BGA: Dolphins at Jets – Final wrap-up

That just about does it for this week’s BGA, a thoroughly depressing review of a thoroughly depressing game that makes for a thoroughly depressing read, I’m sure. (Sorry about that).

I’d like to close with a reminder to the Jets’ decision makers (whoever they may be):

We’re here every week, blogging about and supporting the team we love whether we attend the game or do so from home or a bar.

Losing is embarrassing and it sucks, especially to a hated rival like the Miami Dolphins in such a pathetic fashion. If you’re not even going to do whatever it takes to win every week, it better pay off down the road and fast because Jets fans are an impatient bunch that aren’t going to tolerate that for too long.

We hope you are continuing to enjoy the new BGA format. There are links to each BGA article or the option to read the offensive and/or defensive BGA in full after the jump.

To re-read the offensive BGA in full, click here

Quarterbacks

Thinking back to preseason, it was obvious that Geno Smith wasn’t ready to be a full-time starter. He threw three interceptions in one half against the Giants and the new car smell generated by him not being Mark Sanchez soon wore off.

With no other real options following the Sanchez and Garrard injuries in preseason, the Jets had to proceed with Smith and, while it would seemingly have made sense to simplify things so that Smith could focus on the short passing game – his bread and butter in college – it was actually his success throwing downfield which enabled him to play well enough to win some games in the first half of the year.

Bizarrely, the Jets reacted by making their offense even more conservative and one-dimensional and Smith has been regressing every week since midseason.

I wrote in the offseason that the downside of playing to Smith’s strengths was that it could undermine Marty Mornhinweg’s ability to create a vertical offense, but they seem to have given up on that even though it was working better than what’s going on now. This is yet another example of the disconnect among the powers-that-be.

You have to wonder if Mornhinweg is going to be one-and-done as offensive coordinator. Here’s a depressing statistic – since Charlie Weis left the Jets in 1999, the only offensive coordinators that the Jets have had that weren’t one-and-done are Paul Hackett and Brian Schottenheimer. Ouch.

Smith was actually only in the game for 18 snaps and only really made one bad mistake – throwing an interception to a heavily-covered receiver late in the first half. He may have already realized he was getting replaced at half time anyway, so had to try and force something to happen. Of course, that snap count was only so low because he was unable to move the chains and he was hesitant with poor timing and/or accuracy on virtually all of his dropbacks.

Once again, the announcers tried to excuse his struggles by showing a wide shot and claiming that nobody was getting open, only for the image on screen to clearly show Smith looking down the middle at Stephen Hill running a post pattern with two steps on his man and failing to pull the trigger. And even if the problem is the receivers then why would the team keep their two best (available) pass catchers on the bench for the majority of the game unless already looking towards next year? More disconnect and it’s only creating a situation where it’s extremely difficult for players to develop and for the team to assess them fairly. Surely that has to be more important than getting a slightly better first round pick.

So, how about Matt Simms? History will probably remember this game as one where Simms entered the game long after it was settled, but the Jets were still in with a chance having advanced to midfield where they had a first down with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter, down just six points. Unfortunately, that’s where things unravelled, as Simms’ handoff was fumbled by Bilal Powell. On the next play, a couple of missed tackles led to a 17-yard run and on the play after that a couple more missed tackles led to a touchdown. A classic snowball special, as the defense is demoralized and the game spirals out of reach.

To Simms’ credit, he drove the Jets for a field goal and got them back within 13-3 but then another one-off mistake led directly to another touchdown and that was the game. The fumble didn’t appear to be his fault, although he and Powell were arguing about it after the play was over. Powell didn’t seem to be expecting to get the ball, but everyone else did seem to be run blocking, so it seems unlikely that was supposed to be a play-action fake.

Simms actually started off completing 2-of-8 passes for 18 yards (after Smith had opened up 2-of-7 for 18 yards), but then went on to complete five passes in a row against a backed-off defense in the fourth quarter. That drive still stalled, as the Dolphins tightened things up in the red zone and Simms threw two more incompletions and then a pick.

