Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThe Jets fell to the Ravens on Sunday, marking the first time this year the Jets have dropped two straight. Here, we grade the team’s offense, defense and special teams:
Dropped passes, bad protection and a quarterback staring down receivers makes for an offense that was unable to complete more than ten passes Sunday.
Everyone knew that the Jets would try to avoid asking Geno to take too much on his shoulders, but the mix of keeping Baltimore on their toes, through the use of the Wildcat/option, versus grinding the ball was out of whack. The Jets tried to hide Geno, but it was to middling effect in the first half, resulting in just three points and bad field position for the defense. In the second half, Geno was ineffective and without even the threat of a passing game everything came unglued quickly for the Jets. The two interceptions were regrettable, but inevitable once Geno started pressing.
Right now, Brian Winters is a liability, the running backs’ pass protection was a disappointment and the receivers once again dropped catchable passes. One more thing, the notion that an interception might ever be considered “the same thing as a punt” is odious, thus the minus tacked onto the F.
The defensive line was their usual stellar selves. Rookie Sheldon Richardson had one of the very best games of his young career totaling nine tackles, three for loss and a half sack shared with Quinton Coples. The amount of interior line pressure that the Jets are able to routinely generate is impressive which allowed for six QB hits and Muhammad Wilkerson and Calvin Pace divvying up three more sacks between them.
David Harris and Demario Davis did a good job of playing linebacker and were all over the field for good or ill. Davis was a little exuberant at times, but even if he broke contain at times, he was taking his shots and making the Ravens offense react to him.
This of course brings us to the secondary.
Antonio Cromartie did have a well-timed interception to prevent catastrophe after a fumble caused by a motioning Greg Salas, but there were dropped interceptions, busted coverages and Dee Milliner to work around. With an offense providing no cover it was a matter of time before the Jets were going to get beat.
With the winds in the defense’s face in the second half, the Ravens broke the game open with that ill-fated bomb to Jacoby Jones on which Ed Reed walled off Dee Milliner. Additionally, Cro gave up a 60-yarder to Torrey Smith.
Special Teams: D
Kicker Nick Folk hit his only attempt of the day. As a kick returner, Josh Cribbs hasn’t provided much value over downing the ball in the end zone. Cribbs seems to be routinely tackled around the 16 to 18 yard line. To me that is acceptable if it happens once in a while, but it isn’t as if Cribbs is regularly getting to the 30 yard line to offset it. No one expects Cribbs to be the player he was five years ago, but there are times where discretion is the better part of starting on the 18 yard line.
Most notably, the Jets were horribly outclassed by Jacoby Jones in the punt return game. The Ravens tallied 109 yards (roughly equivalent to 49 percent of the Jets offense) on their punt returns and for a team that was punting as much as the Jets were, this made winning the field position game an impossibility. The Jets knew they were facing the best returner in the league, but were still unable to stop him. The Jets special team talent has eroded from a few years ago but the more injuries the team suffers the worse it seems to be getting.