BGA: Jets at Panthers – Final wrap-up

I feel like most of us had come to terms with the fact that the Jets weren’t going to make the postseason this year before yesterday’s game kicked off. Either way, we can now look at these remaining games with a more pragmatic and less emotional perception.

As I said following the Ravens game, you don’t get anything for a moral victory. However, at this stage of the season, when you’re essentially out of contention, you can get some encouragement from remaining competitive with such a good team, when it would have been just as easy to go through the motions and get blown out.

This front office has some big decisions to make and a ton of flexibility, so the organization could transform dramatically over the next six months. Keep watching, because whatever happens over the next couple of weeks could factor into some of those decisions.

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

Geno Smith’s numbers have settled down over the last couple of games. He’s now achieving mediocrity, which was all the Jets really needed from him all season if they were to remain competitive. Unfortunately, he had fallen well short of that too many times over the past few months. Smith was extremely inconsistent, but strung together some good scoring drives against an upper echelon defense. In fact, if you factor in strength of opponent, this was arguably one of his better performances of the year. Still, when mediocrity represents a high-water mark, you’re in a battle just to prove you’re not out of your depth.

It’s been apparent for a long time, possibly even since preseason, that Smith wasn’t ready to start at this level and I don’t think there’s any chance he’d have started every game if Mark Sanchez had been healthy. Maybe we saw enough positive flashes earlier in the season to be in denial about that for a while, but it’s telling that those positive signs started to dry up once teams had enough film on Smith and the Jets’ system to identify any weak points. However, as we enter the part of the season where offensive coordinators are prepared to throw the kitchen sink at their opponents, Smith has at least helped keep them in the last few games.

So, we look for positives, like, for example, some of the first down throws Smith made from the pocket, his eagerness to pick up safe yardage on the ground when nothing else was on and the fact he displayed enough consistency to lead two 70+ yard touchdown drives in the second half.

However, it’s the negatives that stick out. The most egregious of all was that he had no business trying to force the throw that was intercepted and returned for the game clinching touchdown, when he perhaps should have checked down to Bilal Powell, who at least would have had a chance of making a first down on third and long. There were several other bad misses though, as he threw behind a couple of receivers and showed some poor awareness in the pocket at times. He’s still not seeing the whole field as he continues to have a tendency to stare down his primary target too.

I’ll give Smith credit for one other thing: I was surprised to note that he’s only lost four fumbles all year. That’s not a number I was expecting to remain so low with the way he was protecting the ball earlier in the year. Having said that, he did almost lose one on one of the sacks yesterday.

The pocket presence is a major issue though. Defensive backs blitzing off the edge caused him problems all day and he seems to have issues both in terms of the pre-snap identification and recognition while actually in the pocket.

On Captain Munnerlyn’s sack that ended the Jets’ first drive, the Panthers had 11 players within eight yards of the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 7, but only three guys outside the tackle box on the left side to match up with the three Jets receivers bunched on that side. So when Munnerlyn blitzes from the slot, you should have an ideal hot-read situation.

The outside receiver, Santonio Holmes, ran a square-in just in front of the marker. The outside slot guy, Jeremy Kerley, ran a go-route and Jeff Cumberland started to break to the outside and then planted and ran a post pattern. The outside cornerback dropped off Holmes and picked up and ran with Kerley, so Holmes probably would have had an easy first down if Smith threw it to him as soon as he made his break. However, since he hesitated, that meant Holmes was breaking to the inside with a linebacker dropping off into that area from the right side. At the same time, the inside slot guy saw the danger and tried to jump that route, which effectively left Cumberland uncovered down the seam, although there was a safety dropping deep from the opposite side of the formation. That should have been an easy first down throw to either Holmes or Cumberland, but Cumberland didn’t look back for the ball early enough and Smith has been reluctant to make the throw in that situation all year. By hesitating and missing the chance to hit Holmes, Smith wasn’t ready to make that throw to Cumberland in time and he couldn’t evade Munnerlyn. Maybe Cumberland should have looked back for the ball sooner, but Smith still should have been able to lead him with a pass that would be on its way as Cumberland turned to look to the ball.

One other play underlined the fact that Smith sees things too late and then has to rush his throw, which causes his technique to let him down. Smith rolled out and threw deep to Saalim Hakim, who had a couple of steps on Munnerlyn down the right sideline. Unfortunately, the pass was wayward and sailed out of bounds, whereas an on-target throw would have produced a 63-yard touchdown. As Smith rolled out, he should have been able to get his eyes downfield earlier and set his feet or step into the throw. However, he saw the opportunity too late and his throw was off-balance on the run.

These small moments of indecision are things that could have been coached into him as the season was going along, but unfortunately, since he’s been prematurely forced into a starting role, he’s had too much on his plate just learning and operating the offensive scheme. Jets fans just have to hope this hasn’t stunted his overall development.

