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The Jets lost their third game in a row and were once again left to regret several costly mistakes which could have turned the game in their favor. With a short turnaround before the next game, the coaching staff has a challenging week ahead.
Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the offensive side of the ball:
In difficult conditions, this was another solid performance by Josh McCown, who threw two touchdowns and completed a high percentage of his passes. However, his limitations - or perhaps those of the offensive personnel surrounding him - were exposed on that last drive, as the Jets needed to go 97 yards in 67 seconds, and it took them seven plays and all of that time to barely get one-third of the way there.
McCown can move the chains with the quick passing game, but the Jets require their pass catchers to make extra yards after the catch and that didn't happen much yesterday.
A couple of weeks after he missed a wide open Travaris Cadet for a potential big play in the Patriots game, McCown missed an open Austin Seferian-Jenkins coming across the middle with about 25 seconds left, instead opting to check down to his running back for another short gain.
McCown only missed on a few makeable throws, but fumbled twice, although the Jets recovered both of these.
Much has been made of comments by Matt Forté after the game that the Jets need to run the ball more. He may actually have been referring to the fact that the running game needs to be more effective rather than bashing the play selection, though.
After Bilal Powell went for 12 yards off the edge on the game's first play, the Jets averaged less than 1.5 yards per carry the rest of the way, with Forté himself held to seven yards on just four carries.
With that kind of success, you can't just run the ball on first and second down because you're destined to set yourself up for 3rd-and-long situations again and again, which is not ideal when you're playing in wet conditions with an overmatched offensive line. The Falcons knew this and were loading eight and sometimes nine into the box.
Forté was able to make some contributions in the passing game as his six catches included a third down conversion out of the slot and two other first downs. Powell added one first down run and one first down catch to his run on the first play, and also set up a field goal by picking up some extra yards on a 3rd-and-long dump-off. However, he ended up with just 61 yards on 19 touches. That was the most touches he's had this year other than in the Jaguars game when Forté was out.
Elijah McGuire barely saw action on offense again, although was used as the kick-off returner for the first time.
At fullback, Lawrence Thomas caught a couple of short passes but didn't make much of an impact as a blocker and was stuffed on a third-and-short run. It shows the lack of confidence the Jets have in their conventional running game when they had second-and-short they tried an end around that came up just short before trying the element of surprise again on the fullback dive.
Robby Anderson had a bit of a break-out game this week, surpassing 100 yards for the first time and adding another touchdown. He made a spectacular diving catch over the top, torched Desmond Trufant easily for a score, and had another nice gain on a catch and run. Anderson also drew a first down on a pass interference call, and caught all six of his targets this week after his catch rate had been hovering around the 50 percent mark on the season.
Seferian-Jenkins, Jeremy Kerley and Jermaine Kearse were quiet this week though. Sefarian-Jenkins had five catches but they only went for 28 yards and he also had two penalties and some struggles as a blocker. Kerley and Kearse each had a first down catch at the marker in the first half, but neither had a catch after halftime.
Eric Tomlinson delivered once again with his first career touchdown and some good run blocking off the bench, but ArDarius Stewart was inactive and Chad Hansen barely played.
James Carpenter had an inconsistent game as a run blocker this week and gave up a lot of interior pressure, including a sack. The Jets seemed to have problems dealing with Atlanta's stunting linemen, especially in the second half.
At center, the struggles continue for Wesley Johnson who was penalized for a snap infraction, and had problems holding up at the point of attack against Dontari Poe.
Kelvin Beachum had been playing well, but struggled yesterday. He had two penalties, made mistakes in the running game, and was beaten on the edge a few times in pass protection.
Brian Winters actually had one of his better games of the year this week. He didn't make any mistakes in pass protection, although he was called for a face mask penalty and missed his block on a play that got blown up for a loss.
Brent Qvale suffered an injury in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Ben Ijalana at right tackle. Qvale had struggled, giving up a strip sack around the edge and not faring well in the running game. Interestingly, the Jets never ran the ball outside to the right side - other than on the end around that didn't work - although they had consecutive runs over the right side in the second half where the back had no choice to go up the middle because Qvale allowed his man to get upfield.
Ijalana also had a costly mistake after entering the game, whiffing on Vic Beasley coming around the edge on a failed third down play that forced the Jets to punt with four minutes left.