On Thursday night the New York Jets (1-1) lost a frustrating 13-10 decision to the New England Patriots (2-0). Here are some of my observations from the game.
Just catch the damn ball- Heading into the season the Jets took a calculated risk fielding a relatively unproven wide receiver group. Well on Thursday night that decision came back to haunt the team as the playmakers on offense were awful. Wide receiver Stephen Hill once again had an inconsistent performance with a fumble and a couple of drops. I don’t care about Hill’s size and speed if he cannot consistently catch the ball. Clyde Gates had a nightmare of a game with several drops. Even fan favorite Ryan Spadola contributed with a dropped pass. The only bright spot was Santonio Holmes who had three grabs and is slowly working his way back into game shape. I would be shocked if the Jets do not bring in several veterans for tryouts this week.
Offensive line solid- The Jets offensive line did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage on Thursday night. Gang Green was able to rush for 129 yards and the unit provided a decent amount of protection for Geno Smith. The line did yield 4 sacks but a part of that was due to the receivers inability to get separation from their defenders.
Geno continues to grow- Geno Smith continues to impress with his composure in the pocket and his ability to make big plays with both his arm and legs. Smith seems to have a firm grasp of the offense, now just needs for the playmakers around him to step up. Geno did throw 3 interceptions and was guilty of staring down his receivers and trying to force the play. Overall Geno played well enough for the Jets to win.
Running backs shine- Chris Ivory finally started to show glimpses of his powerful running style as rushed for 52 yards. Bilal Powell became the feature back towards the later part of the game and was very effective. Fullback Tommy Bohanon was used in a variety of roles and had success in short yardage situations.
Defensive line disruptive- Once again Damon Harrison, Kenrick Ellis, and Sheldon Richardson caused havoc at the line of scrimmage. The Jets athletic and powerful defensive line stifled the Patriots rushing attack.
Harris and Davis bringing the heat- Linebackers David Harris and Demario Davis have been very consistent making plays from sideline to sideline. Garrett McIntrye also contributed with several big plays.
Milliner struggling- Rookie Dee Milliner continues to struggle in coverage as Tom Brady and company went right after him. Dee seems to lose his receiver at the line of scrimmage and often seems lost in space. You can make a very good argument that Darrin Walls should start taking some of Milliner’s reps until the rookie gets better acclimated to the NFL.
Safety issues- The Jets continue to have problems in the secondary as there are blown assignments, communications issues, and players out of position taking the wrong angles. I am starting to think that the Jets should consider bringing in a veteran safety.
Anyone want to return punts? Kyle Wilson does not seem very comfortable returning punts which was highlighted by a fair catch where there was plenty of running room. The Jets need a quality returner that is not so quick to fair catch everything.
Rex Ryan had his team ready to play on both sides of the ball. The Jets defense held the Patriots to 9 first downs, 4 of 18 on 3rd down, and 232 yards. The offense had an 8 minute time of possession advantage. The deciding factor of the game was the lack of proven playmakers on offense.