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Sunday, November 12, 2017

No Offense! No Game!

Some NFL games are tough to watch. The game today was one of them. You can go around and place the blame on a bunch of plays and players for today’s 15-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The offensive line, Jermaine Kearse dropping two first half passes, DB Darryl Roberts doing many things wrong especially the pass interference in the 4th quarter on 3rd down, a gassed defense giving up a 3rd and 15 run for a first down and there were more. Tampa Bay had eight team sacks going into the game and had six today. It is totally inexcusable. How many runs from scrimmage can the Jets get negative yardage? What happened to the screen pass to help offset the pass rush? The Jets were flat from the opening kick off. Two penalties in the first three plays of the game are a reflection on the coaching staff. Offensive lineman Brian Winters is a penalty machine. And watching tackle Brandon Shell trying to block quicker linebackers is painful. One thing is for certain with the Jets having three draft picks in the first sixty-four picks, at least one and maybe two must be offensive linemen. How can the Jets constantly lose the point of attack at the line of scrimmage? For so much of the game it looked like they were going backwards and they got into the “predictable syndrome” running on first down. How about play action or the screen pass on first down? I cannot get on the defense too much because they were on the field so much it wouldn’t be fair. Except for some really inept play by defensive back Darryl Roberts (replacing Morris “I can’t stay on the field” Claiborne) and the all too familiar penalty by Buster Skrine, the defense played well. This despite giving up too many third down plays. 

Offense Goes To Sleep
The Jets got the kick off and had what seemed like a fast three and out. Tampa Bay had the only score in the first quarter on a 17 play drive that took 7:56.  The Jets tied it with a second quarter field goal. It was a 16 play drive that lasted 7:23 despite two sacks for eight yard losses each. Elijah McGuire had a nice pass reception as did Robby Anderson (4 rec. 85 yds. 1 TD) during the drive. In the second half the offense was totally asleep until the end of the game. The Bucs scored two field goals and the Jets were still in the game. On a fourth and two, they went for the three points knowing the Jets offense wasn’t doing anything. Rich Gannon who was doing the color broadcast brought this exact point up. In the fourth quarter the Bucs put together a 15 play drive that lasted 7:25 and ended with a Fitzpatrick to Charles Sims TD pass that Demario Davis made the wrong initial move on. It was too bad because this happened on third down and if the Jets held them to a field goal the chances would go from “none” to “slim.” The Jets scored their touchdown late in the game on a pass from McCown to Anderson. Anderson had another touchdown called back a few minutes earlier because he was out of bounds in the back of the end zone. The Jets offense put up an embarrassing effort. The breakdowns on the offensive line and the free path on one play to sack McCown were ridiculous for this late in the season. I could not watch Todd Bowles press conference but I’m tired of hearing that there was a communication break down and that the Jets will get it fixed. Give us a break!

Defense Wasn’t Dancing Today
Unlike the Buffalo Bills game, the Jets defense could not come up with any big plays except for one Darryl Roberts interception. Let’s face it Tampa is not an offensive juggernaut and was missing two of their best players. But anytime you hold an NFL team to one touchdown, it is a very good accomplishment. The defense missed too many tackles especially in the second half. I’m going to give them a “Mulligan” just because the offense could not sustain anything until garbage time and the defense was gassed very early in the second half. The front seven was not as effective as it was against Buffalo. Still to get only one sack is bad. I thought that besides linebacker Jordan Jenkins coming back to earth from last game, Darron Lee and Demario Davis played well even though the Buc touchdown was on Davis.  

My Jet Paranoia, The Third Down Play!
I have to confess being a Jet fan since 1964 I have a paranoia that the same thing has been happening for years. The third down play has been killing the defense not just this year but it seems forever. I could mention Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan and Todd Bowles. The Jets have been consistently giving up big third down plays over and over again. If it is 3rd and ten, the Jets get a pass interference (see Darryl Roberts). If it is third and fifteen, the opposition will get an 18 yard run. On the flip side if the Jets have a third and ten, it is almost a guarantee that the receiver will run a five yard pass pattern and will get a five yard gain only to be short and have to punt. Run the darn pass pattern past the first down marker. I keep seeing the same thing over and over again.

Coach Has Got To Get Emotional With Officials
Todd Bowles probably will be back next year. Let’s face it the Jets have been in every game except the Raider game. But Todd has got to be more emotional with the officials. He will never get them to change a call but as a coach you have to know how to play the “officials game”. A lot of times coaches will carry on (see both Harbaughs and BB) kicking and screaming about a call knowing they cannot get the official to change it but are playing them for the next call. And it works! Bowles can be a calm leader but he has got to test the officials or the Jets will get less than their share of borderline calls. Remember the Patriot game and the spearing call when the DB spared Robby Anderson? The officials picked up the flag and said there was no penalty. 

Jamal Adams
The quickness Jamal Adams is showing on the field is stunning. But there can be a downside. I don’t want him playing too wild and he has to be more in control. He is so intense coming up and hitting the opposition at such great speed, he is a candidate for a concussion. The Jets are using him perfectly having him play both deep and come up to the line as a blitzer. He is playing like a hybrid linebacker. But if he keeps up the pace he is on with his hitting, his shelf life will be shortened.

Playing General Manager
GM Mike Maccagnan looks like he did a great job with the 2017 draft. He drafts the best players available which is good. However, for fun if the Jets were drafting by need, here is what I would do. 

Round 1 Quarterback
Round 2 Offensive Lineman
Round 2 Offensive Lineman (Seattle pick from trade) 
Round 3 Defensive Back
Round 4 Quarterback
Round 5 Linebacker (Edge Pass Rusher)
Round 6 Defensive Back
Round 7 Wide Receiver

Green Tidbits
…..Camera left game too soon. I liked seeing the Jets going up to Fitz and giving him a hug…..If it was up to me I start receiver Chad Hansen (3 rec. 33 yds-in garbage time) over Jermaine Kearse who slowly is becoming ineffective……Speaking of ineffective for 3 1/2 quarters the only time I heard Sefarian-Jenkins name was penalties….INT by Marcus Maye called back was a big one….Time of possession Jets 28:06, Bucs 31:54…..Steve McLendon (#99) the nose guard may be a good player but I never see any defining plays by him…..Jets net yards rushing, 56 yards…..Jo Jo Natson brought up from practice squad (by way of the Colts) returned kicks and punts. The 5'7' 153 pounder made a mistake on that last kickoff he should have downed but I like small quick guys (remember Bruce Harper) who can hide behind big lineman.....Elijah McGuire showed spurts but didn’t light it up today. For a 6th rounder, he was a steal…..Had to be the worst onside kick in the history of the NFL by Chandler Catanzaro. To say his kick was flat would be an understatement…..Kony Ealy is doing a great job tipping passes. But the rest of his game has been a zero…..At this point I wouldn’t invest a dime in Morris Claiborne for a multi year contract…..



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