Final Score: Dolphins 23 – Jets 3

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

The Least You Should Know…

Geno Smith was benched at the start of the second half in favor of Matt Simms.  Through the first half, Geno Smith was 4/10 for 29 yards with one interception.  Worse, the team had only two first downs through thirty minutes and each time he left the field, boos rained down from an increasingly impatient crowd.

In relief, Simms went 9/18 for 79 yards and one interception along with a fumble.  It wasn’t until the second half when Simms fumbled the ball that the Dolphins were able to break it open on a Brian Hartline 31 yard score.  Cromartie was unable to make the play in coverage and Ed Reed was playing coverage over the top and was unable to stop the play as well.

Even though the defense let the Dolphins churn for a lot of yards during the first half, they were able to stop the Dolphins in the red zone to keep the game within distance.  The offense provided little coverage for the Jets and over time the defense wore down and as we’ve seen in recent weeks the results are inevitable with zero offense.

Despite a Cromartie interception caused by a quarterback hit from Muhammad Wilkerson, the secondary was not able to contain WR Brian Hartline (9 receptions for 127 yards and one touchdown), WR Mike Wallace (7 receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown) and TE Charles Clay (7 receptions for 80 yards).

Some injuries did come up for the Jets as Josh Cribbs was ruled out after an injury to his arm and Damon Harrison also suffered an injury during the second half, but did return to the game.

The Jets only scored once, getting on the board for the first time with just 4:30 remaining in the third quarter by way of a field goal from the two yard line.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

No surprise, but any Week 10 fever dreams of Camelot have now been shattered.  This is not a team of destiny comprised of cast-offs and misfits that can magically float by what now appear to be even middling or lowly NFL teams.  We saw that much early on against the Steelers and Titans and that trend has caught up to the Jets during their post-bye stretch.  The defensive gods cannot save you.

Now losers of three (two of which came against divisional rivals which the Jets had jumped ahead of just a month ago) straight games, the Jets are almost assuredly playing out the string of their final four games.  9-7 still might make the playoffs for the AFC, but any such record for the Jets would go through Carolina … good luck with all that, Rex Ryan.

In what has to be taken as a desperate sign o’ the times, the Jets employed the the most Cover-Two defense that I have seen them use during the Rex Ryan era against the Dolphins … at least during the first half.  It had some moments, but the secondary looked wooden in this new-look and took time to adjust.  Even when asking Ed Reed to only cover half the field for a gimpy Antonio Cromartie routinely begging Reed during the pre-snap to come to his aid, Reed didn’t look particularly helpful or useful.  Rex Ryan seems determined to back up his brash talk back on the day he acquired Ed Reed by jamming this obviously square peg through a painfully round hole.  Ironically, it was the Jets reverting to Cover-Zero that resulted in a bad Milliner-Wallace mismatch and the Dolphins’ second touchdown of the day.

Geno Smith and the Jets offense looked abominably bad during the first half, but OC Marty Mornhinweg wasn’t doing his quarterback any favors.  The Jets were unable to run the ball enough to cover for the shell-shocked Geno Smith, and the results have been glaringly similar for over a month.  Finally home again since the bye, Jets fans boos only precipitated the obvious; Geno Smith is not ready for prime time and can’t rise above the lack of talent surrounding him on offense.

That said, it wasn’t until Matt Simms came in that the running game had any surge whatsoever.  In an obvious situation where the Dolphins couldn’t clamp down on the run and the Jets were having marginal success with the run, Mornhinweg still tried to throw their way out of a deficit … a fools errand with the personnel the Jets have and a backup quarterback pulling the trigger.  Was this an audition for Matt Simms or hope of a deus ex machina?  I have no idea.  Maybe neither do the coaches.

We’ve been clear about our position on the Jets coaching staff and still stick by what we would like to see happen, but the irony here is that John Idzik’s first draft class isn’t shaping up well and the failures of Idzik’s own draft picks might be the very keys to the undoing of the team’s coaching staff … though I’m not exactly laughing about it.

Let’s rewind the clock to April of this year.  With Chance Warmack and DJ Fluker staring the Jets in the face at the ninth pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jets took Dee Milliner.  Between Vlad Ducasse and current left guard Brian Winters, that spot has been the main culprit for the failures of the Jets offensive line.

The Jets then threw good draft picks after bad by taking Oday Aboushi and Will Campbell later on.  Campbell and Aboushi, by the way, inexplicably remain on the active roster despite providing zero value to this team through 12 games.  Those are wasted roster spots by a GM looking to keep up appearances.  Not moves that particularly endear me to a GM while the team has obvious problems at the skill spots and a player like Braylon Edwards roams the streets.   Edwards isn’t a panacea, but you get the point.  The Jets would have been better off starting Kyle Wilson (I know, I know) or Walls/Lankster and netting Warmack for the left guard spot and then not throwing away those late-rounders on Aboushi and Campbell.

The Sheldon Richardson pick of course is the glorious exception.  While this isn’t gospel, we’ve heard it through the grapevine that the pick of Richardson was heavily influenced by the head coach over the other option of Geno Smith at thirteen.  The Jets then went back to Smith in the second round and even then his value to this team has been questionable at the very least.  Smith’s inability to get out of his own way has cost the Jets wins this season and for Ryan it might be more.  

Imagine had the Jets picked Smith 13th overall.  

The stadium would have been in flames today today at the half.

There’s still a month left, but with the illusion broken, look for the sharks to start closing on this locker room and for opportunities for backbiting to begin, as soon as this week.  If that happens, then it’s already over for Rex.  If he can somehow control his players, then maybe he’ll keep some dignity and a chance at coaching next year.  If not, then the story will be that the 2011 downard cycle continues.  At this point, there’s not much left for New York teams to play for and there’s a history of juicy quotes coming from Florham Park so the tabs will be looking for ways to boost their circulations before year-end.

Think it’s already been ugly?

My fear is that this might just be the beginning …