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Sunday, October 8, 2017

1-2-3! We Want More!

  When you open the newspaper or go on the Internet and look at the NFL standings you’ll see the Jets in first place in the AFC East tied with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. Next Sunday October 15 with the Bills on a bye week, the Jets-Patriots game will be for sole possession of first place. What happened today in Cleveland should not really surprise any fan with the way the season has been going. The Jets should give Hue Jackson, coach of the Cleveland Browns a game ball. He went for it on fourth down deep in Jets territory when any first grader will tell you he should have gone for the chip shot field goal. We were watching two different Jet offenses and two different quarterbacks the way Josh McCown played in each half. This isn’t to be confused with the Cleveland Browns who actually used two different quarterbacks. With a lot of help from Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, the Jets got two gift turnovers inside the Red Zone. Going into the game the Jets were missing some key players on defense. Kony Ealy, Josh Martin, Darryl Roberts and Juston Burris were all out. It was noticeable but the Jets defense rose to the occasion while getting gifts from the football Gods!
  In the first quarter the Browns started a drive going right through the Jets defense. They were manhandled at the line of scrimmage and the linebackers were slow to fill the holes. Then with 1:24 left in the quarter on 14th play of the drive (yes I said 14th!!!) DeShone Kizer from the Jets three-yard line tried to flip the ball to running back Isaiah Crowell who could not handle it. Linebacker Freddie Bishop (#50) just brought up from the practice squad recovered the fumble. This was a huge momentum changer.
  The Browns continued to move the ball but could not score. With 10:05 to go in the half, the Browns missed a52-yard field goal. The Jets decided to give the ball right back to the Browns with a third down interception thrown by McCown. With 8:37 to go the Browns started their second long drive in the first half going eleven plays to the Jets 4-yard line. DeShone Kizer went back to pass and throwing to his right, Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye intercepted the pass at the one yard line and ran it back to the Jets fourteen. 
  The Browns continued to miss opportunities to score missing on a 39-yard field goal attempt. Up till this point in the game with 31 seconds to go in the half, the Jets offense was invisible. They could not develop any kind of ground game and their passing game was inept. The offensive line was not opening up holes at all. To make matters even harder for the viewers was that this was a God awful boring first half to watch up to this point. But things would start changing and right here let’s give credit to the Jets MVP this season, offensive coordinator John Morton.
  The Jets got in six plays within 31 seconds and scored on a 57-yard field goal. The play calling and clock management was excellent. On the play before the field goal, the Jets lined up for what looked like a Hail Mary play. But on the play which started with six seconds to go on the clock Jeremy Kerley slipped down for an 8-yard reception and stepped out of bounds with one tick remaining on the clock. Great play calling by John Morton and a great field goal by Chandler Catanzaro.
  In the second half the Browns came out with a different quarterback, Kevin Hogan. The Jets also came out with a different quarterback but he was in the same body. Josh McCown was truly a different player in the second half. For the game he was 23/30 with 192 yards 2 TD passes and 1 INT.
  The Browns who got the second half kick-off went on another long drive. It was ten plays and lasted 5:37. The only difference here was that they scored on a great one-handed catch by rookie tight end David Njoku. 
  Later in the quarter Jets DB Morris Claiborne (#21) intercepted a pass and returned it to the Browns 13-yard line. After a pass to Mcguire, McCown threw a perfect fade route pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a touchdown. A note here is that the Jets lost their first two games while Sererian-Jenkins was serving a suspension. Since he is back, the offense looks much better and the Jets are 3-0. The Jets have to lock up this gifted tight end.
  As the 4th quarter started ,the Browns were in the midst of one of their long drives. On 4th down, instead of going for a field goal, Coach Hue Jackson opts to go for the first down. A bad move and the Jets defense came up big stopping the Browns! A few Jets were in on the play but it looked like linebacker Jordan Jenkins came up big.
  The Jets took over from their own three yard line and go on a 97-yard drive led by McCown who was at his best for the day and maybe the season! He was 6-6 on this drive and showed everything you would want in a quarterback. The biggest play of the drive was a third down pass play to back-up tight end Eric (I’m not George Sauer)Tomlinson (#83) who rambled 34-yards up field. Another key play was on third down McCown hit the new revitalized Jeremy Kerely for 18-yards. McCown then hit Jermaine Kearse with a 24-yard touchdown pass. The Browns scored a touchdown late in the quarter and the Jets recovered an on sides kick to end the game, set and match!
  This was truly a satisfying victory. The Jets special teams deserves tons of credit with the long field goal and some great punting by Lac Edwards. When Bilal Powell went out of the game, there was virtually no running game. Give McCown, and the offense credit, they moved the ball in the second half and the offensive line tightened it up to help give McCown time to throw.

