Disclaimer: All analysis was taken from the TV coverage, so at times it may have been hard to identify players or what was happening, because I was limited by their footage. However, I have tried to be as accurate as possible and apologize for any inaccuracies or omissions (which I am happy to correct).

It’s time to take a final look back at the AFC Title Game against the Steelers. After the jump, I respond to your questions from the comments in the original BGA post, which you can access here if you missed it.

I would like to know about the penalties that weren't called on Pittsburgh. - Klecko71

Let's run down some of the more controversial calls:

- James Harrison late hit on Sanchez. No question...that should have been a fifteen yarder.

- James Farrior helmet-to-helmet on Greene. Not a penalty, because Greene is not a "defenseless receiver"...they got that right.

- Eric Smith late hit. Yes, he did slow up, but he still lowered the shoulder and made contact at around the head and neck area. No question...that was a penalty and they got the call right.

- Two coverage penalties on Cromartie. Both appeared to be correct.

- Two coverage penalties on the Steelers. Again, both appeared to be correct.

- Keller's drop in the endzone - did Clark make contact before the ball? Barely, so they probably were correct not to flag that one.

- False starts - Braylon did flinch, but as the ball was snapped. Ferguson didn't move a muscle. Both were wrong IMO.

- Holding. Pittsburgh weren't called for a single hold in this game. I noticed one on Harris (8 yard gain), one on Tevaseu (11 yard gain), one on Scott (7 yard gain), one on DeVito (4 yard scramble), and one on Coleman (5 yard scramble on 3rd and 5) that I thought should have been called. Pittsburgh's linemen combined for 49 penalties in 18 cames this season, so they average about three per game.

On the whole, I do think the Jets got the rough end of the officiating, but I guess that's because Pittsburgh earned the homefield advantage and the Jets didn't.

What about the bad spotting of the ball…3rd play of the game and from what i remember it was a 3rd an 6 and it looked like we stopped them by at least 2 feet…bad calls…bad ball placement…that whole 1st half worked against us from the word GO. - dakar

Yes, and the spotting of the ball. The Jets seemed to lose half a yard each time and the Steeler gained half a yard (at least), just like in the last meeting. Again, that falls under the same category as the penalties.

So I hate to ask but… who was it and how many times did they each miss the tackles? - juunit

Okay, I have three answers for you...pick your favorite:

First of all, this comes from Rich Cimini (hat tip: WOJF) - Here’s an unofficial breakdown of the players that missed tackles and the amount of extra yards that resulted:

LB Bart Scott — 4 for 22 yards (including Mendenhall’s 1-yard TD run)

NT Sione Pouha — 3 for 20 yards

LB David Harris — 1 for 33 yards

S Brodney Pool — 1 for 17 yards (on a pass play)

DT Trevor Pryce — 1 for 6 yards.

S Eric Smith — 1 for 7 yards

Totals: 11 for 105 yards

This was PFF's breakdown:

Pouha 2, Ellis, Pace, Harris, Scott, Pool, Smith, Scott. Total: 9.

And now for the correct my breakdown:

Pryce 2 (16 yards)

Pouha 2 (13 yards)

Pace 1 (2 yards)

Mauga 1 (1 yard, TD)

Pool 1 (17 yards)

Ellis 1 (2 yards)

Scott 2 (3 yards)

Harris 1 (33 yards)

Smith 1 (2 yards)

Revis 1 (2 yards)

Coleman 1 (in pocket - pass intercepted)

Total - 14 (81 yards)

Notes:

- I define a missed tackle as any tackle where the tackler has the defender lined up and a shot at making the tackle, but either has hold of him and the tackle is broken, or they miss completely.

- Those 14 missed tackles came on 11 plays, because there was one play when three different guys missed a tackle and one where two did. I divided up the yards gained on the play between the players based on where they missed their tackle.

- The biggest difference between my/PFF's numbers and those of Cimini, who seems to have overlooked the less obvious ones was in his review was the fact that he credited Bart Scott with four. He also said this about Scott:

Bart (Can’t Wait) Scott played one of his worst games as a Jet. Not only did he miss four tackles, but he took a false step on Ben Roethlisberger’s next-to-last completion — the 14-yarder to Heath Miller. Scott came free on a blitz, but bit inside on the play fake, allowing Roethlisberger to break outside to his right. It bought Big Ben an extra second to complete the throw.


