BGA: Does Harris have anything left in the tank?

One interesting decision facing the Jets this offseason will be whether to retain David Harris. Harris is out of contract at the end of the season and while he perhaps never lived up to the potential he showed as a rookie or his big money 2010 contract, he’s an integral part of the team who wears the headset and plays virtually every snap.

Earlier in the season, Harris was injured and not expected to play the following week. I suspect that would have been a big loss for the Jets, so his return probably helped (in a one-possession loss to the Broncos). However, it would have been interesting to get a look at how they’d have coped without him, especially with the likes of Josh Mauga, Danny Lansanah and Jeremiah George starting games and having success elsewhere. None of these seemed significantly better than Nick Bellore in recent preseason campaigns, so maybe if the Jets gave Bellore – or someone like him – a chance, they’d find a potential contributor much like the 49ers have while forced to start Chris Borland due to the Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman injuries.

For now, though, Harris is still playing, so how did he fare last night? The reality is that there were both positives and negatives.

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BGA: Tank Q Very Much

With Muhammad Wilkerson unavailable due to a toe injury, I was definitely intrigued to see how they would fare without him. We’ve obviously had some clues to this already from the Packers game where he was ejected and the Bills game where he didn’t play in the second half.

Rather than increase the playing time for the likes of Leger Douzable as they did in those instances, the Jets had already announced that Quinton Coples would be moving to defensive end. While there is some overlap between the role Coples had and his usual role – he was still coming off the edge on 46 of 55 snaps – there were some subtle differences.

For example, he had his hand in the dirt on every single play. That’s not such a major departure because he has only been standing on 30% of his snaps this year, but it’s the first game where he has never done that. He did drop into coverage four times though. Another difference was that he was lined up inside, although only a few times (and that is something he’s already done a few times this year). The final difference was that he was in the game at the same time as Jason Babin, although arguably if this happens without Wilkerson also in there, it defeats the object.

Coples saw a lot of double teams – and at least one triple team – but how did he fare?

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BGA: Deprivation Tank

With the Jets hardly passing the ball, there weren’t many chances for the receivers to contribute and they didn’t help themselves with Eric Decker and Percy Harvin each letting inaccurate passes bounce off their fingertips. However, each of the receivers found another way to contribute.

Decker and Jeremy Kerley each had a couple of good downfield blocks in the first half. Kerley also had two long runs on statue-of-liberty style end arounds. Greg Salas also took an end around and ran it in for a 20-yard touchdown, although that was his only snap of the game and he departed with a hamstring injury thereafter. Harvin also contributed 27 rushing yards, showing some good burst and picking up a first down on a third down option pitch.

While it’s hard to get on them for a lack of production after a game where Geno Smith didn’t get many chances to throw the ball, it’s still somewhat confusing that they wouldn’t at least try to hit Decker in single coverage, or dump some short passes to Harvin to get him in space.

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BGA: Tank Johnson

With the Jets apparently committed to giving young players more of an opportunity over the last month of the season, the first 100-yard game of the year for Chris Johnson was one of the last things I expected to see. However, he was able to build up some early momentum behind some great run blocking.

As he showed once he broke into the open field for a spectacular 47-yard run, Johnson can still be a playmaker once he gets a chance to accelerate up to full speed. He also broke 14 and 13 yard runs on his way to 105 yards on 17 carries.

Chris Ivory also had a strong first half, gaining 45 yards on 10 carries. Unfortunately, Johnson and Ivory were less successful down the stretch with just 36 yards on 12 second half carries between them.

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BGA: Running on an empty tank

The Jets offensive line put together a sensational first half performance. All five players were blocking well, both individually and as a unit as the team absolutely dominated the Dolphins upfront.

Things changed in the second half, as the Dolphins continued to commit extra men into the box and the blocking upfront started to get a bit sloppy. Having gained 210 yards on 29 carries in the first half, the Jets were held to 67 on 20 carries in the second half. Of course, the fact that the Dolphins knew what was coming must have made it easier for them to stop the run, but there were still mistakes that weren’t happening in the first half.

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BGA: Geno ensures a Happy Tanksgiving for Miami

It was an offensive game plan that ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini suggested might have been the worst ever. However, during the first half, the Jets ran the ball so effectively that Geno Smith really didn’t need to pass the ball.

That set the foundation for a second half where, with the running game established, it should have been easy for the Jets to attack the Dolphins through the air, especially with all the injuries to Dolphins cornerbacks. The Jets could have spread them out and forced some of the more inexperienced and less established reserves into the game, but we know the Jets approach is to play whoever gives them the best opportunity to win and they obviously figured out that a Geno Smith who doesn’t take any risks is that guy right now. Let’s face it, if Smith came out throwing in the second half and threw a bunch of picks, everyone would be criticizing them for not sticking with what was working so well in the first half.

You can’t win. And right now, the Jets also can’t win.

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BGA: Fish Tank

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…

The Jets were competitive on Monday Night Football but didn’t worsen their draft positioning with a loss. So, everybody’s happy right? Mission accomplished?

Somehow they managed to lose the game in a manner that rendered the loss just as frustrating as all their other losses, as it was a game they probably should have won.

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