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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Jets Put Together 2nd Half Treat

  The Jets beat the winless Cleveland Browns 31-28 with their best second half performance of the season. When you looked at the first half stats it was stunning. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 
3-14 for 30 yards and it seemed like most of his passes were tipped. Thirty-seven year old Josh McCown coming off an injury, was 16-27 for 230 yards and one touchdown pass. Defensively, Hall of Fame bound Darelle Revis was getting torched by college quarterback turned wide receiver Terelle Pryor who had his way Revis and even dropped some passes. The winless Browns looked like they were on their way to their first victory. What in the name of Bela Lugosi was going on?
  In the second half, things somehow turned around. Ryan Fitzpatrick who has the worse second half stats of any quarterback this side of Transylvania looked like a different player. The Jets, with an offensive line that seems to fold as games go on began to block. The running backs that usually look lost finding non-existent holes, showed some change of direction and some burst (Todd, please give Bilal Powell more snaps). The Jets defense with a secondary that has more holes than a Swiss cheese factory began covering receivers and actually had two interceptions. One by Lorenzo Mauldin which was the first Jets INT by a linebacker in 49 games. The second half Jets were a different team and Todd Bowles who I have gotten on this year showed us Jet fans a lot. Not only did he have his team come out in the second half like a different team, he challenged and won it on a play I thought he had no business questioning.
 The Browns first touchdown came on a 5-yard pass from Josh McCown to Andrew Hawkins with Marcus Williams getting burned for yet another one. The Browns added a 41-yard field goal later in the first quarter.
  In the second quarter, Bilal Powell scored on a great 35-yard touchdown run to get the Jets on the scoreboard. This play was a 3rd and 10 audible that Fitz seemed to see something in the Browns defense to run a play that should have been a pass. Give him credit if in fact it was a true audible. Brandon Marshall made a great downfield block making contact with two Brown defenders. Jet fans have to live with Marshall’s 1 or 2 drops a game but some of the little things he does for the team go under the radar. Blocking and recovering an on-side kick late in the game are two examples of his value.
  The Browns added a touchdown and another filed goal to take a half-time lead of 20-7 into the locker room. The most agonizing thing of the first half was how bad the Jets secondary looked. Darrelle Revis looked slow and old. He could not contain Terelle Pryor. Revis was turned around, beat long and looked like an old veteran playing in a sport that passed him by. The other players in the Jets secondary did not play much better. At the beginning of the season if you told me the Jets secondary would be the weakest unit of the team, I wouldn’t have believed it.
  The Jets took the kickoff in the second half and started an excellent drive mixing up
running and passing plays. Forte and Powell ran the ball well as the line was opening up holes. Brandon Marshall caught a couple of passes. But it was the touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa that was the offensive highlight of the day. His touchdown reception was one that fans always seem to see happen against the Jets. He caught the ball and broke tackles, cut inside then outside and barreled over the goal line for the touchdown. Enunwa continues to prove he is Jets best weapon on offense. He has speed, power, he blocks and plays smart. Despite a couple of drops today, he continues to make plays that count and the second best play of the day for the Jets may have been the pass to him that  looked like a sure interception that he came back to break up. The young Jet receivers should take note of that play and learn that receivers are not on the field just to catch footballs.
  After the Jets stopped the Browns, they began another drive. The highlight again was a 57-yard pass to Enunwa. A 3rd and 10 pass to Robby Anderson went for 9 yards. It was an awful spot of the football by the officials and I thought Bowles should have challenged. He ended up calling time out so why not challenge? The Jets went for it on 4th and 1. Bowles showed guts. Forte scored on a touchdown on a 4-yard run. The third quarter ended with the Jets ahead 21-20 and Jet fans thought their Halloween bags were getting more than their share of Snickers. The Jets roster is just not put together to come from behind.
  The Jets continued a drive as the 4th quarter opened. Mostly by running the ball, the Jets moved from their own 19-yard line down the field. Forte scored on a 2-yard run. During the drive Robby Anderson caught a pass for 6-yards. Anderson continues to impress and caught 3 passes for 31 yards. I’m not saying the Jets are better without Decker who runs incredible routes but Anderson’s speed gives the Jets something they didn’t have with Decker. He now has 15 receptions for 152 yards. Let’s not put him in Canton yet but this undrafted free agent is improving as the season goes on.  Anderson is a type of receiver who is somewhat handicapped with Fitzpatrick at quarterback because Fitz’s strength is throwing toward the middle of the field. Anderson’s strength looks to be on the outside. With teams beginning to pay more attention to Enunwa, Anderson should reap more opportunities in the next nine games.
  After the Jets kicked off, Marcus Gilchrist intercepted a second down pass by McCown. The drive went nowhere but the Jets punt was downed on the 1-yard line. The downing of the ball was something Jet fans never see! Normally it is a guarantee the ball ends up for a touchback but things were going the Jets way so much, it wasn’t a surprise. Four plays later another McCown pass was intercepted. This time by linebacker by Lorenzo Mauldin (remember him?). He made a great play after a solid hit by Calvin Pryor causing the ball to be jarred loose into the air and Mauldin grabbed it. The Jets settled for a field goal.
  The Browns scored a meaningless late touchdown and on the ensuing on sides kick, Brandon Marshall secured the ball and the victory. Give the Jets and Todd Bowles credit for turning the game around. With the Jets and Fitzpatrick’s second half history, it was kind of shocking to see the way the Jets played in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Whichever witch’s brew the Jets drank at half time, send some to Miami next week.

Green Tidbits:

….There was a Mo Wilkerson sighting. He made a nice sack and had a couple of pressures….
I love Sheldon Richardson but why does he jump off sides at least once a game….I still don’t like Jalin Marshall returning kicks or punts….With the Jaguars in disarray, how about making a call about getting Chris Ivory back?....LB  Julian Stanford had 3 more tackles and 2 assists. I love bench players who make the most of their playing time…. I’m glad David Harris is back but his pass coverage has always been lacking….Darrelle Revis came back with a respectable 2nd half shutting out Terrelle Pryor who did catch the 2-point conversion….Is it me or do the Jets offensive linemen look way too heavy? Maybe take away the potatoes and bread at Florham Park….The Pats look unstoppable but stranger things have happened in sports….I still like WR Charone Peake. He fights for the ball and runs excellent routes…Enunwa is one player I wouldn’t want to tackle head on when he is running full speed…. Happy Halloween!


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