New York Jets Week 16: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiverPercy Harvin
(16) catches a pass against the New England Patriots during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets lost to the Patriots 17-16 to fall to 3-12 on the season, a season that will mercifully end next Sunday. The Jets gave a spirited effort in what is likely to be Rex Ryan’s last home game as head coach of the Jets but a costly interception and sack taken by Geno Smith on consecutive drives proved to be the Jets undoing.
1) The Jets lose and maintain their grip on a top five pick in next year’s draft – Even though I’d rather the team win and the losses still get to me, especially to New England, the silver lining is that the Jets would pick 5th in next year’s draft if the season ended today. The Jets need help in multiple areas and picking near the top of each round that they have a selection will certainly help in the draft process.
2) The Jets hold the Pats to 231 total yards – The Jets played good defense on Sunday holding the Patriots to 17 points, 231 yards (3.7 yards per play), amassing four sacks and hitting Tom Brady 11 times. Rob Gronkowski had only 31 yards on six catches (although he caught a short touchdown pass). Sheldon Richardson was dominant at the point of attack. He was credited with three tackles, .5 sacks and one quarterback hit that did not do the game he had justice. He batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage, continually pushed the pocket and made Brady hurry his throws. Sheldon has continually improved his pass rushing skills. Muhammad Wilkerson had three quarterback hits and a half sack as well. Quinton Coples also did an excellent job getting penetration with six tackles (five solo) to go along with a half sack of his own. Marcus Williams continues to be quite the find as he posted an interception, three pass defenses and seven tackles.
3) Percy Harvin makes the Jets a better, more dynamic offense – Whether it is running a Jet sweep, taking a direct snap, playing from the running position or making Darrelle Revis look ordinary, Percy Harvin is a valuable asset for the Jets and should be part of the team’s 2015 plans and beyond. Harvin had four catches for 44 yards, including a 25 yard catch and run with Revis in man coverage on him. Revis was matched up with Harvin for the time Harvin was in the game (only the 1st half as he left due to injury at halftime and did not return) and Harvin won the matchup. Harvin had him beat deep and if not for a swipe from a Patriot defensive lineman Smith would have hit Harvin for a long touchdown.
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In the second half, without Harvin, it was much tougher for the Jets to move the ball as the Patriots didn’t have a playmaker to fear opposite Eric Decker so they were able to blitz more often and force mistakes from Geno Smith. In the 1st half the Patriots were scrambling to cover Decker, Harvin, and Cumberland (yes, Cumberland) while fulfilling their primary task of stopping the Jets running game. After the Jets 1st drive of the 2nd half the Jets did not score again without Harvin.
Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts after being sacked during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Jets 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
1) Geno Smith’s costly mistakes – This game was Smith’s season and career in a nutshell. He shows flashes of brilliance on three straight scoring drives and just when you think he gets it he throws an awful interception that the Patriots covert into a go-ahead touchdown. After the Jets force a turnover of their own in Patriots territory Smith takes a sack on 3rd down that forces them into a long field goal attempt that is ultimately blocked. When Smith had time and all of his weapons he was good but in the NFL that isn’t the norm and when he was put under pressure Smith folded and that just can’t happen consistently from your starting quarterback.
2) The Jets red zone offense – The Jets were 0/3 in the red zone today and their failures near the goal line cost them the game. The Jets had three consecutive drives of over 10 plays but just could not get in the end zone more than once. Whether it was Geno Smith switching the play from a pass to a run on a 3rd and 6 or a linebacker making a nice play in space to thwart a swing pass that would have went for a score the Jets could not punch it in and you can’t beat good teams if you are constantly kicking field goals.
3) That the Patriots only had to go 9 and a half yards to get a 1st down – After the Jets missed a chance at a go ahead field goal the Patriots faced a 3rd and 6 with around three minutes left in the game. They threw a quick screen to Amendola who appeared to be at least a half yard shy of the 1st down. The referees brought out the chains and were a few links short of the 1st down apparently. But then all of a sudden New England was awarded a 1st down. Rex Ryan was then forced to challenge the play and when the challenge was denied. Incredibly the Patriots had a near game-clinching 1st down, as the Jets lost a timeout, despite obviously (to everyone with the exception of the referee) only going nine and one half yards. Only the Patriots consistently get calls like that.
The Ugly – None