The Jets fell to 5-2 today after losing at home 9-0 to the Green Bay Packers. The score is indicative of the way the team played. The defense, which held Green Bay out of the end zone, was terrific. The offense, which did not register a point, was really bad. It was unlikely the Jets were going to win out and finish 15-1, but so many self-inflicted errors coming out of a bye are very frustrating.
More after the jump.
Brian Schottenheimer: The offensive coordinator gets the headline here. While plenty of heat has to go on the players for not executing, it is just impossible to defend the job Schotty did. Green Bay has an incredibly banged up defensive front. They are so thin that they put in an offensive lineman in their goal line packages. The Jets entered the game with the second ranked run offense in the league. The Packers came into this game allowing 4.7 yards per rush. Got all that?
Mark Sanchez dropped back to pass over 40 times today. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene combined for 22 carries. Even though Sanchez was struggling badly, there was no change in the philosophy as the game progressed. Yes, Green Bay did load their front and dare the Jets to throw it. Yes, they did largely bottle Greene and Tomlinson up. Here's the thing. We saw many times last year that when the Jets committed to the run, there was often not early success. The idea is to keep on pounding the defense to wear it down. Eventually the line started getting traction, and backs started popping big carries. Greene's pounding style should have been a more integral part of the game plan than for him to get 6 carries.
Then we could go on with the gimmicky calls like going to an unbalanced line then running a long developing end around to the side linemen vacated. Green Bay's defensive backs were jumping everything short. Schottenheimer kept calling these passes instead of trying to find holes in the zone. This was as poorly called of a game as you will ever see.
Mark Sanchez: Numbers sometimes lie. Mark's did not today. He finished 16 of 38 with 2 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. He easily could have ended with 6 picks. Most of his incompletions were way off the mark. While his offensive coordinator and receivers didn't give him much help, Sanchez didn't do much to help his own fate. He was making bad decisions. A perfect example was the first interception. He threw the ball to a covered receiver over five yards short of the sticks on third down. Even a good result there would have forced the Jets to punt. When the reads were right, the throws were off.
Jerricho Cotchery: Now, this is a case of numbers lying. While the stats look good (4 catches, 89 yards), he had a pair of killer drops on the last two Jets drives. In addition, even if he was down, he can't let a defender rip the ball from him like he did on the first interception.
Santonio Holmes: He had a drop that cost the Jets a big play and possibly a touchdown himself.
Dustin Keller: Aside from his late big catch, he wasn't much of a factor in the passing game. He took a holding penalty and missed a block that could have sprung Brad Smith on a first half run. In addition, even if he was down, he can't let a defender rip the ball from him like he did on the second interception.
Shonn Greene: Greene should have gotten more carries, but he dropped a pass on a potentially big play developing on a screen and was beaten twice when staying in to pass block.
LaDainian Tomlinson: Part of it was his blocking, but LT went down on too many arm tackles today. He also lost his balance a few times when he could have broken a big run.
Nick Folk: That try was still inside 40 yards, and the kick was not even close.
Brad Smith: Normally a hero, Smith's fumble killed a promising drive.
Drew Coleman: Drew wasn't terrible, but the Packers hit a key pass against him on the first two field goal tries.
Rex Ryan's Game Management: I didn't like the way Rex burned his second challenge early in the game. It was on a third down play where even had he won it, the Jets would have had to punt anyway. Maybe he could have used it on Woodson's interception. Would it have changed anything? I don't know, but it would have been worth a look. I also thought he burned the last timeout in the second half too early. The Jets would have gotten the ball back with over 3:00 left anyway. I suppose it didn't make too much of a difference in the end since they still would have given it up in field goal range, but I still didn't like the move.
I also didn't like the lack of Revis Island. Allowing Greg Jennings to create a favorable matchup against Coleman in the slot led to that first field goal. Revis is the best corner on the team.
David Harris: Maybe one of these days Harris will get the recognition he derserves. He is constantly getting to the ball and making plays. He led the team with 9 tackles and recorded a sack.
Bart Scott: Everything I said about Harris applies to Scott. Bart was second on the team with 7 tackles.
Shaun Ellis/Sione Pouha/Mike Devito: These guys dominated up front. Ellis in particular was controlling his matchups. Whenever the opponent averages just over 3 yards per rush, the defensive line gets props.
Steve Weatherford: Weatherford did a typical solid job on punts and showed a lot of athleticism on his run. It took a great play to keep him just short of the sticks.
Blitz Calls: The pass rush harassed Aaron Rodgers and seemed to consistently confuse Green Bay's offensive line.
Dwight Lowery: I thought Lowery stood up very well in coverage and recorded a sack.
Tony Richardson: He was matched up one on one with linebackers in pass protection more than I would have liked, but he handled it well.
Darrelle Revis/Antonio Cromartie: I have seen both guys play better games. The Packers left a few things on the field against both when receivers got open. At the end of the day, though, arguably one of the top five quarterbacks in the game completed under 50% of his passes against this secondary, though.
The Fake Punt Call: I think often we relate result to thought process. That's why people defend Schottenheimer going to the Wildcat on 3rd and 15 when Brad Smith rips off a 16 yard run against all odds. The fake punt did not make a first down. It was well scouted, though. The Packers were fooled. It took a great play to stop Weatherford short. It was a good spot on the field to take a shot with the defense playing so well and the offense needing something of a shot in the arm. Winning games like these require risks sometimes. They don't always work out, but I liked the calculated gamble the coaching staff took on the call.
- I like Moose Johnston, but I thought he was totally wrong getting on Sanchez when he didn't look for Braylon Edwards deep. He was rolling the other way and would have either had to throw against his body or stop on a dime and reset. Part of the reason Woodson released and let Braylon get open was because he saw how tough that throw would be.
- Was that the longest first half you've ever seen? Usually low scoring games take little time because both teams run it a lot.
That was very disappointing. Losses are one thing. Losses due to a lot of self-inflicted wounds are another. I give the Packers a lot of credit. The Jets made a lot of mistakes against Minnesota and Denver, but those teams couldn't take advantage. I still feel like Gang Green left a lot out there today.
We head to Detroit.