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Post Game Thoughts: Jets 3 Ravens 19

I would not be surprised if this week begins the official offense/defense split in the locker room.

Offense

I think the Jets offense is now worse than it was at any time during the Mark Sanchez era. In the early years there was a running game. Even in 2011 and 2012 they looked, at times, like a professional team that would be done in by some atrocious plays by the Quarterback. Now that the Jets have seemingly lost the ability to drive the ball down field they don't even look competent. It's brutal to watch.

No position should be free of criticism. Geno Smith will get the most because he looks incompetent on the field but he's not the only one. The Jets have a two high priced offensive lineman. They had a well regarded Right Tackle and a high enough drafted Guard. None are really pulling their weight. The Jets receivers can't haul in a pass to save their lives unless it hits them in the gut. The runners cant do anything with the football. It's a complete breakdown from the QB all the way down.

Smith should have been replaced today. He probably should be replaced next week. There is little more to evaluate at this stage. He'll be back next season and be in a position to compete for the job. All they are doing at this point is embarrassing him. This is not Matt Stafford or Peyton Manning going out there and throwing for a bunch of yards and some awful interceptions. This is looking lost. I think his play has opened the door for Mark Sanchez to return next season. He's been that bad and when you are a 2nd round pick you don't get the luxury to be bad and be handed a job, no different than Kellen Clemens back in 2007.

The offensive line was just overwhelmed. They did not look like the same group that in the past played so physical against opponents. It felt like a jailbreak on every play. Maybe momentum spiraled out of control and the Jets lost composure but it was not a good showing. I would not be stunned if the Jets will be quietly shopping Nick Mangold next season. He is not the same player he was two years ago and his salary is completely out of whack with the position. He's still effective but not at that pricetag.

The receivers I felt were overcome by the weather. That's about the only way I could come up with a logical reason that the one turnover occurred where the ball went off the leg of the motion man. Maybe the cold just through the timing off. The runners did nothing as well. Not that they had much room or opportunity but there is nothing there besides one run here and there. I think the Jets were at their best this year when they made Powell the workhorse of the team, but I guess they did not see the upside in that.

Defense

Another day and another two big passes allowed which is pretty much the story of the Jets season. In fairness these were not as bad as usual. On one pass Antonio Cromartie got beat down the sideline but it wasn't the completely beaten variety we are used to. He was close and it was a perfect pass and nice catch. His tackling left something to be desired but it was one of those plays where you have to credit the offense too. Cromartie would be injured late in the game.

The second big reception was a beautiful throw and catch. CB Dee Milliner got burned but S Ed Reed, who broke up a TD earlier, I made a bad reaction to the ball. I felt like he could have made the play and 3 or 4 years ago it would have been an interception. Instead he kind of floated on by, overran the pass and the catch was made for the score. The game was probably over anyway because the offense was inept, but it would have been encouraging to see him break that up. Milliner almost had an interception early so it wasn't all bad.

The guys up front all played well. There was one personal foul call but when you get tackled into the legs of a QB I am not sure what you can do if you are Muhammad Wilkerson. There was basically nowhere else for him to go. Still he finished the game with two sacks and I think there could be an argument one day of whether or not he or JJ Watt is the better player. Wilkerson is that impressive. DT Sheldon Richardson continues his impressive rookie year. He won't win it but he should win DROY. Long term I am very confident he will be the most impressive rookie from this class.

Quinton Coples made a play or two in the backfield. He disappears way too often and I tend to think his career upside is that of Calvin Pace, who also had a sack today. Pace was notorious in his career for being a great physical talent that would put together a few plays here and there to wet the appetite and then be invisible for weeks in a row. The physical talent was unquestioned and it helped him obtain a lucrative contract from the Jets even though he never became more than a tease as a pass rusher. That's going to be Coples. As long as you don't overpay for him that's fine.

Special Teams

Whether it was the wind or something else Ryan Quigley probably had his most effective game in terms of distance. Unfortunately the Ravens returned most of them for big yards. The Ravens seemed to keep downing punts all day and clearly outplayed the Jets in this area, making a difficult day for the offense even worse.

Coaching

I'd say the talk of the Rex extension has done a complete turn now. The last two years have been pretty rough for Ryan. Offensively his teams look like they are 20 years behind the rest of the NFL. His defenses are fine, but in this day and age that only gets you a coordinator job. Last year the team got wiped out in a number of games and it's continued this season. The Jets have lost 12 games by 10 or more points over the last two seasons and 7 games by 20 or more points. That is atrocious and there is no good way to spin it.

Essentially the way things work with Rex is that you know right away if the team will compete. When they struggle on one side of the ball from the start its over and usually its over big. The team isn't talented but the bottom line is the results are awful. The Jets were flat from the first snap of the game and that goes on the coaching. They ran out of timeouts in the second half due to confusion in the 3rd quarter. They had a penalty for interference on a punt return. When was the last time we saw that? It was just disorganized.

Overall

Well the good news is that the Jets are still tied for the last Wildcard spot thanks to a breakdown by the Dolphins, who the Jets play next week. The bad news is that the Jets are a bad football team and have no business being in the discussion of the playoffs. It's a tough pill to swallow.

Nobody thought the Jets were that good going into the season. On the whole they have not been good this year, but when you have two upset wins against good teams and a few nice wins here and there expectations rise. The Jets never shrink from those expectations either which makes the fans buy in even more. So now as they start to consistently play to that low expectation level it makes the season that much more disappointing. The last glimmer of hope occurs next week when they go back home against the Dolphins. The Jets have been better at home this year and Miami has problems of their own so maybe the good Jets show up.

Some of the comments after the game made it sound like there is a fracture between offense and defense so Im not sure what the vibe is in that locker room. While I think the Jets defense is a bit overrated due to being very susceptible to the big play pass they do play at a high level. The offense is about as bad as it gets in the NFL and for some veteran players who have no more time left this is just a disappointment. It is a very difficult situation.

The Jets will be in front of a pretty negative home crowd if things go bad next week. The crowd forced Ryans hand last year with Sanchez when he pulled him in the middle of a game for Greg McElroy. This is going to be that same situation. For whatever reason nobody is looking at Smith as a rookie learning to play. Whether we are spoiled by the success of players like Russell Wilson and Cam Newton, the feeling I get is that most of us look as Smith as done. It's understandable as so many teams passed on him, some twice, so he has little margin for error next week if he is starter.

My guess is we'll soon be looking at where we end up picking in the draft. Its where we all expected to be anyway, but I think we are just now seeing how far away we are from being competitive with this roster. That's a bit painful because for 9 or 10 weeks we thought we were a miracle team far better than everyone said. But at least we got a few weeks out of the season which is more than fans of other teams can say. The team has a great deal of cap room next year and now its time to find a way to fix this offense.

Go Jets!

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