I know what you’re thinking: How could any part of that game qualify as ‘good’?
Because, my friends, you cannot live your life if you only see the bad. Even after watching a game like that.
The short story of this game is that there were five returns for touchdowns. Without those special teams and defensive touchdowns, the score would have been 10-3 and sadly, the Jets still would have lost. One field goal is not going to cut it in the National Football League.
But there is so much more to it than that. They Jets lost a mental AND physical battle and that’s what really hurts. The Ravens came to play and the Jets appeared to bow down. Even after the terrible first half, the team entered the locker room with a fighting chance. But after the Sanchez pick, the steam came right out of them.
There is a lot of work to do before this team heads to New England on Sunday, where a win could make this just a distant memory. And that is why we start with the good.
(There isn’t a lot of it — sorry)
- Joe McKnight really stepped up. First, he forced a fumble and then we saw him take some snaps on defense (at CB) assisting with the pass rush and creating a turn over. He then followed that up with a 107-yard kickoff return, the longest kick return in Jets history and the longest play ever surrendered by the Ravens. Mike Westhoff is a genius and he deserves a ton of credit for what he has done with this special teams unit. But what about McKnight on offense? Shonn Greene is not the answer, for whatever reason, and I think it’s time to start thinking about using more of McKnight. Am I crazy?
- Aaron Maybin played well. He had his first career sack and in addition to that, he also helped generate two turnovers. However, the Jets still had a lot of trouble overall generating a pass rush. They look slow and need to improve this part of the defense. Maybin will add some speed and with more time could really cause problems for opponents. I hope that the coaching staff saw what Maybin was able to do, woke up, and realized they need more of that.
- Muhammed Wilkerson looked good. (But where is 3rd round kick Kenrick Ellis? We need him, too).
- We have to credit the defense for doing what they could. They kept the Ravens to 10 points of offense. Players like Calvin Pace and David Harris made things happen and the unit held Joe Flacco to 10 for 31 passing. He did not have a single completion between the beginning of the second quarter and the mid-fourth quarter.
- Why was Bart Scott taken out of the game? Then put back in? According to the Star Ledger, Scott and Eric Smith were rotated in and out as part of a package.
- Who takes a timeout to go off on refs?
- Too many penalties. That really hurt. They had 9 total penalties for 69 yards.
- Yes, the defense played well but the middle of the field is a borderline liability. Especially heading to New England next week to meet the Pats, who employ Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The play of the safeties is very concerning and the Patriots will be all over it.
- I know I make a lot of excuses for Mark Sanchez, but he had so much pressure on him he couldn’t get anything done. He was sacked 2 times from the blindside, and one was a strip sack from Reed off the edge that ended in a Ravens touchdown (thanks to the lame-o refs). Sanchez finished 11 for 35 with 115 yards, 4 fumbles (3 lost) and 1 interception. Perhaps I am in the minority, but I would almost rather see him fail to make big plays than make no plays at all. I think right now we are looking at a combination of problems with him, the line, the center (circumstance) and the play-calling. So go ahead and blame Sanchez if that makes you feel better but if you have two eyes and a brain you can see that this wasn’t only on him.
- If they can’t run the ball then they can’t be effective. The Ravens just brought the pressure play after play because they knew what was coming. And when the Jets do throw the ball, the receivers (Plax, Holmes AND Keller) need to catch the ball.
- Taking Colin Baxter out and trying to put in a new center against this defense was not a good decision. I get it; Baxter and Sanchez were having problems but once they took Baxter out and changed the personal (put Vlad in) it really did go from bad to worse.
- This offensive line is a mess. The strip sack that ended in a touchdown was from a missed tackle by Vlad. They should have called in for veteran reinforcements once Robert Turner went down.
So now what?
Let’s be real: Nick Mangold returning to the line isn’t going to fix these problems. This goes way deeper. Yes, Sanchez has issues but if your primary comment about this game is, “Sanchez sucks, let’s call David Garrard,” you are NOT paying attention. How is he supposed to get anything done when hes on his butt the whole game? How is he supposed to run an offense when the only option is to throw because we can’t run the ball? I could go on, but surely you’ve heard enough from me and everyone else.
There is plenty of blame to go around and it extends all the way up to the the GM. But pointing fingers doesn’t solve anything today. Best thing for this team to do right now is to learn from what happened, try to fix it and then leave this in the past. Move forward and remember that next Sunday is another game and it is only Week 5.
Now get to work.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco, Joe McKnight, mark sanchez, New York Jets, NFL