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The Jets were outplayed in every aspect of the game. Everything can be summed up at the end of the first half. The very first time the Jets get the ball over mid-field, they can’t even score as the drive ends at the Dolphins 2 yard line. This answers one of my 5 questions going into the season. Todd Bowles cannot manage the clock or his time outs. This is inexcusable for a fourth year head coach! The second glaring issue is the offensive line, especially in the first half. Except for one or two runs the Jets running game was awful. And think about it, the Jets are putting a rookie quarterback in a position to try and win an NFL game with virtually no running game and a weak offensive line. The Dolphins defensive line and linebackers were teeing off on every play. And except for a good tight end screen to Eric Tomlinson (24 yards) to offset the rush, the Jets had no answer. Speaking of Eric Tomlinson, the New York Jets tight ends cannot block. Unless this is addressed by the coaching staff, Darnold will get hurt. The Jets rushed for a measly 42 yards while the Dolphins rushed for 135 yards. More stunning is the Dolphins averaged 4.4 yards per carry while the Jets averaged 2.2 yards per carry. Both Sam Darnold’s interceptions were on him. At the time I couldn’t agree with what color commentator Rich Gannon said about Pryor not extending himself. However, I looked at that play about 6 times and there is no doubt that Pryor could have given a better effort to watch the ball, extend himself and at least deflect the ball. I’ll have more on Pryor later. Despite his 2 interceptions, Darnold put up some impressive numbers passing 25-41 for 334 yards and a QB rating of 74.6. For the record Ryan Tannehill’s QB rating was 123.1 and his bootlegs killed us! If Sam could have one play back it would probably be when he threw the ball out of the end zone a tad too early with Quincy Enunwa wide open for a sure six.
Despite how the game looked, give kudos to the Jets defense. They were playing uphill all game. The Jets field position was awful all day. Brandon Copeland played a great game. He was active and credited with one sack and had a sack called back after a penalty on Buster Skrine. Buster Skrine and Morris Claiborne seem to be the weak links on the Jets defense. Skrine has to have the record for the most untimely penalties. Buster Skrine is great for the opposition’s offense. Since the day he signed with the Jets he has had an uncanny knack for keeping the opposition’s drive and momentum going. Can’t we take him off the field on every third down play? Put in Parry Nickerson or Justin Burris? Just tell Skrine the Doctor wants to see him in the tent and keep him in there till the Jets get the ball back. Morris Claiborne is soft. Sometimes there is so much space between the receiver and Claiborne that he is off the TV screen. I’ve seen enough of him. He signed another one-year contract so let’s go out and draft another DB. Or the Jets would show some guts and start Parry Nickerson who is probably the quickest player on the team.
Give credit to Ryan Tannehill. Coming off lat year’s knee injury he was impressive. Besides that sack fumble, he played solid. His running killed the Jets. He led a very balanced attack and when the Dolphins needed a big play, he either made it with a pass or with his own feet. I was never a Tannehill fan and couldn’t understand why the Miami Dolphins did not trade up to draft a quarterback but the Dolphin hierarchy seems to have evaluated his ability well.
See Sam Pass! See Sam Run! See Sam Win!
Is there a better gift this year?
There were a ton of plays that cost the Jets but I came up with these 6 in no particular order that I thought were key in the Jets loss.