It wasn’t a particularly impressive performance by any means and he did throw into tight coverage several times, but he did more positive things than Smith. Considering he had to enter halfway through the game, with many of his teammates demoralized and some of the better ones on the bench, it wasn’t an ideal situation. Perhaps they don’t have anything to lose by giving him a more extended look. He also has the benefit of that new car smell generated by not being Geno Smith, which at least will make for a more positive atmosphere at home next week.

I can’t see Smith starting the next game, but then again I said the same thing a few times in the midst of Mark Sanchez’s struggles last year and Sanchez did start every game but one. Having said that, we don’t necessarily know who’s pulling the strings this year.

I know there are those that will disagree but I still believe that there could be value in David Garrard starting. Whether or not you believe he gives them the best chance to win (which is practically irrelevant now that they’re more or less out of the playoff race), just having a guy who can command an offense, read a defense, get the ball to an open man and arrange protections correctly gives the team their best opportunity to assess what they’ve got in terms of linemen and skill position players. If potentially winning a few too many games is the “downside”, then it’s still worth it.

Offensive Line

I was looking forward to writing this week’s offensive line review. Thought I’d done a pretty decent job so far and fared reasonably well last year. However, SNY just took on an intern and they’ve decided that he’s going to write the offensive line review this week and for the remainder of the season.

Sure, he’s young, very inexperienced, ill-prepared and with a rough-around-the-edges style. There may be teething troubles at first, but they’re expecting he’ll learn and improve on the job. After all, he could be the future of BGA!

Don’t worry, none of that is true.

I just hope that underlines the absurdity of the situation at left guard. The Jets offensive line was pretty good for the first four weeks and isn’t getting any better. Brian Winters is overmatched, torpedoing the whole unit and potentially killing his confidence in the process.

Winters actually had some promising moments in this game, the best of which saw him pull to the right and block his man back to the inside. However, he was badly beaten for two more sacks and taken advantage of several times in the running game. By my count, he ended up on the ground on 16 of 55 plays this week. While he did have a couple of good pulling blocks in the first half, he’s still struggling to get that down. On third and goal, as Matt Simms “killkill’d” to a running play, Winters got in the running back’s way when he looked to have a running lane. On the next drive, he pulled and collided with the fullback, so that the run was bottled up.

I don’t like to kick a man when he’s down, but I honestly think it would be better for the team and for Winters’ development if he wasn’t playing. If the team is resolute that they’re done with Ducasse, then give Schlauderaff or Campbell a shot. I hate this phrase almost as much as “Pay the man!” but at this stage of the season, it’s worth asking: Could they really be any worse?

On October 11th, offensive line coach Mike Devlin told Newday’s Kimberley Martin that Ducasse was “still big in our plans”. Since then, he’s played a total of five snaps in seven games and not seen action in four of those, including each of the last two.

Can we really expect the offensive linemen to get on the same page when the coaches can’t?

As for the rest of the line, they were pretty disappointing too, for the most part, although Jets’ quarterbacks were under pressure just 13 times and at least half of that was caused by Winters, the quarterback hesitating or the backs. The running game was statistically productive too, although 32 of the 99 yards came on a play that was not well blocked and, without that, they’d be barely above three yards per carry.

Willie Colon didn’t give up any pressure and did open up a good running lane on one play, but he let himself down in the second half by letting his man get off his block three times to make a stop. He also had at least one penalty for the ninth time this year and is tied with Khalif Barnes for the most in the NFL with 11. (The two face off next week in what’s sure to be an epic “flag-off”). On this occasion, the flag was harsh. Colon was called for an illegal block in the back on a play where Geno Smith dumped it off to Greg Salas and he cut back for a first down. The block didn’t affect the play and it looked like Colon targeted his man’s shoulder, but his man turned around at the last minute and Colon ran into him from behind where it would have been difficult for him to stop his momentum. It wouldn’t be so bad if the Dolphins hadn’t done exactly the same thing to Austin Howard, in even more egregious fashion, on the interception return late in the first half. Obviously that was not called.

