The Jets travel to Pittsburgh this Sunday to take on the Steelers in their second “must win” game in a row. Coming into this game the Jets are at a severe disadvantage. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is coming into the game with a 100.8 QB rating and 11 TD passes and 4 INTs. What is also scary is that with the big plays the Jets secondary are giving up each game, Roethlisberger has 5 completions of 40+ yards so far this season. Wide receiver Antonio Brown has already caught 28 passes in this young season with 4 touchdown receptions. As of this writing the status of Darrelle Revis is unclear for Sunday’s game. The key to stopping Roethlisberger is to keep him in the pocket and he must be wrapped up when a defensive player makes contact with him. We’ve all seen this excellent QB at his best when he is flushed out of the pocket and when he peels defensive players off him like flies just when you think he is going to be sacked.
What can you say about the Jet offense? Anymore multiple interception games by Fitzpatrick and the Jets are obligated to change quarterbacks. I am not a Geno Smith fan but the interceptions are coming so fast, a change must be made. The team mistakes the Jets are making are too numerous to mention and I’m tired of writing about them and tired of listening to talk radio pundits talk about them. One of the reasons teams have 53-man rosters is to have depth at key positions and be able to substitute when things are not going well. When the secondary is so unprepared and the head coach is not holding his assistants accountable then there has to be a shake-up of players. If the talent pool to substitute isn’t there, then the general manager is lacking talent evaluation skills. The bottom line is changes have got to be made!
Uppers & Downers
1. Matt Forte & Bilal Powell
Holes are closing as the game goes on but these two running backs continue to give it 110% though their stats don’t show it.
2. Nick Mangold
Last year I was rough on the “bearded one.” But with an offensive line that breaks down more than not, this veteran is doing a very good job for a 32-year old.
3. Quincy Enunwa
Week in and week out it is obvious that he is our most consistent player. If we had 22 starters play like him, it would be a different season.
1. Lorenzo Mauldin
His playing time is less and less. He is not making plays like we thought he would. He is doing a great impersonation of Demario Davis.
2. Calvin Pryor
In the first 8 games last year he was playing at an incredible high level. Since then his play has gotten worse game by game. Whether it is being out of position, not covering the tight end or slipping on the field, he has been a disaster this year.
3. Back Shoulder Pass
Ryan Fitzpatrick cannot lead an open receiver and the opposition knows it.
The Jets and Chan Gailey are becoming too dependent on this timing play to get a reception. If the Jet offense continues to overuse the back shoulder pass, Fitzpatrick’s interceptions (or whoever plays QB) will continue to increase.
What the Jet scribes are saying…..
Brian Costello, NY Post
What is amazing about the current Jets’ quarterback situation is they drafted a quarterback in the second round of the NFL draft in April. Yet no one is suggesting the Jets turn things over to Christian Hackenberg right now. He is fourth on the depth chart. If you’re scoring at home, no other team in the NFL even has a fourth quarterback on their depth chart. This is because Hackenberg is not ready to play. No one in the Jets organization believes he is ready. This is not an indictment of Hackenberg, who by all accounts is working diligently to become better. It is a criticism of the Jets for selecting him in the second round. There were 15 quarterbacks taken in this year’s draft. Most of them are developmental quarterbacks — players you don’t have high immediate expectations, but maybe they figure things out and can develop into a good player down the line. It is fine to draft these types of players, but you can’t take them in the second round. The drafting of Hackenberg with the No. 51 overall pick looks terrible right now. From all accounts, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan fell in love with Hackenberg during the draft process. Some believe the infatuation began when Maccagnan still was working for the Texans and former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien told him about Hackenberg. Whatever it was, Maccagnan jumped when he got the chance to take Hackenberg in April. Now, when the team has a question at quarterback, no one is suggesting Hackenberg is the answer. This comes in a season when rookie quarterbacks are doing amazing things around the NFL. Five rookie quarterbacks have played this season, with four now starting regularly for their teams….
