There’s no way to write the “What went Right, What went Wrong” piece we planned for today because, frankly, nothing went right.
There was a joke last night on Twitter that the lede for this piece should read, “What went wrong? The Jets showed up.”
To which one Twitter follower asked: did they?
It’s not the first time this was a legitimate question this season. Not even close. The most insane thing about that is how the coaching staff continues to fumble along, apparently unwilling or unable to make anything resembling adjustments.
Seriously, after his tenth second half interception (with zero touchdowns), what more can Ryan Fitzpatrick do to get benched? Get punched in the jaw?
Yet here we are, the day after a fourth straight loss with yet another Fitzpatrick end zone pick and head coach Todd Bowles is sticking with his quarterback. It’s clear the current regime, who didn’t draft Geno Smith, doesn’t want him and won’t play him. Fine, play Bryce Petty. Play Christian Hackenberg. Dial up a hot dog vendor.
You have four quarterbacks, and you know one is bad. Why is he still out there? What is there to gain?
Why was Fitzpatrick out there in the second half when he looked horrible during the whole first half? Bowles’ excuse that Fitzpatrick didn’t have time to throw when he had a clean pocket and overthrew someone half a dozen times is troubling.
It shouldn’t be the only thing troubling Jets fans Tuesday morning.
The offense once again ignored the run game despite the fact that Arizona’s rush defense was averaging 118.2 rushing yards allowed per game. Instead, they threw 19 times against the third best statistical pass defense in the NFL.
Attack the 23rd best run defense in the NFL? Why would you do that?
In general, the offense played horribly. As mentioned, the offensive line often was overwhelmed. The run game, on the rare moment when it was used, floundered. That could be partially attributed to Matt Forte’s age and the lack of use of Bilal Powell, as well as the offensive line issues. On the other hand, why the Jets insist on running out of a spread offense when the line can’t block, leaving Forte or Powell to fend for themselves without a fullback is another coaching question for which there is no answer.
The offense had a whopping 11 first downs compared to 28 by the Cardinals, was 2-of-13 on third downs and gained just 238 total yards.
It was dismal, but then again it has been since the Week 2 win over the Bills. Yet very few, if any, changes have come and with Fitzpatrick already named starter going forward it seems like none will come.
The defense was and is equally inept, so much so it’s hard to know even where to start. The unit finally started blitzing again, but generated nothing to show for it. No sacks, no turnovers and that was against an Arizona offensive line without either of their starting offensive guards.
After a flurry of five sacks in Week 1, the Jets have rarely taken the quarterback down. With the front line they have, this shouldn’t be the case, especially when blitzing a nearly immobile Carson Palmer.
Not generating enough pressure exacerbates the issues in the secondary, of which there are many. The Jets give up no less than one devastating big play a game, most of the time on a pass. Darrelle Revis looks incredibly old, and the Jets are not shifting enough help his way, though that’s in part because the other corners are equally bad, if not worse. The Jets are talking about benching Buster Skrine, who was flagged three times Monday night and did indeed sit for a series in favor of Darryl Roberts.
Mind you, Skrine was not the only player flagged. In the first half alone, the Jets were penalized a staggering eight times for 59 yards. Three of those extended drives with a first down. To their credit the Jets “only” had three more flags in the second half, one of which was for a first down and finished with 10 penalties for 83 yards.
If all the other issues were ignored, the constant stream of flags raining down on top of the Jets is your best indication that this team is out of control.
There is no way to sugarcoat the reality that this Jets team is bad. It executes badly, it plays sloppy football and is, as far as you can tell, badly coached.
While the playoff hopes are gone, there are still ten more games to go. The Jets have some hard decisions to make if they want to salvage anything from this mess.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if the coaching staff is capable of making any decisions, much less hard ones.