Let’s hope for more signs of mediocrity over the next few games. I think it would be optimistic to expect more than that.

Running backs

In the eighties, no one player had more influence on the rise in popularity of the NFL internationally than Chicago’s William “The Refrigerator” Perry. Perry was an effective defensive tackle, but what made him famous was his role on offense, entering the game in short yardage situations, where he contributed four touchdowns in the Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl season.

Fast forward to yesterday and the Jets unleashed their own short yardage weapon on the Panthers. Sheldon Richardson is on course to be a far better defensive tackle than the Fridge ever was, but he’s following in his footsteps in terms of being a short yardage weapon. Richardson plowed through the middle on two straight carries. It looked like he broke the plane on the first one, but they gave him a bad spot and he scored on the next play instead.

So, what’s the modern-day evolution of The Refrigerator, only even cooler, mobile and versatile? It’s the Blast Chiller … and that’s what we should all refer to Richardson as from now on.

On those two simple fullback dive plays, the Blast Chiller moved the pile even though the whole defense was loading up at the goal line. I’d love to see them use the same play in a non-short yardage situation. Imagine him plowing into the line against a four-man front. That would wear a defense down something fierce if they gave it to him 20-30 times a game – and just think what else would be opened up once the defense loaded up and then they faked it to him.

Of course, this is all fantasy and the reality is that it was just a fun gadget play with a limited shelf life, but at least it shows that we can still have fun at this point of the season. The fact that it adds to the legend of the Blast Chiller, who is well on his way to becoming an absolute megastar, just makes it all the more enjoyable.

In total, the Jets racked up over 150 yards on the ground, with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell combining for a healthy 103 yards on 19 carries. Ivory did pick up over half of his 66 yards on one play, a 35-yard burst off left tackle, but his ability to break into the open field has been a real boost for the Jets in recent weeks. He’s averaged 5.7 yards per carry over the last six games and has had at least one run of 15 yards or more in all of them. Unfortunately, the fates conspired against him in yesterday’s game. He had 66 yards on 10 carries early in the fourth quarter to help get the Jets within three, but their next drive stalled and then a blocked punt and a pick six put them into a 17-point hole which meant Ivory only carried one more time (for no gain) over the last 11 minutes. Had the game remained close, he might have been able to continue this success, which came against a top run defense.

Bilal Powell also did a good job, contributing 56 yards on 12 touches, with one nice run up the middle and a first down on a screen pass where he made a tough catch. Powell had some issues in pass protection, on one play electing to pick up a blitz up the middle on one play where Nick Mangold had that covered and a man came free off the edge. On another play, Powell did pick up the blitz off the edge, but Geno Smith was forced to step up and got sacked. He also missed a cut block on a play where Smith was chased out of the pocket.

Fullback Tommy Bohanon has struggled most of the season, but had a couple of positive moments in this game. He had a good lead block on one play and made a tough catch on third and short to keep the chains moving. With a better pass, he might have had a chance to beat Luke Kuechly to the pylon on third and goal with the Jets down 6-3 in the first half. Having said that, perhaps he could have done a better job of sharpening his route into the flat to give Smith a better angle to lead him with the pass.

Finally, Alex Green once again saw brief action but didn’t get any touches.

Offensive line

It’s no secret that Jets’ left guard Brian Winters has been struggling since moving into the starting lineup, but the Jets have been doing what they can to make life easier for him. In yesterday’s game, it seemed like they made a concerted effort to reduce the number of plays where his contribution was integral to the success or failure of the play.

They might get him to pull to the right and run the ball over the side he just vacated, roll the quarterback away from his side or get him to block up the middle at the second level, then bounce the run outside. In pass protection, they almost always had Nick Mangold double teaming on his man.

What this does is reduce the number of potentially negative plays and take some of the pressure off him. Then, when they do leave him to his own devices or run a play where he has to make a key block, maybe it has a greater chance of working because it’s unexpected and also perhaps helps Winters to maintain his focus on those particular plays. On the field goal drive that tied the game at 6-6, Winters had perhaps the best two-play sequence of his career so far, driving his man to the inside to help spring Chris Ivory’s 35-yard run off the left side (although D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s punishing edge setting block was the biggest key to this play) and then on the next snap, pulling right to block the defensive end coming off the opposite edge and opening a lane for Bilal Powell to break into the secondary for 15 (as Nick Mangold turned his man to the other side to widen that lane).

While such signs have been few and far between from Winters over the course of the season, it is encouraging. However, you can’t help but feel that the effectiveness of the offense has been compromised as a result.

