter who was passing or running today because the offensive line couldn’t block anybody.
3) Smith was bad, Vick was worse – Geno Smith went 4/12 for 27 yards and an interception and rightfully got pulled after the 1st half. Instead of a spark Michael Vick started 1/11 for 7 yards before the Chargers went to a prevent defense allowing Vick to finish 8/19 for 47 yards. The offensive line, both in their lack of protection and their penalties, were one part of the problem while the wide receivers/tight ends not getting open didn’t help either. Neither Vick or Smith were accurate but they clearly weren’t the problem. The team needs more offensive weapons at the skill positions and reinforcements in the trenches. Rex Ryan made the right decision going back to Smith next week because at least you can find out everything you need to know about Smith if the year is lost and you know the alternative of Vick is no better.
Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterbackPhilip Rivers
(17) pass over New York Jets defensive endSheldon Richardson
(91) in the third quarter of the game at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
4) The defense isn’t fooling anyone – Quarterbacks, at least the good ones, are picking up on the Jets’ blitzes and changing their blocking schemes to adjust to them. That leads to more big plays against the Jets because it exposes the secondary in 1 on 1 coverage. The blitzing and dropping are also leaving crossing routes wide open and creating mismatches where linebackers cover slot wide receivers in single coverage. The overcompensation for hiding the deficiencies in the secondary led to San Diego being able to shove the ball down the Jets throat by running it. The Chargers’ coaching staff outwitted Rex Ryan and were more prepared for the game and that has unfortunately been the case too often this year.
5) Coverage was terrible – Darrin Walls got burned twice before he got injured, once by Eddie Royal for 49 yards, Antonio Allen could not cover Antonio Gates and Philip Adams had to be a key contributor in the secondary. The Chargers were 9/10 on 3rd down in the 1st half, converting a 3rd and 17 and a 3rd and goal from the 12 among them. The Jets couldn’t get off the field and as the game wore on they couldn’t tackle either. Calvin Pryor missed on a few tackles, as did Landry, as did Walls, as did Douzable, etc. The Jets had three sacks, five quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss so they got some pressure on Rivers but for the most part he had clean passing lanes to exploit the Jets secondary. The only bright spot was Dee Milliner who had a couple of pass break ups although he did allow a 3rd and 6 conversion to Keenan Allen on a slant.
6) Defensive line and linebackers got blown off of the ball – The Chargers were so successful running the ball and clearing passing lanes because they not only blocked the Jets but moved the line of scrimmage two yards down the field. Having holes open up so widely allowed Oliver to hit the crack hard and burst into the secondary with speed. The Jets only had 21 minutes of possession so the defense’s failure to get off of the field, coupled with the offense’s near historic ineptitude, led to the defense wearing down which in turn made it easier for the Chargers and indirectly led to injuries to Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson and David Harris.
7) More penalties – The Jets had 12 penalties for 94 yards. They had 2 personal fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct, 1 for a face mask, 1 for offside, 2 false starts and a 12 men in the huddle penalty. All preventable dead ball penalties and all from a lack of discipline. Willie Colon had both false starts, Muhammad Wilkerson had the offsides and Brian Winters had 1 of the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. All of these are the usual suspects who do this every week.