Older AFCE

Older AFCE

Jets Grounded but the Storm is Passing

Jets Grounded but the Storm is Passing
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What a start to the season. The Jets drop a crucial game at home to an AFC opponent by 1 point. Not only was the game close but the game had everything. Big passing plays, big running plays, big defensive plays, a blocked kicked and a missed extra point. Credit to the Bengals for consistently converting 3rd downs in the second half.
Let’s start with the thing that sticks out most. AJ Green torching the jets secondary for 12 catches on 13 targets for 180 yards. Some of those catches were wide open some of them were in air sealed coverage that made everyone watching say WOW! The biggest issue for the Jets was their communication. Time and time again the safeties were out of position. If a guy was supposed to play over he was playing under and Andy would have an easy wide open pass over the top. The Bengal’s could not do anything in the 1st quarter with the exception of one big play TD from Dalton to green. However, once Pryor got hurt the floodgates opened up. If you want to put all the struggles on the secondary on Revis it’s alright and it’s also the trend. Did he get beat some yes, was he the sole reason that AJ ran wild no.
Aside from the passing game the Bengals couldn’t get anything going on the ground. They were consistently bottled up to the point that the Bengals only ran the ball time and time again when they were trying to burn the clock up at the end of the game. Andy attempted 30 passes which I thought was a bit dangerous considered he got sacked 7 times and hurried a bunch more. There were some questionable defensive play calls like sending the house on 3rd and long which resulted in a 50+ yard TD but overall the front played great. No concerns at all here especially considering that Sheldon is coming back. Jets also might get their first 15+ sack player they’ve had since Abraham in Leonard Williams who looks seemingly unstoppable.
The biggest thing nobody is talking about is the right side of the jets OL. What was supposed to be our biggest weakness looked very solid against 2 top 10 pass rushers. Geno, Dunlap and Johnson never got a chance to get going as they were shut down by the right side of the Jets OL most of the game. It was a thing that nobody expects and a major concern for Jet fans all off season when we heard Breno got hurt (even though he struggled mightily last year as the Jets had the worst T combo in the NFL according to PFF). <—– FACTS am I doing it right? If the right side continues to play strong there is a good chance Breno will get cut to save some cap space. Also a special shout out to Brian Winters. The inconsistent boy wonder looked great on Sunday. Maybe this is the year he finally puts it all together and place on consistent on a weekly basis.
The good news for the Jets was that almost every facet of their weakest game looks extremely strong. The ST. The bad news is they had a kick blocked which I can’t blame on folk and an extra point attempt miss. The first of his career so not too much I can get mad at here. Only realizing we lost by 1 it’s frustrating but it no way was it the only reason we lost. Not even close.  The kick return unit on both Punts and Kickoffs looks strong. J Marshall is a legit player. He is small but he breaks tackles with ease and has a ridiculous amount of elusiveness to him. The punting unit was awesome as it looks like the Jets finally found their guy in Lachlan (three punts for an average of 44.3 yards and a long of 54 that pinned the Bengals within their own ten). The kicking coverage units were awesome as well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kick returner get blown up by the first line of could be tacklers. Pacman was destroyed within his own 20 yards twice by linemen running down field on just two attempts.
The ugly news is the drops. All day the jets wide receivers were dropping passes. Marshall could not come down with anything even dropping a pass that would have put the jets at the 50-yard line with 50 seconds left and no timeouts. We can’t single out Marshall here as Decker had his fair share of crucial drops as well.
More good news moving forward is the Jets running game totally looks legit. Forte and Powell were clicking on all cylinders. It looks like Forte will be a true workhorse back and Powell will be sprinkled in. Forte managed 96 yards on 22 carries with a long of 14 and caught 5 passes for 59 yards with a long of 24. I expect this trend to continue as it’s hard to focus on containing the running backs when you have 3 receivers that can all do significant damage in every single position. That leads me to Quincy, the lone bright spot for the jets passing attack. He finished with 7 catches for 54 yards and a TD. He really looks like he’s going to be a nice player for the Jets. Every time he touches the ball something good tends to happen which is a flip from the first half of last year where every time he touched the ball he would drop it.  
The last thing I want to talk about is coaching decisions. The Jets need to be more flexible with their scheme. They doubled AJ in the first half and he barely got going but 1 pass. The second half they didn’t double him at all and he broke out. I’m not sure why Bowles doesn’t go back to doubling. He did the same thing vs Watkins week 17 vs the Bills last year and we paid for it mightily. Also Jets need to be more careful with timeouts. Jets had to burn one on a 3rd and 5 close to the goal line because Fitz went to change the play. That’s fine but it’s also pretty crucial to realize the situation you are in and be aware of the time you have. I agree with him burning the timeout and it did pay dividends as they converted but he should have audibled and got the Jets out of the huddle way sooner.
For all the mistakes the Jets made on offense, defense and ST there’s a lot of positive that I took away from this game. We played pretty poorly and still lost by 1 point. The Bengals are a strong team when all is said and done but we competed with them at our worst. I do think the schedule looks daunting however, I do think the Jets are in the same skill cat as most of the teams they play in the top 6. Jets will need to win big games on the road against playoff caliber teams. I think it’s possible they can win the next 5 in a row, lose the next 5 in a row or split it any way it can be split. I think every game will be close in the next 5 but I don’t think any team out classes them or has a more talented roster than them. The Jets want to be considered a good team then they got to compete with other good teams. Next week the Jets play the Bills banged up squad and get Sheldon back. It’s a short week vs a division opponent and if history tells us anything that means this game is going to be ugly and close. Good luck to both of us as going 0-2 in the AFC 2 weeks into the season is like holding the nail to the coffin.  
Players of the game for the Jets: Steve Mclendon, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, and the entire Jets right side of the OL.

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