Eagles 45 Jets 19: Eagles Soar; Jets Lay an Egg

The Jets fell to 8-6 today after a 45-19 thrashing at the hands of the Eagles today in Philadelphia. This one was about as lopsided as the score would indicate. It was a really bad outing for both the offense and the defense. The Jets could not stop turning it over, and the defense could not get a stop. The Jets talked about this like it was a do or die game. They sure did not play like it. Fortunately, this team still has a chance, but this continues to look like a pretty average team. They beat up on weak opponents for three weeks, but real problems remain.

More under the jump.

The Bad:

Santonio Holmes: Here is a simplistic summary of today's game. The Jets wanted it to be a game where they could pound the ball, control the clock, keep Michael Vick off the field, and keep it low scoring. The Eagles wanted to get up big, force the Jets to score a lot of points and play up tempo, and unleash their pass rushers. Holmes' early fumble and the interception that went through his hands resulted in 14 points and gave the Eagles what they wanted. The Jets got taken out of their game. The Eagles gained confidence, and things snowballed from there. Even on the one thing Holmes did right today, he messed up by taking an idiotic taunting penalty. Really? You've cost the team 14 points, and then you showboat?

Mark Sanchez: Here is a simplistic story of the Jets' season. They can beat up on the bad teams by playing defense and pounding the ball. When they step up, they need more, and Sanchez has been unable to provide. The past few weeks, people have been talking about Sanchez's improvement, but it has really been about the team giving Sanchez simple passes to hit. When things aren't going well, a team needs to make big plays in the passing game. Things are not always going to be open. The quarterback needs to be able to identify small holes and put the ball on the money. The protection today was terrible. The defense was not good. This is the kind of thing that separates great teams from average ones. The great ones have a quarterback who can carry the team when things are bad. Sanchez isn't there yet. Maybe he will be one day, but he is not today.

Offensive Line: Jason Babin owned Wayne Hunter today. Even when he wasn't getting sacks, he was beating Hunter soundly. Hunter was slow to identify his man more than once. It was a group effort from the line, though. There were frequent miscommunications and a ton of penalties on the unit. Sanchez kept getting hit today. Four sacks is not nearly good enough.

Muhammad Wilkerson: Despite the late sack, the rookie had a rough game in his homecoming. He was sealed pretty consistently in the run game early. A lot of LeSean McCoy's early yardage was on him.

Mike Devito: Devito might still be slowed by his injury because I thought he was not great at the point of attack.

David Harris: Harris today reminded me a lot of him in the AFC Championship Game last year. He took some bad angles and got sucked to the ball carrier too far, which opened up cutback lanes for McCoy to exploit. There aren't many backs in the league who can do that, and it's starting to feel like Harris allows it to happen whenever the Jets face such a back.

Bart Scott: Scott's day started by getting burned in coverage, and it continued with him making some of the same mistakes as Harris.

Kyle Wilson: I thought Kyle had a bit of a rough day. He got beaten badly a few times in coverage and had some bad efforts on blitzes. On one of them, he came at Vick too hard ala Eric Smith on Tim Tebow and lost outside contain to open a big Vick run.

Calvin Pace: I did not like the job he did setting the edge on McCoy. He also missed some opportunities when he had Vick within range to sack.

Eric Smith: "Toasted" might not be a strong enough term to describe the way he was beaten on Brent Celek's 73 yard reception. That was brutal. The more I watch Smith, the more disappointed I am by the subtle things, though, that you notice by watching closely. I am talking about taking a bad angle to a ball carrier that allows a 2 yard run to turn into an 8 yard run. There are some runs McCoy made that Jim Leonhard would have stopped in Smith's case.

Brodney Pool: He shares some of the responsibility for Celek's 156 yard game even if he did have a nice fumble return.

LaDainian Tomlinson: He was decent as a blocker, but tell me there is not a big difference in burst between him and Joe McKnight.

Mark Brunell: Was anybody watching late in the game? My goodness. He was throwing up UFOs. This team went with Wayne Hunter at right tackle, and has this guy as the first in line at quarterback?

Aaron Maybin: With the path he took to the quarterback, there were times he looked like he was closer to the New Jersey Turnpike than Vick.

The Good:

Shonn Greene: Despite the hideous pass blocking, the line did a decent job run blocking, and Greene found his holes. He had 73 yards on 18 carries. If the Jets had avoided the early turnovers and used Greene more, it could have been a different game.

Ellis Lankster: He made a great hustle play early recovering the muffed punt that we would be talking about had what happened after been different.

Dustin Keller: He had 3 catches for 73 yards, including a great 41 yard diver. With the cover corners the Eagles have, I would have liked to have seen the Jets focus more on him.

Jamaal Westerman: He had a holding penalty blocking on a kick return, but he also forced a fumble on another to set up a New York score. Although he has had a disappointing year on defense, I have really liked what he has brought on special teams.

Antonio Cromartie: He was very good in coverage and looked good as a return man, busting a 42 yarder.

Darrelle Revis: It was pretty quiet on his front.

Other Thoughts:

  • The NFC had better hope the Eagles don't make it to the Playoffs because their incredibly talented team is putting it together at the right time. They could be like last year's Packers if they somehow sneak in.
  • I think the Jets really missed Jim Leonhard today. Believe it or not, I do not think the area where they missed the starting safety was in coverage on a day when the other team's tight end went for 150+ receiving yards. Leonhard is the master of finding the lane a running back is cutting, and closing it off. I think he could have shut down some of McCoy's outside runs.

That was ugly. The Jets can still make the Playoffs, but I stand by my previous statements that I am not sure how deep this team will go even if it makes it. They got healthy beating up on weak teams. Today they had to step up and once again failed to do so. This one exposed a number of fundamental problems.

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