Sunday, November 13, 2016

Petty Makes Debut, Jets Still Lose to Rams


Ugly is an understatement when it comes to describing this football game between the New York Jets and Los Angeles Rams. Inserting Bryce Petty under center didn't prove to be the shot in the arm New York was hoping for when he was named the starter hours before kick-off with Ryan Fitzpatrick still dealing with a knee injury.

Instead Petty was just meh, while the Jets offense looked lifeless thanks in part to Chan Gailey's ultra-conservative play calling, and in part to the Rams stout front seven. Meanwhile, the Jets defense didn't play well at all. A hard sell when the scoreboard reads that the Rams scored only 9 points, but consider the fact that the Rams were chewing up yards and third down conversions at will, it was not a good afternoon.

Let's break it down.

Bryce Petty: Petty was just average in his first start as a NFL starter. He didn't make a lot of big plays, but wasn't awful. He made some bad reads, and missed a wide open Robby Anderson down the sideline for what would have been a walk-in 68-yard touchdown. Had Petty not overthrown him, it would have been 13-3 Jets at the half. Petty did display some good poise at times, and showed that he has the arm strength to push the ball downfield for the Jets. His 51-yard completion that dropped into the hands of Anderson on second and nine on a drive that originated the Jets own two-yard line was the best play of the day. That completion led to the Jets loan touchdown -- a hook and lateral to Bilal Powell.

At 3-7, the Jets should just let Petty start for the rest of the season. There were enough moments to think he could grow as a starting quarterback in this league, but the Jets need to find out. With the playoffs now firmly in doubt -- let the kid play.

Revis Island has a new president, Kenny Britt: It was not a good afternoon for Darrelle Revis, who got burned by wide receiver Kenny Britt all day. Britt had seven catches for 109 yards against Revis, and was making catches look easy all afternoon. In so doing, he made life less hectic for Case Keenum, who was able to move the Rams into scoring position three times.

Jets Red Zone Defense: While the Jets were getting burned between the 20's against Keenum and the Rams, they were getting the job done inside the 10-yard line. On the Rams opening drive, LA got the football all the way to the New York 1-yard line, before the Jets defense stepped up and forced the Rams to kick a field goal. In the third quarter, the Rams again threatened to put up six before New York locked down from their own seven yard line, and forced another field goal.

Lack of Playmakers at the Skill Positions: One thing that became disturbingly apparent all season is the fact that the Jets are bereft of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Yes, they have Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa, but the lack of a pass catching tight end and another burner stood out because the Jets finally had a quarterback who can push the ball down field. Had Petty had a tight end to throw to, perhaps this would have been a different afternoon. Just saying.

Special Teams: Special teams was once again the culprit in a Jets loss. They were the problem in Week 1, when the Jets missed an extra point that proved to be the difference in a 23-22 loss to the Bengals. They were the difference last week during a 27-23 loss to the Dolphins, and they were the difference here. Nick Folk missed his second extra point of the season on the Jets lone touchdown. Instead of the game being 7-3, it was 6-3 -- a huge difference. Why? Had the Jets got that extra point, all they would have needed was a field goal to win the game, possibly, 10-9. Instead the worse they could do was tie the game had they got into field goal range.

What's Up Next for Gang Green? Bye Week. Let the meme's pour in. "Jets get bye week, still lose." Ok I get it, we all get it. But this is an important week off for New York to get this offense moving in the right direction, and maybe firmly insert Petty as the starter.

What to look for? Don't be shocked that the Jets game against New England on November 27 gets flexed out of Sunday Night Football. Nobody wants to see a 3-7 Jets team get blown out by the Patriots in primetime, especially with the league cognizant of plummeting TV ratings. Cardinals-Falcons or Raiders-Panthers would be a better Sunday Night game.

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