Patriots 30 Jets 21: Road Trip Ends With No Wins

The Jets fell to 2-3 today with a 30-21 loss in Foxborough to the Patriots. They completed their three game road trip at 0-3. This one might have been the most frustrating of the three because the game was there for the taking. The Jets just could not take it. Join me under the jump for more.  

The Bad:

Brian Schottenheimer: This was a very poorly called game. The Patriots cannot stop a nosebleed on defense. Schottenheimer did not even attempt to exploit it downfield until it was too late. Something here does not add up. The Jets went out and paid Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress for a reason. The pass protection was really good. The run game was working to set up play action and slow down the pass rush. The Jets did not even try and exploit the advantages they had.People complained about some of the calls the Pats receivers got in the secondary. The officials were not biased. They just were calling it very tight. It would have been nice for the Jets to try and use this to their advantage on offense. New England's corners were sitting short. If I could notice this, surely the offensive coordinator could. I just do not get it. Neither apparently do his receivers, who have reportedly been voicing concerns to the head coach. Schotty lost the fan base a long time ago. Now it seems like he is losing his own players, which is dangerous.

Rex Ryan: I have two big gripes with Rex today. The first was the defense on the drive where the Pats iced the game. You cannot blame that one on the players. The Jets had the wrong personnel on the field for way too long. They played a three man line of Marcus Dixon, Calvin Pace, and Jamaal Westerman. That is playing the pass in an obvious run situation where the Pats are looking to bleed clock. Benjarvis Green-Ellis had 10 carries on that drive for 59 yards. On a third and short on that drive, the Jets all out blitzed. Brady had an easy hot route short for a first down. That is like target practice for him on third and short. My second big gripe with Rex is his insistence on starting Eric Smith, a situational player if one ever existed, over Brodney Pool. Smith was really good today as the Jets used him at a linebacker spot for a big portion. The one exception was him biting on play action and getting beaten deep by Wes Welker in the third lined up at safety.

Eric Smith on the Big Welker Catch: That is why he should not be starting.

Antonio Cromartie: Absolutely toasted on the Deion Branch touchdown, lucky Aaron Hernandez dropped the ball on the interception, non existent in run support.

Defensive Line: On the first touchdown drive when the Pats ran it so successfully, and Phil Simms could not stop raving about the blocking, Mike Devito and Sione Pouha missed a combined three tackles that could have turned big runs into minimal gains or losses. Muhammad Wilkerson particularly seemed to have a tough time. He was sealed on some big plays.

Donald StricklandBringing him back seemed like a good idea at the time. He could not handle Rob Gronkowski.

Aaron Maybin: Very silent today.

TJ Conley: Only averaged 37.9 yards per punt, and there were some really ugly ones that put the coverage unit in a tough spot.

John Conner: Had a dreadful dropped pass that might have gotten the offense out of its funk sooner.

Bart Scott: The Jets had a lot of subpackages that limited his time, but he sure was quiet, wasn't he?

The Good: 

Offensive Line: It is amazing the difference one player can make. Nick Mangold made the difference. The offensive line looked like an asset today. Mark Sanchez had time to throw. The backs had room to run. Everything seemed much calmer with Mangold in the lineup. There were less breakdowns. I think one of the untold areas where the Jets missed Nick was making the calls. There were a lot of breakdowns with Colin Baxter in there. I noticed Matt Slauson making a few calls the past few weeks. This week things were smoother. Do not look now, but Wayne Hunter is playing reasonably well.

Mark Sanchez: Sanchez really did everything the Jets asked. He was 16 for 26. His 166 yards were really not his fault. His receivers did him few favors. Mark's numbers could have looked better with some better play from them. I really liked how Mark did not leave the ball exposed when his initial read was not there. He still kept his eyes down the field and hung in there.

Shonn Greene: With the return of good run blocking, Greene had his best game of the year. He broke some nice runs, particularly on New York's first touchdown drive. I am starting to get worried about the way he reads blocks, though, because I thought there were a few cutback lanes he missed.

Joe McKnight: Set up a touchdown with his 88 yard kickoff return and averaged just under 40 on the day. Wouldn't it be nice if the Jets could figure out a way to get him the ball on offense?

Plaxico Burress: He was effective finding the hole in zones and squatting. He had 3 catches for 42 yards. Even though it ended up incomplete, it would be nice if the Jets could try and get it down the field to him like they did that time in the fourth quarter. Put it up and let him make a play.

Santonio Holmes: That route he ran on the touchdown was a thing of beauty. If only they could have looked to exploit the matchup edge he provided...

Jamaal Westerman: Simply put, a monster game. He had 2 sacks, a hit, and drew a holding call. I did not think he was as bad as people made him out to be before. I stand by my comment that Bryan Thomas' injury could be a blessing in disguise for this team.

Darrelle Revis: Revis was rock solid as usual. I am going to be annoyed to no end by Boston fans who do not understand how a defense works bragging about Welker burning Revis. That was not Darrelle's fault. He did a great job chasing down Welker, and that almost gave the Jets a turnover later in the drive. It pretty much took an unbelievable throw for Brady to complete a short pass to Welker. The penalty call against him was a bad one.

Calvin Pace: Pretty good in run defense setting the edge.

Kyle Wilson: I liked the job he did in coverage. The illegal contact on Aaron Hernandez was ticky tack and initiated by Hernandez. Brady made a great throw to Deion Branch to get Kyle. Aside from that, pretty good.

Brodney Pool: Another guy victimized by a ticky tack call, Pool showed once again why he should be starting with 8 tackles.

Eric Smith Not on the Welker play: And Smith showed why he should be a situational guy with 9 tackles dropping to the linebacker spot a lot.

Blitzes Generating Pressure: Some of it was coverage, but the Jets sacked Brady 4 times and hit him or hurried him a lot.

Jeremy Kerley: Great touchdown catch. He has probably won the slot role from Derrick Mason.

Other Thought:

 

  • While the defense was not first rate, the numbers were a bit deceiving. The Jets were playing a lot of bend but don't break. The offense's constant three and outs also gave New England a lot more chances. The D took over with the Pats in their territory twice and held New England to two field goals. New England had three touchdowns and a field goal that last drive where the personnel packages were bad. Not stellar, but all things considered, not nearly as bad as the numbers would say. The guys on the defense did a solid job.
The good news is the Jets come home to face the winless Dolphins. There is still plenty of time to go. We saw some encouraging signs today, but much needs to be corrected, namely the coaching on the offensive side of the football. I hate to scapegoat, but Brian Schottenheimer was really, really bad today.  
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