Jets vs. Browns: Top 5 takeaways from Week 3 matchup
By Jason Rodriguez
The New York Jets lose a tough one in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns as here are the top five takeaways from the game.
Coming off a tough loss last Sunday, the New York Jets took a tremendous step back in moving forward in Week 3 as they lost to the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium with the final score 21-17. Throughout the game, the Jets had a chance to close out the game but they stumbled through when it mattered most.
Looking at the offensive side of the football, the costly turnovers during the game was one of many key factors for the loss. After starting off strong, the Jets offense was very shaky and had the defense on the field longer.
With the loss, the Jets are now 1-2 and will have time to think about this loss and prepare for a tough Jacksonville Jaguars team in Week 4. In this game, there were a lot of things that as a fan you shake your head. Now, let’s take a deeper look and break down the top five takeaways from this Week 3 matchup.
5. Offensive line continues to struggle
The weakest part of the team continues to be exposed as the offensive line struggled once again. They went up against a much-improved Browns defense and were simply overwhelmed throughout Thursday’s loss.
They aren’t communicating on when a blitz is happening or who is everyone blocking. The offensive line was not able to contain the Browns defensive pressure which allowed them to cash in on the Jets mistakes. They also had very costly penalties brought on themselves which hurt their ability to keep those chains moving.
Darnold was sacked three times in this matchup due to the lack of consistency by the offensive line. Sam Darnold was pressured all night long. They really need to get it together as it’s just three weeks into the season as there is still a lot of football left to be played.
Next: 4. Questionable plays on offense
4. Questionable plays on offense
New offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates will get more slack even this week for his play calling on offense that will need some serious tuning. The offense looked completely flat and once again not opening up the field for the talent the Jets have at running back and wide receiver.
Bates will need to have a better game plan by sticking with the run since it worked very well in Week 1. By utilizing the run, it will help control the clock and wear down the opposing defense. They will also need to step up their usage of the passing game by utilizing cross routes, post routes, and vertical routes. This can be achieved by being creative with Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, and Jermaine Kearse. It’s time to open up the playbook and allow Darnold to start airing it out.
As fans, we understand it is a young quarterback and you are trying to make it easy for him but don’t make it too easy. He continues to force too many passes when it seemed like nothing was working. Bates will need to look at old game tape from the Lions and Dolphins games and use some of those plays to have success on offense and put points on the board.
Next: 3. Sam Darnold has another mediocre performance
3. Sam Darnold has another mediocre performance
Darnold has landed back into reality which is good for his continued development. He tried to force things when he should have checked into a new play or made better decisions with the football. He continues to show promising moments with certain throws and plays when he was forced out-of-pocket.
Darnold was able to go 15 for 31 in passing and threw for 169 yards. He threw two game-changing interceptions. The interceptions were thrown into double coverages which are plays Darnold would love to have back.
He finished with a 38.2 quarterback rating which is horrific and something he’ll go back to reviewing film in order to keep improving. When he was comfortable in the pocket, Darnold proved he can take care of the football and make things happen. Unfortunately, he still needs to work on making the right decisions in the heat of the moment.
Darnold will have his ups and downs but he will only get better over time. He just needs to continue to be a leader and develop his game because of the potential he brings to the franchise.
Next: 2. Secondary struggles and continues to get exposed
2. Secondary struggles and continues to get exposed
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For a second straight week, the Jets had a horrific performance when it came to their defensive secondary which makes it frustrating to see. Three costly penalties and too many missed coverages allowed the Browns receivers and tight ends to get open.
Clearly, the secondary of the Jets has major work ahead of them before they can proclaim themselves “New Jack City” to the rest of the football world. If this isn’t fixed sooner rather than later than elite quarterbacks will pick them apart each and every week.
Obviously, the secondary needs to work as a cohesive unit, but yet again they are lacking in the fundamentals of coverage, assignments, and executing as a group. There is still more than enough time to fix it but they can’t keep playing like that.
Next: 1. So many costly penalties
1. So many costly penalties
The Jets defense and offense played tough football on both sides until they made some huge mental mistakes. The secondary for the Jets made too many of them and allowed the Browns offensive drives to continue thanks to having reckless penalties. When will this stop?
The secondary along with the offensive line were the main causes for the mental errors on blown assignments and coverages. Trumaine Johnson made some costly errors on a late hit to quarterback Tyrod Taylor and a pass interference call late in the game. He is a veteran that should know better and make much better judgments.
For the second week in a row, when the Jets offensive drives could have scored points, penalties defined them and led to another losing outcome. The offensive line had nearly the same mistakes like last week and made too many crucial ones in crunch time when it mattered the most.
The coaching staff needs to implement a better discipline to stop doing these costly penalties. If nothing is done to fix these problems, then the Jets will continue to lose football games they could have easily won if they were more disciplined.