Howard gave up 13 total pressures against Miami last year and clearly finds facing Cameron Wake a tough matchup, so limiting the damage to just four pressures this week was probably about as good as could be expected. One of those was a screwed up protection where he blocked down on the tackle and Wake was left unblocked, so he was only actually beaten three times. What’s more disappointing is that he didn’t really have any impact in the running game.

On the other side, D’Brickashaw Ferguson gave up two sacks, but in each case that was because the quarterback held onto the ball too long and then tried to avoid pressure coming from elsewhere (Winters was beaten to lead to the first sack and Chris Ivory on the other). He was beaten a couple of other times though. In the running game, he didn’t have much impact, other than on two plays in close succession in the second half where he drove his man well off the line. I’d like to see him doing that on a more consistent basis though.

Finally, Nick Mangold opened up some holes in the running game and was only beaten for one pressure on a play where the protection seemed to get screwed up again. One of his best plays this week came early in the game and saw him react to Winters getting beaten and coming off his own man to rescue the situation and allow Smith to get the throw off. Those are the kind of plays that most other centers can’t make.

Running Backs

We’ll get into the individual player analyses further down, but for now I want to focus on the Jets’ approach to the running game. Statistically speaking, they had 99 yards on 22 carries, which is not bad. The numbers don’t tell the whole story though.

The Jets ran the ball just five times in the first half, racking up a healthy 81 yards on 17 carries in the second half. Clearly they had the ability to establish a running game, but ended up doing so when it was far too late. Had that been the Jets’ first half gameplan, perhaps the defense would have been fresh and able to dominate in the second half. Those two touchdowns, which featured tired tackling from demoralized players, might not have happened either.

Obviously the best laid plans can get away from you and the Jets’ gameplan probably anticipated gaining some momentum with some early first downs through the air, but a look at the play-by-play does show that there were opportunities to run the ball, especially on second down. The Jets had seven second downs in the first half and, while two of them were second and long due to a sack and a penalty, the others were all eight yards or less to go. In fact two of them were three yards or less. On those seven plays, they passed six times, with the only run coming on 2nd and eight from their own three yard line. You don’t establish a running game by throwing the ball, especially when your quarterback is struggling.

That wasn’t the only counter-intuitive aspect of the Jets’ gameplan. They repeatedly ran a bunch of fake reverses to Stephen Hill, handing the ball off up the middle every time. The concept behind that makes sense – you get the defensive end to contain the edge which makes it easier to leverage him to the outside and create a lane between the tackles. However, if you’re not going to give Hill the ball, then the defense will anticipate the fake and pinch in to stop the expected run up the middle.

Now, if the Jets were actually to give Hill the ball, then maybe that play would pay off because the defensive end would anticipate a fake and get caught inside. However, using that play to establish that threat and therefore help your chances of getting your core running game going would seem to make a lot more sense than never doing it and then having your running game struggle to get going just so you can have success on a one-off play somewhere down the line.

After a quiet first half, Bilal Powell made a couple of good plays with Simms under center, cutting back for a first down, getting another first down up the middle and picking up 20 on a screen pass. However, he fumbled a hand-off, had two passes go off his hands and got tackled in the open field short of the marker on third down, so it was a mixed bag. Powell hasn’t had 50 rushing yards in a game or a 20-yard run since Brian Winters has been starting.

Chris Ivory showed some flashes in the second half, reversing his field on one spectacular 32-yard run. The fact that he gained 65 yards after contact, but only had 61 yards in total says it all. Ivory actually caught a pass this week, breaking a couple of tackles for a 12-yard gain. However, he had issues in pass protection, where on one play he failed to anchor himself and was driven back into Smith, who was sacked.

Fullback Tommy Bohanon also had a couple of issues in pass protection, getting beaten for one pressure and releasing a blitzer on another play. He did have one good lead block in the running game.

