Final Score (OT):
…you know the rest. This was an ugly and costly win for the Jets. A win is a win is a win, as they say, but this one came with a price. All-world CB Darrelle Revis left the game in the 3rd quarter with what looked like a serious knee injury, and the Jets defense looked very ordinary after that. Sadly, ordinary is still much better than the Jets’ offense, which was sloppy, undisciplined and just plain bad. Ugh.
To the recap…
QB: This was not one of Sanchez’ finer performances – 21 of 45 for 306 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. That said – give him credit, he was resilient in the clutch, leading two big drives at the end of the fourth quarter and in OT. It was nice to see him regain a connection with Santonio, but that was about the only bright spot. He missed two easy TD throws, and continually threw behind receivers, especially when under pressure. I don’t fault him for the two INTs as they were primarily due to receiver mistakes, but he needs to clean things up if this is the year he really steps forward. As for Tebow…well, another quiet game for him. This is what I don’t get – why don’t they let him throw the damn ball? If he’s only a glorified RB, then put McKnight in. They need to at least keep defenses honest by having him throw a pass here and there. Right now the Wildcat is just useless and often counterproductive. Let’s see some creativity Sparano.
RBs: My prediction – Bilal Powell will be the starting RB by week 5. He looked faster and sharper than Greene and had good blocking as well. I think its clear that Greene is not an every down RB – let’s make that change. And please for the love of god, give Joe McKnight some carries or at least a screen pass or two! He’s one of your fastest players and true playmakers – get him in the game. Keeping him on the sideline is just bizarre.
Receivers: Great game for Santonio – he still had some key drops, but overall, his best game as a Jet. Unfortunately he was the only receiver worth talking about. Stephen Hill dropped an easy TD and was otherwise a non-factor. Kerley had a big catch in the 3rd quarter and the go-ahead TD, but disappeared for long periods of time. There was a Chaz Schillens sighting. No impact, but I really wanted to write Chazzzzzzzz (how long until the Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson rumors start?). And once again the absence of Dustin Keller was huge – his replacements were just awful. Jeff Cumberland? Konrad Reuland? Who are these dudes? I can tell you what they are not – NFL calibre Tight Ends. They are having a huge impact on the game – poor blocking, wrong routes and just plain terribleness. Keller – come back soon.
Offensive Line: Pass protection was good, but not great. We knew this would be a tough day running the ball (Dolphins are one of toughest run Ds in league), and they played better as the game went on, but this is a far cry from “Ground and Pound” as Marv Albert loved to point out. I think he just enjoyed saying “Ground and Pound” (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
If this is truly one of the best defenses Rex has ever had, well that doesn’t say much for every other defense he’s coached. Even before the loss of Revis, they were not impressive. Outside of the two turnovers in the 3rd quarter – and that was a masterful pick 6 by Landry – they were just mediocre. This was a rookie QB they were playing and yet he had them in a position to win the game in OT. A truly stellar D stops the Dolphins at the end of the 4th quarter, or OT for that matter. The loss of Revis had a huge knock-on effect. Cromartie was forced to cover the top WR, and got burned on a big play in OT. Wilson was flagged for a big (but very questionable) pass INT call in the 4th quarter. And the Jets rarely blitzed, which was a problem since the D line created very little pressure. This is a very, very mediocre D without Revis.
Great call on the fake punt with Tebow – his most meaningful play as a Jet. Kerley had a nice bounceback game and kudos should go to the punter, Robert Malone, who placed a few inside the 10 – that really helped with the field position. And of course another solid game from Nick Folk who nailed the game winner (although his first kick was blocked just after the Dolphins called timeout – Doh!).
We are not approaching Brian Schottenheimer territory yet, but some of Sparano’s calls were questionable. Tebow in the red zone has to stop for now – they only seem to go backwards when he’s in there. They called a great screen pass in OT that went for a big gain, but where was it the rest of the game? And as mentioned earlier, get McKnight in there for a few downs. On the defensive side, they seem to have abandoned the blitz this year. I don’t get it – that is always a hallmark of a Rex Ryan D. Let’s get back to being aggressive.
And the Rex Ryan weight watch is back on – anyone notice that he was wearing that lame black sweater vest…in 85 degree heat Miami? He was clearly trying to sweat out some extra poundage, amateur boxer style. I appreciate the effort, Rex.
On a side note – did anyone notice how empty the stadium was? Apparently the game was blacked out because they couldn’t sell it out. That’s terrible – your team is 1-1 with a top draft pick at QB, facing your most hated rivals, and you can’t sell out? And those that were there looked like they were dressed for a redneck Mardi Gras party vs. a football game. I know Miami is a terrible sports town (Heat fans are notorious for leaving early, just another reason to hate the Heat), but c’mon Miami – show some interest.
The Jets were very, very lucky to walk away with a win. If not for two missed field goals, we would be looking at a loss. And this is not a good Dolphins team – they have a rookie QB and were playing without their best player, Reggie Bush, for much of the game. It shouldn’t have been close. I called it a “must win,” but I was told by my fellow season ticket holder, that it was not. A short summary of our texts during the game (this also give you some insight into the stress I endure during every game):
Me: We can’t lose this game:
G: Don’t panic. There is never a must win in week 3.
Me: With SF and Hou next? We need this.
G: Meh. Week 3. (Tannehill throws long bomb in OT to set up FG)
Me: Can we trade for that guy?
G: I would trade QBs in a second. I’m serious. (Carpenter misses 2nd FG)
G: This is the sad bowl. (Folk goes on to kick game winning FG)
Me: I’m exhausted. And a little sick. That was terrible.
A little insight into the mind of a deranged, obsessed Jets fan. I hope you enjoyed that.
Next up…San Francisco. The Jets best get healthy and clean things up otherwise we are looking at 2-2, in my opinion. Until then…J-E-T-S.