On Sunday the New York Jets (2-2) completely self destructed as they lost to the Tennessee Titans (3-1) 38-13. The Jets were beaten in almost every phase of the game and left the field a team dazed and confused.
Geno gives it up- Rookie quarterback Geno Smith had a dreadful day on Sunday as his four turnovers resulted in 28 points for the Titans. Smith once again was staring down receivers and trying to force some of his passes into small windows. Most concerning was Geno’s reckless handling of the football (2 fumbles). It is one thing to make rookie mistakes. It is another to not play fundamentally sound football.
Vlad struggles- Offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse had a rough day on Sunday as he was flagged several times and struggled holding his blocks. These are the same type of mistakes we have been repeatedly seeing from Vlad and it has to be time for a change. The Jets have to consider starting rookie Brian Winters as Vlad is becoming somewhat of a liability.
Play calling issues- Marty Mornhinweg’s play calling on Sunday was a bit perplexing when you consider the fact that Geno Smith was struggling. The rookie quarterback is struggling to hold on to the football yet Marty keeps calling pass plays. To put a young quarterback in continuous third and long situations is mind boggling. Bilal Powell appeared effective running the ball early on in the game, yet the ground attack was abandoned.
Hill, Holmes hurt- The New York Jets lost two receivers on Sunday as both Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill left with injuries. The Jets receiving group has struggled with route running and getting separation and the loss of Holmes could be significant if he is out for an extended period of time.
Winslow continues to compete- There were not many bright spots on offense but Jets tight end Kellen Winslow (6 catches, 73 yards) stuck out as he did everything in his power to help his team. With the game out of reach Kellen continued to scratch and claw for yards in an admirable performance. The Jets could use more guys like Kellen Winslow on offense as there is a desperate need for playmakers that will sell out for the football.
Run defense solid- The New York Jets front seven did an excellent job shutting down the Tennessee ground game. Gang Green held running back Chris Johnson to 21 yards rushing and prevented the dynamic playmaker from getting into open space.
Walls targeted– The Tennessee Titans went after cornerback Darrin Walls as he was in for the injured Dee Milliner. Walls was picked on early and often and was beat for a touchdown right before the half. Veteran defensive back Antonio Cromartie also had some issues on Sunday which was surprising from the Jets best cornerback.
Red zone defense- In the first three games of the season the Jets defense did a great job of picking up the offense after a turnover. On Sunday Gang Green’s defense failed to hold up their end of the bargain as they struggled to prevent touchdowns in the red zone. This could be an issue going forward if the unit remains on the field for extensive periods of time.
This was a frustrating game to watch as the Jets basically beat themselves. If Geno Smith was not turning over the ball, someone was committing a penalty (team committed 10 more on Sunday). It was an all around sloppy performance by the entire team and it will put the spotlight back on the Jets coaching staff.
Rex Ryan and his staff must find ways to reduce stupid mistakes and penalties. The built in excuse of fielding a young team only goes so far when the team is making fundamental mistakes that include a lack of discipline and focus.