Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Way to show up, Jets!

Blame whoever you want. Blame the 11-day layoff between games (the Jets are now 0-3 when they have 9+ days to prepare for a game), blame the offense, blame the defense, blame the special teams. When you play like that, everybody is to blame.

After holding the Pats to a field goal on their first drive, the Jets first drive ended in a Nick Folk missed field goal. New England started at their own 43 and, with the help of a long pass interference penalty on Eric Smith that placed the ball at the 1-yard-line, scored a touchdown. 10-0.

The Jets next drive stalled at their own 20. A 12-yard punt by Steve Weatherford gave New England another short field at the Jets 32. Four plays later, touchdown. 17-0.

The next Jets drive made it inside the New England 25, but Braylon Edwards dropped a third-down ball that would've resulted in a first down. 17-3 (Folk actually made the kick).

New England rode Jets castoff Danny Woodhead for 39 yards on the first two plays of the next drive, resulting in another touchdown. 24-3.

Each of the above graphs represents some sort of mistake from the Jets. As someone who watches this team consistently, how could I or anybody else for that matter think they actually had a chance in this game? Especially with the way this secondary has been penalized in recent weeks.

You can't give Tom Brady a short field and expect a good-not-great defense to stop him. Maybe the Jets defense of last year would've had a chance but this year's version? None. It's funny because the only player they lost in the offseason was Kerry Rhodes, who wasn't the impact player last year that he had been in the past.

On paper, this defense got BETTER in the offseason. But once again, that's why they don't play games on paper. Darrelle Revis is great but without a stud receiver for him to lock down, his impact on the game is easily limited. And Brady absolutely tore Antonio Cromartie and the rest of the Jets defensive backs to shreds.

Mark Sanchez looked nervous early and it helped put the Jets in a big hole. Sanchez and his receivers were out of rhythm all night against the league's worst pass defense. Was it the extended layoff? Who knows, but it was pathetic. I guess these games are to be expected from an inexperienced second-year quarterback, even one who came in playing as well as Sanchez.

The Jets were able to run the ball effectively, but a 17-point first-quarter deficit doesn't exactly call for the run to bring you back. And just when they seemed to have something going on the opening drive of the second half, Sanchez tried to force a ball into triple coverage in the endzone to Santonio Holmes. The ball was intercepted by the linebacker underneath - he wasn't even one of the three guys actually covering Holmes!

I think I've said enough about this game already. The offense couldn't move the football and the kicking and punting game hurt the Jets field position just as much as the lack of extended drives. The defense wasn't good, not at all, but they didn't get much help either. Asking a unit to stop one of the all-time great quarterbacks multiple times when he only has to drive half the field is a tall task for any defense.

As bad as the Jets looked, I'm not going to overreact to one week and say they're an obvious pretender. What they do in the next four games, particularly in matchups with Pittsburgh and Chicago, will determine their contender or pretender status in my book. But last night's game sure doesn't inspire much hope.

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