Finally, Alex Green was active again, but didn’t see action on offense.

Receivers

Of all the head-scratching decisions that the Jets’ regime has made over the years, activating Santonio Holmes as a gametime decision, putting him in the starting lineup and then only using him on one other play all game has to be one of the most bewildering.

On the first play, Holmes ran a full-speed go-route and Smith was sacked well before he could get a pass off due to Brian Winters getting beaten. Holmes re-appeared on a running play in the second quarter and hustled to make an attempted cut block on a play where Ivory gained seven yards. You couldn’t criticize his effort on either play, so the only thing that makes any sense is that he must have shown displeasure at being removed from the game immediately after each one and they benched him for that reason. If that’s not the case, then it’s not like any of the other receivers had earned extra reps, so there is no obvious explanation other than the fact that he’s not really part of their plans, in which case, why start him? Why even continue to have him on the team?

Making this all the more baffling is the fact that Kellen Winslow only played 17 snaps. Winslow was probably their most efficient player, catching three passes on three targets. Again, I can understand why a player on a one-year deal might start to lose playing time as the team falls out of contention and gives more reps to the players it anticipates will be back next year, but that’s not exactly conducive to an ideal working environment.

Again, though, it’s a major departure from the end of last year, when guys like Yeremiah Bell, Bart Scott and Eric Smith who were never expected to return, were still getting major reps with younger options like Antonio Allen, Demario Davis and Josh Bush sitting out.

Are they not even trying to win any more?

Of those that did play, David Nelson saw the most action, catching three balls on eight targets. He could have had a much bigger day as he was open on two of those incompletions and had one bad drop late in the game. He did have one good downfield block.

Greg Salas was targeted four times, with one of those being the interception just before half time as he was blanketed by Dannell Ellerbe. His one catch went for no gain and, as noted in the offensive line section, he did have a first down play overturned.

Stephen Hill finally broke his string of games without a catch by making a first down on his only catch of the day, a two yard gain. He was targeted three other times, including the interception by Matt Simms, where he was not open.

Jeff Cumberland had just one catch and has just 49 yards since week seven. On one play, he seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball. He’s also gone backwards as a blocker, missing a block on the edge on one play and getting beaten inside on another. I can understand why the team is giving him reps over Winslow, but he isn’t exactly responding as they’d have hoped.

Zach Sudfeld has shown some promise as a pass catcher, but his blocking is still not that impressive. He got blown up into the backfield on one play. He did manage to make a good lead block on a short yardage conversion from the fullback position.

Finally, Josh Cribbs was injured on special teams early in the game and played just one snap.

To re-read the defensive and special teams BGA in full, click here

Defensive Line

Some experts were critical of the defensive line yesterday, because the Jets gave up 125 rushing yards, only recorded one sack and didn’t put enough pressure on Ryan Tannehill. However, the reality is that this was another dominant display up front.

None of Miami’s backs averaged over 3.5 yards per carry and the fact the Jets only pressured Tannehill 12 times in 44 dropbacks had more to do with him getting rid of the ball quickly. His time to throw was 2.17 seconds per PFF, the lowest in the NFL this week and .2 of a second quicker than his average, which is already among the league leaders. On 70% of his throws, he got rid of the ball within 2.5 seconds and he only had 11 attempts where he held the ball for longer than that.

To their credit, the Dolphins line did what they could to slow them down. One particular thing that made a difference was that they had a lot of hard counts, which caused the Jets to jump offside once (Kenrick Ellis) and almost on several other occasions (including four times by Damon Harrison) which meant that the player was off-balance as the ball was snapped.

Muhammad Wilkerson saw a lot of double teams and had a quiet game by his standards with four tackles and no sacks. However, he still had a couple of impact plays, batting down a pass and hitting Tannehill on a play that was very similar to the one last week where Joe Flacco threw the ball up for grabs. This time, the Jets intercepted it though. On one of the few plays where Miami had success in the running game, Wilkerson got great penetration and then was blatantly held, enabling the running back to turn the corner for 17. That was one play after the Simms fumble and one play before the first touchdown, so that was a horrible miss by the officials.