Clearly that contradicts what I wrote in BGA and also PFF's analysis, where they rated him at +2.6, including +2.7 against the run, both of which were 2nd best on the team and a better overall grade than every Pittsburgh linebacker apart from Lamar Woodley. It certainly wasn't his best game as a Jet, but it was far from his worst - grading out as his 7th best game of the season. It seems Cimini's analysis doesn't account for all the positive plays that he made, many of which you can't appreciate without looking in detail at every snap.

In terms of the four missed tackles that Cimini counted, let's address those plays:

- Scott beat his man on the outside, forcing the runner back to the inside. He did get a hand on him, so I assume Cimini has counted this as a missed tackle. However, it seems like he carried out his assignment there. The play would have gone for no gain, but Trevor Pryce missed a tackle at the line, which Cimini seems to have missed. So, if Scott does get a missed tackle there - and if we were counting based on such harsh criteria, there would have been way more than 11 - Pryce should get one too and be credited with the eight yards.

- Scott shed a block and almost made a tackle in the backfield, but the runner escaped. However, he didn't make any additional yardage (which is why PFF apparently didn't count this one) and lost two overall. Again, it seems harsh to count this as a negative play against Bart, because he - along with Shaun Ellis - blew up the play.

- On Mendenhall's touchdown, Scott met the runner on the edge and he was able to break the plane with his second effort. Cimini counts this as a missed tackle, but Scott never let go of him. This was really just yards after contact and again there would be way more missed tackles in total if we counted one every time a runner moved the pile an extra yard. Cimini is also missing the fact that Josh Mauga had him wrapped up and Mendenhall actually did break that tackle as he drove for the line. Scott held the runner up long enough that a defensive back should have been able to assist him, but both Brodney Pool and James Ihedigbo allowed themselves to get driven back by blockers and got there a split-second too late.

- The last one went for a 7 yard gain, as both Ellis and Scott missed tackles on the play. This was the one where Doug Legursky blatantly held him. I don't know if many linebackers could have secured that tackle while being dragged back by the waist with a handful of jersey.

I assume they were the four plays he counted as missed tackles, unless he found a phantom one, but I stand by my assertion that Scott was solid on closer inspection - even in the first half - and that any mistakes he did make were nothing like as costly as those made by some of his teammates.

Is it me or do you think Calvin Pace has been underwhelming the last two seasons? Maybe I’m being too harsh but it seems to me that he has not been the impact player we were hoping for. - BobP

Pace was kind of inconsistent this year and nowhere near as productive as a pass rusher, even though his sack numbers were similar. He had six pressures all year - and 35 last year! However, much of that was down to the fact that he was often used as a DE in just a three or even two man rush, as the Jets employed more guys in coverage this year.

He grades out pretty good against the run, but had a poor finish to the year in that area and had particularly rough games against Cleveland and this week. Last year, he made a really slow start after missing the first four games and this year, although he started faster, I wonder if the foot injury continued to plague him through the year, because I noticed him looking tired and not playing to the whistle and foot/toe injuries can drain your energy, even if they don't slow you down.

Due to his contract situation, I think the Jets will retain him for one more year and hope that his production improves if he gets through camp healthy and if they line another good pass rusher up across from him. Overall, he has been a slight disappointment, but not a complete bust.

I am wondering where the Devito to NG talk is coming from. He is developing into a solid DE why are people talking about NG. I cant remember seeing him line up at NG very often this year. I can remember Ellis, Gholston, Pryce, Tevaseu and of course Pouha at NG at various points – but not Devito. Am I missing something? - Brian311

After the first game of the season, I had spoken to an analyst from PFF that happens to be a Ravens fan and was familiar with how Rex develops his schemes. He predicted that the Jets might eventually look to use DeVito as a nose tackle, because he felt DeVito's skillset and build were similar to that of Kelly Gregg.

Sure enough, the Jets tried him out as a more or less full-time nose tackle in the final game of the regular season against the Bills and he had a great game. They then continued to use him in that role at times throughout the postseason (usually with Trevor Pryce and/or Shaun Ellis rushing from the DE position, but Kris Jenkins or Ropati Pitoitua would look good in the same role). The results were again encouraging, so I do expect to see more of that this season.

