During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a break down of what to watch out for on gameday...

I’ve been looking at some of the recent Saints games to get an insight into how the team is performing so far and their strategic approach.

After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) to try and highlight what the Jets need to look out for.

Quarterbacks

After getting taken apart by Andy Dalton last week, the Jets face an even more formidable foe this week in the form of perennial pro bowler Drew Brees. Brees is having another great season, but he's yet another quarterback whose statistical output drops precipitously when he's under pressure. His completion percentage drops to 50% and his QB rating is almost 40 points lower than when not pressured.

The good news is that while Brees is renowned for being decisive and accurate, he doesn't habitually get rid of the ball as early and often as Dalton. In fact, he holds the ball longer than 2.5 of the time on 52% of his throws, 10th most in the league. Where Brees excels, despite his short stature, is in moving his feet within the pocket to create lanes, so if the Jets can collapse the pocket and fill lanes, perhaps they can disrupt Brees from emulating his usual level of performance. Pressure will also be on the secondary to do a better job of jamming at the line and jumping routes, otherwise Brees will get rid of the ball early and have success in doing so.

The Saints have scored more than 25 points in five straight games, but the Jets are statistically easily the best defense they have faced so far. The Jets rank 6th, whereas all seven teams they've faced so far are 14th or lower.

Offensive Line

The strength of the Saints line in recent times has been its guards. They've invested a lot of money in Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs to try and mitigate the amount of pressure up the middle while their philosophy has been to assist their tackles by chipping edge rushers to try and prevent pressure coming off the edge. Evans is a four time pro bowler, but is having a down year in the running game, probably connected to the hip injury which has caused him to miss one game and has him listed as questionable this week. Grubbs was a pro bowler back in 2011 and continues to be one of the better linemen in the league at getting out in front of a screen pass.

At right tackle, Zach Streif has good numbers although he is left on an island less than a lot of tackles. He's developed into his role well though. By contrast, the left tackle Charles Brown is a potential weak spot. Brown won a three-way battle in preseason that involved former Jet Jason Smith. He leads the team with six penalties and four sacks given up.

Center Brian De La Puente is athletic and benefits from being in between two great players. Off the bench, two undrafted players, second year man Bryce Harris and rookie Tim Lelito have each started a game and occasionally get reps as extra tight ends. Lelito really struggled when he replaced Evans against the Cardinals in week three, surrendering eight total pressures including three sacks.

Running Backs

The Saints running game isn't the main feature of their offense, but their backs still play a key role. Pierre Thomas is their lead back, but he's averaging just 3.5 yards per carry in their 25th ranked rush attack. He has caught 32 passes though. Darren Sproles (36 catches) remains a key option in the passing attack, but has only carried 15 times since week two. Mark Ingram (who had been dealing with a turf toe injury) hasn't played much so far this year, but is now healthy.

Fullback Jed Collins is mainly a blocker, with just 12 touches in seven games so far this season.

Receivers

The Saints' most dangerous weapon - tight end Jimmy Graham - played just 19 snaps last week as he deals with a partially torn plantar fascia in his foot. However, he was still pretty effective (two touchdowns) as they limited him to the two minute drill and red zone activity. They threw the ball on 17 of those plays. Veteran Ben Watson, now 32, is past his prime, but did catch three passes as the starter last week.

The Saints have plenty of receiving threats at wideout too. 6-5 former Hofstra product Marques Colston is still a big threat and he's been starting along with rookie fifth rounder Kenny Stills. After a slow start, Stills has three touchdowns in the last two games. On the bench, they have slot/possession receiver Lance Moore, second year man Nick Toon (the son of Jets legend Al Toon) and Robert Meachem, who returned to the Saints this year after a terrible season with the Chargers where he fell out of favor and barely played in the second half of the year. The three of them have combined for just 13 catches so far, though.

Defensive Line

The Saints defense has turned things around this year, led by the pass rushing of Cameron Jordan. They play both 4-3 and 3-4 formations with Jordan moving all over the place. Veteran Broderick Bunkley is listed as the starter at nose tackle, but hasn't played much this season due to a calf strain. He did start last week, but played just 26 of 72 snaps. In his absence, third round rookie John Jenkins - a 360-pounder - did a solid job. The other starter on the line is Akiem Hicks - last year's third rounder - who is more of a run stopper than pass rusher. The main backups are undrafted rookie Glenn Foster and veteran Tom Johnson, both of whom are listed as under 290 pounds.

