The Jets have lost this year for numerous different reasons. Players, coaches, opponents, luck, and injuries have all played a role.
After Monday night’s loss to the Patriots, we might be able to add inexperience.
On the final New England offensive play from scrimmage, Cam Newton hit Jakobi Meyers for a 20 yard gain. That took the ball from the New England 47 to the New York 33, offering Nick Folk an opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal.
As it happened I couldn’t figure out how Meyers got so wide open. Stopping him should have been the focal point of the Jets defense the play. After all, he was targeted on 14 of Cam Newton’s 35 passing attempts. Everybody should have known where the ball was going on a game-deciding play.
I would explain how Meyers got open with one word, inexperience.
Meyers lines up against rookie cornerback Bryce Hall.
As he gets past Hall, the rookie corner releases him from his zone way too soon. There are no other receivers remotely near him. Even if there were, a completion in front of him wouldn’t hurt. Less than 10 seconds were on the clock, and a completion in front of him would be short of field goal range.
For his part, you could also say Ashtyn Davis is probably too deep on this play. He’s responsible for the deep third of the field, but there’s no receiver threatening the area where he is. You can see how much shallower another deep defender plays when a receiver threatens field goal range.
Newton found a wide open Meyers for the big completion. Folk won it on the next and final play.
I think you saw lots of inexperience make this play happen. You had two rookies who haven’t seen the field much this year. They didn’t get the play call. They didn’t understand the score and time. They also didn’t communicate the way zone defenders need to.
For my part, rookies going through growing pains is easier to take than a lot of the bad Jets football we have seen this year.
You just hope they learn from this.