The New York Jets fell to 3-7 today with a miserable 9-6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The defense played well, holding the Rams to 269 yards of offense and only nine points. Most games that should be more than good enough to win, but not today. The Jets offense went into a shell in the second half. The play calling got ultra-conservative, in an apparent attempt to avoid mistakes and nurse a 6-3 lead. It was a terrible job by the Jets coaching staff. Even when the opponent is the Rams you cannot expect the defense to pitch a second-half shutout. With the offense limited in the second half to mostly runs and very safe, short passes, the Rams began to sit on the short routes and deny the short passing game. As a result the Jets failed to move the ball and never really threatened to score in the second half. In the end the game was sealed with a short pass being intercepted by a Rams linebacker sitting on the short route. It was just another way to lose in a lost season for the Jets.
The Jets are now 3-7 on the season and are just playing out the string. Let’s talk about the good and the bad below.
Robby Anderson. Anderson has quietly been improving week by week. Today he caught three passes for 69 yards, including winning the fight for a deep ball on a hotly contested route. Anderson also beat his man badly for what should have been a long touchdown, but Bryce Petty misfired and the pass fell out of Anderson's reach. Anderson is getting better by the week and is developing into a legitimate NFL weapon.
Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. The Jets had only 298 yards of total offense in the game. Powell and Forte combined for 191 of those yards. Against a very good Rams defense looking to stop the short game, that is very good production.
The Offensive Line. The offensive line was missing two of its best starters and faced one of the best defensive lines in football. I thought under the circumstances the line did a good job buying Bryce Petty time and opening some holes in the running game.
The Entire Defense Except For Darrelle Revis and Muhammad Wilkerson. The secondary gave up almost nothing other than Revis. The pass rush put some nice pressure on Case Keenum. The front seven did a nice job containing the Rams running game. In the end, giving up 9 points should be more than enough to win a football game.
Darrelle Revis. In what is becoming a weekly ritual, the opposing team made it a large part of the game plan to target Revis, and it worked once again. Another game in which Revis gave up 100+ yards receiving. Revis gave up almost double the receiving yards of the entire rest of the team combined. At this point Revis is a liability on the field nearly every game.
Jalin Marshall. Another game, another fumble. Marshall fumbled another punt return, then made matters worse by recovering the fumble and running backwards. Marshall is literally the worst punt returner in the NFL at this point, and is hurting the Jets nearly every game.
Lac Edwards. Edwards had been among the worst punters in the NFL all year. Today it cost the Jets the game. Late in the game the Jets went three and out and punted from their own 17 yard line. A good punt flips the field and the Jets defense should hold the Rams scoreless. Instead Edwards pooch kicks a 35-yard stinker and the Rams are only 15 yards out of field goal range on their own 48 yard line. Coming as it did immediately following the Rams punter booming a 78-yard punt to completely flip the field, the battle of the punters decided the game, and the Jets punter came up way short.
Nick Folk. Folk missed an extra point for the second time this year. That's not good.
The Coaching Staff. Todd Bowles inexplicably burned his last two time outs with almost four minutes left on the clock, forcing an inexperienced Petty to try to drive for the winning score without time outs. Bad decision. Chan Gailey played the game so tight to the vest in the second half the Jets completely stopped taking shots down the field, apparently trying to win the game 6-3. Bad decision. The Jets defense played well enough to win this game. The Jets offense appeared to be completely hamstrung by the coaching staff's refusal to take the slightest risk.
The Jets are now 3-7 on the year. It is fair to say the 2016 Jets are among the worst teams in the NFL. Other than perhaps the game against the 49ers, it is not clear that the Jets should be favored in any remaining game this season. At this point the evaluation of the young quarterbacks and the 2017 NFL draft are probably the best things Jets fans have to look forward to the rest of the way.