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Bears 27 Jets 19: The One That Got Away

Al Bello

The Jets are 1-2 after a 27-19 loss to the Bears tonight at the Meadowlands. The Jets had their chances to take this one, but they were doomed by a number of things. Let's take a look at some of those things below.

The Bad:

Geno Smith: I'm not going to sit here and tell you this loss was all on Geno Smith, but what the Jets got tonight was not winning quarterback play. It started on the first drive when he misfired on a screen for an inexplicable pick six. The Jets had to play from behind from the very start of this game. The screen wasn't there. The ball should have been thrown into the feet of the receiver. The Jets also stalled in the red zone. They scored one touchdown in six trips. That included a second Geno pick where he threw late on the run. There were too many other instances where Geno tried to put the ball into too tight of a window. He easily could have ended the night with four picks. Just by the stats he looked pretty good. We can cite stats until the cows come home. The name of the game is scoring points. The Jets put up 19 points on offense and gave the Bears 7. That isn't good enough against an opponent that isn't the Raiders. I'll close by noting while Geno's mechanics are better than a year ago, they are still a problem and not an insignificant one.

Antonio Allen: We saw tonight he is at his best when he can identify the play in front of him and go get the ball carrier. He is at his worst when he has to play pass coverage one on one. These statements suggest he should be playing safety, not cornerback. While his coverage deficiencies might limit his ability at safety, they certainly will hurt less there than at a position where the primary job is to cover. Allen was beaten deep. He was beaten short. Once Santonio Holmes sent him literally spinning on a basic route. He dropped the easiest interception a defender could ever ask for. Keep in mind I'm not blaming Allen here. He's been totally hung out to dry asked to perform a task that doesn't suit his skills at all.

Darrin Walls: I didn't like what I saw from him tonight. Without Jay Cutler missing a few throws and the defensive front getting to Cutler, I think it could have been a big night against Walls. He also was in coverage on Chicago's first offensive touchdown.

Chris Johnson: Again I feel like he's being misused, but he doesn't look like much of a playmaker right now.

Brian Winters: I feel like I saw him blow at least four blocks in pass protection.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson: He had a great first half, bringing back memories of his Monday night domination of Jared Allen four years ago. Allen beat him at least three times late in crunch time, though, two of which resulted in hits on Geno.

Marty Mornhinweg: I think too much gets made of the playcalling. If the players execute, people say he's a genius. If they don't, he's a fool. That said I had some problems with his situational playcalling. I don't mind making use of Geno's running ability on the goalline, but I feel like there has to be an option for him somewhere if his initial running lane is clogged. I also see a spot for the bootleg, but I don't like a critical third down play coming down to Jared Allen biting on it. His use of Johnson is becoming a problem as well. Chris Ivory is the best back on the team.  Johnson needs to be used in a more limited way pronto.

Dawan Landry: It looked like he was late in coverage and didn't get to the ball quickly enough as a tackler.

David Nelson: Don't put it on the ground.

Saalim Hakim: Since that first big return of the season he hasn't shown much.

Jalen Saunders: When the Jets picked him in the fourth round it felt like a bit of a reach. Now it's looking like a total flop. I can only take the he's a rookie excuse so far. We aren't talking about him learning new technique. On some level you can either make guys miss with the ball in your hand or you can't. Saunders has shown no ability in this area, and as we saw tonight even making the catch on a punt is becoming an issue. His play is actually making people happy to see Jeremy Kerley return punts.

The Good:

Muhammad Wilkerson: He was a force all night. He had 1.5 sacks and added other pressures that forced Cutler to get rid of it early. He also helped shut down the run game. Now we wait and hope he'll be all right.

Sheldon Richardson: This looked like a breakout performance as a pass rusher. He had a sack. He created a disruption that led Cutler to step into another one. He got into the backfield a couple of other times, and he deflected a pass.

Chris Ivory: For the first time as a Jet, Ivory did not look allergic to catching the football out of the backfield. He ran hard for 44 yards on 10 carries and added another 4 catches for 52 yards. If he can start contributing in the passing game, Ivory has a chance to become an impact player in this league.

Jeremy Kerley: With Eric Decker down, Kerley stepped up. He kept finding holes in the coverage to the tune of 7 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Jace Amaro: This was an encouraging night. He had a drop, but he also contributed 3 catches for 54 yards including a 43 yarder and a clutch grab on fourth down to keep the Jets alive. That was not an easy grab, and he fought his way to the sticks.

Calvin Pryor: I thought he had a couple of nice end zone coverages to prevent touchdowns and added a few tackles in the run game. I didn't see the major mistakes of last week. Nice bounceback game.

Greg Salas: Salas doesn't bring a whole lot to the table, but that dude can run on the few instances he makes a catch. That 51 yarder was a great scamper and gave the Jets one last shot.

Nick Folk: All he could do was make a field goal every time the offense stalled. He did that.

The Jets really could have used this one. They have to lick their wounds quickly. They've got a big game Sunday against the Lions. A win, and they're 2-2. That's not a terrible spot given the quality of the schedule. A loss sends them to 1-3. They would be on a three game losing streak and on the verge of potentially seeing this thing slip away.