Losses like this are so hard to take that its tough to move on from them. But the season is 16 games long and the Jets are still right in the thick of it. They need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses from the Patriots game and move on. So do we.
I won't go so far as to say the Jets outplayed the Patriots, but they didn't get outplayed either. Statistically, the game was virtually dead even, total yards, first downs and time of possession were all very close. For the most part the Jets D played well and made the Pats vaunted Offense look, well, kind of ordinary. Reasons for the loss were for the most part predictable. Here's a review of the main points from last night's finger pointing thread on why we lost:
1) Sanchez. The Jets game plan played out as expected. The Jets ran the ball, 33 rushes for 106 yes, but rushing did not have a decisive influence. The Jets OLine protected Sanchez fairly well, too. Btw, Ferguson owned Jones. It was all about Sanchez and the Jets WR's (Keller is basically a WR), vs. the Pats secondary. And he did make many throws and many plays. 28-41, 328, 1, 1 is a very good performance for our QB. But his weaknesses showed up as well: 1) He doesn't read defenses quick enough and fails to see the whole field, missing wide open plays, 2) He is not accurate enough in the short passing game, meaning YAC are diminished because passes aren't hit in stride. And then of course there was the ridiculous INT, which erased points from the board. Still, I'm not going to kill "6" for this game. He is who we thought he was.
2) Covering NE's TE's. The Jets did OK vs the rush, not great, but the big plays against us were passing plays as always. The Jets did a great job covering the WR's, but Gronk/Herndo caught 11 balls for 132 yds. Landry played a good game, but these guys are just matchup nightmares. We tried to counter with speedier, younger guys, Davis played virtually the whole game and Allen saw some time, but expecting 3rd and 5th round picks to shut down these elite TE's is too much. The prime weakness on the Jets D is clear: OLB.
3) Coaching. Boy, this one's tough. I'm sure most of us thought we would win when we recovered the fumble just before the 2 minute warning. I don't agree with the criticism that the Jets played too conservatively at that point. The 2 running plays and then going for the game-ending 3rd down pass play were the proper calls in this situation. We just didn't execute the plays. I do agree with the criticism that playing a prevent D when the Pats got the ball back may have cost us the game. They had too much time left, and they had one of the best QB's of all time at completing underneath routes in this situation. Rushing 3 and dropping everybody back into deep zone killed us.
We're as good as anybody in the AFC East, but the margin is razor thin. After a very physical game, we play the rested Miami D next week. The season may well hang in the balance here. 3-5 may be tough for this team to overcome. We need to move on quickly.