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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Jets Win With Defense

  It was one of those games that Jets fans kept asking themselves as the fourth quarter went on “When are they going to blow this one?” So goes the mindset of most Jet fans. The Jets finally came out a winner 24-16 beating the Ravens who got their 2nd loss at Met Life Stadium in 8 days. The other coming at the hands of the Giants. It wasn't easy and it was one of those games that waiting for the worse to happen almost did on a Matt Forte fumble inside the goal line. Fortunately Brandon Marshall made one of his best plays of the season stripping the ball then recovering it for the Jets. But today it was the Jets defense that deserves most of the credit. They did not give up a defensive touchdown  and put pressure on Joe Flacco all day.  Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon and Leonard Williams were great today! The pressure got to Flacco in the second half as he threw 2 interceptions. Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrest each had one. Skrine who played very well showed some excellent running ability and almost scored on his INT. Skrine also showed good tackling ability wrapping up Raven players after his initial hit.
  Geno Smith who started the game played well throwing some pinpoint passing. A couple of his passes were dropped but playmaker Quincy Enunwa scored a touchdown on an excellent run after the catch. Enunwa continues to impress not only as a receiver but his blocking ability is excellent. Geno went out of the game after he was sacked. He left for the locker room and will probably undergo an MRI. Fitzpatrick entered the game and looked sharp also. He led the Jets on a drive highlighted by a scoring run by Matt Forte.
  Starting in the first quarter, the Jets were in a punt situation and on the snap, Lac Edwards never caught the ball as it went through his hands and the Ravens pounced on it for a touchdown. This play, guaranteed was seen by every football fan watching the one o’clock games. At this point every Jet fan watching the game on television probably figured they could be more productive going outside and raking leaves. The Ravens then got a field goal and were ahead 10-0 and things seemed bleak knowing the Jets are not a come from behind team. But thank the green Gods for Quincy Enunwa. On a short curl pass he showed real burst breaking it for a 69-yard touchdown. I’ll say it again, Enunwa is our best player on offense.  The first quarter ended with the Ravens ahead 10-7. One of the lowlights of the quarter was a 53-yard pass completion to Mike Wallace covered by Buster Skrine with help from Calvin Pryor. How Pryor did not knock the ball away is beyond belief. The ball went right through his arms. For the Jets, Geno Smith was developing a rhythm  and it actually looked like there was hope. There were drops by Charom Peake and Brandon Marshall. As talented as Marshall is he seems pull up and stop his routes sometimes and doesn’t extend his body to the ball. In the first quarter you could also see that Matt Forte had a chance to have a good day. He ran with some
giddy  up hitting holes well.
  The first play of the second quarter was a microcosm of the Jets season so far. The Jets made two great plays to end the first quarter highlighted on a sack by Sheldon Richardson for a 9-yard loss. On that first play of the quarter on a 3rd and 19, Flacco threw a 20-yard completion for a first down right in front of Marcus Williams who later in the game would make up for this awful play. The Ravens settled for a field goal. The Jets started a drive with Bilal Powell running hard on a 3rd down for 
9-yards. Unfortunately Geno Smith got sacked 3 plays later and this is the play where he hurt his knee and he limped to the sideline and then to the locker room.
  The Ravens were driving and for some reason on the Jets 42 with a 4th and 1, the Ravens punted. This was a great break for the Jets and a horrible coaching decision by the Ravens. At 4:34 in the 2nd quarter, Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game. On a 3rd and 5 he hit Peake who broke a tackle got the 1st down to continue the drive. He then hit Brandon Marshall for 21-yards. Two plays later the Jets ran a near perfect reverse to Robby Anderson for 30-yards.  Anderson showed off his break away speed. On the next play Fitzpatrick looked like the 2015 Fitz setting up a perfect middle screen to Forte for a
13-yard touchdown pass. The Ravens ended the first half scoring with 44 yard field goal. This was the 3rd by kicker Justin Tucker who was excellent for the Ravens. He also had field goals of 49 and 50 yards. At half time the Jets were losing 16-14. 
  With 7:16 remaining in the 3rd quarter Buster Skrine intercepted a Flacco pass and returned it to the Raven 3-yard line. Two plays later something happened that might have been the most frustrating play of the year. With a 2nd and goal at the Raven 4, our Ivy League graduate got a delay of game penalty. I could not believe it! Fitzpatrick must have missed his classes at Harvard on telling time. The Jets had to settle for a field goal.
  On the Ravens next possession, Marcus Gilchrist intercepted Flacco again and the Jets had excellent field position. On the 4th play of the drive this may have been the biggest play of the game. At the Raven 6-yard line Forte took the hand off and ran to the Raven 3-yard line but fumbled the ball. Tim Jerrigan picked up the ball and began to run but Brandon Marshall stripped Jerrigan of the ball and recovered the fumble and the Jets had a new set of downs. If by some miracle the Jets make the playoffs, this is the play we have to look back on. On 3rd down, Forte ran the ball in for a touchdown. This was the last score of the game though there were nervous moments in the 4th quarter. The best Jets offensive play of the 4th quarter was a 28-yard pass play to Robby Anderson. It was a very good pass and Anderson jumped to make a fine grab in traffic.
  The Jets defense was outstanding. The Ravens could not run the ball. They had a total of 6-yards rushing which is unheard of in today’s game. The Jets secondary looked confused in the first half but settled down and played solid in the second half. Marcus Williams who let up a huge 1st half play made a nice play knocking away a long pass. Kudos have to go out to linebacker Julian Stanford (#51) a Wagner graduate by way of Bloomfield Connecticut who had 6 tackles. He was filling in an already thin linebacker group.
  It is tough watching your team make two huge special team mistakes, the fumbled snap and then a blocked field goal. A win is a win and the Jets needed this one bad. As injuries mount up we’ll see what type of character the Jets have. If Geno Smith is healthy, I’d start him again. He looked good but still looks lost when pressured and has to turn his back to get away from it. His uncertainty about what to do and which way to run helped cause his injury. We’ll give him a little slack because this was his first game in a while and his passes were sharp. Start Geno but have a short leash. I’d expect the Jets to activate 3 quarterbacks in Cleveland so look for a dressed Bryce Petty.

Green Tidbits:

….Had to be one of the dumbest things I ever heard not playing Bilal Powell when Geno went down because he is our emergency QB. Talk about coaching scared….Jets TD drive with Anderson reverse was the best series called by Gailey this year….Please remove the shuffle pass from our playbook….Enunwa had another great block on one of Fotre’s TD runs….Enunwa is our best offensive player and Sheldon Richardson is our best defensive player….I confess, when Jets were down 10-0, I was about to give up….Punter Loc Edwards may have thought he was back in Australia playing soccer and wasn’t aloud to use his hands….It seemed like it was more but the Ravens were only 3-14 on 3rd down plays….Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh has seen enough of Met Life Stadium this year….On punt return by J. Marshall in 1st quarter it looked like his uniform was coming apart like a ball of yarn….Twice Steve McLendon pushed the center right into Joe Flacco….Linebacker Victor Ochi from Stony Brook by way of the Bronx was activated and played some. He is a kid you want to root for….


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