Post Game Thoughts- Jets vs Dolphins
You cant expect any different from a Jets Dolphins game on Monday night and unfortunately it turned out very badly for our team tonight. After this one Id say its way premature to be talking playoffs anymore as the Jets have to find a way to right themselves very quickly and avoid a three game losing streak.
You certainly can not fault the offense on this night. Mark Sanchez did not have a great game, but he did enough to win and showed off his ability to throw the long ball. You saw flashes of what Braylon Edwards may bring to the field. With an obviously hurt Jerricho Cotchery Edwards did everything you could have asked for and showed that athletic ability that Im not sure we have seen in 20 years. David Clowney made the most of his opportunity with a beautiful grab of a perfectly placed pass, but unfortunately looked to get injured again, something which has plagued him his entire career. Another non-game for Dustin Keller. Iím not sure what is going on with him, but he has disappeared from the offense. He got eaten for lunch by Jason Taylor on a block which may have been the only time he even appeared on TV. You have to think that this might be the swan song for RB Thomas Jones. While Jones did churn out a few nice runs here and there he doesnít have the speed to hit the type of holes that the Jets offensive line is currently creating. The difference between he and Leon Washington tonight was unreal. Washington had a great game and seemed to effortless squeeze through these tiny holes and pick quality yards against a stingy run defense. I think at this point you use Jones around the goal to keep him happy, but have to strongly consider using the other players more often than Jones everywhere else. A so so performance by the offensive line. Alan Faneca blew at least three blocks and Brick had an awful holding call when the Jets had just regained the momentum. If Faneca does not improve and next year is uncapped he might not stay here at such a high price tag. He has had a mediocre season. The right side of the line may have had their best game of the season and Brandon Moore seemed to do a very good job especially sealing his guy for Washington to run through.
If the goal tonight was for the Jets defense to make a statement before a prime time audience, they certainly did not meet the goal. Going into the game I think the question was whether or not the run problems were scheme or whether they were personnel and it sure looks like personnel. The Dolphins abused the Jets line with the run and short pass games, specifically when Kris Jenkins was not on the field. For the first and last 15 minutes of the game Miami had their way with the Jets. When New York brought pressure the Dolphins knew how to pass right over it. The Dolphins got their tight end involved and exposed the Jets inability to cover the position. When they finally went deep they had Ted Ginn running free with three Jets chasing him. It was just a nightmare on the field and for the first time this season resembled the 2008 defense. When your offense retakes the game and the momentum with two monster plays the last thing you can do is allow the opposition to just slice you apart and quickly score, but that is what happened tonight, not once but twice. They let them ďWildcatĒ their way right down the field and it cost the Jets the game. The tackling was terrible, other than by Jenkins and Darrelle Revis, and Calvin Pace made minimal impact. The Jets were just physically pushed around, which was something I think blindsided everyone who follows the team. Some of these players really need to begin looking at themselves in the mirror. There is no way around it, but Kerry Rhodes has been a disappointment for two years running. He made one tackle today and was in a number of plays where he was the odd guy out. The other linemen have not done a great job by any means. Shaun Ellis hasnít been much since his return and Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito were just pushed down the field repeatedly. When these all out blitzes do not work this defense can not play the way they did today and expect to win.
Look no further than the special teams unit as to why the Jets were so competitive. Steve Weatherford, who I have routinely criticized, made a tremendously athletic play in running for a first down. Amazingly the Jets tried it again, this time with Brad Smith, and Smith gets an A+ for effort. Smith was dead in the backfield but was able to slip a tackle, make a big gain, and get the offense back on the field. Without these plays the Jets lose this game badly. Jay Feely continues the great season both on field goals and kickoffs.
They certainly made some very gutsy special teams call today that you have to give them great credit for. That said, they came into this game completely unprepared for the Dolphins Wildcat attack. It got to the point where they did not even put Chad Henne on the field and the Jets constantly got smoked. Dan Henning completely outclassed the Jets defense tonight and picked the perfect times to attack with the Wildcat.
For the first time this season Rex Ryan just looked overmatched and maybe a little overtaken by the spotlight. Iím not sure why he did not choose to use any time outs with time winding down. Maybe he thought he could save one to ice their kicker, but his defense was spent and he had to conserve whatever time he could to get his offense back on the field. I doubt the Jets would have pulled it out but he gave them no chance to do so.
The Jets had a chance to bury the Dolphins and instead they let them right back into the AFC East race, which, at least for a week or two, becomes a crowded three team field. It was really a poor effort from the Jets tonight. They allowed an offense that has problems finding the end zone score two times. They most definitely did not do anything to make a viewer think this defense is anything special.
Make no mistake about it, the better team won the game. The Jets were only in the game because of two surprise special teams plays and the fact that the Dolphins could not get out of their own way in regards to penalties. The Jets even caught a huge break on the pass interference call that set up their final score. Miami did whatever it could to hand the Jets the game, but this defense simply handed the game right back to them on a silver platter.
This becomes a tough order now for the Jets. They have to quickly put this behind them and get ready to play a wounded Buffalo team that always gives them fits. If they thought last week was going to be bad with criticism this week is going to be 100 times worse. There are tons of media outlets that do not care for Rex Ryanís brash attitude and Bart Scottís mouth. Both will be brought to task for this game. In some ways maybe itís a good thing to have a game like this. Certainly the Jets defense looked at the Saints game as a victory for them. Maybe this brings them back to earth, because they no longer can claim to be the best defense in the league and have to realize that their run defense is most certainly a problem.
The Jets have to right the ship ASAP. This is the time of year that separates the true season long surprises from the early season shockers and right now the Jets are 0-1 in that stretch losing to a team that plays a RB at the QB position for half the game. If the Jets fall to 3-3 with a loss next week those early season wins become distant memories. 4-2 is a totally different story and that is what the Jets have to focus on. They get Miami in their building in a few weeks anyway and can put them away then. For now get through Buffalo and then make sure not to flub one out in Oakland. The Jets are still in a good position provided they do that. Hope for the best next week. Go Jets.