Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
There's been nothing predictable about the Jets' season so far -- until now.
With three key defensive players out and a third-string quarterback who was on the practice squad having never played in an NFL game this time last week, the widely anticipated Patriots blowout was exactly what we saw on Sunday afternoon.
It didn't take long for any lingering hopes that the Jets might step up to make the game competitive against all odds to evaporate altogether, as Tom Brady drove the Patriots down the field for a touchdown on each of their first three drives. This gave New England a 20-point lead early in the second quarter.
The defense settled down somewhat over the new few periods and the Jets' special teams unit got on the board late in the third when Arthur Maulet recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for a touchdown. However, the outcome was never in doubt, even when Jamal Adams scored his first NFL touchdown on a fourth-quarter interception return after Brady had exited the game.
For the Jets, it was the same old problems, as they blew some coverages, failed to get quality pressure on Brady and continued to show a complete lack of cohesion on the offensive line. Offensively, they predictably ran a conservative gameplan for Luke Falk in his first career start but couldn't sustain drives as they went 0-for-12 on third down, so it was a busy day for punter Lachlan Edwards.
The much-needed bye week is now upon us and the Jets have plenty of things the work on, both collectively and individually. While the return of players like Sam Darnold, C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams should make a difference, it's going to be difficult for the Jets to dig their way out of the hole they find themselves in.
Here are more takeaways from the loss that dropped the Jets to 0-3 for the first time in 16 seasons…
- Self-inflicted wounds were a common theme for the Jets, whether it was leaving a receiver open, missing tackles or ill-timed penalties to stall drives on offense or extend them on defense. They also continued to have issues in pass protection with unblocked rushers coming off the edge or up the middle.
- With Demaryius Thomas out, the Jets gave Braxton Berrios plenty of reps on offense. Berrios, the Jets' punt returner, hadn't seen action on offense before today. He caught the first two passes of his career, including one that he took up the sideline for a nice gain.
- Aside from Berrios, young players like Kyle Phillips and Blake Cashman also had some positive flashes, although silver linings were difficult to find on this day.
- Darryl Roberts had a rough day as Brady went after him over and over again. He gave up several big plays including a touchdown and a long pass interference penalty, and the damage could have been even worse if not for some drops and missed passes by New England.
- Falk posted modest numbers as he completed 12 of 22 passes for just 98 yards and was sacked five times. His lone interception on the day appeared to be a miscommunication but still shouldn't have been thrown with the safety lurking.
- Last week, Trumaine Johnson didn't play at all until his replacement Nate Hairston cramped up late in the fourth quarter. This week he saw limited action in sub-packages, but Hairston was still ahead of him. Johnson did little to impress while in the game, ending up with three tackles.
- With the Patriots loading the box, Le'Veon Bell predictably struggled to generate much on the ground with one play getting blown up for an eight-yard loss and another for a five-yard loss. He averaged less than two yards per carry, ending up with 63 yards on 22 touches, battling hard for virtually all of them.
- For New England, Josh Gordon seems back to something like his best after recently being reinstated to the NFL. He made a couple of spectacular leaping grabs in practice and ended up with a team-high 83 yards on six catches. He could be a key player in the Patriots' title defense, especially with Antonio Brown no longer an option.
- One thing that held up quite well for the Jets in this game was their run defense. They held New England to 68 yards at a rate of just 2.5 yards per carry. However, the passing attack was so automatic on those first three drives with Brady completing 13 of 15 passes that it hardly mattered.
- It took them 11 quarters but the Jets, at last, managed to kick an extra point for the first time this season. In fact, Sam Ficken got two of them. The offense didn't give him any chances to add to that though as they only ran a handful of plays in New England territory and never got closer than the 35-yard line.