The Jets fell to 5-9 today, losing to the Saints in New Orleans 31-19. The defeat officially eliminated the Jets from Playoff contention for a seventh straight season. Let’s take a look at what went wrong for New York.
Bryce Petty: The Jets had plenty of opportunities down by a score with the ball in the second half to do something. The defense had long stretches of dominance in this game. They just could not muster the big drive they needed, and that was primarily because their quarterback labored to execute basic throws. Petty looked like the exact same quarterback who was lost at the end of the 2016 season. He was inaccurate. He predetermined his reads. His mechanics were awful. He simply looked like a quarterback who had no business starting an NFL game. In this third season and at 26 years old, that is a big problem. His line of 19 for 39, 179 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT is really bad, and it actually includes stat padding against a prevent defense late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback is the most important position on the field, and the Jets did not get quality play from it in this game.
Darron Lee: Lee made a few splash plays, but he had partial blame for three touchdowns, and that number would have been four without a blown call on the first series of the game where Lee missed a tackle, and a runner was mistakenly ruled out of bounds. He was later beaten in coverage for a touchdown and had two touchdown runs come into his gap as he was blown off the ball.
Brandon Shell: Cameron Jordan had a lot of success against Shell. Jordan kept knocking down passes, but Shell didn’t adjust to take out his legs.
Morris Claiborne: Claiborne wasn’t as bad as he was the last two weeks, but he allowed a touchdown in coverage, and Drew Brees left some throws on the field against him.
Jojo Natson: Natson fielded four kickoffs that could have been touchbacks. He failed to reach the 25 all four times. At some point, decision-making becomes important for returners.
Marcus Maye: Maye had an up and down game, but the downs tended to be pretty big mistakes whether it was overpursuit or losing in coverage. He benefited from Michael Thomas not dragging his second foot on what should have been a touchdown.
Wesley Johnson: It was another rough game for Johnson struggling at the point of attack and losing in pass protection.
Mike Pennel: Pennel once again took a critical penalty.
Buster Skrine: Skrine was surprisingly the best Jet in this game. He was solid in coverage. He was involved in a pair of tackles that became fumbles, and he came within a hair of recording an interception.
Leonard Williams: Williams recorded the rare big man interception. He also did a great job controlling the point of attack, eating up blockers, and getting into the backfield.
Jamal Adams: Adams led the Jets with 8 tackles and delivered a big hit to force a fumble in a combination tackle with Skrine.
Xavier Cooper: Cooper provided the pressure that led to Williams’ interception.
Elijah McGuire: McGuire burned Manti Te’o lining up as an outside receiver on a deep route on a 38 yard reception, the biggest Jets offensive play of the game. He led the Jets with 72 yards from scrimmage.
Bilal Powell: It might not have registered on the stat sheet, but Powell broke some nice runs that weren’t blocked well, especially on the smashmouth touchdown drive the Jets had in the second quarter.