You know the drill by now. The Jets were blown out once again this week. The Dolphins took it to New York today in the Meadowlands 23-3 to drop Gang Green to 5-7. The team that excited its fans heading into the bye at 5-4 with huge wins against the Saints and Patriots in two of its last three games seems like a distant memory. Join me below to go over yet another ugly afternoon in the history of the New York Jets franchise.
Geno Smith: Last week I got the sense it wasn't really Geno Smith's fault. I didn't get that sense at all this week. Geno only threw 10 passes, but he was spraying it all over the field and missed some open targets either by not recognizing a passing window and holding it for too long or by simply misfiring. A few of the incompletions seemed like they might have been miscommunication, but that means the best case scenario is Geno is not on the same page with and does not trust his receivers three quarters of the way into the season. The interception was thrown to a blanketed guy. His benching was almost done out of mercy. He just looks totally lost out there right now, and piling crushing defeat after crushing defeat onto him will probably not be beneficial to him in the long run or the short run. He isn't playing well, but nobody helping him out gives the quarterback no chance to be successful.
Matt Simms: I think most people understand that Simms is not much of a prospect. Few are expecting him to be the man of the future. You at least hoped he could provide the Jets a little spark and maybe some credible play over a half to steal a win ala Greg McElroy against the Cardinals last year. Simms did not provide that. He wasn't even better than Geno. He was 9 of 18 for 79 yards and an interception. Those putrid numbers were actually padded by garbage time stats. He constantly threw balls into heavy coverage. It didn't even seem like he could read a defense. He completed one pass on the Jets' only scoring drive. He completed only one other pass, a wide receiver screen, before the Dolphins put in a prevent defense late in the fourth quarter. He just looked like a guy who doesn't understand how to read a defense, locked onto one receiver, and threw it as hard as he could to fit it in. In fact, that's probably all he can do at this stage of his career. I'm not sure a quarterback in the NFL could find success on this offense let alone a guy who probably would have struggled to find a new team had the Jets cut him in preseason like Simms.
Offensive Line: These guys weren't sustaining blocks to allow plays to develop, a disaster considering the Jets' receivers need all the extra time they can get.
Receivers: I wish I could say something more technical than, "These guys aren't getting open," but I don't really know what else I can say.
Jeff Cumberland: When you are a guy who can really only use size and athleticism to get open on limited routes like Cumberland, you are pushing the enveloping of not being a useful NFL tight end. When you cannot come up with contested balls that hit your hand on a big third down as Cumberland did for a second straight week, we're past pushing the envelope.
Antonio Cromartie: We don't know Cro's health, but it looked like it might have been a mistake to put him out there today. He did not appear to be moving well. The Jets didn't trust him to challenge Mike Wallace and had Cro playing conservatively instead. The problem is Cromartie's entire game is based on him being athletic enough to run with anybody. He really isn't useful if he can't do that. He made a really nice play tracking the ball and coming up with that interception, but he got killed time after time playing soft on underneath stuff Dolphins receivers were able to cut upfield for big gains.
Dee Milliner: How many times does a quarterback need to successfully pick on Milliner for the ninth overall pick to end up on the bench? Miami had a field day going after Dee. Whenever they needed a big play, Ryan Tannehill could just look to Brian Hartline. Milliner was even burned on a fourth down play that could have been a touchdown had Tannehill thrown on time. Dee made a nice recovery and broke it up but only after he was beaten soundly. I feel like a broken record. He can't get a jam on receivers. He can't track the ball. This isn't even like Geno or Brian Winters. The Jets have adequate NFL players who can replace this struggling rookie. Milliner can improve, but in the short term that improvement should come mainly through practice reps.
Ed Reed: He whiffed on a tackle that resulted in a touchdown. That was the result of a bad angle. Actually, it seemed more like an angle that would have been a good one back when Reed had great range. Reed is having a really tough time adjusting to the player he is.
Quinton Coples: He must have been out of position five times on running plays where he was supposed to set the edge.
Calvin Pace: It doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but his slowness cost the Jets a lot of yardage just based on his ability to get to the guy with the ball. That has been a recurring theme this year.
Defensive Line: There wasn't enough pressure on Ryan Tannehill today. This might be the best run stopping defensive lines in the league even if it didn't show today, but it is not an elite pass rushing unit. It's probably above average, but it needs to be great based on the secondary.
Game Management: Mainly the decision to kick a field goal on fourth and goal from the 2. The Jets were down 13-0. They were struggling to get anything going on offense. A touchdown gives them a lot of momentum and pulls them to within a score. A field goal gives them minimal momentum and keep them down two scores. How do you not go for it?
David Harris: He was moving all over the field and making plays on his way to 13 tackles.
Chris Ivory: He accounted for over two-thirds of the offense on New York's only scoring drive of the day, including a nifty 32 yard run where he got bottled up, bounced outside, and turned on the Jets.
The Jets' odds of making the Playoffs are now very low. As for the rest of the season, fixing the offense is going to be quite a task. They have a quarterback who can't seem to do much right. They have receivers who can't help him out by getting open. They have an offensive line who can't help him out by blocking well. The backs are marginal. Oh, and the quarterback with whom the team could replace him looked like he actually might be worse today in his first real action.
It's another great day in Jetsville.