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It took two games for Jets to sadly accept their tanking fate

September 18,2017 22:15

The Jets got destroyed by the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday, losing 45-20. Here are a few thoughts and observations from the game: 1. The NFL is all about overreactions. Every week is a drama for every team where people are ready to anoint or abandon ...


The Jets got destroyed by the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday, losing 45-20. Here are a few thoughts and observations from the game:
1. The NFL is all about overreactions. Every week is a drama for every team where people are ready to anoint or abandon teams. Last week, the Patriots were done. This week, they’re unstoppable.
Nuance is harder to find than a pay phone when it comes to Monday morning NFL reactions.
That is another aspect of this Jets season that is so funny to cover. The expectations are so low that when the Jets get blown out like they did Sunday, there is very little anger. Sure, all Jets fans want to fire Todd Bowles, but I do not see a lot of over-analysis of this game or last week’s loss to the Bills. It’s as if Jets fans have accepted their fate this season and are OK with it.
Good for them. Sunday’s loss should not influence how you view this team at all. They got blown out, like they should have gotten blown out. The Raiders are in a different weight class than the Jets right now. The Jets gave you a competitive second quarter and had fans thinking “maybe” for just a moment.
The truth is the next three weeks are a much better test for the Jets. Let’s see if they can be competitive or maybe even win one of the next three — home against the Dolphins, home for the Jaguars and then in Cleveland to face the Browns. These are teams that are closer to the Jets in talent level than the Raiders.
If they lose those three, then the 0-16 talk picks up.
2. So I’m OK with the fans not having expectations for this season and accepting the loss, but I was taken aback by the reaction to this loss by Bowles and the players Sunday. There was more positivity in the locker room than I’ve ever heard after a team gave up 45 points.
It is good that the Jets are not finger-pointing and blaming one another, but how about a little anger? Only Jordan Jenkins seemed upset that the team got embarrassed. Bowles talked about how the team could grow from the loss. That was shocking to me. He also did not seem all that upset.
Look, we all get what the Jets are doing this season. But that feeling of “tanking” or “rebuilding” or whatever you want to call it has been something Bowles and the players have resisted … until Sunday. That was the first time it sounded like this team has accepted its fate to be a punching bag for 2017 on the way to better things in the future. That’s a tough way to go through a football season. I’m curious to see how Bowles manages this.

Derek Carr had plenty of time to throw.EPA3. As far as what happened on the field, the biggest takeaway for me was how little pressure the Jets got on Derek Carr. I understand his offensive line is one of the best and he gets rid of the ball, but the Jets had 0 quarterback hits. That means he got hit in the game as much as I did.
Leonard Williams did not get near him. Muhammad Wilkerson did get in his face on a third down that forced a bad throw, but he did not lay a finger on him.
Williams and Wilkerson played better against the run, but did not pressure Carr. Teams are going to game-plan to stop those two all year, but if they are truly elite players, they should be able to overcome that. The Jets game-planned to stop Khalil Mack, but he still got to Josh McCown in the second half.
Bowles also must show more creativity with his defenses. I’m not sure if it is because he does not trust his cornerbacks, but he did not blitz enough in this game. With that offensive line, regular pass rushing was not going to be effective by itself. He needed to bring more rushers more often.
4. The pregame news was what we all expected — Bryce Petty is now your backup quarterback. Petty earned the job in the preseason by outplaying Christian Hackenberg. What a statement this is about Hackenberg. The Jets gave him every chance to win the starting quarterback job this summer, and he could not even secure the No. 2 job.
I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Hackenberg. I still think he gets a tryout at some point this season as the starter, but Petty may now get the first crack at the job. If Jets ownership seriously evaluates whether to keep Mike Maccagnan after this season, the selection of Hackenberg in the second round in 2016 is a huge mark against him.
Revealing stat: The Jets gave up 180 rushing yards to the Raiders, 95 of them on two plays. The big play continues to kill the Jets. It was a trend last season that has carried over into this year. On Sunday, tackling was the major issue. That is not easy to fix during the season.
Surprising snap count: Rookie WR ArDarius Stewart played just eight snaps on offense. That shocked me. I thought Stewart played well in Week 1, but he was an afterthought Sunday. Jeremy Kerley took over as the No. 3 WR, playing 44 snaps out of 56. Chad Hansen, another rookie, played just two snaps.
Game ball: Josh McCown’s stats were not overwhelming (17-of-25, 166 yards, 2 TDs, 1 fumble), but he made two beautiful throws on the touchdown passes. He stood in the pocket under pressure and never panicked. I know many Jets fans would rather see one of the young guys play, but McCown gives them a professional at quarterback, something they need.

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