by Gene Hackman
Let me start by saying i will gladly take a win wherever or however they happen that being said there are a few beautiful things to note. First and foremost the first flag that was a “late hit” was an unbelievable call. How you could wrap someone up in bounds and finish a tackle by dragging him out and having a flag thrown is a very interesting call.
Regardless the Jets defense as expected was swarming tonight. The colts OL couldn’t protect luck. No shock by any stretch of the imagination. That being said there are some extremely concerning issues as a Jets fan. The Jets were unable to open up any holes in the running game in the first half vs a very below average colts defensive line. Additionally, Fitzmagic relentlessly missed open receivers downfield by wide margins including one very ill advised throw into double coverage that led to an interception. Once Vontae went down the Jets faced no resistance in the passing game however, Fitz continued to struggle downfield. Again this should come as no surprise to people who know who he is.
The truth of the matter is the Jets lucked out. The jets were expected to get video game like pressure vs luck BUT, if it’s not for a missed FG from very makeable range and a phantom fumble by Gore who was walking into the endzone this could have been a very different game. Ultimately nobody will complain about a win especially when a defense caused obsessive amount of turnovers. But there’s no denying the fact that the Jets could have very easily been in a dogfight in which case they were most likely going to struggle.
The good. The Billion dollar mercenary was a part of 3 turnovers. IDC how they happened you need to be in the right place to be a part of that. 3 turnovers on defense caused by a single man in one game is special. Cromartie also played well as he came up just short of an additional pick. The AFCN castoff Buster Skrine was another unsung star as he made a number of plays for the Jets both in the backfield and in the secondary. Lastly, in terms of the good let’s talk about the fact that Calvin Pryor actually made a play on a ball in the air. Stone-hands? Maybe, but he made the play tonight.
The most concerning thing is the fact the jets struggled to open up holes for Ivory against a weak OL. Is the Colts offense top notch? Yes! But the truth is they don’t have a strong OL and anybody with a good DL should be able to consistently put pressure on Luck and put him in bad situations. Additionally, before the Colts fell behind and abandoned the run, albeit way too early, Gore was able to rip off runs. This is concerning considered what the Jets did to the run last year and the year prior. This has to be an area where the jets are concerned. Don’t get me wrong I do believe the Jets first thought is let’s make the colts run the ball to beat us as we can stop the run with 4. BUT…before the game forced the Colts to throw because of time they were able to take what they wanted on the ground for a large majority of the game.
Let’s talk about turnovers. The jets were dead last in the league in forcing turnovers last year. There’s luck, skill and opportunity involved here but the Jets have set a franchise record for 13 turnovers in their first 2 games so far this year.
The underlying fact is the Jets won’t stand a chance against elite opponents if they play ike this. They need to be able to score consistently on offense. After Vontae went out and the Jets still didn’t move the ball with ease this will be tough to imagine after this week. The Pats who are clearly the team to beat will look like a tall order after this week. However the NFL is a week to week sport and Fitz was able to throw for whatever he wanted against a much better secondary vs Cleveland. It’s a long season and this is only two weeks. The defense looks great and Luck is a great qb but the truth is the Colts had no chance of protecting him. Thus making the Jets look alot better than they may actually be. The eagles are up next and with a bad OL I truly expect the Jets to start the season 3-0. However, I don’t feel like the Jets have been challenged against a complete team, one that is AT THE VERY LEAST competent on both offense and defense. It’s hard to deny what the D did and I can say with certainty they are opportunistic but will they be able to make stops and put up points against a complete team? That remains to be seen. It’s hard to be negative about starting off 2-0 but there is no denying there is plenty of room for improvement.