The New York Jets secondary illustrated its Swiss cheese defense yet again as backup quarterback Matt Moore ripped them to shreds, throwing for 236 yards on 12/18 (67%) and 4 touchdowns. The Jets solid defensive line held Jay Ajayi to only 51 yards but the damage was already done. 2nd year quarterback Bryce Petty played well at times but could not keep up as he threw 20/36 for 235 yards, one touchdown and 2 interceptions. He was nailed hard by Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh and had to leave the game as Ryan Fitzpatrick came back in and finished up the game in lackluster fashion.
All that aside, it was astonishing again to observe a team that allowed 71 total yards on the ground while Bilal Powell at times seemed like he was exerting his will on the Miami defense, running for 84 yards and also receiving for 78. Those 162 yards are not as impressive as the fact that he averaged 6 yards per touch all game. The Dolphins averaged 2.5 yards per rush. One of the fundamentals of great football is to run the ball and stop the run effectively. This is one of multiple times the Jets have executed this plan however, have come away with crushing defeats. One reason is that it is hard to use a run game when your secondary gives up quick touchdowns in the first half and continue to give up long strikes through the second. That puts tremendous pressure on a run offense to do more, and patience is one thing that does not work when you are down by 3 touchdowns.
This inability for the Jets team to put basic football concepts in order has shown that they are who their 4-10 record says they are. Many times it looked like players quit on plays, and still miscommunication and miscues that almost got their new young quarterback severely injured. NY could not put consistent pressure on Moore, who has been riding the bench for years, and made him look like the second coming of Tom Brady. Even though it looked like the Jets personnel could not keep up with average to better than average NFL receivers, head coach Todd Bowles stated multiple times after the game that everything falls on him. He did not use the lack of talent or individual player’s faults as an excuse, but simply stated that the whole team has to play better in a better system and he needs to work on that. He also was not worried about his job security because it is what he signed up for.
On the positive end, even though Bryce Petty made some mistakes and needs to work on his protection calls and communication with his linemen, he stated that he saw the field much better today, he was not nervous, but needs to improve on his vision of linemen/linebacker drop backs and possibly more complex coverage schemes. He also needs to work on his accuracy on the deep balls where he brought up the fact that missing a throw by a yard or yard and a half is the difference between an interception and 6 points. He looked like he wasn’t in severe pain anymore, and since the x-rays came negative, he will be getting a CT scan later today to ensure he did not suffer any punctures in his lung.
At a 4-10 record now, if they lose out to the Patriots and Bills, it’s possible they might still obtain a top 5 draft pick in 2017. We will have to wait until the Sunday games to get a better idea of that estimation as well as how the Jets will handle the personnel as they head into the final 2 games. If Petty is healthy, he will finish off the season, along with Powell. Matt Forte also got in some reps today seemingly healthier, so it is yet to be seen who will get more run time at running back.