Jets vs Patriots: Top 4 takeaways from a tough loss
Oct 25, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson (17) carries the ball against New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) and strong safety Dion Bailey (34) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
In the Jets vs Patriots game, Gang Green put up a fight with one of the best teams playing in the NFL and almost came away victorious.
Much to my surprise, the “Gang” and I received a last minute invite to St Michael’s Maryland from an old friend and life long Jet fan. Saturday evening, Mike called and invited us all down to a party he was throwing for the Jets game against the New England Patriots on Sunday. For those not in the “know,” the “gang” I reference is a group of five lifelong Jet fans who reside here in Pennsylvania, as we often can’t view games locally, the gang normally meets on Sundays at our local sports bar.
This week it was a road trip! The morning was overcast and a bit cheery, but the drive gave us a chance to preview the game among ourselves. The gang surprised me by having everyone pick the Jets in this one, and by a sizable margin I might add. I had written an article here at The Jet Press earlier in the week, where I thought the Patriots would pull out a victory in the end, and my fellow Jet fans descended on me from all sides. It was a heated debate, going back and forth, and before any us realized we were reaching our destination early.
After arriving and meeting Mike’s other guests, we settled in for quite the affair. The weather was a beautiful 65 degrees and the game was being shown on Mike’s deck, as well as the adjoining spacious man cave. Our host treated to a full spread of seafood, along with a large selection of beverages. I must admit, I’m not used to watching games in such luxury, and would be amiss if I left out a thank you here to our host. Big Jet shout out goes you way Mike!
The fact that the Jets showed up to play was apparent from the first snap. They may have lost this game, but the players and their fan base have nothing to be ashamed of. The Jets showed up to play under Todd Bowles and they were in this game every step of the way until the bitter end. The team proved that they are for real, and put the AFC on notice. Even in putting up a “L” in the book, the Jets team grew up on Sunday.
Let’s take a look at the top 4 takeaways from this tough loss.
Next: 4. No true rushing attack
Oct 25, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) scrambles against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
4. No true rushing attack
Offensively, the Jets looked good for the most part throughout the day, they moved the ball well against the Patriots defense, scoring in all four quarters of the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the day 22/39, putting up 297 yards in the air and accounting for two touchdowns on the day.
The brightest spot for Jet fans in watching Fitzpatrick on Sunday might very well be in the fact that he didn’t throw an interception. He ended the day with a 97.7 quarterback rating. Fitzpatrick had his moments in this game, but he also drew his share of moans and groans from Jet fans I watched the game with as well.
Eric Decker came up big for the Jets, as did Jeremy Kerley who saw significant playing time and scored one of the two touchdowns. Decker hauled in 6 of his 12 targets from Fitzpatrick for 94 yards, making his efforts good for a 15.7 yard average per catch. Brandon Marshall was quiet for a good portion of the afternoon but he still managed four receptions for 67 yards and a 16.8 yard per average on the day.
The Jets’ receivers brought our crowd to their feet throughout the day, making big plays and adding yards on after the catch. Kerley only had 3 receptions on the day for 27 yards, but they were key catches, including the touchdown catch from Fitzpatrick.
The down side to the Jets’ offense on Sunday was the lack of any sustainable run game. To the Jets credit, Bill Bellichick clearly stacked the line of scrimmage and challenged the Jets to throw the ball, but Chris Ivory came up limping early and so went the Jets’ run game. Ivory being the warrior that he is, played to the last whistle, but his 41 yards on the day clearly shows he wasn’t 100%. Chan Gailey tried to use Zac Stacy in relief, but 19 yards on 7 attempts brought the boos from our contingent of fans.
Oct 25, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) hands the ball off to running back Chris Ivory (L) during the second half of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets’ offensive line seemingly took a step back, as they were inconsistent throughout the game. They kept Fitzpatrick fairly clean, only giving up 2 sacks on the day for 12 yards, but Fitzpatrick felt the pressure and was forced to run five times for 29 yards on the day. In the run game, there were Patriot linebackers consistently getting into the backfield to disrupt things and close gaps. The Jets’ running backs only accounted for 70 yards of offense on the day and some of the blame has to fall on the line.
It wasn’t a bad day for this group, but it surely wasn’t their best either. The Jets lost center Nick Mangold to a scary looking neck injury, which brought the backboard out at one point, before Mangold gingerly rose and shakily walked from the field. Mangold will have x-rays to determine the severity of the injury and Dakota Dozier finished the game at center.
A loss of Mangold for any amount of time would come as a big blow to the team, as he is the anchor of this unit. Willie Colon also got battered around in this one, we’ll have to wait until practice to begin this week to see how badly. We weren’t hanging the loss on the offensive line’s neck in Maryland, but we agreed, the line play was a bit of a let down.
Overall, it was a good day for the Jets’ offense, they did put up 23 points against the Patriots and hung with Tom Brady and company throughout the day. Improvement needs to come as the Jets had numerous opportunities to put up even more points, but failed to finish on drives. When you play against good football teams you must finish on drives, field goals are nice, but consistent winning offenses finish drives with touchdowns.
