The Jets lost their first game of the year tonight 13-10 to the Patriots in Foxborough. It was quite a frustrating loss as New York had numerous opportunities to win the game. Nobody could make a play. Join me below as we break down this disappointing loss.
Clyde Gates: I had four balls he did not come up with that should have been caught. One of them was in the end zone in the first half. The Jets had to kick a field goal instead of scoring a touchdown on that play. It cost them 4 points. They lost by 3. A lot of people felt Gates held onto the ball, but he had every chance to put the ball away. The fact the call was even close was on Gates. There was another ball that hit him in the chest on a deep pattern he dropped that probably would have at least resulted in a field goal. Even on his 34 yard reception, he didn't do anything great. There wasn't much separation. Geno Smith just made a beautiful throw. Gates cost the Jets a win as much as anybody.
Stephen Hill: That was probably the worst 4 catch, 86 yard performance in NFL history. That's because he had a brutal fumble in which he displayed awful ball protection. This turnover set up a New England field goal. Once again, the Patriots won by 3. Hill also ended a drive by not winning a one on one to the first down stick and added an ugly drop on a key drive.
Geno Smith: I think it's safe to say Geno looked like a rookie tonight. His receivers absolutely killed him. Had they made plays in front of them, the game might have gone very differently. With that said, Geno left plays on the field. He was too hesitant and allowed some windows to close down the field, which was understandable for a rookie. You could live with those things, but there were other problems. The Jets had to burn two timeouts in the second half because something went wrong breaking the huddle. The team's approach probably changes in the late moments of the fourth quarter if they have those timeouts. Geno didn't handle pressure well. Last week, he calmly found running lanes and escaped pressure. This week, he was like a deer in headlights and took four sacks. Finally, there were the three fourth quarter interceptions. The first two were the real killers. On the first one, the team was in range for a tying field goal. Geno forced the ball into a window that wasn't there. Mike Mayock claimed it was an off target throw. I didn't see any space to fit a throw on target. A long field goal in bad weather wasn't the greatest bet in the world, but a turnover cannot happen there. On the second one, he had Gates open for a potentially big play and just underthrew it. Granted, there is a good chance Gates would have dropped it given his play tonight, but it was still there. On the plus side, Geno again make some really incredibly placed throws downfield, displaying big time accuracy and touch. We can get excited to think about him putting it all together. Overall, this was not a good night, though. The sad thing is it still left me with more hope than the offense did for much of last year.
Kellen Winslow II: He had a quiet night with 3 catches for 16 yards. He had chances to turn the balls he caught into bigger plays but couldn't beat anybody.
Kyle Wilson: I counted no less than four tackles he should have made that he didn't on defense. That was better than his punt returning, though. Wilson fair caught a ball with an incredible amount of green in front of him. He had a long of 4 when he did return it. He let a ball drop that he shouldn't. The only thing he didn't do was throw the ball out the back of the end zone.
Antwan Barnes: In a game where the Jets were hoping to get to Tom Brady, their best edge rusher looked like Aaron Maybin, getting manhandled and never really threatening Brady even if he did tug the quarterback's jersey once.
Muhammad Wilkerson: The Jets seldom got to Brady, and Wilkerson really didn't seem to make much of an impact.
Sheldon Richardson: He had five tackles, and I saw people praise his performance. I didn't see it. He looked like a nonfactor. The Patriots struggled throwing the ball, but it wasn't because of pressure from the Jets.
Calvin Pace: I thought he looked his age out there. He was a step slow getting to Brady in the first quarter on a play that resulted in a penalty and a first down.
Dawan Landry: Landry is what he is athletically. You have to live with the fact there will be mismatches. What is more difficult to live with are mental errors from a guy the Jets hope can be a steady hand in the back of the defense. He got lost on New England's only touchdown. The entire defense did too, but that seemed to be his assignment. He also seemed to be the man burned on a long pass play that resulted in another Patriots field goal.
Dee Milliner: He made a beautiful play on what almost turned into a game-changing fumble, but he got beaten soundly too frequently deep on double moves and again struggled to locate the football in coverage. Some team is going to have receivers capable of taking advantage of this.
Antonio Allen: Allen led the Jets in tackles, but he also got lost a couple of times in coverage that are going to be game-changing completions against opponents who can actually catch the football.
David Harris: As Mayock pointed out, he failed to do his job against Julian Edelman on a critical third down conversion late in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Spadola: No catches and one that absolutely should have been.
The Lack of Chris Ivory: Ivory looked like the guy the Jets hoped they were getting in the first half. He got 5 touches in the second half.
Demario Davis: I thought Davis had a very strong game. He registered five tackles and seemed to know where to be taking on blockers to set his teammates up for other tackles.
Garrett McIntyre: McIntyre of all people seemed to make Brady least comfortable in the pocket. He also was effective setting the edge.
Damon Harrison: Big Snacks again was very effective winning the point of attack and eating up blockers to help hold New England's run game in check. He had 3 tackles.
Chris Ivory: He was the runner the Jets were hoping to get from New Orleans. He ran through arm tackles. He kept his legs moving and grinded out extra yardage when he was wrapped. He had 52 yards on 12 carries. Why he didn't get more I don't understand.
Santonio Holmes: Let me say this. Right now Holmes looks like a shell of the player he used to be. He doesn't look explosive at all. He isn't coming out of his breaks crisply. He does at least understand how to read a coverage and get to the right place. Hopefully things start coming back to him as he heals more. As for tonight, he chipped in with 3 catches for 52 yards.
Darrin Walls: While it felt like the rest of the Jets' secondary wasn't allowing completions because New England's receivers couldn't catch anything, Walls actually provided excellent coverage tonight.
This was not a great night for the Jets overall. They had a chance to take this game, and nobody stepped up. The Patriots were vulnerable tonight. There is still a long way to go, but teams that fail to win games like this do tend to be teams that go nowhere.