Needless to say, despite these positive plays, Winters still showed plenty of rawness and did make some mistakes when left to his own devices. Maybe he made fewer mistakes than in most of his other games, but he still got beaten badly for a sack, had a momentum-killing holding penalty and had a handful of other negative plays in the running game and in pass protection. The fact the Jets would go to these lengths to try and do everything they can to develop a young player perhaps speaks volumes about what they think about his potential. I’d need to see more consistent results to make me feel like the offense wouldn’t have been markedly better off with him learning these lessons in the film room and on the practice field instead, though.

Mangold’s performance all year seems to have been affected by having to babysit Winters at times. He just hasn’t been the dominant force you could rely on him to be in previous seasons. In this game, he did a flawless job of helping Winters out in pass protection and did have some excellent blocks to create running lanes or drive his man back in short yardage situations. He let his man get off his block a couple of times, but didn’t allow any penetration.

At right tackle, Austin Howard had a good game as a run blocker, especially in the first half. He drove his man to the ground on one play and had a key outside seal block. In pass protection, Howard did a good job for most of the game, but got beaten on the inside for a pressure and on the outside for a hit late in the game as he appeared to either tire or become demoralized. I was impressed to see him effectively repel a Charles Johnson spin move on one play, giving Smith added time to make a completion.

Ferguson did a good job in pass protection, but had two lapses, one of which came on a key third down and caused Smith to throw incomplete. Earlier in the game, he was beaten outside for a near-sack. Other than those two plays, he was essentially faultless though. In the running game, he had the key block on Ivory’s big run, as noted, and also had one good kickout block.

Willie Colon had pluses and minuses, but I was impressed by how effortlessly he and Howard worked together to pickup a stunt. The Panthers will often put their two best pass rushers (Johnson and Greg Hardy) on the same side in pass rush situations and the right side of the line did a perfect job of passing their man off to one another and then picking up the other player. Colon had one play in pass protection when his man got off his block to generate a pressure and another where he fell over and his man was able to tackle Smith on a third and long scramble.

Finally, Vladimir Ducasse saw some action at right tackle when Howard missed a few snaps after appearing to get poked in the eye. Ducasse also saw action as a jumbo package lineman on a handful of plays and managed to avoid making any mistakes.

Receivers

After his not-so-wise words earlier in the week, Santonio Holmes had a disappointing performance highlighted by an awful drop on his first target of the game.

I tend to think his comments – which many have acknowledged were taken out of context – were overblown before the game and will be blown up even more after the game. The Panthers secondary didn’t play that well, because there were Jets receivers open pretty regularly and a better quarterback likely would have been able to punish them. Though they say they were motivated, I’m pretty sure Captain Munnerlyn didn’t need to be any more fired up than usual to have intercepted that pass which was thrown right to him. In truth, if the main outcome of the comments was that the Panthers played more physically, this actually benefited the Jets in some cases, because they drew a couple of penalties that led to first downs, although the officials missed one on a throw to Holmes in the end zone. It also led to the 15-yard penalty after the pick six and perhaps even to some of the over-aggressiveness that led to Cumberland and Hakim being open downfield on plays that the Jets couldn’t capitalize upon.

The biggest disappointment is that they couldn’t get more from Holmes’ matchup with rookie Melvin White. Holmes schooled him several times on routes, but only caught two passes and drew one penalty in nine targets, as Smith threw behind him twice. Maybe a healthy Holmes would have been able to adjust to those passes in mid-air but he was only able to get his fingertips on one hand to the ball. Ultimately, I wouldn’t attribute the ineffectiveness of the passing offense to how well this suddenly motivated (like they wouldn’t have been anyway with a division title up for grabs) secondary played. The Jets just don’t have a good passing game this year.

Despite this, whether they were taken out of context or not, it’s never a good idea to poke the bear and the outcome is pretty humbling for Holmes. The fact that some teammates have been commenting that it wasn’t exactly helpful is reminiscent of the reaction to Kerry Rhodes doing something similar against the Dolphins in 2009, shortly after which he fell completely out of favor.

With the connection to Holmes not working, you’d have expected the Jets to lean on Jeremy Kerley and Kellen Winslow, but neither of them had a reception until the last drive. Kerley did almost make a diving catch on one play and at least was able to draw a holding penalty. I have to give credit to Quintin Mikell who was the first guy I’ve seen that’s been able to stay with Kerley on the whip route which has been a go-to play for the Jets this year. Smith was rolling out and had to throw the ball away with that option covered. Kerley did have one missed block.

Winslow was only in for 17 snaps and hasn’t played 20 snaps in a game since he was suspended in week five. Prior to that, he had been averaging 42 snaps per game. I doubt this is an extension of limiting his “pitch count” in games as well as practice. It probably just means that they don’t see him as part of the future. On one play, he lined up in the backfield and stayed in to pass block, which has been a rarity this year (entering the game, just eight times all season and only twice since week three). Two players came off the edge and he failed to block either of them.

