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Patriots 24 Jets 17: Controversial End to Three Game Winning Streak

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NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets had their three game winning streak snapped today by the New England Patriots and the officials. The Jets are now 3-3 and a game behind the Patriots for first place in the AFC East. The majority of the focus from this game will rightly be on the officiating, but let’s recap the other aspects of this game.

The Bad

Josh McCown: Statistics are frequently misleading. That is particularly true at the quarterback position. If you looked at the numbers from today, you might conclude this was a quality performance for the Jets quarterback. You would be partially right. For the first quarter and change, he looked like Tom Brady while Tom Brady looked like Josh McCown. McCown cooled down quite a bit, however. The Jets only scored a field goal in the second half. While officiating did play a hand in that, so did McCown.

You sign a 38 year old veteran because you expect to have a guy who knows what he is doing. You want to avoid silly mistakes like burning three timeouts because the team isn’t set. You want your guy to understand score and time well enough to avoid risky throws at the wrong time that could turn into momentum-changing interceptions right before halftime. You don’t want him to take two sacks on the last drive of the game when the team cannot afford them.

McCown, of course, did all of these things. There are even more big mistakes I could name, but I will save you the time. The play that summed this game up came on the final drive as McCown was pressured and lofted up a lollipop deep left that was falling right into Duron Harmon’s hands. Austin Seferian-Jenkins gave a big hit to break up the interception, but let’s think about the situation there. It was a second down play. That is a scenario that calls for caution. If something isn’t there, you can throw it away and still have two downs at your disposal. Instead, McCown threw up a low percentage, high risk pass. This isn’t the smart game management you want from a veteran quarterback.

Morris Claiborne: Brandin Cook’s 42 yard catch to set up the touchdown the Pats scored right before the half came on Claiborne’s coverage. I can’t tell exactly what coverage the Jets were playing from the broadcast angle, but Claiborne left Cooks an 8 yard cushion. He realized he couldn’t let Cooks get behind him, yet that is what happened. In the second, Claiborne was clearly spooked and allowed Cooks ample room underneath.

Jamal Adams: This one is with a caveat. Look, Adams struggling last week against the Browns is disappointing. Having a rough sixth pro game against arguably the best tight end to ever play isn’t anything to go crazy about. Rob Gronkowski did have a pair of touchdown catches on Adams. The first one was virtually undefendable. Just move forward.

Marcus Maye: Growkowski also made Maye look bad on the second touchdown. Again, sixth game against maybe the best tight end ever. Nothing to see here.

Muhammad Wilkerson: This was really the last hope of a Wilkerson revival. Maybe a big game against New England would wake him up. It didn’t. He was invisible again aside from a tackle on the last New England drive.

Brandon Shell: Shell had a big penalty near the end of the first half and then allowed a sack on the final drive.

Matt Forte: Like any coordinator, we can see good and bad qualities from John Morton. A bad one is he seems to be the last man in America who thinks Forte can still handle a leading role as a ball carrier. Forte just can’t accelerate or make people miss at that point. What limited usefulness he has is in his craftiness as a route runner.

Robby Anderson: This wasn’t a lost cause for Anderson. He had a huge fourth down catch to extend the game late in the fourth quarter, but I just don’t like the routes he’s running. He also could do a better job fighting for the ball. I’d like to see him give a better go on plays like the first McCown interception of working back to the ball and at least attempting to break it up.

The Good

Kony Ealy: Ealy had ample motivation in this one. He was one of the few Jets defenders who was able to pressure Tom Brady off his spot and added some passes defensed to his robust season total.

Jeremy Kerley: He only had 2 catches, but they were difficult clutch catches. One was for 30 yards. The other was a 30 yard touchdown.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins: He isn’t producing many splash plays down the field, but he is emerging as a reliable short target and an asset in the red zone. He should have been awarded 2 touchdowns this game. He also momentarily kept the last drive alive by delivering the big hit to separate Harmon from the football.

Buster Skrine: He had an interception, could have had a second, and played good coverage on the third down play that gave the Jets one last chance.

Other Thought

  • This is the game recap so I have to note it. The officiating was horrible.

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The Jets will try to shake off this loss and then head to Miami next week for a game against the Dolphins.