While he was kept off balance by the hard counts and also got nicked up a couple of times, Harrison delivered as usual getting some good penetration to bottle up some runs. He was in on the tackle for one play that went for no gain and another that went for a short gain and also had a tackle in the backfield late in the game. He did miss one tackle though.

Other than jumping offside, Ellis was solid once again, although he still only saw action on 12 snaps. His best play saw him blow up a play at the goal line with penetration, but he also helped bottle up a couple of other runs.

Sheldon Richardson didn’t do much as a pass rusher but did a great job in the running game, blowing up several runs at or close to the line of scrimmage. He also had a great play where he clearly stripped the ball away from the running back, but the play had been blown dead by a premature whistle. Richardson showed frustration in throwing the ball down, earning himself a delay of game penalty. Unfortunately, that’s not reviewable. One observation I have made before on Richardson is that he often gets handled initially, but is able to work so hard to get off his block that he can get himself back into the play. I often wonder if that would be as effective without the likes of Harrison and Wilkerson holding their ground on a consistent basis to afford him the time to do that before the runner hits the hole.

That may sound like it’s a criticism, but it’s really not. Richardson plays like that because he can and it’s what makes him such an ideal fit for this defense. If it were a situation where he wasn’t able to do that, I’m sure he’d be equally capable of leveraging himself in the way of any runs in his direction instead, but the strength of the players alongside him are what affords him the opportunity to fight off blocks and make plays and the unit is thriving as a result.

Finally, Leger Douzable stuffed a couple of runs and had a big hit on Tannehill to lead to an early incompletion, but he was also caught inside on one play and may have inadvertently prevented Quinton Coples from sacking Ryan Tannehill by getting in his way as Tannehill stepped up to avoid the rush and then ran for 18 yards.

Linebackers

I want to open up this section by talking about Demario Davis. I think we’re deep enough into his first season as a full time player to assess his game. While his speed has been a boost to a unit that was aging last year, he’s not the finished article yet and I’m interested to get your thoughts on whether he has the potential to be really good, or is he already at his ceiling?

Davis has been pretty good against the run and, although his nine missed tackles leads the team, that’s not too bad on a league-wide scale as 19 other inside linebackers around the NFL have at least as many as that. In coverage, he’s blown some assignments and been picked on a lot more than you might realize. He’s given up a completion on over 80% of his targets for a total of 470 yards. By contrast, Bart Scott, who we were told by the media was repeatedly exploited in coverage, never gave up more than 333 yards in a season with the Jets. I do think Davis is a pretty good blitzer, although the Jets haven’t been blitzing much recently, so he only has one pressure in the last five games (after racking up 11 in the first seven).

Yesterday’s game was a typical Davis performance. He was in on a couple of tackles near the line of scrimmage, including one in coverage, but was beaten for a couple of first downs and picked on a couple of screen plays that also went for first downs. He also had a costly missed tackle on the first touchdown. Last year, I remarked that Davis always seemed to be a step slow at the snap and that once he got more comfortable that would disappear and make him a more effective player. That’s been the case, but there are still times when he reacts a beat late and those are the occasions when he’s exploited.

Alongside Davis, David Harris continues to be much more consistent this year than he was last year. He was in on several tackles near the line and got credit for a tackle for a loss when he stretched a running play all the way out to the sideline. He did get beaten for one first down in coverage, but otherwise did well. Harris has given up a catch on 86% of his targets, but that’s only translated to approximately half the yardage Davis has allowed.

Calvin Pace was blocked out of a few running plays, missed a tackle and lost contain once, but he continues to contribute better than expected as a pass rusher. He had two pressures, one of which led to Quinton Coples’ sack. He did make one good play against the run, coming off the edge unassisted to make a stop for no gain.

