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Broncos Beat Jets 34 – 17

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By Jason Fitzgerald
Post Game Thoughts

Some days simply nothing goes right for you and today was one of those days for the New York Jets on the football field. This was not the same football team that took the field the last two weeks as the players just seemed to be going through the motions in an ugly game on an ugly day.

Offense

There was one positive today and that was the performance again of Thomas Jones. Jones ran well had a huge run early and a spectacular one for a TD in the second quarter before the score and pace of the game more or less dictated the Jets move away from a running game. The positives ended there. The Jets looked like they just had issues all day with the weather. They were dropping the ball too often early and botched a reverse so badly that it cost the team 7 points. I’m not sure I understand how they called it a fumble, but it is what it is and the Jets certainly put it on the ground first. The game effectively ended when Brett Favre threw his interception on a long ball down the sidelines. It was a terrible pass at the worst time. The defense finally made a stop and the Jets had the opportunity to take the lead and retake the momentum and they immediately lost all hope with that pick. All day Favre looked like he wanted to go deep and it was just never there for him. Between the play calling and lack of execution the Jets just turned the ball over too many times today whether on downs or on regular turnovers. The 4th down conversions killed the Jets today. Twice when the game mattered they attempted 4th and shorts and they could never get the yard necessary. Denver had the plays completely scouted out and the Jets had nowhere to go. When they drove into the red zone with one last chance to make it a game they lost yards over three plays and had to settle for a near worthless field goal. Other than Jones two runs it seemed as if the Jets played almost the entire first half from their own 20 yard line. Just a terrible day.

Defense

Wow what a bad game for these guys. They basically left their heart in Tennessee and showed no ability to handle the elements or the Denver intensity level. It was as if they took the field and either their heads were somewhere else or they wanted nothing to do with the bad weather on the field. You knew the Jets were in for a long day when Peyton Hillis ripped off a 20 yard run on his first carry of the day. Hillis tore the Jets apart. The tackling was awful and the front line got no push whatsoever. Had they want to the Broncos could have run for 200 yards today. There was just that little physicality from our team. The only reason they didn’t run for that many yards was because the pass defense again can’t cover anyone. There is no excuse of vanilla defenses or anything else this week. The Jets made a decision to drop everyone into coverage and they could not cover anyone. The tight ends absolutely brutalized the Jets. They constantly found themselves open. Even on balls thrown to them that seemed to hang in the air all day there was nobody in site to get in their way of making a reception. The terrible tackling bug hit the secondary as well as the wideouts all seemed to make significant yards after the catch including the Eddie Royal 59 yard TD pass. Those watching at home probably had a better view, but at the stadium it looked 50/50 like he stepped out of bounds. Either way it was the poor tackle that allowed him to race down the sidelines for the score. Jay Cutler sliced the Jets to shreds and never was touched. They flushed him out of the pocket once or twice but that was it. As almost every other QB in the NFL has shown that had played the Jets if they get no pressure on them they are going to gain a lot of yards through the air. By the 4th quarter the defense waved the white flag for good.

Special Teams

Today was the first real look at Reggie Hodges and he pretty much stunk. Leon Washington made a few decent returns, but didn’t do his best job fielding punts allowing some balls to get downed deep inside the Jets territory. Everything Denver did seemed to work for them today even on special teams where they downed a ball at the two that sure looked like it should have gone out to the 20.

Coaching

Well if you give Eric Mangini a ton of credit for the previous two games I hope he gets equal blame for this clunker. Obviously the team wasn’t ready to take the field today. The play calling was a bit weird. Why they tried Brad Smith early while trailing in this kind of weather I don’t know. The 3rd and short/4th and short play combos were terrible. One play they left themselves basically no out with just Chris Baker going out off a playfake and the lack of decision making on the first fourth down attempt was terrible. By the time the decision was officially made the Jets had about 3 seconds to snap the football. The team did not challenge the Smith/Cotchery fumble play for some odd reason and then lost their other challenges. The staff just looked like they were constantly searching for answers trying a hurry up offense in the 3rd quarter which seemed to lead to a billion Denver injuries, real or made up who knows, before stalling deep in Broncos territory and then changing to something else later on.

Overall

Just chalk this one up as one of those days. The Jets are a much better team than the Denver Broncos, but the Titans are a better team than the Jets and the Jets walloped them, so they pretty much got a taste of their own medicine today.

The game was awful to watch. It was tremendously sloppy on the Jets side and the weather was just miserable. The officiating was as bad as I have seen. Not only did a ton of the calls seem bad, but the crew could not seem to call a single penalty without huddling up and discussing the call. It made the game drag so badly and than the Broncos injuries were just icing on the cake. The NFL really should do something about that because at the end of the 3rd/start of the 4th the Broncos staff looked to be running onto the field before the plays were even over anticipating injury. At least traffic was light leaving the game.

Did the Jets really lose anything today? Not really. They lost their 1 in a million chance for the 1 seed and made it a bit tougher for the 2 seed, but the Steelers still have a lot of tough games ahead of them. The Jets could have basically sealed the division today, but even with the loss they still have a commanding lead over Miami and New England. As long as the Jets beat Buffalo and Miami and then split against the Seahawks and 49ers they win the division no matter what anyone else does.

The Jets are a better team than this and everyone knows that Expect the Jets to work much harder this week as they head out to San Francisco to take on a team doing its best to finish strong. Win next week and this week is long forgotten, but maybe all the talk of the Jets being the 2nd best team in the NFL is just a bit premature. I think the Jets players realize that now too which can only help them moving forward. Go Jets.

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