The battle between two underachieving teams was prevailed by the New York Jets 24-16 at MetLife Stadium. Joe Flacco had one of his worst games to date, as his passes were spread all over the field in a bad way, and threw 2 interceptions with no touchdowns. The Jets defense was partly responsible for that as well with good coverage and pressure. The big news of the day though was the start of Geno Smith after spending 2 years on the bench. If that weren’t enough, bad luck continued to pervade his unrealized career as an awkward hit knocked him out of the game, forcing the Jets to reinsert a seemingly rejuvenated Ryan Fitzpatrick who led the Jets to victory.
Running the ball has been a question mark as well all seasons, and this time, Matt Forte looked fresher and stronger. It is possible he got healthier, and if he plays at least as well as today, he and Bilal Powell will be a great benefit to the offense. Nice credit also goes to the offensive line as well as they were also improved in providing protection and opening holes. Forte finished with 100 yards on the dot and one touchdown. One interesting tidbit was the announcement that Powell is our 5th QB, and 3rd active QB on the roster. Makes you wonder if this is why they have been conserving him all this time, because Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are that fat off from being game ready. The drama never ends.
Brandon Marshall either doesn’t look healthy or he is preserving his body for a possible ulterior motive. He made some catches but he has dropped so much more than a premiere NFL receiver should. Every time he catches a ball, it seems like his primary focus is to protect himself and not take any hits. Ever since Jerry Rice (who had this own style though) and Marvin Harrison, I have never seen anyone so concerned with his health after catching the ball by diving down.
The defensive line also looked more motivated today just like the rest of the team. It seemed Darren Lee (injured) was missed a bit on those mini-routes in the middle, but otherwise the team handled it ok. Some credit possibly due to Coach Bowles and the staff. It was a hot and cold day for Skrine, who is not the most talented back but he doesn’t give up and he doesn’t complain and he works hard. And there was some great coverage play by Marcus Williams near the end. Whether that was to be complete or not, that’s exactly how a corner should cover who doesn’t have the courage or timing to turn his head earlier, stick that hand in there and disrupt that pass.
Special teams seems to be still getting worse from the first couple of weeks. It basically looks like they have stopped practicing and the coaching staff has to take a look at this and see why it is regressing. However on everything else, the coaching has progressed, although the Ravens did not play well today to help the Jets out. Flacco was clearly not 100% and that made the Jets defense look much better than they were overall. On the offensive end, Chan Gailey mixed it up a little more, and the middle screens were run well today, which looked promising.
Is this one win going to save the Jets season? Probably not. Most likely not. Still many fixes to be made in every facet of their game. It will be hard to see anything much next week versus the lowly Browns, so they should use that game to test more of their waters and see if they can run up the score and punish that quarterback troubles offense and find a way to to a dominating win, and then turn the corner into a positive latter half of this season.