If someone told you that the New York Jets would hold the Green Bay Packers to 237 total yards and 9 points, you would think victory right? Well not so fast as Gang Green somehow found a way to lose to the Packers 9-0 at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday. Here are some of my notes from the game.
1) Predictable playcalling- Coming off of a bye week one would think the New York Jets offense would be fully prepared to take advantage of a banged Packers defense. Well that was clearly not the case on Sunday as the Jets offense was very predictable and somewhat conservative. The Jets could not establish their running game, which was more than surprising, and continued to misuse their personnel. Several times during the game the Jets went to obvious run packages and the Packers easily shut the play down. Then with the run game stifled, the pass plays were limited to sometimes only 2 options. Why not spread the field and use the talent on your roster? Furthermore if you are scared to let your young quarterback make plays on the field, then take him off of it. It is one thing to limit turnovers, it is another to handcuff a player. Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer must get a better feel for his offense and the players, if this team is going to have any type of extended success. Just for the record I honestly believe that when the Jets go 4-wide with Holmes, Cotchery, Edwards, Keller and Tomlinson in the backfield, they should be almost impossible to defend. There are mismatches all over the field and Sanchez should just be finding the open guy.
2) Just catch the ball- The New York Jets receivers continue to drop very catchable balls, which if caught, could drastically change the outcome of the game. Santonio Holmes dropped what could have been a 45-yard touchdown pass and Jerricho Cotchery dropped several balls, which could have changed the momentum of the game as well. Holmes is starting to become a concern, as this is becoming a weekly occurrence for the flamboyant playmaker.
3) Special teams mistakes- The Jets special teams units, which are considered by many to be amongst the top in the league, struggled on Sunday. Nick Folk shanked a 37-yard field goal and punter Steve Weatherford failed on a fake punt attempt. The fake punt attempt was somewhat surprising as the Jets were on their own 20 and it was 4th and 18. I am all for risky calls, but 4th and 18 seems to be a bit too long in my book.
4) Questionable officiating- It is always easy to blame the officials in a disappointing loss, but there were two calls I think the Jets truly got screwed on. Both involved the same type of play, a completed pass where the receiver went to the ground fighting the cornerback for the ball. Both times the defensive player came up with the ball, but it appeared that the Jets receiver had possession when he hit the ground which should have resulted in the offense retaining possession of the ball. Of course both plays were ruled interceptions, which killed the Jets drives.
5) Defense solid- Overall the Jets defense played very well which is evidenced by their holding of the Packers to 237 total yards. Gang Green’s defense made plays when they had to, led by David Harris with his 8 tackles and a sack. The secondary still appears to have some confusion at times, but it did not cost them in this game. The one move I did not understand, was to repeatedly take out Bart Scott and Shaun Ellis in passing situations in the second half of the game. Ellis has a knack for getting to the quarterback, and Scott is fairly effective in blitzing situations. Again this is nothing major, just something that I noticed that seemed odd to me.
6) Its on Rex- Many are going to want to point fingers for this disappointing loss but for me it falls on Rex Ryan. Granted if you clean up some of the dropped balls the Jets win this game, but the team did not appear to come out hungry and aggressive. An argument can be made that they were not fully prepared coming off of a bye week. There is going to be a continuing concern that the Jets will become complacent after hearing how they are the best team in the NFL. Gang Green is now 5-2, which is not even the best record in their own division. Rex Ryan must get this team reeled in as nothing in the NFL is won in September, but playoff dreams can be lost in November. The Jets go on the road to play the Lions and Browns the next 2 weeks, which should help Gang Green right their ship.
7) Not the “Same Old Jets”- Following every loss the term “Same Old Jets” is often used by some of the diehard fans. The fact of the matter is that the Jets are not going to win every game and will throw in a clunker or two during the season. This Jets team has been playing at a very high level and would need to put together a string of terrible performances before the SOJ term should be used. Of course I remember the Jets collapse when they were 8-3 a couple of years ago, as well as the rest of the historic meltdowns, but I am still willing to give this group of Jets a chance. Now the Jets lay an egg against the Lions and this is all subject to change.