In the final regular season game of the 2017 season the New York Jets dropped their 9th game in their last 11 contests today to the New England Patriots. The loss drops the Jets to 5-11 on the year, an identical final record to the 2016 New York Jets. Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong.
Let’s start with what went right. OK, that didn’t take long.
Heh, just kidding. Sort of.
Jamal Adams. Jamal Adams has struggled at times covering tight ends, but today was not one of those times. Adams had help, but he was a big part of the Jets completely taking away the game’s best tight end, Rob Gronkowski. Adams also chipped in with nine tackles and nearly came up with an interception on a nice pass break up. A very good game for the Jets rookie safety.
Demario Davis. 11 tackles and multiple quarterback pressures made for a nice game by Davis, capping off his best NFL season.
Neal Sterling. With five receptions for 74 yards Neal Sterling did more damage at tight end than starter Austin Seferian-Jenkins did in any game this season. In fact, Sterling had more yards receiving than ASJ has had in all but one game of his four year career. A more accurate Bryce Petty might have produced a 100 yard game for Sterling. Nice job by Sterling.
This game had so few good performances by Jets I am tempted to just say everyone else. However, a few guys deserve special recognition.
Bryce Petty. Petty struggled mightily as usual. His accuracy was horrendous. He struggled to complete swing passes. Even on his completions the ball was misplaced. He failed over and over to convert on 3rd downs. He led the Jets offense to 6 points, the 7th time in 7 career starts a Petty led offense failed to score 20 points in regulation time (the Jets did score 23 points last year in an overtime win that Petty started). At 26 years old, with a career passer rating under 60 and a 1-6 record in games he started it looks like Petty’s chances to win a starting job in the NFL have run out.
Juston Burris. The Patriots repeatedly targeted Burris, and were never disappointed in the results. Nearly every play Burris was targeted ended in either a Patriots completion or a Burris penalty. This was one of the worst performances by an NFL cornerback I have ever seen.
Jojo Natson. Natson again failed to impress and ran backwards on punt returns. Jojo Natson has some ability, but his judgment is horrible, he has yet to figure out he isn’t going to beat NFL players to the corner by running backwards, and his results have been uniformly awful. Natson may have played his last game as a Jet.
The Offensive Line. The line failed to get much push in the running game all afternoon. Running backs Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire were constantly being hit in the backfield.
There were plenty of other less than scintillating performances by Jets players in this game, but I think I’ll cut it mercifully short here. In the end this was simply a much, much better New England team imposing their will on an inferior opponent. Feel free to nominate your own players for the bad list and add to the misery in your comments.
One more note before we close the book on a very rough 2017 for the Jets. Backup quarterback Christian Hackenberg failed to see a single snap in a game that was clearly lost by halftime. I don’t think it matters much because both options at quarterback probably have very little chance at a successful NFL career, but the decision to keep Hackenberg on the bench all game after seemingly preparing him to play all week was inexplicable.
That about wraps up the 2017 Jets season. A whole new world of hurt awaits in 2018.
Happy New Year to all.