Next: 3. Defensive mismatches got the best of Jets
Oct 25, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Michael Williams (85) is tackled by New York Jets inside linebacker Demario Davis (56) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
3. Defensive mismatches got the best of Jets
The big boys up front came to punish Brady and the Patriots’ offensive line, that was evident from the get go, and they played lights out for Bowles. Sacking Brady once, Muhammad Wilkerson brought the heat all day, recording two quarterback hits and two pass defenses.
Alongside Wilkerson, Leonard Williams continues his development into a huge force on this defense. On the day he drew two penalty flags against the offense for holding, recorded a quarterback hit, and a big tackle for loss. Williams continually drew compliments for his play from our group, watching him develop has been part of the fun this season.
Sheldon Richardson had another big game in just his second of the year. Richardson notched up five more tackles to his credit against the Patriots. He nearly had a game changing sack of Brady, when he stripped the ball free and as luck would have it Sunday, the ball wound back up in Brady’s hands. Richardson ended his day with 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, a quarterback hit and a tackle for loss.
The Jets’ linebackers were tested by Belichick throughout the game in the passing game, as the Patriots only attempted to run the ball five times with the their running backs. Calvin Pace, the veteran linebacker, shot the gap for a sack of Brady, while also recording 1 pass defense, 1 quarterback hit, and a tackle for loss on the day.
Oct 25, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) makes a pass while being pursued by New York Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace (97) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
David Harris had a quiet day recording only 3 tackles, but without any form of run game coming from the Patriots, opportunities were scarce. Demario Davis was solid, if not spectacular recording 6 tackles, including 4 solo tackles in the game. It should be said, this group was beaten several times in mismatches created by the Patriots’ offense, but benefited from a display of poor hands from Brandon LaFell.
Rob Gronkowski proved once again that he’s virtually unstoppable once he gets going. Held in check for the most part of the first half, and into the third quarter, the monster tight end had a huge fourth quarter and was instrumental in the Patriots come back victory. As he does every week, Gronkowski got hot and carried the Patriots and a few would be Jet tacklers down the field during two big Patriot touchdown drives of the fourth quarter.
The Jets’ defensive secondary seemed confused several times during the game, and Brady made them pay to the tune of 355 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. Calvin Pryor posted six total tackles as he came and went from the game with several injuries before finally giving way to Dion Bailey late in the game. Bailey was credited with 6 tackles for the game, but became a victim of Brady as the Patriots finished the game out.
Danny Amendola added 86 yards against the Jets’ secondary and the “Jet Killer” Julian Edelman added key receptions for 54 yards. The Jets’ secondary played well, but they were under constant aerial attack as Brady attempted 54 passes on the day and completed 35 of those.
Next: 2. The disaster of special teams
Oct 18, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Washington Redskins defensive back Jeron Johnson (20) blocks a punt by New York Jets punter Ryan Quigley (4) in the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
2. The disaster of special teams
The loss of Jets’ punter Ryan Quigley to a shin injury cost the team much in field position several times on Sunday. Steve Weatherford reportedly got a call from the Jets while on break from a radio show, accepted the job and finished the show before joining the team.
Weatherford had accumulated a severe coating of rust in his down time apparently, as he punted poorly and gave the Patriots the short field on several occasions. On the positive side of things, Nick Folk continues to impress hitting 3 field goals for the Jets on 3 attempts including a 55-yarder in the fourth quarter to put the Jets within seven points in the final seconds of the game.
Marshall gets a big shout out in recovering the ensuing onside kick for the Jets, bringing our group to their feet one final time. Unfortunately for Marshall, he also gets the nod for costing the Jets an opportunity for a pass into the end zone to end the game as he failed to get set and the ensuing ten second run off put the game in the books.
Next: 1. Rebounding will be very important
Sep 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Jets 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports
1. Rebounding will be very important
Hats off to Bowles for a great game plan for his players against the Patriots. The spotlight was clearly on Bowles this week as he prepared his team to face their divisional rivals. Bowles stayed focused and kept his team focused through the media blitz that surrounded this game. To their credit, his team bought into his quiet philosophy and showed up ready to play. The team executed and both the offense and the defenses had their share of success.
Unfortunately, the Jets fell just short of their goal to get a piece of first place in the AFC East on Sunday. The Patriots improved to 5-0, while the Jets stand at 4-2 heading into next week’s game with the Oakland Raiders. The test of true contenders is how they rebound from these type of losses. If the Jets want to become a playoff team they will learn much from this game, get better as a result of it, before putting it behind them.
A good time was had by all at our viewing of the game. I was the designated driver and “poured” the gang into the car and drove in silence as “nap time” was obviously on everyone’s itinerary for the trip home. The game was an exciting one to watch though it ended in disappointment.
How did you see the game? We here at The Jet Press would like to hear your take. Please leave us a comment below and Let’s Talk Jet Football!!
Next: NY Jets: Fans shouldn't lose hope
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