David Nelson was a bright spot with three catches for 44 yards, including two first downs. He also contributed a good downfield block and might have had another catch over by the sideline but the pass led him out of bounds. Has Nelson established himself as a keeper?

Jeff Cumberland led the Jets with 50 yards on three catches, which comprised a touchdown reception, an eight yard gain on a play where he broke a tackle in the backfield and a 35-yard catch and run. However, his blocking continues to be inconsistent. He did have some good blocks, but there were a series of plays where he missed or did not sustain his block to lead to a run being stuffed. It almost seemed like the Jets’ efforts to ensure that the success or failure of a play didn’t hinge on a Brian Winters block left Cumberland exposed to those situations instead.

I’m not really impressed with Zach Sudfeld’s blocking either, so I’m not sure he is likely to emerge as a potential Cumberland replacement. He let Greg Hardy get off his block to stuff a second and one run by Chris Ivory in the fourth quarter that should have been an easy first down.

Greg Salas played briefly but wasn’t targeted. However, debutante Saalim Hakim showed some flashes, breaking a tackle to gain eight on an end around and beating his man deep on a play where Smith missed him.




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

Defensive Line

After last week’s game, where Muhammad Wilkerson had probably his quietest game of the season and the Raiders were able to neutralize him by running away from him and hitting him with double teams, it was important for him to make more of an impact this week to demonstrate that you can’t take him out of the game and prove that he isn’t wearing down late in the season.

Wilkerson served early notice that you can’t keep a good man down with a spectacular play on the first series. Finding his path into the backfield blocked by tight end Greg Olsen, Wilkerson just lowered the boom, shoulder-barging Olsen over and then engulfing Cam Newton for a three yard loss as he tried to run up the middle.

Wilkerson ended up with a modest six tackles and got into the backfield to pressure Newton twice, although he tripped on one of these plays. However, he did blow up a handful of runs, including a couple near the goal line, and also displayed impressive lateral pursuit to chase two plays out to the sideline.

Wilkerson has gone three games without a sack and the run defense has given up a lot of yardage over the last two weeks, dropping them to third in the league, but it was good to see him getting back to making impact plays and the fact he’s down in 6th place in Pro Bowl voting remains one of the biggest farces in recent memory.

At nose tackle, Damon Harrison did his usual solid job. He was in on four tackles, all on running plays stopped for four yards or less, and blew up another run by getting good penetration near the goal line. He also got some good pressure to hit Newton’s arm as he threw and force an incompletion and was only caught inside twice on runs.

Backing him up – and often working with him in tandem – Kenrick Ellis had a season high snap count and, although he wasn’t credited with any tackles, he got some good penetration on two plays, stood up his man twice, drew a holding penalty and chased Newton out of the pocket once. He was driven off the line by a double team on one play though.

Rookie Sheldon “The Blast Chiller” Richardson seemed to get the better of fellow defensive rookie of the year candidate Star Lotulelei, further enhancing his credentials. Loutlelei only had two tackles, but did get some impressive penetration. However, Richardson had twice as many tackles and, in the first half, was as disruptive as he’s been all season as a pass rusher. He beat his man a handful of times to pressure Newton in that first half, leading to a sack and an attempted 3rd down scramble where Richardson himself spectacularly brought Newton down from behind. He also blew up a run with penetration. Aside from his offensive exploits, Richardson had a quiet second half, but he did a good job of showcasing his versatility.

Finally, Leger Douzable continues to make contributions off the bench. He broke into the backfield and almost sacked Newton, drawing a hold. Douzable did get forced inside on one run.

Linebackers

I had a nasty flashback to last season during yesterday’s game. When DeAngelo Williams caught that dump-off pass and turned the corner with David Harris struggling and failing to get off a block at the second level, I had a horrible sinking feeling.

Yes, the secondary could and should have prevented that from being a touchdown, but we’ll concern ourselves with that later. Harris’ inability to get off blocks has been his Achilles’ heel over the past few seasons, but hasn’t been as much of an issue this year, so the fact it was happening yesterday – and not just on that isolated play – gives cause for concern. Is Harris worn out, has the defensive line been less effective at keeping blockers off him or were the Panthers one of an increasing number of teams in recent weeks to exploit something of a weakness?

Compounding matters is the fact that Demario Davis isn’t doing a good job of avoiding or getting off blocks either. While the Jets managed to hold the Panthers to 3.6 yards per carry, they had nine carries of four or more yards in the first half alone, a much bigger number than usual. However on “short passes” (as classified by the NFL gamebook) Cam Newton was 11-for-11 for 193 yards and a touchdown in the first half, a staggering number that underlines the Jets issues in coverage near the line and tackling in the open field.