Spread It Around Coach McCown
Interestingly during the game the announcers spoke how Browns coach Hue Jackson offered Josh McCown the job of quarterbacks coach at the end of last year. He turned them down because he still had the fire to play and not coach yet. Lucky for the Jets. Many fans including me figured this was about the time (after game 5 or 6) that the 0-6 Jets would change quarterbacks. McCown has different plans. He continues to show his deficiencies but is playing great and is leading this team. He will someday be an excellent quarterback coach but that may not be for a year or two.
McCown spread the ball around to seven different receivers. Jeremy Kerley and Jermaine Kearse (the JK Brothers) continue to be very consistent. These are two players were not on the roster at the end of August. Kearse continues to lead the team in receptions with 22. But Seferian-Jenkins who led the Jets with 6 receptions today might pass him eventually. 

Secondary Steps Up
When I heard that Darryl Roberts and Juston Burris were banged up and that Marcus Williams would see a lot of action, I thought the Jets had no chance. Give the secondary credit, they did a good job in the second half. They were handicapped because the Jets defense only sacked the quarterback once. Where are Wilkerson and Williams? Our pass rush is very disappointing thus far this year. Besides his excellent interception. Morris Claiborne had an excellent game and seemed to be all over the field. Claiborne has played good this year and can play better. He gives too much cushion on the wide receivers sometimes. Make no mistake, this player is a talent. He was the #6th pick in the 2012 NFL draft. The downside is he has been injury prone and cannot stay on the field. He is a huge improvement after seeing Darrelle Revis’s play last year.

Maye Day
Marcus Maye made a nice interception. He has played very good football this year. He and Jamal Adams are two of the more active safeties in the NFL that are versatile enough to move them all over the field. He played at the University of Florida and some scouts had him rated as a late first round pick. Maye will be making more interceptions as his career moves forward. 

Duped and Juked By Duke Johnson
One of the nicer plays of the day was a touchdown pass to the Brown’s Duke Johnson. A screen pass set up on the left, the Browns had the perfect scenario with the Jets blitzing. They missed a ton of tackles but it was one of the nicer plays of the game.
Another nice play was a pass to a leaping Kasen Williams down the left side that he caught over Marcus Williams. An incredible athletic effort! The reception was overturned because his elbow touched out of bounds before both feet landed in bounds. How Marcus Williams did not knock that pass down I will never know.

Jet Tidbits
……The penalties in the first half were inexcusable…..Like what I see of ArDarius Stewart so far. Jets need to get rookie WR Chad Hansen more reps…..LB Demario Davis continues his excellent play. He lacks pass coverage ability but he has found new lateral speed going sideline to sideline making tackles…..Hope Bilal Powell is okay. He is one we cannot afford to lose…..Except for one or two screw ups on pass coverage, Darron Lee also had a very good game….Brian Winters and his penalties are beginning to get on my nerves…..Elijah McGuire had to know it’s not that easy week to week in the NFL. He did have an important pass reception in the second half…..Under the radar that rookie Dylan Donahue was injured last week and is out for the year. He was beginning to be an effective pass rusher…..Hey Jet fans. Keep enjoying this. You never know.....

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