Coples continues to impress as a pass rusher, gaining the edge repeatedly on Bryant McKinnie and beating him inside a couple of times too. He had seven total pressures for the second time in four games and it could have been more as he beat his man and Tannehill released the ball just before he got there a few times on top of that. An interesting wrinkle over the last couple of games has seen them matching him up with a guard once or twice a game, something they had stopped doing over the previous month. He did do most of his damage off the edge though. Against the run he had his ups and downs, but mixed in a couple of run stuffs with being blocked out of some plays, some of which could perhaps be attributed to fatigue.

Finally, Jermaine Cunningham was in for six plays and rushed the quarterback five times, but didn’t get close.

Defensive Backs

The first half of this game (which you’ll recall I said was “where all the damage was done” despite the close scoreline) exposed the unexpected downside of the Ed Reed move (not just the decision to sign him but also to make him a full-time player right off the bat).

Dawan Landry was never going to be benched because he’s back there coordinating the secondary. Obviously this has meant that Antonio Allen, who was playing really well before Reed arrive, was the one to lose playing time. However, the under-appreciated aspect in all this is the fact that Landry’s role has changed from a deep safety to more of an in-the-box safety.

Of course, it’s never as simple as that with the Jets, whose safeties were often interchangeable before Reed’s arrival. However, Landry had been playing the deep safety role for the most part and doing a solid job. It’s the same role that Yeremiah Bell played last year and while Landry might not have the athleticism he once did (or that of his brother), his skill-set compares favorably to someone like Bell. The media suggested all off-season that Landry was an in-the-box safety who would be miscast in a free safety role, but this was based on the misconception that “free safety” equates to coverage safety, whereas in actual fact, the player closer to the line of scrimmage is the one who will be in more direct man-to-man matchups. The free safety role is much more suitable for a veteran nearing the end of their career, especially on a team that doesn’t really employ a roaming center fielder.

At this stage of his career, moving Landry back into such an in-the-box role – which of course he played alongside Reed in Baltimore – simply exposes him to more man-to-man matchups and these were exploited three times in the first half yesterday to help extend drives, the first time Landry has given up more than two catches in direct coverage all year. The younger Antonio Allen is more suited to these situations due to his superior athleticism and coverage skills, but moving him into a situational role just means that Landry (who has to be out there) can be exploited in coverage. It also hasn’t helped Allen, who has given up three first down catches and dropped an interception in 25 snaps over the three games since Reed arrived. Prior to that, he’d only given up one catch on every 19.5 snaps, many of which weren’t first downs.

Essentially, by trying to accommodate Reed’s role, Ryan seems to have weakened a couple of other positions, which was the last thing an already-struggling secondary needed.

As many people noted, the Jets employed a lot of cover-two looks yesterday, again perhaps trying to simplify things to accommodate Reed, take Landry away from being employed in direct coverage situations and give extra support to their starting corners – a struggling rookie and an injured veteran. Some had been questioning why Ryan was so reluctant to do this, but now he has and it wasn’t particularly successful. The fact is that all the reasons for going to that look are personnel or scheme weaknesses that they were trying to paper over.

Dee Milliner has been widely criticized throughout the media for yesterday’s performance, but I’m going to go against the grain a bit here, because there were some flashes that he is starting to get it. He jumped a couple of routes, did a better job of looking back for the ball and showed some good recovery speed on the fourth down incompletion in the first half. Obviously, he was overmatched against Brian Hartline and got beaten for a handful of first downs, usually because he gave the receiver too much of a cushion, which is still his biggest issue. He also had a couple of really bad missed tackles. Earlier in the year, he wasn’t really making any positive contributions, so although he’s proven that he isn’t consistent enough to play at this level yet, he is making some small progress and I am encouraged.