Harris was in on a couple of run stuffs in the second half and Davis stuffed one run and made a good play in coverage, but these were outweighed by a series of disappointing mistakes. Davis missed a couple of tackles, bit on a playfake leading to a big pass and was blocked out at the second level on a run and a screen pass. Harris missed one tackle, was blocked out of several plays and gave up some plays in coverage, including one where the Jets ran a Tampa-Two look with Harris chasing a receiver down the middle.

On a brighter note, Calvin Pace had yet another sack, giving him a career high nine on the season. The Jets hadn’t had a player with double digit sacks since John Abraham in 2005, but if Pace can get one more sack over the next two weeks, that will give them two (since Muhammad Wilkerson already has 10 on the year). Other than that, Pace had kind of a quiet game, but didn’t really make any major mistakes.

Quinton Coples also had a sack for the third straight game, as one of Pace, Coples or Wilkerson have had a sack in every game since week two. Coples had a couple of other pressures, including one where he wrenched Newton’s arm to force an incompletion on fourth down in the red zone. He also had a solo tackle for a loss and was in on a couple more run stops, although he did overpursue upfield a couple of times and did get blocked to the inside on Tolbert’s touchdown run. Coples played every snap for just the second time in his career.

Off the bench, Ricky Sapp moved into a situational rusher role and had a terrific performance, with three pressures in 10 pass rush attempts off the edge, including one play where he beat the right tackle and drove the right guard into the quarterback’s face (leading to an interception) and another where he nearly had a sack. Unfortunately, he did this in the Texans-Colts game because the Jets, in their wisdom, decided that releasing him without ever giving him a decent shot was a good idea.

Garrett McIntyre did get some time off the bench but had just one tackle and no pressures in limited action.

Defensive Backs

Despite Cam Newton’s productive day, with over 220 yards passing by halftime, the Jets didn’t actually do a bad job in coverage. As noted in the previous section, it was on short passes where they got carved apart and that comes down to tackling, avoiding blocks and taking good angles.

I actually disagree with Dan Dierdorf’s analysis on the DeAngelo Williams long touchdown pass. He criticized Ed Reed for taking a bad angle, but for me the fault there lies entirely with Dee Milliner. Milliner had plenty of time to get off the block, but Brandon LaFell did a good job. What was unforgivable is that if you can’t get off the block in that situation, you cannot allow the runner to get outside you. With the angle Reed took, he was obviously assuming Milliner would at least block off the sideline and force Williams back inside. If that happens, Reed makes the tackle at the 30. If Reed takes the conservative angle, he’s making the stop at about the 10 or 15 yard line, with Milliner being driven into his path the whole way.

Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen each also had a bad missed tackle that led to a first down, while Dawan Landry took a bad angle on one play and was blocked out of another at the second level and Milliner had another play where he wasn’t able to get off a block on a reverse. In terms of coverage, the Jets did a reasonable job of containing the Panthers, it’s just these plays where they make an open field mistake that turns a big gain into a bigger one or a short gain into a first down that sunk them yesterday.

In coverage, Milliner acquitted himself well, often going against veteran Steve Smith and tackling him for a short gain on one play. He did give up too much of a cushion on one play that picked up a first down, but other than that gave up just one short catch. He is absolutely getting better and is the Jets’ most-improved rookie over the second half of the season, but he does need to be able to get off those blocks otherwise teams will continue to exploit that. He’s also missed seven tackles since week eight, having only missed one in the first eight games.

Despite being a gametime decision, Antonio Cromartie wasn’t picked on much by the Panthers. He gave up one first down on a play where he was too far off and was hit with a defensive holding call, but made a good tackle in the flat on a screen pass and wasn’t otherwise targeted. He also deserves credit for calling a timeout when the Jets had a defensive mismatch near the goal line.

Other than his “bad angle”, Reed had another quiet game as teams continue to avoid throwing his way. His influence still seems to be mostly reflected in Milliner’s improvements since his arrival (five passes defensed since Reed arrived, only two prior to that).

Landry had a couple of hits that nearly knocked the ball loose and made a couple of good contributions in run support but did give up a big first down and, as noted, had some issues in the open field.

In the slot, Kyle Wilson was beaten for a couple of first downs, but did get in on a tackle in run support.

Allen did have a couple of good plays in coverage, Jaiquawn Jarrett had a tackle for a loss on a running play stretched out wide and Josh Bush saw action again in the goal line package. The Walls missed tackle came on his only snap, while Ellis Lankster – who apparently would have started if Cromartie couldn’t play, saw no action and injured his jaw on special teams.

Special Teams

Last week, Antonio Allen’s blocked punt for a touchdown turned a tight affair into a comfortable lead for the Jets and, although the Raiders pulled within 10 in the second half, that play set the foundation for their win. This week, the Jets were on the wrong end of a momentum shifting punt block, which set up a short touchdown and dug the Jets into a 10-point hole. As we’ve learned over the course of the season, the Jets are ill-equipped to battle back from such situations and so it proved, with Geno Smith’s pick six giving the Panthers – who had led by just three 10 plays earlier – a 17-point lead.