1) Chris Herndon Drop
2) Darnold interception after fumble recovery
3) End of first half clock and time out management
4) Buster Skrine holding on 3rd down sack by Copeland
5) Darnold throwing ball away out of end zone with Enunwa wide open
6) Dolphins 3rd and 19 pass for a first down to keep drive going in 4th quarter
From The Stat Corner
Third Down Efficiency 3/10 - 30%
Third Down Efficiency 6/13 - 46%
Penalties (Number-Yards) 7 - 50
Penalties (Number-Yards) 2 - 10
Time of Possession
….Just heard Pryor take blame on Darnold end zone INT. He made himself accountable. But he has got to make more of an effort on those 2 other catches. Richard Pryor could have made a better effort….Dolphins DE Robert Quinn was un-blockable today. He is a winner….The one time Sam was over center not in shotgun, I yelled out “screen or draw.” It was a screen for -5….Jets are 90-100 million under the cap. First priorities: offensive line, edge pass rusher, wide receiver, defensive back and running back…..Is there any doubt that Quincy Enunwa is the Jets best offensive threat…..DE Henry Anderson who had a sack is only going to get better…..Dolphin DB Minkah Fitzpatrick who is from NJ has greatness in him…..Where did Darron Lee go today?…..OL Brandon Shell and center Spencer Long were solid…..Hey Jets, kick the tires with Josh Gordon. Josh McCown knows him. And he is a talent…. What is it with the body language of both Todd Bowles and Robby Anderson that bothers me?…..How about there being a more sense of urgency for the Jets under 9 minutes down by 2 scores. Another Todd Bowles coaching faux pas….I can’t take that commercial with the girl in the Steelers jersey screaming. Please, enough already……
What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
Welcome to the NFL, Sam Darnold -- the real NFL. Six days after his storybook debut, the New York Jets' quarterback faced a legitimate defense for the first time and turned into a mistake-prone rookie in a 20-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. What a buzzkill. This was the Jets' most anticipated home opener in years -- the place was electric at kickoff -- but the masses received a sobering reminder that rookie quarterbacks are prone to growing pains. Darnold wound up throwing for 334 yards and a touchdown, but there were too many hiccups and too many missed opportunities. He made it look easy in Week 1 against the soft Detroit Lions (well, except for his pick-six on his first pass), but it was clear from the outset that the Dolphins had no intention of serving as the foil in another Darnold lovefest. The 21-year-old threw two interceptions (one in the red zone) and mismanaged the clock at the end of the first half, costing the Jets at least a field goal. Every mistake was damaging. The first interception -- a misread -- set up the Dolphins on a short field, gifting them a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Detect a trend? For the second straight week, a Darnold interception put the Jets in a 7-0 hole. Good teams don't do that. In the closing seconds of the first half, Darnold -- with no timeouts left -- made the mistake of throwing to Chris Herndon short of the end zone. He got tackled at the 1 and time ran out, with the Jets unable to line up for a field goal. It was a brain cramp. Darnold should've thrown it away or fired it into the end zone. He made a similar mistake last season in USC's victory over UCLA.
………This was a bitterly disappointing day for the Jets, but it was a good learning experience for their promising young quarterback. Let's be clear: This wasn't his fault; there were breakdowns everywhere. These were tough conditions for any quarterback, let alone a newbie.Darnold battled bad field position, shaky pass protection and a large deficit for the entire day. He got banged around pretty good by the Miami front, which dominated with a four-man rush. The Dolphins didn't do anything exotic to confuse Darnold; they just won their individual matchups and whipped the Jets' offensive line. Continuing a two-year trend, the Jets proved they can't handle prosperity. They've been searching since 2016 for week-to-week consistency. Get used to the roller-coaster because such is life with a rookie quarterback.
Green Rewind's Tailgate Central
Brian Costello, NY Post
The Jets were able to move the ball against Miami through the air, but a lack of a running game and three turnovers killed them. They gained a total of 362 yards, but only 42 on the ground. QB Sam Darnold (25-of-41, 334 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) did not play poorly, but one interception led to points for the Dolphins and the other came in the end zone, preventing the Jets from scoring. The offensive line had a rough game, allowing three sacks and failing to open up holes in the running game…..The defense did some really good things. It got after Ryan Tannehill, sacking him four times, and held the Dolphins scoreless in the second half. But the unit committed two critical penalties on third down that kept Miami drives alive, was unable to pick the offense up after turnovers and allowed a third-and-19 conversion in the fourth quarter…..It was a nondescript game for the special teams unit after last week’s big game. Kicker Jason Myers missed an extra point, but did hit field goals of 55 and 41 yards. Myers also had three more touchbacks on kickoffs. Andre Roberts (one return, 4 yards) was a non-factor this week…..The Jets coaches had no answers when things were not going their way. The offense could not figure out a way to get the running game going. The team made critical errors that reflect poorly on Todd Bowles and his staff. The Jets had two huge penalties on third down defensively, and how do they give up a third-and-19 in the fourth quarter?