They didn't do it as much on Sunday, but there was a heavier front being employed, with both Pouha and DeVito playing over 75% of the snaps.

The 3 LT runs netting 4 yards and costing 1:23 during the Jets last drive will drive me nuts until Schotty is fired. There was no reason to run, the Jets had to hurry up and, after the first no gain, why keep going to the well? Presumably, Schotty didn’t run 4 times at the goal line because of the Steelers stout run defense, so why test it when you’re trying to conserve time and time outs? I can throw out all the other mistakes because Keller and Sanchez should’ve had a TD on the goal line…that’s lack of execution. Running LT 3 times up the middle against the NFL’s best run defense in the hurry up? That’s just idiotic play-calling. Did anyone really expect LT to pop a quick hitter for 10 yards? - Sackdance99

Actually, I believe they were trying to score a touchdown or at least get big chunks of yardage on these plays - well, two of them at least - because they ran the "Blast" play, which historically has been the one which can break the runner out into the second level. It failed both times because there was no surge from the right side of the line. The other run failed because Robert Turner got owned by Casey Hampton and Tomlinson tripped over him. I do agree that they perhaps shouldn't have gone back to this play after the lack of success the first time.

You wrote “…the Steelers had loaded guys into the middle and Dustin Keller got open easily. The pass was a little off target and Keller couldn’t make a fingertip grab with a defender draped all over him.” This seems to imply that Sanchez was late finding Keller, because if he got open easily, there shouldn’t have been a defender draped all over him. Or did the defender make a great play? - The NYC Parking Expert

Well, he was open, but with the defender on his back. Yes, the timing was slightly off and the pass was thrown about six inches too far ahead of the receiver, but that was a makeable throw.

You wrote: “The gameplanning and play calling has not been the problem this year and the Jets simply haven’t executed well enough this year to be the elite offense many Jets fans seem to expect them to be.” ... That seems to be a true statement but I wonder if Shotty does not have a lot to do with their execution problems. If the execution is consistently off (which it was for games at a time), this implies to me that something about either the preparation, gameplan or timing/order of the plays called is causing them to lose focus. - The NYC Parking Expert

I don't know about that. Whenever the execution lets them down, it's a play that would have worked if the execution was better, so the play call was good. It's hard to establish rhythm when you call a good play but it fails anyway and lands you in obvious passing situations. Schottenheimer does have something to do with the execution problems, because it's part of his job to get his team ready to execute, but the position coaches and the head coach are also a part of that too and it's not possible for me to apportion that blame accurately from watching the film.

You wrote “Credit Edwards with an excellent block on the WR screen to Cotchery. He has the ability to do that more often, but has been inconsistent as a blocker all year.” Funny that Rex said a week or so ago that he thought Braylon was one of the best blocking WRs in the game, up there (but close behind) Hines Ward. Maybe he was trying to motivate Edwards? - The NYC Parking Expert

As I wrote a few weeks ago, Edwards is capable of being a good blocker and has all the tools, including great size. However, he grades out (per PFF) as one of the worst blockers in the league (90th out of 110, last time I looked). Although he is a good downfield blocker - which I view as a routine play - when called upon to make key in-line blocks or from the slot, he has a poor record when you compare bad blocks and good blocks. Of course, he also had a ton of penalties. The fact the Jets do give him those kinds of blocking assignments speaks to his ability, but on a play by play basis, he's not graded out well as a blocker this year. He is certainly capable of doing so, though, as the afore-mentioned play shows.

You wrote “This looks to be a disappointing end to the Mike Westhoff era.” Has he said he’s done? I heard them say on the radio that they thought he had another year on his contract. - The NYC Parking Expert

I gather he has alluded to the fact that he might stick around for another year. However, he has previously stated that he's gone if Brad Smith is and also the looming sceptre of the lockout has to be considered. I'd welcome him back, but it was a disappointing end to the year.