While it looked like this was Garrett McIntyre’s fault because he blocked nobody and chased Jason Williams into the backfield, Williams had actually shot the gap between Zach Sudfeld (the left guard) and long-snapper Tanner Purdum. Sudfeld blocked his man straight on, so the rusher would have been Purdum’s responsibility with no punt protector in the backfield.

I also felt that it was so obvious the kick was going to be blocked, that Ryan Quigley would have been better served in trying to avoid the rush and maybe run for it. While you might not have much chance of a first down, perhaps you can create enough room to kick the ball on the run and even if you can’t a three yard loss is better than the 13 yard loss than transpired. A little head and ball fake there and there’s no way Williams would be able to prevent Quigley from side-stepping him.

Whoever’s fault it was, it was a demoralizing blow for the fans and the players. It was visible as the Panthers pounded it in a few plays later.

Quigley had another disappointing day with a 33.0 yard net average, but Nick Folk excelled once again with field goals of 33 and 54 yards and just 49 return yards on four kickoffs.

The Jets’ return game was non-existent with the only kickoff that wasn’t a touchback being the one after Captain Munnerlyn’s excessive celebration penalty backed the Panthers up to their own 20. Antonio Cromartie returned that one 22 yards, the only 22 return yards on the day for the Jets. Kyle Wilson was back returning kicks and punts, despite the fact he’s rarely looked confident in that role. With Darius Reynaud inactive, I had thought Saalim Hakim would get his shot, but he did not feature.

In coverage Josh Bush and Ellis Lankster each made good plays, but Darrin Walls got badly burned while covering the gunner and Demario Davis had a missed tackle.

With two games to go, there’s still some things to play for with this unit. Can Nick Folk make it all the way to the end of the season (and a possible Pro Bowl selection) with just one (freak, wind-assisted) missed field goal? Also, can the Jets keep their streak alive of having at least one kickoff return for a score in every season since 2001 (when Craig Yeast was the primary return man)?

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.

40 comments
James Plath
James Plath

Bent - one more for BGA Extra. Kind of off topic, but do you think Tampa keeps Revis on the current deal, netting us a 3rd rounder? Or will they dump as the CB market has/is undergoing a significant correction? (And if so, do you think there's a snowflake's chance we resign him?:)

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

Now that the JETS have been eliminated, it is time to get serious about letting go of the Rex Ryan circus.  Ryan was recently saying he "knows" he is a good coach.  But this isn't reality.  Ryan is an overpaid, overhyped Defensive Coordinator.  He simply cannot produce a system which develops a balanced, disciplined, TEAM, especially failing to grow talent.  Ryan cannot put together a competent OFFENSE in an ERA which is dedicated to make the pass and score easier.  Time for Rex to go.  He will want to make a big buck contract, had five years here which led to the decline of the JETS.  Not worthy of any of it.  Even his boast the JETs defense would be in the top 5 this year flopped.

jaym
jaym

Bent out of all the starting rookie offensive linemen is Winters the worst of them all?

marcus81
marcus81

with the Ravens and Dolphins wining there is no more talk about the play offs, now we have think about who to draft and who stays and goes, WR 1st pick if a top player is still available when we pick

metjetnet
metjetnet

(miketaliaferro) It was obvious the last two years that Rex's teams had given up. But this year, Rex filmed a re-make of Hoosiers or every other hackneyed sports film feel-good plot. With this Sandlot team he'd been given, Rex should get some consideration, at least, for NFL Coach of the Year. You look at this roster and it is, indeed, the same caliber personnel that all the media & many of us projected to be a 2-14 or 4-12 team this year. The fact that we were even IN the conversation for a PLAYOFF spot a week & a half before CHRISTMAS is nothing short of an NFL miracle; manna from heaven, indeed. Considering what we were all looking towards being faced with, this was a FABULOUS season, wasn't it? All due to Rex, getting these guys to play out of their heads, and thinking they could achieve great things. At least until the dream died this week -- a few weeks short of the Hollywood ending. Still, this may be Rex's finest coaching job of his Jets tenure. All of these rummies will run through walls for Rex. Imagine what he'd accomplish if he had TALENTED guys who wanted to run through walls for him.


Tell me: what were YOU planning to do this autumn w/o viable Jets football to watch? C'mon, fess up! Back on Labor Day, you were thinking up alternatives to watching them get their faces planted every week, weren't you?

jmactheman
jmactheman

Bent,


In the second quarter, a five or so yard Panthers gain was initially called back for an illegal formation because Steve Smith was covering another eligible receiver on the line. After the penalty was announced, S. Smith lifted his helmet (so it was sitting on his head, with the facemask pointing almost straight up, and with his face exposed) to argue with the referees for about two minutes, after which they declared that the guy Smith was covering was not an eligible receiver.