Linebackers

The media are making a big deal of the fact that former Jet Jonathan Vilma has been activated from the short-term injured reserve list, but the truth is he's been a shadow of his former self these past few years. Curtis Lofton is their leader now, playing every snap, but he is also second in the league with 11 missed tackles. David Hawthorne, the former Seahawk, lines up alongside him.

On the outside, the Saints have Parys Haralson, who had 21.5 sacks with the 49ers from 2006 to 2012, but it's been the guy on the other side - Junior Galette - who has made more of an impact as a pass rusher this year. He has four sacks, one short of his career best five last season. They have some experience among their backups with Keyunta Dawson outside and Will Herring and Ramon Humber inside, but none have played much this year.

They would be even stronger on the outside, but veteran Will Smith and offseason pickup Victor Butler are both on injured reserve.

Defensive Backs

At safety, both starters - this year's first pick Kenny Vacarro and former first rounder (albeit as a cornerback) Malcolm Jenkins - are listed as questionable with a concussion and a knee respectively. Vacarro has been good in run support when he comes into the box.

At cornerback, Jabari Greer typically plays on the right and Keenan Lewis on the left. Greer was targeted by the Bears a few weeks ago, to the tune of eight catches for over 120 yards. Lewis, the former Steeler, has three interceptions, including two in the last two games.

The Saints nickel package involves Rafael Bush entering the game to play the deep safety role while one of the other safeties comes up to play the slot.

In reserve, they have some experience with Chris Carr at cornerback and Roman Harper at safety. Harper had been starting but then hurt his knee and only returned to practice this week.

Special Teams

Thomas Morstead is one of the better punters in the NFL, having allowed just 80 return yards through seven games. He also does a good job on kickoffs. Garrett Hartley is the placekicker and he's made 14 of 18 field goals. Three of those misses were from beyond 40 yards, but he hasn't even attempted one from 50. These numbers benefit from the Saints playing in a dome, too, so they might not see the same kind of success on a November's day in New Jersey.

Sproles is the key to the Saints' return game, although his longest return of the year is just 32 yards. He's always a threat to avoid the first man on a punt return though. In terms of coverage, they don't have any players with more than three solo tackles. Overall, their special teams unit ranks 5th according to PFF but dropped from 14th to 19th on Football Outsiders last week.

>>>

I'll be back tomorrow to recap the game!

Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

GEICO SportsNite: Jets vs. Miami 00:01:54
With Muhammad Wilkerson likely a game-time decision to play Sunday, Jeane Coakley talks to Leonard Williams about stepping up his game.

 

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at a tough loss to the New England Patriots. The guys discuss the brutal mistakes by the Jets which kept the Pats in the game, and the blown call at the goal line involving Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Plus, Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon joins the show to talk about the struggles of Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams, and his role on the team. Later, Brian Costello of the New York Post calls in to give his take on the loss to NE, and how the Jets missed out on Deshaun Watson.

Click below to listen!

Tags: Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (AP)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The last time the Jets had Bilal Powell in the lineup, at full strength, he ran all over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Forced into the lead back role with Matt Forte sidelined, he ran for 163 yards on 7.8 yards per carry, including a 75-yard touchdown run.

He's back this week in time for the Jets game in Miami on Sunday, and so is Forte, with both apparently as close to full strength as they're going to be. But the Jets can't revert to their old habit of splitting their backfield duties.

They need Powell to carry the load.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Jeremy Kerley, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) congratulates wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) (Scott Galvin)
Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) congratulates wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) (Scott Galvin)

 Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (3-3) vs. the Miami Dolphins (3-2) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

It will be hot, as usual, with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 80s. It will also be windy, with sustained winds of 15-20 m.p.h. expected. And as always in Miami, there could be some late afternoon thunderstorms that potentially could impact the second half of the game.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder/toe) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Dolphins, and will be a game-time decision, head coach Todd Bowles said on Friday.

Wilkerson played through his shoulder injury in Weeks 4 and 5, and didn't practice throughout those weeks, so this might be the same scenario.

However, Bowles added that the team has discussed the possibility of giving Wilkerson one or two weeks off.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Muhammad Wilkerson
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In the latest episode of Timeout with Taylor Rooks, former NFL running back Curtis Martin recalls some of the most dramatic moments of his life, including two near-death experiences, as well as his relationship with Bill Parcells, Bob Kraft, and the infamous trade that sent him from the Patriots to the Jets.

