The offense has been slightly better than anticipated. Ryan Fitzpatrick is also playing better than I expected. He forces the ball in coverage a lot but he seems to have “game smarts” and is playing to his potential. He sees the field and is good at selling the screen pass. He has developed some chemistry with Decker and Marshall and of late Kerley. He is not on the same page with Devin Smith our 2nd round draft pick. I'd like to see Fitz hit a receiver in stride with a pass over 40 yards.
The offensive line has given Fitzpatrick good pass protection and has blocked okay for the running game. The blocking seemed to have disappeared in games 6, 7 and 8 though Chris Ivory was banged up for those games. I had thought Nick Mangold was on his way down but the line blocks much better with him in there. Left guard James Carpenter has been the most consistent lineman from what I’ve seen.
Chris Ivory is a key component to our offense. He has had a very good year when he is healthy. The problem is the way he runs, he gets nicked up every game and has fumbled as of late. Zac Stacy was serviceable and was getting better catching the ball out of the backfield until he got a season ending injury. Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley just have not played that much. Fullback Tommy Bohannon has been a pleasant surprise with his blocking and has caught a few key passes out of the backfield.
Our receivers are enigmas. Brandon Marshall looks like an All-Pro at times but has dropped too many key passes and made a couple of dumb plays including his lateral in the Eagle game. Eric Decker makes some great catches over the middle and in the Red Zone but at times his concentration seems to wander. He blew his assignment the last two plays of the Buffalo game which may end up keeping us out of the playoffs. Our tight ends are invisible with the only real highlight being one TD reception by Kellen Davis and a 44 yard pass reception by Jeff Cumberland.
The defense has been struck with the injury bug. There are still no excuses for some of the plays they have made. Going into the season everyone in the NFL thought the Jets were a top 5 defense. It has not worked out that way. The Jets defense still cannot come up with the big defensive stop. The continuous success of offenses hitting long 3rd down plays, like the Patriots did on 3rd and 17 is inexcusable.
The defensive line has been the best part of the defense. The Jets have to resign Mo Wilkerson. He has played great in the first 9 games. After missing the first 4 games Sheldon Richardson has been coming on. Leonard Williams has been invisible since the first 4 games (but please do not give up on him) and Damon Harrison is also playing less inspired as of late.
The linebackers are good on the run but the pass coverage stinks. Demario Davis is the weak link there and teams know this and are targeting him. David Harris is having a fine season and Calvin Pace has played surprisingly well. It is obvious that this is Quinton Coples last year with the Jets.
The secondary was suppose to be the most improved part of the defense. Someone obviously forgot to tell Antonio Cromartie. His coverage outside of a couple of games has been atrocious. Revis has lost a step and teams know this. Calvin Pryor was playing on an All-Pro level before he got hurt and the Jets have to get him back. Marcus Gilchrist and Buster Skrine have played well. Marcus Williams is very erratic and the Jets should keep him at DB and not move him to safety anytime soon.
Special Teams: F
Aside from a 54 yard kick off return by Cromartie, this part of the Jets game has been just awful. Our punter and kicker each get injured at one time during the season and Folk is out for the year. Our return game stinks! The fumble against the Bills by Devin Smith was the turning point of that loss and maybe the season. Our cover game is erratic and it seems every time we punt or the other team punts Jet fans are on edge wondering what is going to go wrong next.
Todd Bowles has this team playing very hard for him. At times the Jets conditioning looks suspect. Injuries are part of the game and Bowles has never made any excuses. At issue here is what has been happening at the end of games and his explanation. Those 2 plays against Buffalo on the goal line were a comedy watching our receivers running into each other. This is bad coaching. Also the team came out flat against the Raiders, bad tackling and did not look prepared for that game. This all has to fall on the head coach. Can he improve? Yes he can on some things but some believe clock management is a skill of thinking ahead in micro-seconds that some coaches either have or don’t have.
The Jets have to go back to what got them the most success. Chris Ivory needs to run the ball but he has to be spelled the last 7 games of the season or he will never last. Stevan Ridley has got to get more repetitions. Fitzpatrick has to continue to do what he has been doing. The coaching staff cannot put a leash on him with his scrambling. He just has to be more careful. Marshall and Decker both have to step up and be leaders and make plays. The Jets also have to get Devin Smith more involved in the offense. I would also use Tommy Bohanon more. As an H-back or even tight end. When he is on the field, good things seem to happen.
On defense if Cromartie continues the way he is playing, the Jets have got to bench him and roll the dice with Marcus Williams. I’d play Trevor Riley and Lorenzo Mauldin more.
A couple of pleasant surprises have been wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins and safety Dion Bailey.