CBS being CBS, they didn't show where everyone lined up, but I'd imagine it would be pretty hard for the officials (I think this is the Umpire's job) to mistake an offensive lineman for an eligible receiver. With the benefit of the All-22 footage, can you shed more light on what happened on this play?


Also, according to the guy who runs footballzebras.com, resting your helmet on your head the way S. Smith did doesn't constitute "removing your helmet" for the purposes of unsportsmanlike conduct. I have no idea why the rule works like that, but then again, I thought Holmes was interfered with in the end zone.

McGeorge
McGeorge

What concerns me with firing Rex is who are they going to get?  Change for the sake of change doesn't usually accomplish much.  Idzik had a terrible draft, so he has no credibility.  he got rid of the crappy player development people and put in his own guys, which is good, except his guys are experienced and bad.  I wouldn't be surprised that he picks an experienced and bad coach here too.


How about Brian Shottenheimer as head coach after he gets fired by the Cardinals.  ;-)

bradysucks
bradysucks

BGA - Bradysucks's Game Analysis


Jets suck on offense

Jets suck at drafting on offense

Jets are a foolish organization to ignore the offense

The Jets fans want a team that can score points


SIMPLE


Bradysucks Game Analysis complete - BGA (sincerely bradysucks)

James Plath
James Plath

Bent - based on the look-to-the-future position the Jets are in, do you think they are best served by continuing with Winters at Guard? Has Winters shown you enough to think he might be part of the line next year, or do you think he is just too much a liability now and for the foreseeable future?

davem
davem

Another informative BGA by TJB's BentJarvus Green-Ellis

1969JAN12th
1969JAN12th

"This front office has some big decisions to make and a ton of flexibility, so the organization could transform dramatically over the next six months. Keep watching, because whatever happens over the next couple of weeks could factor into some of those decisions."


In looking over the comments these past few weeks, their have been a number of different camps. The replace Rex Ryan/ keep Rex Ryan camp. The get rid of/bench/be patient Geno Smith camp. And, of course, "it's the pieces camp"; we need two WRs, a TE, and OL.The draft a QB camp and, the sign a veteran FA QB camp.Almost, forgot....Idzik is an idiot camp.

In looking over some other teams: Eli (5-9), Romo (7-7), Big Ben (6-8), Matt Ryan (4-10) would all be considered better QBs then Geno Smith...but their teams also have issues. So, it would appear  Geno Smith is not the only problem.(Also, Andy Reid sucks with Eagles/Vick and is a "genius with Chiefs/A.Smith). Winning is "hard" in the NFL.......It seems that the answers are probably a combination of all these "camps". 
Question Bent; which camp/camps do you fall in? Where do we go from here?

a57se
a57se

Oh Boy, reading twitter it sounds like Rex the Blowhard is back in town. Telling the media how good he is and how he hasn't looked at any film of Cleveland but knows we're gonna beat them.

Sometimes he acts like a 13 year old.

levi
levi

Good job as usual Bent. 


On the 72 yard short pass to Williams I noticed some Jets players were blocked very well. Ive actually noticed it in other games too but not to the extent that Carolina showed. Is that a product of Carolina being good at it or is it something the Jets are not good at? (getting off blocks)

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

@jetfuel Season was over before it started with Ryan as HC.  Sad but true.  He had his chance, is a failure.

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

@marcus81 And to send Ryan packing as HC, or we will continue to see the enormous dysfunction regardless of what talent we bring in the future.  Besides, no serious free agent QB is coming to play for Ryan, none.

LIJetsFan
LIJetsFan

@jetfuel My season isn't over till we knock Miami out of the playoffs

bharper42
bharper42

@metjetnet 


It's as if REX had no say in personnel under the amateur Tannenbaum.  This is rex's making and his inability to grow talent on both sides of the ball is what's placed us here.  


I would've fired him 2 years ago.  Obvious buffoon.


I think idzik goes wiesenhunt or the guy from seattle belwar or something.

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

@metjetnet Not even close.  And if this is the standard?  A team which is paid big bucks to not 'give up'?  Then we are already accepting the lowest level of standard for our Head Coach.  Ryan has produced a declining organization.  We all know he was in control of selecting talent with Tanny, and failed big time.  It was Ryan who clung to Sanchez after making him his franchise.  Ryan cannot produce a system which grows a balanced, disciplined Team, he cannot create a serious OFFENSE in an era geared for the easy pass and score.  Ryan will continue to produce an ad hoc adventure, with plenty of misguided bluster.  He is in way over his head, an overpaid defensive coordinator with tuns of hubris.