Click below to listen

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Vacc's 3 Keys to a Jets win 00:01:37
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

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New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins runs the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins runs the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (3-3) take on the Dolphins (3-2) on Sunday in Miami at 1 p.m. Here's what's going on today:

Need to know

The Jets are preparing for the trip to Miami, so there will be no media access at Florham Park on Friday. The entire term, apart from Muhammad Wilkerson, practiced without limitation yesterday, so they are in good shape for the road trip.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will preview the game and send his three keys. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the happenings.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Miami Dolphins, Jordan Leggett, Muhammad Wilkerson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets defense 00:01:25
Ralph Vacchiano reports in from Jets practice to address the question that is on everyone's mind; when will the Jets finally get a sack?

 

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Jenkins on overcoming addiction 00:03:29
On Jets Game Plan, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins sits down with Jeane Coakley to share about how he overcame his battle with addiction.

 

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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- On the day the Jets re-signed Muhammad Wilkerson in the summer of 2016 to a blockbuster, five-year, $86 million contract, they made it clear they were banking on him and not Sheldon Richardson. Fourteen months later, Richardson was traded.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (AP)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (AP)

RB Bilal Powell, who missed last week's game due to a calf injury, practiced on Thursday and will return when the Jets face the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami, head coach Todd Bowles said.

DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder/toe) was the only Jets player who didn't practice on Thursday.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Powell should hopefully give a boost to the Jets' struggling running game, although I suspect the team's inability to get the running game going has more to do with how overmatched the Jets have been in the trenches...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

He may be one of the most productive tight ends in football at the moment, but Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins admits his career was taking a dive before joining the Green and White. 

Seferian-Jenkins has caught 23 passes over the last four weeks of the season. It could be more if he didn't have to serve a two-game suspension that stems from his DUI arrest last September when he was with the Buccaneers.

But ASJ doesn't mind the numbers. He is happy that he is still playing the game he loves in the first place. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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The Jets (3-3) take on the Dolphins (3-2) on Sunday in Miami at 1 p.m. Here's what's going on today...

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park. Will Bilal Powell, Muhammad Wilkerson, or Robby Anderson return to practice after sitting out on Wednesday?

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be out at practice. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the happenings...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Muhammad Wilkerson, Robby Anderson
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DNL: 2017 Jets season so far 00:02:58
The DNL panel discusses the Jets' season so far including if Todd Bowles deserves more credit and which player has disappointed the most.

 

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets featured many key players out during practice Wednesday including RB Bilal Powell, DE Muhammad Wilkerson, and WR Robby Anderson. 

Powell, who is nursing a calf injury, stretched with the team, but he didn't participate in anything else. He already missed last week with the same injury.

Wilkerson played through his shoulder injury in Weeks 4 and 5, He didn't practice throughout those weeks, so this might be the same scenario for No. 96...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Muhammad Wilkerson, Robby Anderson
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Daily News Live: Cool your Jets 00:03:02
The DNL panel discusses how the controversial play and loss to the Patriots could affect the Jets' mentality going into Week 7.

The DNL panel discusses how the controversial play and loss to the Patriots could affect the Jets' mentality going into Week 7.

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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (3-3) take on the Dolphins (3-2) on Sunday in Miami at 1 p.m. Here's what's going on today...

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be out at practice on Thursday and Friday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors...

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye
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Daily News Live: Colon 00:01:10
Willie Colon's sources at the meeting between NFL owners and Roger Goodell on anthem protests say no progress was made Tuesday.

SNY's Willie Colon said sources told him that players felt "nothing was accomplished" during a meeting on Tuesday between the NFL, executives, players, and the NFL Players' Association.

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

After a hot start to his rookie season, Jets S Jamal Adams became the latest victim of Patriots' star TE Rob Gronkowski in the Jets' 24-17 loss on Sunday. 

Adams had troubles with Gronk from the beginning of the game. The Jets had a 14-0 lead when Patriots QB Tom Brady launched a ball toward the back of the end zone intended for Gronkowski. Adams made a play on the ball, but refs said that he made too much contact with the 6-foot-6 tight end resulting in a pass interference call.

