Week 1.5 : New York Jets Report


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Welcome to the New York Jets Report. every week, this column will be here with a short summary of some positives and negatives from each game. We won’t just let you know things the keys to the previous matchup but how it could affect the upcoming one. Consider it a crash course in gang green football. Since this post is during the week, the ‘.5’ is added between the corresponding weeks we are at in the NFL season. Any ideas for this column or another along with better names for our column are more than welcome. We are certainly open to change and improvement. Now let’s get to some New York Jets football.

The first week of this NFL football season is behind us and the New York Jets got started off exactly how they needed to: with a win. It wasn’t entirely pretty but the job got done by a final score of 19-14. A lowly Raiders group with a rookie quarterback flew cross-country to MetLife Stadium and it was imperative gang green come out victorious. Especially when considering the gauntlet awaiting the Jets on their upcoming schedule.

This was a game the Jets were supposed to dominate and they did. The deceptive score overshadows the fact that the Jets outgained their opponent 402-158 in total yards and there was a never a moment where you felt like the Jets were in danger of losing the game.


  • The Jet rushing attack gives us the most impressive takeaway from Week 1. The backfield showed its depth with an enormous impact, gaining 212 yards overall on 34 attempts. It was an encouraging sign that makes you think with a running back group like this New York should be able to run on just about anybody.

Chris Johnson was impactful in his Jets debut, collecting 91 all-purpose yards and was very much involved in the offense. If Mornhinweg can heavily feature Johnson without overusing him, the former 2,000+ yard rusher could do wonders for the Jet offense. Chris Ivory is the bruiser of the group and delivered the knockout blow with a 71-yard run in the 4th quarter, the game’s most explosive play. He finished the afternoon with 102 yards on ten carries.

  • Geno Smith’s legs, efficiency and short-yardage passing were things to be excited about as well. The second year QB finished off the afternoon 23-28 with 221 yards and a touchdown. Geno looked in control, infinitely more comfortable running Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and displayed poise for most of the game. The Jets’ OC is also putting Geno in a position to succeed by keeping him in pistol/shotgun formations on pass plays, similar to what he used at West Virginia.

Smith’s legs were also a huge attribute for the Jets as their QB ran for more yards than the entire Oakland offense (38 for Smith) and picked up several first downs on third down attempts while scrambling.

  • The Jets owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Neither Maurice        Jones-Drew nor Darren McFadden could gain any momentum running the football as New York stymied Oakland for just 25 yards rushing. True to form, the Jets defensive line dictated play all afternoon.


  • Want to talk about unacceptable? The Jets showed an incredible lack of discipline, taking eleven penalties that totaled over a hundred yards. New York made things harder on themselves by killing their own drives. A flag even moved Nick Folk back ten yards, forcing him to make a longer field goal. Experienced players like Willie Colon and D’Brickashaw Ferguson need to be the ones Rex Ryan can rely on, not worry about. The inexcusable penalties were part of the reason why the Jets’ domination didn’t shine through on the scoreboard.
  • Despite looking solid overall, the biggest reasons why Week 1 wasn’t a blowout for the Jets were Geno’s transgressions. It was a bit Jekyll & Hyde for Smith who showed all those positives mentioned but also turned the ball over twice including once inside the Oakland 5-yard line. The interception was a fine play by future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, but the turnovers in general need to be cut down and the excuses for them are gone. After 25 turnovers a season ago, Smith already has two and the Jets can’t afford to give up possessions on offense or put their defense in a compromised position.

Smith also took a sack on third down that forced the Jets out of field goal range. That’s a thing that doesn’t appear in the box score but absolutely has an impact on the game. Part of developing as a QB is learning when it’s not there and throwing the ball away. We can be sure these are things Smith will relentlessly continue to work on as 2014 progresses.

  • The Jets need more consistency in the red area, where they only scored once on four trips. Geno needs to 1) take care of the football and 2) find a go-to guy he feels comfortable with down near the end zone. Look for it to be Decker, who nabbed five passes for a team-high 74 yards in his Jets debut.

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A much larger challenge presents itself for the Jets in Week 2 at Green Bay. Don’t be fooled by their first result; the Packers have offensive juggernaut capability and arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. Walking out of Lambeau Field is never an easy task and that won’t change on Sunday in the Packers’ home opener.

The so far, so good but still unproven Jets secondary will surely get their first real test. The cornerbacks and safeties will do their best to not allow Rodgers & Co. to take them to school but it’s hard to have a ton of confidence in it. The best strategy for the Jets is to shut down the Packers running game (Eddie Lacy’s status is uncertain) and make them one-dimensional. There’s a much better chance of stopping their pass if you’re sure its coming.

Better yet, keep the Packer offense off the field. New York would do well to piece together long, time-consuming drives led their ground attack. Green Bay struggles to stop the run and Aaron Rodgers gets less time with the ball. The Jets’ three-headed monster should be in full affect with Johnson, Ivory and Powell and there’s reason to believe they can run all over the cheese heads.

One other thing is for sure: if the Jets are as undisciplined in Week 2 as they were in their first game, they’re in big trouble. Eleven penalties? A hundred yards? As we’ve been saying, an offense like this can hang points on a defense in a hurry. There’s no room for self-inflicted wounds that give A-Rod, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson shorter fields or attempts at first down. On offense, the Jets will likely have to score in order to keep up. Letting a so-so defense off the hook due to flags is an inexcusable as giving the offense extra chances.

This is a bit of a litmus test for the Jets’ imposing front seven as well. Whether or not gang green is able to apply pressure could very well be the difference in the result. Time and space for a player of Rodgers’ caliber is far too dangerous a situation to allow. It’s certainly relevant enough that we’ll be able to notice their impression or lack thereof throughout this game.

Overall, the Jets are on a high note but they’re heading into what will be a tough game to win; certainly one many expect gang green to lose. So that’s it—you can forget all about what it’s like to be favored as the Jets will switch into the underdog role they’ll stay in for about two months. The first half of the schedule is all about weathering the storm for Rex’s club and we’ll begin to find out just how improved this Jets team is. The first test is on Sunday in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Keep an eye on Empire Writes Back for more Jets analysis as Week 2 approaches.