The JetNation Report Card: Jets @ FalconsBy JetNation Columnist
Vinny Testaverde (11/18, 139, 0 TD, 1 INT): F I almost hesitate to give an explanation as it would be an insult to even a remotely informed NY Jets fan. Vinny choked, plain and simple. His 3 fumbles, which were solely on him and not the OL, led to 17 Falcon points and put the Jets into an immediate hole that given their condition they had no chance of getting out of. Vinny looked his age tonight and based upon his past two performances, the Jets would be wise to immediately cease and desist from continuing their experiment. It is time to give Bollinger the rock for the rest of the season. Vinny blew what very little he had left in his tank during the Tampa game and the apparent Achilles may be blessing in disguise. It could force Edwards’ hand to play Bollinger for the rest of the season.
Brooks Bollinger (12/20, 94, 0 TD, 0 INT): B+ While he won’t take us to a super bowl, division title or even a winning record, career backup Brooks Bollinger stated his case to regain the starting QB position with the Jets for the duration of the season. Bollinger entered the game ice cold in a backup role and brought some life into an otherwise pathetic Jets offense. Immediately leading the offense to a Curtis Martin TD and nearly bringing the Jets within 6pts of the Falcons. Bollinger showed good decision making qualities and made a number of crucial 3rd and 4th down conversions. He quickly reacted and making his hot reads and effectively scrambled when necessary vs. his statue-like counterpart in Testaverde.
Curtis Martin: (14 att, 28 yds, 1 TD): F HOF lock Curtis Martin had a 2 yards per carry average and his longest run was 11 yards. I repeat: HOF lock Curtis Martin had a 2 ‘yards per carry’ average and his longest run was 11 yards. While the blocking of the offensive line was not exactly stellar, Martin’s age has noticeably caught up with him. He lacks the acceleration out of the backfield and explosion at the point of the attack that is currently needed in an NFL offense. Sometimes a RB just has to make a play, to exploit what little the OL may be giving him, and Martin is no longer capable of doing it.
Cedric Houston: (0 att, 0 yds): INCOMPLETE The Herman Edwards promise to get Houston some carries continues to be welched upon. The youth revolution of the NY Jets will not be televised.
Wide Receivers: C+
Laverneous Coles 9/91, Justin McCareins 2/50, Wayne Chrebet 4/27: When the Jets QBs did get them the ball, they did ok and made some plays. For the most part they were there when needed and gave the QBs, specifically Bollinger every opportunity to make a play. They made the catches that needed to be made and were extremely active in the later stage of the game when Bollinger had given some life to the offense. Wayne Chrebet continued his welcome back tour, providing Bollinger with a trusted target when needed.
Tight Ends: F
Quick, run to your refrigerators and look on the side of the milk carton. I’d be willing to bet you’d see a picture of Chris Baker or Doug Jolley. The TEs have been kidnapped from this offense and apparently are being held for ransom by an unknown assailant. Chris Baker continues to be barely involved in the offense, while 1st round draft pick trade Doug Jolley has Al Davis laughing in his sleep. In run support their performance is equally dismal.
Offensive Line: D- It’s week 7 and the QB/Center exchange continues to be harder to nail down then the formula to Cold Fusion. The makeshift M*A*S*H unit which features 4 players in different positions then they started the season in continues to be dismal. They failed to open up consistent holes for their running game and at times appeared lost on assignments, as Curtis Martin learned personally. Only the fact that they:
1) Had to pass protect for the living statue to indecision named Vinny Testaverde and
2) Gave Bollinger ample time to make plays in the latter stages of the game kept them out of the F category for the night.
Defensive Line: F Warrick Dunn (24/155, 0 TD, 65 long) shredded the DL and made it a long night for the second tier of the Jets defense. Allowing the Falcons to establish the running game and burn time off the clock early in the game, the DL continued to over penetrate the line of scrimmage, allow the offensive blockers to take them wherever they wanted to go and failed to properly clog the LOS, allowing linemen to get to the linebackers all night. Shaun Ellis and James Reed failed to even show up tonight and were owned continually by the Falcons. With the exception of a couple pressures, Abraham managed to harass Vick at times earning 1.5 sacks while Dwayne Robertson played an OK game. Hard to believe the Jets can miss a departed player that isn’t even starting anymore.
Linebackers: D+ (Jonathan Vilma B+) Jets LBs contributed to the long night, consistently taking themselves out of plays, making bad reads and failing to fill at the point of attack. With the exception of Vilma, the rest of the Jets LB corps took the night off and were a nonfactor. Failing to attack the run game, they became the hittee vs. the hitter, routinely meeting the ball carrier 5 yards off the LOS. When they did attack, they continually did so in a blind matter, taking themselves right out of the play. In pass defense, they allowed Alge Crumpler (4/66) and Falcon RBs to exploit large voids in their soft zones and carve the Jets up from underneath.
Defensive Backs: B- With the exception of Crumpler on the frequent seam routes, the Jets DB weren’t really tested and when the ball did come their way they did a decent job of breaking it up, including making a couple INTs.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C+ (Ben Graham 5/46.6 avg – B) When the Jets special teams finally showed a little life they managed to get it called back on a penalty. Kickoff and punt coverage were decent for the most part. Kickoff return continues to be a non-factor and makes us yearn for the golden years of Chad Morton and the excitement Westhoff used to bring to special teams. Ben Graham continues to cement his position as team MVP.
COACHING: F If Herman Edwards gets all the credit for his team being the least penalized and committing the least turnovers in recent years then he gets the credit for the debacle unfolding amongst our very eyes this season. 4 Jets turnovers, 3 of which directly led to 17 Atlanta points. While not as severe as in the past few weeks, the Jets had 5 penalties for 44 yards. 3 turnovers and an obviously lost 41-year-old QB and it still took an Achilles injury to get Bollinger in the game. The Jets continue to go nowhere yet his blind dedication to the further advancement of veterans continues to be the cornerstone of his weekly game plan, if he even has one. 3 straight weeks and little or no carries for Houston while a banged up, bruised up Curtis Martin gets thrown to the wolves. His dependence on Vinny has caused two straight defenses to put eight men in the box and dare the Jets to throw on them, effectively killing what little running game the Jets can muster. And the final straw, a once strong defense being carved up by RBs on a weekly basis, causing Jets fans to relive the Teddy Cottrell nightmares. There is more then bad luck involved in this debacle of historic proportions unfolding before our very eyes. This has all the markings of human influence and Edwards’ fingerprints are all over the evidence.