Again, someday Hackenberg might fit that description, but not now.
This offseason will be fascinating. Do they bring back Fitzpatrick, who is on pace for 40 interceptions this season, for another year? Do they turn the reins over to Petty or Hackenberg? Do they bring in a veteran free agent?
Rich Cimini, ESPN
When LaDainian Tomlinson visited the New York Jets training camp in his role as an NFL Network analyst, he was bullish on his former team's chances of overtaking the New England Patriots in the AFC East. One of the reasons he cited was the chemistry between Ryan Fitzpatrick and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. Well, scratch that.
Tomlinson now believes it's time for Geno Smith to replace Fitzpatrick, who has thrown nine interceptions in the last two games. In a mini-rant on the NFL Network, Tomlinson acknowledged Brandon Marshall’s public support of Fitzpatrick, but the future Hall of Famer still wants to see Fitzpatrick benched. Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has had a rough go in the last two games, throwing nine interceptions.
"I get it, though, B," Tomlinson said. "I get it. You're a loyal guy. And that's your quarterback. But you know what? Honestly, it's time. Instead of J-E-T-S, you guys have got to start going G-E-N-O. That's right: It's time for Geno.
"You can't throw nine picks in two weeks and think you can keep your starting job. Meanwhile, Geno Smith beat you out (last year), and he's still on the bench. Come on, man. Roll it. It's time to get Geno in there, because Ryan Fitz-tragic is taking over, and it's not good."
Technically, Smith didn't beat out Fitzpatrick in 2015. As the incumbent, Smith was handed the title of "presumptive starter," but everything changed when his jaw was broken by I.K. Enemkpali. You know the rest. Tomlinson's opinion is worth noting because he played for the Jets (2010-11) and because ... well, he's LaDainian Tomlinson. In August, I asked him about the Jets' chances and this is what he said:
"If there's ever a year to knock off the Patriots, it has to be this year for the Jets or for somebody else to win this division. It has to be the Jets. When you think about it, they have enough experience on both sides of the ball. If Ryan can play at the level he played last year -- and maybe just a little bit more -- they should do it. They should do it. He's had his best years under Chan Gailey. That's why I'm so optimistic.".
Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Todd Bowles didn't drop any expletives one week after his profanity-laced post-game assessment in Kansas City, so let me do the honors:
The Jets were sh--ty. Again. They should be embarrassed after a one-legged quarterback took a supposedly elite defense to the woodshed. They should be ashamed of an offense that laid another egg. They should figure out what the heck is going on with a secondary that couldn't cover Del Boca Vista residents these days. The Jets were the punchline of a 27-17 joke of a loss to the Seahawks and their wounded leader Sunday in front of ticked-off paying customers, who emptied out of MetLife Stadium long before this ugliness became official. Jets fall to 1-3 as Seahawks dominate, Fitz throws three INTs
"We beat ourselves two weeks in a row," Todd Bowles said. "We have to fix that."
The Jets followed up their eight-turnover calamity against the Chiefs with only three this time.
Progress? More like pathetic.
The 1-3 Jets reached the quarter pole of the season with a litany of concerns. They've navigated a daunting six-game stretch to begin the season like a bunch of blind men in the wilderness. Maybe they can correct their avalanche of errors. Maybe the film will provide clues to patch up the cracks that have them slowly, but surely sinking into irrelevance.
"It's obviously not somewhere we want to be right now, not somewhere where we'd thought we'd be," said Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had three fourth-quarter interceptions to give him nine picks in the past two weeks. "But nobody is going to feel sorry for us. So we can't sit here and pout about it."
The season isn't lost two days into October, but it's closer than most of them think if they don't reverse course in a hurry. Expectations in the wake of a 10-win season were justifiably high, but Bowles is coaching a bunch of underachievers making way too many mistakes on a regular basis to be taken seriously right now. Bowles' secondary, carved up from jump street this season, gave up six passes of at least 20 yards, including a couple of 40-plus. Miscommunication. No communication. Busted coverages.