Dion Lewis would score on the next play, and Adams was still surprised as to why the refs threw the flag. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets gave a good account of themselves and, despite some glaring weaknesses, continue to prove that they're a more talented group than most people gave them credit for before the season. Let's break down the performances on the defensive side of the ball from the Jets' loss to the Patriots in Week 6:

Defensive Line

The defensive line once again didn't make any major contributions, with New England rushing for 118 yards at an average of 4.7 per carry and officially surrendering just four quarterback hits and no sacks. However, that was partly due to the Jets' gameplan. They didn't blitz much, sending just four rushers on average. And some of the bigger runs they gave up came with pass defense personnel on the field or one of Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson on the bench...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Rontez Miles, Steve McLendon
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (Ben Margot/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (Ben Margot/AP)

The Jets (3-3) take on the Dolphins (3-2) on Sunday in Miami at 1 p.m. Here's what's going on today...

Need to know

The Jets are off today.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be out at practice on Thursday and Friday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors...

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buster Skrine, Jalin Marshall, Muhammad Wilkerson
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Daily News Live: Reffed Up 00:03:44
The Daily News Live panel discusses the controversial "fumble" call on Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the Jets' loss.

 

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New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) runs past Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas (13) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) runs past Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas (13) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets assigned wide receiver Jalin Marshall to the practice squad on Monday after they waived him on Saturday.

Marshall, who served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, was waived to make room for cornerback Xavier Coleman on the team's active roster for Sunday's 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots.

The 22-year-old Marshall recorded 14 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games last season. He also returned 18 punts for 100 yards and 13 kickoffs for 324 yards.

Tags: Jalin Marshall
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The decision to turn an Austin Seferian-Jenkins' touchdown on Sunday into a hard-to-explain fumble and touchback was a "clear and obvious" decision, according to the replay official who made the call.

Al Riveron, the NFL's senior VP of officiating, strongly defended his call in a conference call with reporters on Monday morning, one day after it impacted the Jets' 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots. He said the reversal of the touchdown after a video review was absolutely the correct decision based on the rule, and he didn't see anything controversial about it.

"No doubt about it, it was clear and obvious," Riveron said. "And we use that (standard) for every replay. Unless it's clear and obvious to us, we will not change the ruling on the field, and this definitely met that criteria."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Jets QB Josh McCown got off to a hot start on Sunday, but couldn't hold on to the lead as the Patriots earned the win on the road. 

The Jets jumped to a quick, 14-0 lead in the first half. However, the offense couldn't get anything going allowing Tom Brady to do what he does best and get the Pats the lead back. 

"Obviously we broke stride there and didn't keep pace the way we'd like," McCown told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "We have some short-yardage situations that we have to find a way to convert and be better at. We weren't converting and (we were) putting our defense right back out there. You can't give Tom (Brady) that many chances."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown, Robby Anderson
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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (14) runs in for a touchdown against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (14) runs in for a touchdown against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While much of the attention from the Jets' loss to the Patriots will be focused on the controversial overturned touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Jets only have themselves to blame for giving up 24 unanswered points and letting New England back into the game.

Nevertheless, they gave a good account of themselves and, despite some glaring weaknesses, continued to prove that they're a more talented group than most people gave them credit for before the season...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Chad Hansen, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson
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The New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine misses the catch during the 1st half against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
The New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine misses the catch during the 1st half against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jets sometimes seem like they've cornered the market on finding interesting new ways to lose. Five years ago, it was the infamous "Butt fumble." This time, it was a fumble that maybe, probably, never was.

But the differences between those two plays are as stark as the differences between those two teams. The "Butt fumble" was an embarrassment on Thanksgiving 2012 that turned Mark Sanchez and the Jets into a national joke. The fumble by Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Sunday -- the "What fumble," as some have named it -- wasn't funny to anyone.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, New England Patriots, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 10/15 00:11:29
The Jets Post Game Overtime crew breaks down the Jets' 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 6.

 

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Jets Post Game Live: Overturned 00:02:19
The crew on Jets Post Game Live gives its thoughts on Austin Seferian-Jenkins' overturned touchdown.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins rolled into the end zone midway through the fourth quarter and the official's arms went up, the Jets were just like everyone else in the building and watching on TV: They were sure they had just scored a touchdown.

And long after their 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots, they were still shocked, confused and absolutely livid that the touchdown was overturned.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, New England Patriots, Ralph Vacchiano
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