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

@McGeorge Try an stop clinging to failure.  The future is wide open.  Rex is the past.  5 year flop after a massive contract and overt bluster.  Bringing Ryan back will ensure the JET dysfunction for years to come.

juunit
juunit

@McGeorge 

To be fair to Idzik, he didn't replace anyone in the scouting department until after the draft. So it's kind of impossible to judge the guys he brought in, since they haven't had an effect on anything yet. 

MikeFrancesser
MikeFrancesser

@bradysucks Still think Geno Smith is intriguing? :)

marcus81
marcus81

@bradysucks they hardly draft offense to suck at drafting offense, we'll find out this upcoming draft, this is a make or break draft

marcus81
marcus81

@jaygo well said, no quick fixes that fall apart after 2 years like Tanny, hopefully Izzy will make decisions that make sense and have a positive long term impact on the team, can't build Rome in a day.

davem
davem

BentJarvus Green-Analysis

__fense
__fense

@a57se The big problem is that 'reporters' are asking him if he thinks he's a good football coach and then putting the result on twitter out of context. What the hell is he supposed to say? He's contractually obligated to answer their questions, no matter how idiotic and leading they are. If he refuses to answer because it's obvious that it's a set up, they start complaining about how he's being defensive and doesn't care. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se How is that what you get from Twitter comments? 


Rex saying he's a good football coach in response if he can be the guy to turn the team around?

greggreen
greggreen

@a57se who cares hes a good football coach. Most overblown complaint about rex. i also doubt thats what he really said because most of his big talk is, talking up his players not bashing other teams. 

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

@jetfuel @steel_nyc PS: nearly every player will say they like the current Coach, and popularity contests rarely get the job done.  Respect is essential, not some placation of professional players.  

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

@jetfuel @steel_nyc Well stated.  But even if we were to think about the acquisition of talent, we cannot ignore the failure to be able to produce a sound system which develops talent or a disciplined Team.  

a57se
a57se

@__fense@a57se 

He is NOT contractually obligated to answer any question they ask him. He has  often NOT answered their questions on player injuries and he has deflected personnel questions.

He answers these dopey questions because he thinks this deflects attention from his players but all it does is add to the circus atmosphere the media is trying to stir up. Now the media will be asking all the players for their opinions on Rex in an attempt to stir up more crap.


a57se
a57se

@Brendan@a57se 

  I think I have Rex fatigue......at least I stopped listening to his pressers....

steel_nyc
steel_nyc

@jetfuel @steel_nyc  Indeed, there is an enabling obsession of some who see the HC as a symbol for the team, but he is the actual source of the dysfunction (unfortunately).  This says it all:

"It also means the Jets failed to make the playoffs for the third straight year, their longest drought since the 1992-1997 dry spell."


buddyryan
buddyryan

It's not too early to judge Smith, he's a career 3rd string QB in the NFL. Horrible decision by Idzik.

McGeorge
McGeorge

@arc34 @McGeorge @juunit Smith is not an NFL QB.  Milliner has improved from awful to not very good.  He may keep on improving, we'll see.  Or he may plateau at mediocre, which for the #9 overall pick is disappointing.  So far they got 1 good player (Richardson) , and that was their 2nd first round pick, so they had even more picks to work with.



arc34
arc34

@McGeorge @juunit Sheldon Richardson was recently given the #1 spot in a "re-draft article about 2013 NFL draft"  so saying his draft was horrible is a overstatement.  Milinier has improved lately and its too early to judge Smith completely.  They made a mistake not signing Slauson and letting both safeties leave....and please,  next year lets have a real veteran back up QB for Smith....TY

DrJonathanReefer
DrJonathanReefer

@jetfuel@marcus81 More Joeyboy Propanganda all fueled by our Media who doesn't know ANYTHING!


09- 1st. rd. Sanchez, 3rd rd. Greene, 6th rd. Slauson + Traded for Bray. Signed Woody.

10-2nd rd. Vlad, 4th rd. Joe $, 5th rd. Conner Traded for Homles, Signed LT

11- 4th rd. Powell, 5th rd. Kerely, 7th. Mcelroy. Signed Plax.

12- 2nd rd. Hill, 6th. Ganaway and Robert Griffin

13- 2nd rd. Geno, 3rd rd. Winters. 5th rd. Oday, 6th rd. Campbell. 7th rd. T-bo. Signed Colon and traded for Ivory.

That counts up as: 3- Qbs, 8- RBs. 5- WRs. 8- OL. And I'm missing a lot of players like Howard, Nelson, Gates and Goodson.

They used FAs and trades and drafted many Offensive players. They may have picked defense in the 1st the last 5 drafts, but i will not complain about Mo, Coples, Richardson or even Wilson. Dee looks to be righting the ship as well.
Drafted VERY WELL on D, but they did not NEGLECT THE O.



I know I missed a few more. Can't remember them all.