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The Jets were competitive again, as they have been in every home game this year, but struggled to generate enough offense or any impact plays on defense. Meanwhile, the Chargers managed to keep their playoff hopes alive in a sloppy game that saw the teams combine for 18 punts. For New York, there's the sense that the conclusion of the season next week will predominantly be a relief to players and coaches alike for the Jets.
Let's break down the offensive performance from Sunday's game:
Bryce Petty was once again erratic and is doing little to convince anyone he has much of a future at this level. Statistically, he's been worse than he was last year, and the Jets' resolve to get him to throw downfield more often didn't manifest itself, as he averaged just four yards per attempt for the day and threw just one pass in the third quarter -- the only quarter in which the Jets scored any points.
To his credit, Petty accounted for three first downs as a runner, making a decisive dart for the marker on each occasion. However, his accuracy was poor all day. That culminated in two bad missed throws that led to a turnover on downs in the red zone as the Jets failed to tie the score with three minutes to go.
The Jets still appear to have no desire to let Christian Hackenberg get any reps, but Petty was banged-up a few times, so it wouldn't be a complete shock to see Hackenberg forced into action in New England next week.
Bilal Powell ended the day with 145 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown and runs of 41 and 21 yards. He looked sharp all day, demonstrating good vision and cutback ability on each of his long runs, although he didn't contribute anything in the passing game. This was the first time in his career that Powell has carried the ball more than 16 times but the Jets didn't win.
Matt Forte had a disappointing game, as he averaged just 2.4 yards per carry and had just one catch. He also lost a fumble -- his first of the year -- in the red zone and got beaten for a half sack in pass protection.
With Powell having some success and Forte struggling, it's surprising Elijah McGuire didn't get any looks. McGuire was limited with an ankle injury during the week, but if he was active ahead of Akeem Judd, then it would have been nice to see him get some touches. Petty threw to him once, but it was overthrown and intercepted. Otherwise, he only touched the ball on the last play when he lost possession trying to make a desperation lateral.
Fullback Lawrence Thomas continues to see his role marginalized. He didn't play much as he dropped a Petty pass that had no touch on it and gave up half a sack in pass protection.
With the season winding down, Robby Anderson has become more of a possession threat than a big-play option. Over the last three games, he has no 20-yard plays. Nevertheless, he still led the Jets in receiving with five catches for 51 yards, including three first downs. He had a 40-yard touchdown catch correctly negated for a push-off. Anderson needs 61 yards against New England on Sunday to reach the 1,000-yard plateau for the first time in his career.
Jermaine Kearse also had five catches, including a couple on Petty's best throws of the day. However, Petty missed him when he had a step and a half on his man over the top. Kearse also made a nice block on Powell's long touchdown run.
Chad Hansen was the only other wideout targeted, on a Petty overthrow early in the second quarter. Fellow rookies ArDarius Stewart and Jojo Natson saw action briefly.
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had one first-down catch, but otherwise had a disappointing output with 21 yards on eight targets. While he wasn't alone, Seferian-Jenkins was noticeably displaying a lot of frustration with his on-field body language.
Eric Tomlinson and Neal Sterling were reduced to blocking roles again, with Sterling showing some nice progress with a couple of plays.
The Jets were forced to mix and match on the offensive line given starters Wesley Johnson and Brian Winters did not play and Brandon Shell missed the second half with an injury. Amazingly, despite all these injuries, Ben Ijalana, who is earning $6 million this season and started 13 games last year, didn't receive any reps.
With Johnson active but on the sideline all day, Jonotthan Harrison started at center and made an impact by getting out in front of Powell on his long touchdown run. He otherwise struggled, giving up a lot of penetration and pressure up the middle and almost snapping the ball over Petty's head on one play.
Dakota Dozier got the start at right guard and, once again, seemed to perform better than Winters usually does. Dozier made a couple of good run blocks and held up in pass protection. It was noticeable that he got driven off his spot a few times, but always battled to recover.
Although Harrison struggled, it was telling most of the rest of the linemen had their best games for a while with him and Dozier starting. James Carpenter, in particular, had easily his best game since early in the season with some good blocking at the point of attack and a couple of pancake blocks in space. Carpenter wasn't flawless in pass protection, though, as he was bull rushed into the backfield a couple of times -- once leading to a pass being batted down and the other leading indirectly to a sack from an unblocked blitzer.
At tackle, Kelvin Beachum had a key block on the Powell touchdown, and that wasn't his only impressive run block of the day. But while he gave up a sack in pass protection, he otherwise did a good job of limiting pressure.
Shell played quite well at right tackle but suffered a concussion making a tackle on the last play of the half and was knocked out of the game. In his place, Brent Qvale gave up a couple of pressures and had a penalty and a missed block that led to a tackle for loss.