Sunday, October 2, 2016

Jets look inept in loss to Seahawks


The Jets season might be on the brink of collapse. Nobody said it would be easy when the schedule came out with the kinds of opponents the Jets had to face this year. Going through Cincinnati, Kansas City, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Baltimore to start 2016 was not going to be easy.

But as the old saying goes, it is how you play that determines the kind of season you'll have. So far at 1-3, it has been nothing but frustrating. Frustrating from the standpoint that New York lost three games that had they played better, they may have won.

And once again Ryan Fitzpatrick was at the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. The quarterback threw three more interceptions on Sunday, two of them leading to the game clinching scores for the Seahawks as Seattle ran away with it 27-17. The three picks now gives Fitzpatrick nine interceptions in his last two games, which ties a Jets franchise record for interceptions in that span. The last man to do that was Joe Namath in 1970.

Fitzpatrick was bad on Sunday, no question. He completed 23 of 41 his passes, but never looked comfortable in the pocket. The Seahawks who normally rush only four down lineman in most of its formations were in Fitzpatrick's kitchen all afternoon. They hit him six times, sacked him four more times, and never allowed him to stay comfortable in the pocket for long.

That being said, like the game in Kansas City last Sunday, not all of the blame can be pinned to the quarterback. The Jets defense was truly awful on Sunday, especially the secondary. Russell Wilson showed no signs of dealing with a serious knee injury. He looked fluid in the pocket, and threw bullets all over the field. Considering he was playing in a knee brace, Wilson's performance was impressive -- heck, he was absolutely dominant.

Wilson shredded the Jets for 309 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with his receivers all day. He was hitting guys in tight coverage on the sideline, and was not afraid to throw into the heart of the Jets secondary. Why not, when nobody on the Jets defense is willing to step in front of a pass and force a turnover? Wilson couldn't have been more on point.

Seattle's opening scoring drive in the early stages of the second quarter was a microcosm of the entire day for the Jets defense. Wilson hit Jimmy Graham on the sideline for 27 yards on second and 11 on the first play of the quarter. He later connected with Doug Baldwin for 16 yards to midfield. Two plays later Wilson connected with Baldwin again for 38 yards down the sideline to the Jets 10. Seattle finished the drive off when Wilson threaded the ball between three Jets defenders in to the hands of CJ Spiller for the touchdown.

Speaking of Jimmy Graham, he absolutely killed the Jets. The Pro Bowl tight end had six catches for 113 yards. He was unblockable and undeterred in his decimation of the Jets secondary. He and Wilson put on a true clinch.

While Wilson was carving up the Jets, the Jets offense was sputtering. Of the seven possessions for New York in the second half, only one of them resulted in a score -- a bizarre play that shouldn't have been allowed when the Jets scored in garbage time on a fumble by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The other possessions resulted in either punts or interceptions.

The turning point of the game came at the start of the fourth quarter when Fitzpatrick threw a ball right into the hands of Richard Sherman for the interception. Seattle quickly turned the turnover into points when Wilson connected with Christine Michael for a six-yard touchdown to blow the game open at 24-10.

Fitzpatrick would throw two more interceptions, one with a little less than six minutes to go in the game on the first play of a drive at the Jets 20. Seattle converted it into points to make it 27-10. The final pick came at the end of the game to ice it for Seattle.

While the Jets won't say it publicly, the trust and belief in Fitzpatrick has got to waning. He has been horrible this season, and is making the Jets look foolish for giving him $12 million guaranteed with each passing game. The question is going to be how much longer with the Jets stay with Fitzpatrick?

Sure he is getting paid a lot of guaranteed money, but the Jets are at a point now where they can no longer afford to pile up losses. A lose in Pittsburgh looks like a sure thing, which would drop the Jets to 1-4. Two weeks from now they play in Arizona (1-3), against a team that has failed to match its own expectations this year as well. Do the Jets have to be 1-5 before they make a change? 1-6? If the losing continues, and Fitzpatrick is at the center of it, the change is coming.

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