NY Jets: Decision making and discipline still an issue


The NY Jets were slam-dunked back into reality thanks to the Oakland Raiders that saw their decision making and overall discipline continue to be major weaknesses

Should we even be surprised anymore? After a promising 4-2 start and a decent drive to start this game, the Jets looked like brainless zombies who still thought it was Halloween (maybe it was the West Coast time difference) in a performance that featured a comedy of errors.

Blame a rookie head coach, blame a defense that has been porous the past two weeks, blame Ryan Fitzpatrick for not sliding properly, blame Geno Smith for making typical boneheaded plays, blame the offensive line sans Nick Mangold or blame Todd Bowles for punting it on fourth down with a little less than 4 minutes to go. If you’re into the blame-game, then I’ve just given you every out in the book for today.

The bottom line is, that if the Jets could have prevented just a few of these things from becoming a part of the blame-game, then maybe we’d be sitting here talking about how the Jets are 5-2 with three very winnable games coming up on their schedule. That’s the blessing and the curse of the situation the Jets are in.

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These games are winnable. Even today, with a quality Raiders’ offense firing on all cylinders, the Jets could have still found a way to pull this one out. It was a winnable game.

Unfortunately for the Jets, despite all the positives so far from this season, there remains to be a game that you can mark as absolutely 100% without-a-doubt winnable.

The great teams are disciplined, and make correct decisions. Fitzpatrick’s decision to not slide after scrambling to get past the marker on a 3rd-and-5 was wrong decision number one. Smith taking multiple hits when he knew there wasn’t an option the coaching staff was prepared to go to in the event that he got hurt was bad decision number two. The Jets deciding they were not going to tackle on this back-breaking touchdown scamper by Taiwan Jones was bad decision number 3:

Taiwan Jones put four defenders on skates for one of the prettiest 59-yard TD catch + runs you'll ever see #NYJvsOAK https://t.co/AhI3SuaB5b

— NFL (@NFL) November 1, 2015

Then we can point to the offensive line. Even though Mangold was injured, most of the rush seemed to come from the edges, which was surprising considering that this line has been known to be potent at protecting the quarterback. The single sequence that served as a microcosm of this game started with the sack that Smith took on a third and short deep in Jets’ territory with time running out.

As a third-year player, you must know the situation. Geno then nonchalantly jogged back to the huddle, letting time slip away, as well as the game. Don’t get me wrong, Geno played a great game. He looked poised for much of the game, didn’t panic when the pocket collapsed on him (for the most part), and competed.

I actually liked the fact that after he took a brutal hit down the sideline after a 29-yard run, he immediately popped back up and got back in the huddle for the next play. I place this one more on the coaching staff. That goes not only for the poor decision-making on offense, but the lack of preparedness exhibited by the defense.

To punt the ball on fourth and 7 with less than 4 minutes to go in a two score game was an egregious error by a rookie head coach. The worst that happens there is that you give the ball back after failing to convert on fourth down. Whether you punt or fail to convert, you are accomplishing the same thing. If you go for it, you are giving yourself a chance.

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That’s all that you can hope for in that situation – a chance. Punting it signals that the game is over. That’s not a message you want to send your team with 4 minutes to go. Clearly, the coaching staff has a lot to work on. They’re young, they’ve made a lot of positive changes, and they have “winnable” games coming up.

Bowles needs to light a fire under his team, specifically in the secondary, teach his quarterbacks how to protect their bodies and manage situations while running the offensive line through a gauntlet of a practice week. Then, with the favorable schedule coming up, I’d like to echo the words of the late great owner of our opponents today, Al Davis, and say “just win, baby.”