Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The Patriots predictably disposed of the Jets effortlessly in the season finale, winning 26-6. From the Jets' perspective, the game was fairly meaningless, and they used it to get another look at some of the players whose future roles with the team are uncertain.
Let's break down the offensive performance from Sunday's game:
Bryce Petty played the whole game and was once again pretty erratic, missing several open receivers, and almost being intercepted a few times. His statline wasn't that bad in the end - in fact, it was arguably better than Tom Brady's. However, he had significantly more missed throws than good ones.
Over the course of this three-game audition, Petty has done little to suggest he'll ever be anything more than a back-up at this level.
Despite indications to the contrary, the Jets didn't get Christian Hackenberg into the game, so they will enter 2018 with him being essentially an unknown quantity - again.
The Jets, once again, didn't have much success in the running game, although Bilal Powell bounced outside for a 24-yard gain early. Other than that, he had just 22 yards on 12 carries. He also caught a 10-yard pass on a dump-off underneath.
Powell had more success than Elijah McGuire though. McGuire's first carry was blown up for an eight-yard loss, and he ended up with minus-six yards on four carries. His only positive play was an 11-yard gain on a jet sweep that counted as a forward pass. On three other targets in the passing game, McGuire had a drop and just five yards.
Fullback Lawrence Thomas had a bad missed block leading to a run stuff on one play. He otherwise didn't play much. The recently-activated Jahad Thomas, making his NFL debut, did not get any offensive snaps.
Needing 61 yards to get to the thousand-yard mark, Robby Anderson had just one catch for two yards. His only other touch was on a lateral for a short gain. He dropped one pass in the flat, drawing a flag for a helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked him out of the game.
In the first half, the Jets ran a play where they threw a pop pass to Jojo Natson on the jet sweep, who then looked set to lateral it to Anderson going in the other direction. However, Natson dropped the toss. Had that been executed smoothly, it looked like Anderson would have had a chance to score, and it would have officially counted as receiving yards. Natson was unsuccessfully targeted one other time.
Jermaine Kearse made some nice plays, finishing up with five catches for 59 yards. His three first downs including a nice snag on a high throw over the middle and a couple of plays where he made good yards after the catch.
One bright spot saw rookies Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart flash with Hansen making a toe-tapping sideline catch, and Stewart blowing past his man for a 46-yarder on a nicely-thrown deep ball from Petty. However, these were the only catches for each of them. Hansen also saw one pass bounce off his facemask.
With Austin Seferian-Jenkins out, reserve tight end Neal Sterling surprisingly led the Jets in receiving. In fact, Sterling's 74 yards on five catches was not only higher than Seferian-Jenkins' previous season high, but also more than his entire post-bye week output over five games.
Eric Tomlinson, who started, also had a couple of short catches and also made some good contributions as a blocker.
With Brian Winters now on injured reserve and Brandon Shell out with a concussion, the Jets opted to rotate their personnel on the offensive line.
Ben Ijalana started 13 games last season, but has barely been used in 2017. However, he got most of the reps at right tackle, even though Brent Qvale made the start. Also, although Wesley Johnson returned to the starting line-up at center, Jonotthan Harrison got most of the reps there.
Dakota Dozier started in place of Winters at right guard, while James Carpenter and Kelvin Beachum occupied their usual spots on the left side of the line.
Petty was sacked four times, although most of these were down to the fact he held the ball for too long. Ijalana's man sacked Petty for a safety, and Beachum allowed James Harrison to get to Petty on the last two plays of the game. Johnson's man recorded the other one as each lineman gave up at least one pressure apart from Qvale.
Dozier did quite well in relief of Winters last week, but this week he started the game with a false start on the first offensive snap, and things didn't get much better thereafter, although he had a good pulling block on Powell's long run. His missed reach block led to a tackle for loss, although you wonder whether Johnson should have adjusted to Lawrence Guy's pre-snap shift because he ended up blocking nobody.
Ijalana also had a missed block that led to a run being stuffed for a loss, but Beachum led the way nicely on McGuire's jet sweep. Carpenter had a fumble recovery, but his blocking in the running game was inconsistent all day.
This unit has some players that can be useful as emergency depth off the bench, but that's about all it has. Although the Jets managed to scheme around it all year, the starting line-up basically needs to be overhauled. They'll be hoping that upgrading a couple of spots will have a knock-on effect on the other starters.