Week 2.5: New York Jets Report


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In one of the most bizarre games imaginable the Jets managed to blow an 18-point lead in Green Bay and lose 31-24 to the Packers in their home opener.

Things went New York’s way early on both offense and defense, staking them to a three-score lead but it didn’t last. Aaron Rodgers led his offensive weaponry to a come-from-behind win to even themselves and the Jets as well at 1-1.

I’ve been shaking my head at this game for two days. It was opportunity lost that a more polished team would’ve taken advantage of. The Jets outdid themselves in finding a way to wreck the game and probably triggered some pondering of exactly how much heartache goes into bleeding green year in and out. It’s really anyone’s guess.

As you could imagine, there are more negatives than positives this week. There were just too many self-inflicted wounds and costly mistakes for gang green, especially on the road against that level of opponent.


  • Sunday sparked a fear that this secondary cannot cover anybody—Aaron Rodgers thrashed them for 346 yards and a 109.8 rating. Dee Milliner’s return helped about as much Stephen Hill did the Jets’ passing attack. Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls weren’t much better; Kyle Wilson was…well…he was Kyle Wilson. A-Rod, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb made offensive execution look like a picnic on the Jets cornerbacks and secondary.
  • The stats will tell you the Jets are the top rushing team in the NFL and ran for 146 yards in Green Bay. Those stats are misleading. Jeremy Kerley and Geno Smith accounted for 63 of those yards. Geno is supposed to use his legs when needed—it’s Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory that need to lead the way on the ground. Ivory had thirteen carries for 43 yards while Johnson had just 21 yards on twelve carries.  Both backs missed the boat on exploiting a sub-par run defense that, credit to them, seemingly stepped up in the second half.
  • The Jets are wildly undisciplined and cause way too many self-inflicted wounds. Whether it’s Mo Wilkerson losing his cool and getting thrown out or Damon Harrison not getting off the field in time, it’s clear New York needs to bury these correctable gaffes. Costing the team field position, an interception or a 37-yard game-tying fourth quarter touchdown with an illegal timeout are all things that could be fixed with a little organization within the walls of Florham Park. That falls on Rex—fixing mental errors and discipline begins with him.

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  • Geno Smith is still in control of the offense in Green Bay. The numbers weren’t necessarily pretty as Smith finished 16 of 32 for 176 yards with one touchdown throwing, one rushing and one interception. However, the 10 of 13 and locked-in Geno that played the first half definitely gives Jet fans something to hope for. In both games he has looked athletic and poised running the show and seems to be progressing despite still suffering from growing pains. Turnovers are still Smith’s Achilles heel but there’s no doubt he is an improved quarterback.
  • The Jet front seven was able to get some much-needed pressure on the quarterback. They got torn up in the passing game but you can’t expect the line to reach the QB on every snap. Especially early on, the Jets were in Rodgers’ face, forcing him out of the pocket and sacking him on four occasions.
  • Eric Decker caught his first touchdown pass of the season on an absolute dime from Geno Smith. It put the Jets up 14-0 and at the time, it was appropriate to jump up and fist pump wildly in your Wayne Chrebet jersey. At least that’s what I did. Decker led the team in receptions once again and is becoming Smith’s safety blanket with his reliable hands and route-running. Let’s hope the hamstring doesn’t hold Decker back on Monday night—the Jets offense could be in trouble.

The Jets’ next test comes on Monday Night Football at MetLife Stadium against Chicago. Da Bears are fresh off a big time fourth quarter comeback to ruin the opening of San Francisco’s new stadium and have weapons all over the place.

Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey pose a similar threat to that of their NFC North rival Green Bay. Chicago scored the second most points in the NFL in 2013 and with the Jets’ secondary issues could be set up for a field day. The Bears’ high-octane offense will look to exploit the New York defensive backfield just as the Packers did—meaning Rex Ryan’s adjustments between last week and this one will be key.

Not to mention an old friend in Santonio Holmes is returning. I really hope it never, ever becomes Tone-time in this game.

For a second week in a row, it’s integral that the Jets to the quarterback. Cutler isn’t mobile like Rodgers is; if gang green can collapse the pocket on him they could neutralize the passing attack. If Cutler has time to sit in there and throw, Monday night could look eerily similar to last Sunday.

New York didn’t run the ball nearly as affectively as they should have in Week 2. The Bears surrendered the most rush yards per game (161.4) in the NFL and have gotten off to a similar start in 2014. Johnson and Ivory need to gain yardage and first downs on the ground, eating up the clock. The less time on the field for Chicago’s offense, the better for the Jets.

I gave Geno Smith a break on his game-changing interception in Week 2 because guard Brian Winters was beat quickly, leading to a hit and tight end Zach Sudfeld probably needed to fight for the ball. With that said, Geno has three turnovers through two games and its time to play a clean four quarters, sustaining offense throughout. Chicago has a suspect pass defense as well and they are worth taking a few shots on. The Jets must score points to catch up and as we saw last week, failing to put points on the board allows the good offense back in the game.

It’s game two of the Jets’ six-week gauntlet. A win here at home against a quality opponent goes a long way towards building confidence and getting through this stretch in good shape. Playing in prime time also gives the rest of the league and the entire nation a chance to see what you’ve got.

We know Ryan and the Jets would like to put some people on notice, right? Well, not if the Marc Trestman’s bunch has anything to say about it. Right now the Jets are slight favorites—see you on Monday Night Football.