Did you notice on the Roethlisberger run for a score who screwed up? I did not want to re-watch but it looks as if two linebackers or a LB and safety ran into one another and Im assuming one was the Ben spy. - Jason

I answered this in BGA:

Scott would have been keying Roethlisberger, but Darrelle Revis’ man went in motion and as he followed him across the field, the pair collided and fell to the floor. This left Bryan Thomas in an impossible two-on-one situation.
On the 3rd down failed slant play, does Brandon Moore react / grab sanchez arm or facemask after the play? As if to say “what was that?" ... A friend of mine's brother knows someone in the jets video department….said that the 3rd down slant was supposed to be a fake throw and delayed handoff…which would EXPLAIN why turner was in the passing stance…b/c he was supposed to sell pass… - Klecko71

Moore appeared to say something to Sanchez after the play, but there's no way of knowing what he was saying. If he did fake the throw then he could have scored easily, similar to the QB draw play against the Browns, but Tomlinson's actions on the play didn't suggest he was expecting a handoff.

One minor point…I thought that Turner ran onto the field with the defense on a goal line play, but was subbed for before the play went off. I don’t recall seeing this previously. Did he play any defensive snaps this year? - Spindoctor

Yes, he's been on the goalline defense all year. Wayne Hunter was too, until Woody got hurt and he became indispensable.

On the failed 4th down run, was hoping you could clarify something ... One report (the tipping the play report) indicated LT was lined up 7 yards deep, resulting in an initial huge hole to close before he could get there. It insinuated he would have scored if he lined up at the usual 5 yard deep spot ... Cimini claimed this is the “blast” play that the Jets love to use on the goal line, except usually with Greene, I think ... Does Greene or LT usually run this play? ... If indeed it is the same play does the runner usually line up that deep? ... I suspect that LT usually does not run this play, and screwed up by lining up too deep. - WOJF

I'm not sure it was a "Blast" play. Matt Slauson would usually pull to the right side, but on this play he just pulled behind Mangold and tried to get a surge up the middle. Also, the runner wouldn't typically plow over the right side, and instead would look to cut back. However, it was a tight formation, so perhaps they executed it slightly different. Anyway, let's say it was a "Blast" play for the purposes of answering your questions. I'd say - based on gut feel - that Tomlinson ran that play more than Greene over the course of the season. Also, the runner does line up that far back, because you need to wait for the blocks to develop and you need to give the Fullback room to hit his block. As for the "huge" hole, it was filled by two linebackers, who simply timed their explosion into the hole to arrive just before Tomlinson did. If Tomlinson lines up closer, that wouldn't have prevented them from still timing their hits in the same manner and would have also given Tomlinson less room to select his lane.

Your explanation for the LT overreliance makes sense, but at the time I thought Greene got dinged during the game (first half) and LT therefore got more reps. Can't remember the play, but remember Greene walking very gingerly to the sidelines. - WOJF

I did mention that Greene hurt himself on the 23 yard run as he was knocked out of bounds on the first drive of the second half. I didn't see if he was hurt earlier on, but if he was, that may well have been a factor.

Didn’t see any mention of Sanchez wiping a booger on Brunell’s coat. What was that all about? - TB

Perfect timing, good placement, almost hit him right between the numbers. The kid's come a long way.

That's it for this week. Thanks again for your questions and comments and I'll be back next week to wrap up the season.
Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

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Until the final drive, Sam Darnold's performance in his return to the starting lineup would be defined by his best and worst play. However, Darnold's composure in leading the team downfield for the late game-winning score in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills was exactly the kind of thing the Jets and their fans had been hoping to see from him this year.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions:

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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What to make of Sam Darnold 00:00:51
Sam Darnold returned to action against the Bills. What should Jets fans takeaway from the young QB?s season so far?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Fourteen years ago there was a young quarterback in New York who had struggled through an up-and-down rookie season. He showed flashes of his potential, but not nearly enough to convince everyone he would someday be the man to lead his franchise.

Then in Week 17, Eli Manning got the ball with 1:41 remaining and drove the Giants down the field for a game-winning drive capped by a 3-yard Tiki Barber touchdown run. The Giants beat the Cowboys 28-24 that day and it seemed like the moment that Manning arrived.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Eli Manning, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Report Cards from the Jets win 00:02:37
Willie Colon and Bart Scott give their grades for the Jets 27-23 win over Buffalo. It's all A's for special teams but what about the rest?

