New York Jets: Top 3 questions answered in Week 1
Sep 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) and Cleveland Browns linebacker Craig Robertson (53) embrace after the Jets beat the Browns 31-10 at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
As everyone knows by the now, the New York Jets defeated the Cleveland Browns 31 -10 on Sunday. It is always great to get the opening day victory and this year even sweeter as it came in front of a packed MetLife Stadium. The Jets won in a convincing manner as Jet fans celebrated everywhere!
The Jets sent a message to the NFL on Sunday and it was a loud one at that. The message was that this team is very talented and is going to be out there weekly to win football games. The doubters, including myself, had to reevaluate the team’s potential.
The victory answered a few questions on Sunday, so let’s take a look at the top 3 questions answered by their big win.
Next: 3. Will the wide receiver corps be good?
Sep 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu (17) runs after a catch during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
3. Will the wide receiver corps be good?
The Jets’ wide receiving corps wasn’t spectacular by any means on Sunday. Their individual stat lines looked average, but they answered a bunch of questions fans had about the offense. It proved that this corps can indeed put points up on the board.
Brandon Marshall met the hype we heard all year. Fans were concerned about Marshall’s age and health and wondered exactly how much was left in the tank. It is only the first game of the season, but Marshall proved he will be a force on this offense. Marshall ended the day with six catches for sixty two yards and his first Jet touchdown.
The stats themselves don’t tell the whole story though. Marshall’s strip of the football after Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted was the highlight of the game. The Jets were down seven to nothing when Fitzpatrick attempted to hit Marshall deep down the sideline, the interception and subsequent strip was likely the turning the point of this contest. The Jets scored on the drive and never looked back. The hustle displayed by Marshall spoke volumes, Marshall is here to win.
Chris Owusu is a valuable weapon in this year’s offense. Owusu had four catches for fifty five yards on Sunday, including a deep ball for forty three yards. Owusu showed off his speed and versatility this week. Fitzpatrick utilized both in the short game and on the deep routes. Fitzpatrick looked comfortable with Owusu, as the chemistry between the two increases, he should become a bigger factor going ahead.
Eric Decker proved Sunday that there is no mistaking his talent. While Decker only had two catches for thirty seven yards, he added a touchdown for the Jets. As usual he routes were crisp and his presence in this offense drew defensive attention away from Marshall and the rest of the receiving corps.
The Jet wide receiving corps proved they can work together to optimize the offensive output. While Gailey established the run game against the Browns, the receivers had a good day. An interesting note to this one, Jeremy Kerley only saw one offensive snap in this one, he was relegated to punt returns. Kerley returned two punts for the team, resulting in thirteen yards.
Next: 2. Will the offensive line hold up?
Willie Colon (66) defends against Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Antonio Smith (94) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports” width=”850″ height=”602″ /> Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tackle Willie Colon (66) defends against Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Antonio Smith (94) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2. Will the offensive line hold up?
The Jets’ offensive line answered a huge question this week. Pundits were concerned how well they could protect Fitzpatrick and open holes for the running game. As a unit, they performed well, limiting penalties and doing a great job of keeping Fitzpatrick clean in the pocket.
Any day that your offensive line can avoid having even a single quarterback sack and open up holes for your running backs to prosper, has to be considered a victory. That is exactly what the offensive line did in this one. Fitzpatrick finished the day without being sacked and the offensive line gave him time enough to complete his passes.
They were impressive in the run game as well. They opened holes for the running backs and it proved to be a huge part in the victory. Chris Ivory thrived behind the line, posting ninety one yards on twenty carries, including two touchdowns. Bilal Powell also benefited from the line’s blocking schemes, posting sixty two yards on twelve carries. Behind great blocking up front, both backs had a long run, with Ivory posting an eighteen yard scamper and Powell, not to be outdone, added a nice twenty two yard effort.
The Jets’ offense fired on all cylinders on Sunday. The passing game was effective as the running game led the way. It all starts up front for the offense, and the guys in the trenches proved their worth on Sunday. They gelled and played as a unit. The only worry in this one, was when Nick Mangold went down and missed some time. Mangold returned in the next series, but I think Jet fans as a whole held their breath until he came back.
I think the offensive line gets the game ball in this victory. They performed at a high level, and truly were the key to this victory. The performance Sunday went a long way to silencing their critics. It is only Week 1, but if this line can continue to play at that level, the Jets’ offense will benefit immensely!
Next: 1. How will the quarterback situation play out?
Aug 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions in a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
1. How will the quarterback situation play out?
Finally, and likely the biggest question to be answered on Sunday, was at quarterback. Fitzpatrick started his first game for the Jets and he proved he can handle the job. Fitzpatrick wasn’t spectacular in the stats category, Gailey chose to establish the run game, but Fitzpatrick proved his worth regardless. He finished the game going fifteen for twenty four, for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He ended the game with a 95.7 quarterback rating.
Fitzpatrick showed that he still possesses adequate arm strength to go deep, as well as the touch to drop a ball in when he needs to. Fitzpatrick went deep several times, missing on some, but he did enough to allow his receivers to average over ten yards per reception. That’s not too shabby for an aging backup in his first game action for the Jets.
Fitzpatrick did throw an interception against the Browns, and was almost picked several times in the first half. He appeared to be telegraphing his throws but seemed to do better as the game went on. Fitzpatrick managed the game well, and showed he could run this offense effectively. He proved he still has enough arm strength left to make the throws, and he proved he could be accurate as he avoided the turnovers and put points on the board.
Overall, Fitzpatrick did enough to relieve some of the anxiety Jet fans were experiencing as the result of him being named the starter. If he can build on his success and improve from here, he may make it hard for Geno Smith to get his job back when he returns. Time will tell, but Jet fans are happy to get the first win and to have Fitzpatrick under center.
Next: Final thoughts
Sep 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs with the ball while avoiding a tackle attempt by Cleveland Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant (92) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Browns 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets put up a victory in their home opener. The excitement grew for fans as doubters had to step back and reevaluate their first analysis of this football team. The Jets’ offense proved it can score points and the defense proved they can shut opponents down when they are playing well.
This victory answered a lot of questions being debated by Jet fans, at least for the short term. It was a really encouraging sign for fans and the team alike. There is still plenty of football games to be played this season, but the outlook looks a bit brighter after the team answered some serious concerns.
How did you see the game? Which unit do you think did the most to secure the victory on Sunday? Did the team answer your concerns on Sunday? We here at The Jet Press value your opinions so please leave us a comment below and Let’s Talk Jet Football!!
Next: New York Jets: Todd Bowles discusses injuries, game balls