BGA: Losing my edge

As noted in the defensive line section, it’s a little unfair to criticize the Jets’ pass rushers for not being able to generate much pressure. Alex Smith actually only held onto the ball for longer than 2.5 seconds five times all game, less than half as much as any other quarterback this week. Having said that, you can certainly apportion some blame to the outside linebackers for some of the big gains around the edge.

On the first play of the game, Quinton Coples did a good job of setting the edge by driving his man upfield and Jamaal Charles was bottled up, but then as Coples tried to get off his block to make the play, Charles bounced to the outside and was able to turn the corner. Later on, Coples was caught out for the second time this season on a quick handoff to a man in motion, allowing De’Anthony Thomas to turn the corner for a big run. Antwan Barnes was also caught inside badly on a cutback run over the left side.

On the inside, David Harris and Demario Davis didn’t produce much either, with Davis recording just one tackle and Harris also getting caught inside on one big run. Each had a costly missed tackle too.

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BGA: Down the line

No matter how depressing the Jets performance (and the resultant BGA) has been, at least we can always look forward to reading about how dominant the defensive line was. However, today, we don’t even get to do that. It does probably have more to do with how undermanned they were in the secondary than the abilities of these players though.

The Chiefs had a very obvious (and sensible) plan to neutralize the impact of the Jets defensive line. Alex Smith’s average time to throw was just 2.19 seconds which was easily the lowest in the NFL this week and is lower than Peyton Manning’s league-low 2.32 seconds. This frustrated the Jets and prevented them from generating any meaningful pressure. They also left six in to block on over half of their 33 dropbacks. The Jets tried to counter by blitzing 11 times, but Smith completed a pass on eight of these, including one for a touchdown.

Compounding matters was the fact that the Jets didn’t have much success stopping the run either, as you could usually count on them to do. The Chiefs mixed in some good misdirection runs and the ability of Jamaal Charles to create something out of nothing as they picked up 80 of their 113 rushing yards in the first half, leading to three touchdowns on their four possessions. The Chiefs did only gain 35 yards on 12 carries between the tackles though, so the majority of the damage was done on outside runs.

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BGA: Finding the right PH balance

When the Jets picked up Percy Harvin, this was exactly the kind of performance they were hoping for from him. It’s just a shame it only translated to 10 points on the scoreboard.

Harvin caught 11 passes for 129 yards and was dynamic with the football in his hands, gaining 81 of those yards after the catch. While critics may point to the fact that Harvin only accounted for 19 yards in the first half and therefore did most of his damage with the Jets trailing and the Chiefs perhaps surrendering cheap yardage underneath, there’s no disputing his ability to turn a short pass into a nice gain.

Harvin even put to rest claims that he can’t make catches down the field with a leaping 42-yard grab down the sideline, although he didn’t really blow by the defense and that was actually more of an underthrown jump ball by Michael Vick.

While it’s mostly limited to crossing routes and screen passes at the moment, Harvin’s production is encouraging and if he can play like that on a regular basis then the Jets will likely keep him around next season and build their offense around him. Is he that good though, or does he just look good because the other receivers the Jets have had in recent years have been so underwhelming?

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Having complained about his reducing role despite having rushed for less than 3.5 yards per carry in five of the first eight games, Chris Johnson had his best all-around game of the season. Johnson accounted for 101 yards from scrimmage for the first time, on just 13 touches.

Does Johnson still have a lot more to offer or is this “nothing to get excited about”?

While it’s encouraging to see Johnson recapture some of that old burst that has seemed to desert him at times this year and pick up gains of 26, 21, 12 and 10 yards, this comes at the expense of Chris Ivory, who was limited to 17 snaps and 22 yards on eight carries. How long before Ivory starts complaining about his role?

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BGA: Aboushi is in the eye of the beholder

I’ve been lukewarm on Oday Aboushi so far and actually predicted that he will start to struggle now that teams have some tape on him and can therefore exploit some of his identifiable weaknesses. However, yesterday, Aboushi’s performance was as solid as anything we’ve ever seen from Brian Winters and hopefully could be a sign that he might be able to develop into a solid starter down the road.

In his first two starts, Aboushi started slowly but regrouped later on and also was much better in the running game than in pass protection. However, here, Aboushi made a solid start, making consistent positive contributions in the running game. He also held up well in pass protection this week, although he was getting help at times. The only pressure he gave up was on fourth down with under three minutes to go when he found himself one-on-one with Justin Houston who was able to get upfield on him. Still, Aboushi was able to recover and push him out of the play so that Vick could escape the pocket and make a throw.

I still think he looks more like a tackle than a guard, but he did a good job of being consistent with his pad level and has definitely worked on staying on his blocks throughout the play. Aboushi will definitely be one to watch over the second half of the season. Hopefully he’s a keeper.

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BGA: Like Mike?

I’ve never been a big fan of Michael Vick. While his first few seasons in the league were enjoyably exciting as he would often follow up the most spectacular play with a ridiculously awful decision, I was never convinced a team could go far with that style of quarterback. A run-first quarterback – which is what I still consider Vick to be, despite the fact he threw the ball 28 times and ran it four times – might be able to lead a team to a good regular season record, but once you face elite defenses in the intimidatingly freezing elements of postseason football, the chances are you’ll hit an immovable roadblock.

With Vick starting his first game as a Jet, this was his big chance to win me over. His numbers were good with a quarterback rating of 105.7 – over 20 points higher than anything Geno Smith has posted this season and higher than every game of Smith’s career apart from the Atlanta game last October.

These numbers were largely the product of playing conservatively and completing short passes though; he only completed two beyond 10 yards downfield and was 19-of-21 on passes shorter than that. However, I’m more than okay with that. In the light of Geno Smith’s inability to protect the ball and his struggles to move the ball with the defense keeping everything in front of them, it was good to see Vick show some restraint, refuse to take any undue risks and do a decent job of taking what the defense gives him. Some will roll their eyes at this comment, but it was exactly the sort of performance Smith could learn some positive lessons from.

Despite the solid numbers, there were still elements of Vick’s performance that frustrated me, as I’ll try to illustrate after the jump.

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BGA: We’re not in Kansas anymore

Welcome to BGA! We’ll be here the day after every Jets game for an in-depth review of what happened. We’ll look at each position group throughout the day, so keep coming back to TJB to check it out. We’ll also post a summary with links to all the articles later on today.

Let’s move on to discuss yesterday’s game…

Every week as I pore over the game footage, I resolve that this is the week where I’m going to explode into a furious rant about just how frustrating it is to be a Jets fan right now, as the team fails to show up, constantly comes up short at the most critical time or shoots themselves in the foot. Or, sometimes, all three of those things in the same game.

However, by Monday morning, I just don’t have it in me any more. It’s so exhausting covering this team that it’s all I can do to motivate myself to explain what happened without just repeating what I’ve been writing every week. Any anger and frustration is gone by the next day as any motivation I can muster has to be applied into finding creative and new things to discuss.

But, yeah…it’s really frustrating.

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