I’ll remind everyone that I’d been saying all offseason we could expect Milliner to struggle because that’s always the case with defensive backs transitioning from the Nick Saban system. The team should have realized this too and brought him along slowly instead of persisting with starting him when in the past they’ve always favored the guy who “gives us the best chance to win”. Milliner did make some positive contributions yesterday, but he looked distraught after the Wallace touchdown and you have to weigh up whether having him out there while he’s struggling is going to do anything to accelerate his development.

On the other side, Antonio Cromartie looked really bad by his standards. It’s obvious he’s limited physically, but his technique was all over the place on the some of the catches he gave up. The damage wasn’t that bad (59 yards, one TD, one interception on six targets) but they really took advantage of him on a couple of plays.

While I spoke about Reed’s indirect impact higher up, his individual performances haven’t been too bad. He did have a bad missed tackle on the first touchdown yesterday though.

Kyle Wilson gave up two third down conversions, but was also in good position on two other passes, one of which he broke up with a big hit. Remember that Bills game where he had five penalties (including four in consecutive plays)? Other than that game, he has ZERO penalties this season.

Ellis Lankster finally got some reps on defense down the stretch, with his 16 snaps representing more than he’s had over the rest of the season put together. On one play, he jammed the receiver at the line and closed on the ball to make an open field tackle for a gain of just three, which was exactly the type of play the Jets receivers need to be making with teams looking to exploit them on quick passes. However, on the next two plays he was playing off his man and gave up two first downs, although on the second one Landry appeared to bite on a run fake, leaving him isolated.

Jaiquawn Jarrett saw some brief action, assisting on a key run stop at the goal line and Josh Bush also got into the game at the end, making one good play in run support.

Darrin Walls saw action on just four snaps but Isaiah Trufant hasn’t played on defense since week six.

Special Teams

Yes, the offense has been bad, but the special teams units have been almost as bad and that’s perhaps not getting the attention it should.

After an awful performance last week, this week was almost as bad, as Marcus Thigpen had a 25-yard punt return and a 50-yard kickoff return. Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Darrin Walls and Jermaine Cunningham all missed tackles on one return. It could have been worse, but Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster each made terrific open field tackles with the second wave nowhere in sight on two punts. Furthermore, the Jets almost had two punts blocked and committed a pre-snap penalty.

One major issue has to be personnel. Starters Dawan Landry (who actually made a good tackle on the opening kickoff) and David Harris both had to play this week, as the Jets have lost several special teams contributors in recent weeks (including Troy Davis, Ricky Sapp, Rontez Miles, Konrad Reuland – and Josh Cribbs during the game). They’ve also had to move Caleb Schlauderaff into the wedge blocker role previously occupied by Reuland. Harris was playing left tackle on the punt unit which is where the pressure came from on one of the near blocks. It looked like the pre-snap penalty was down to him too.

However, you also have to question the coach. It’s looking increasingly likely there will be a coaching staff overhaul this offseason and you have to wonder what Ben Kotwica’s chances of surviving that are.

Nick Folk had a pretty easy day with one chip shot field goal and two kickoffs, neither of which were touchbacks. Punter Ryan Quigley was considerably busier, of course. His numbers were okay, despite outkicking his coverage a few times.

With Cribbs injured, Kyle Wilson was underwhelming returning punts and kicks. When they moved Antonio Cromartie onto kick returns he looked good, as he always does. Obviously he can still move straight-ahead, even if his lateral movement is compromised by his injuries. With him struggling so much on defense that he’s arguably no longer expendable, perhaps they should just move him into that role full time if Cribbs is out for any extended period of time.

Finally, Isaiah Trufant drew a penalty and almost blocked a punt.

Here are the links to each of this week’s BGA articles:

Quarterbacks
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Receivers
Defensive Line
Linebackers
Defensive Backs
Special Teams

If you have anything you’d like me to take a closer look at or any other questions for me, leave them in the comments section of this post (please re-submit any questions you’ve asked in any of the above posts), tweet them to @Bent_Double or email bentdouble@gmail.com and I’ll respond in BGA Extra on Wednesday/Thursday. I’d also appreciate your thoughts and feedback on the new format.

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