Jets Week 2 Report Card
It was a frustrating evening for the Jets last Thursday as they let a very winnable game slip through their rain-soaked hands. Here are the week 2 grades, and as you might suspect, they aren't very pretty.
After a fine debut, Geno Smith regressed big time against the Patriots. He threw three interceptions, completed less than 50 percent of his passes and had an unsightly 27.6 QB rating. He also made mental mistakes, like taking a delay of game on a third down midway through the fourth quarter. Bill Belichick knows how to attack rookie quarterbacks, and Smith just wasn't comfortable all night long. There were some dropped passes and the conditions were bad, but they weren't a factor on Smith's poorly thrown interceptions in the fourth, which killed the Jets' chances. This is the type of performance you just have to live with when you start a rookie quarterback.
Running Backs: C
It was at least an improvement over week 1 as the Jets managed exactly 4 yards per carry. Chris Ivory looked more like his old self breaking tackles on his way to 52 yards over 12 carries. Bilal Powell didn't look that explosive for the second straight week. It's also easy to question why in the world the Jets felt they needed to give four carries to the plodding Tommy Bohanan. The next elusive move Bohanan makes will be his first.
Stephen Hill stepped it up with 4 catches for 86 yards, but his costly fumble in the first quarter was one of the biggest plays in the game and helped put the Jets in a 10-0 hole. Santonio Holmes managed 3 catches for 51 yards. There's no other way to put it, he needs to be a lot better for the Jets to have any chance at a winning season. Clyde Gates dropped a possible TD and only caught 2 of his 8 targets. Kellen Winslow was a nonfactor with 3 catches for a meager 16 yards and committed a false start. Jeff Cumberland's existence at this point is merely a rumor, he had zero catches and zero targets. We've said it before, but Braylon Edwards couldn't have helped this unit? Really? You also have to wonder if the Jets front office noticed what DeAndre Hopkins (7 catches for 117 yards and the game winning TD) did for the Texans on Sunday. This was a guy the Jets could have had.
Offensive Line: C
The running game improved slightly, but Smith was sacked four times. A unit that is anchored by Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson should be better than this.
Defensive Line and Linebackers: B+
When you hold an opponent to 2.3 yards per carry that's controlling the line of scrimmage. They didn't pressure Tom Brady very much, but they did disrupt his rhythm just enough. David Harris led the way with 7 tackles, but was out of position on the Dobson touchdown.
It was a little hard to tell whether the Patriots receivers are just not that good, or the Jets' secondary was playing really well. It was probably a combination, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt with this grade. Antonio Allen was all over the field and led the team with 8 tackles. Dee Milliner also had a nice pass break up that could easily have been ruled a fumble. However, on the Patriots only touchdown, the secondary was completely fooled by a Brady play-fake.
Special Teams: C
Nick Folk made his only field goal attempt and Robert Malone averaged 45 yards per punt, but this grade reflects the Jets' curious strategy on punt returns. Several times the Jets had no one back to receive the punt and chose to rush everyone. This strategy didn't work and cost the Jets field position. This might be a play you could understand if it were a high school game and a team just didn't want to risk muffing a punt. It's inexcusable from an NFL team. If they're weren't confident in their punt returners because Jeremy Kerley was hurt, they had a week to find a new one.
While Rex Ryan had a great defensive scheme to slow Brady down (which was helped immensely by the Patriot receivers dropping passes), they were inept on offense and made very few adjustments to help get Smith going. They also committed 8 penalties for 66 yards with several coming in crucial down and distance situations. The aforementioned punt return shenanigans further weighs down this overall grade.