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Falcons 25 Jets 20: Washed Away

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Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Jets lost to the Falcons today at a rainy MetLife Stadium 25-20. The loss dropped New York to 3-5 on the season. The Jets finished the first half of 2017 on a three game losing streak. What happened in this game? Let’s talk about it below.

The Bad

Offensive Line: I thought the Jets got beaten badly today at the point of attack on offense. The run game’s success or failure is always based on some combination of the performances of the backs and the line. It is frequently very difficult to quantify which is to blame when things go poorly. When the Jets have close to one-third of their run plays go for either no gain or a loss, though, the line has probably failed. It means the backs are consistently either being contacted at or behind the line. The unit also allowed sacks in key spots.

Juston Burris: The Jets were forced to put Burris in when Morris Claiborne got hurt. I counted three missed tackles on his watch, including one that allowed Tevin Coleman to scamper for a 52 yard gain. It is starting to feel like Burris got his tackling education at Cromartie Academy.

Jamal Adams: The touchdown the Falcons got on Adams was a stellar play, but it was still his coverage responsibility. I saw a few other plays where he was beaten or out of position.

Marcus Maye: The touchdown the other rookie safety allowed was also not an easy cover, but again it was Maye’s responsibilit.

Darryl Roberts: I thought Roberts had a tough time in coverage. He was also flagged twice. I think Roberts has been a pleasant surprise this season, but the extent of his success has probably been overstated. I think he frequently gives too much of a cushion playing off coverage.

Jeremy Kerley: I can’t crush him for the turnover on the punt given the conditions, but it was his job to field it cleanly so I also can’t let him totally off the hook.

Jermaine Kearse: He was limited to 2 catches, and it really felt like he was struggling to break the coverage.

Chandler Catanzaro: Again given the conditions, this wasn’t egregious, but the two field goals he missed did loom large.

The Good

Robby Anderson: This was Anderson’s best game of the year. He led the Jets with 6 catches, 104 yards, and a touchdown. He got separation on a deep route for the touchdown. He hauled in another deep ball by making a stellar grab and had a nice run after another reception.

Muhammad Wilkerson: The last two weeks we have seen Wilkerson come back to life. Today there were stretches where he looked like the Mo of old, dominating his assignments and creating disruption in the backfield. He also finally registered the first defensive line sack of the season.

Morris Claiborne: Julio Jones couldn’t get anything on Claiborne. The Falcons started getting creative with where they lined up and motioned Jones just to try and get him away from that matchup.

Darron Lee: Lee is starting to string together some solid games. He again had a strong day against the run with 5 tackles.

Other Thought:

  • I can’t squarely put Josh McCown’s performance into either column today. I think it fits whatever narrative you want to fit.

He made a number of really nice reads and throws, particularly early in the game. The announcers didn’t give him enough credit for making a perfect throw on the great Anderson catch. Anderson deserved credit for pulling it in, but he had no separation on his route. The ball had to be placed in a very tight window, and McCown did that. Through the early part of the game, there was plenty to like.

Again, though, we saw flashes of what was essentially a 38 year old rookie making inexcusable mistakes in key spots. He took two sacks that resulted in field goal attempts being more difficult than they had to be. One of them resulted in a key miss. And on the final drive, he kept checking down with no timeouts in the last minute of the game. It was a situation that called for trying to push the ball down the field. It is ironic to say the least considering McCown tried pushing the ball down the field last week in a critical situation that called for conservative passes.

If you want to dwell on the good throws, I think you’d be justified. If you want to dwell on the critical mistakes and an offense that was once again limited to 20 points, I think you’d be justified. This week I can’t see it falling neatly into either category.

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The Jets have a short week and a division game coming up. There isn’t much time to recover at a point where it feels like the season could be on the verge of falling apart.