The Jets crew hands out grades after Sam Darnold led the Jets to a last-minute comeback drive in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.

Tags: Buffalo Bills
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Jets beat Bills 27-23 00:01:17
The Jets got their much-wanted revenge on the Buffalo Bills, winning 27-23. After the game it was all smiles in the locker room.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Sam Darnold limped off to the locker room after the Jets' first series, it looked like this season was going to go from bad to much worse. This season had always been about him. But he had already missed three games with a foot injury after three terrible performances.

And now he was going to be out again?

Well, though it wasn't exactly a Willis Reed performance, Darnold returned quickly enough to give some life and hope to what's left of this Jets season. He went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to give the Jets a 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Isaiah Crowell left Week 14 against Buffalo with a foot injury. The Jets announced he is questionable to return. 

The 25-year-old was sidelined at Jets practice with a toe issue all week, and it could be related to Sunday's injury. Crowell had three touches for seven yards before exiting. Elijah McGuire took over for Crowell as the New York's lead back.

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Jets QB Sam Darnold left Sunday's game against the Bills after just three plays, heading to the locker room with team doctors before being replaced by Josh McCown.

Darnold missed one drive before jogging back on the field and coming back in the game. 

He is playing in his first game since Week 9, when he suffered a right foot strain.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After missing the last three games due to a foot injury, Sam Darnold will return as the Jets' QB on Sunday against the Bills, the team announced. 

Darnold practiced in full on Friday, but head coach Todd Bowles said a final decision on his availability wouldn't be made until right before the game. 

"We'll decide that on Sunday," Bowles said. "Both he and Josh (McCown) had good weeks."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (3-9) at the Buffalo Bills (4-8) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As the Jets enter the final quarter of their schedule in the 2018-2019 season, the reality that there will be no postseason football for Gang Green has set in. But that does not mean players are packing it in on the whole.

That's certainly not how Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams sees it.

"You can tell guys are tired of it - they want to win, no more losing," Williams told the New York Post on Friday. "I think it shows a lot."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The last time Sam Darnold was under center for the Jets, his rookie season was in a freefall.

In his last three games, he had completed just 47.3 percent of his passes for 588 yards, with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had a dismal passer rating of 43.2.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manish Mehta responds to Bowles 00:02:56
Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta responds to Todd Bowles' denial of his story about tension between and GM Mike Maccagnan and himself.

Even though Todd Bowles claims there was "never any tension" between him and anyone else on the Jets staff, New York Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta isn't buying it. 

Mehta doubled down on his Daily News report Friday, saying the head coach's denial of friction between him and GM Mike Maccagnan were "predictable" and he wouldn't expect the two to publicly say otherwise.

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New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets season still manages to reach a new low. 

Linebacker Darron Lee was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the team announced on Friday. 

Lee will begin his suspension immediately and will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Dec. 31, the day after their final game. 

Tags: Darron Lee
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz is joined by Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager to discuss why a younger, offensive-minded head coach would be a lot better than hiring Mike McCarthy and could get the most out of Sam Darnold. Lastly, The Athletic's Jets beat writer Connor Hughes goes in-depth on the Jets roster and how the losing is impacting the locker room.

Subscribe to the show here: https://on.sny.tv/2Od2Qzt

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

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Todd Bowles denies rift with GM 00:00:36
Jets head coach Todd Bowles denies a published report that there's a rift between himself and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Todd Bowles insists everything is just fine between him and GM Mike Maccagnan

The Jets head coach denied a report form Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that said there was "friction and passive aggressive petulance" between Bowles and Maccagnan. 

"I'm not big on responding to articles, but there's never been any tension between me or anybody else in this building," Bowles told SNY's Jeane Coakley on Friday.

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

After a 30-9 Titans beatdown on the Jaguars Thursday night, the Jets were officially eliminated from playoff contention this season. 

A 3-9 Jets team had extremely slim chances of staying afloat, but Tennessee put the nail in the coffin to send New York packing after Week 17 for the eighth straight season. This playoff drought is the second-longest in franchise history. 

In turn, head coach Todd Bowles' job could be in some serious jeopardy. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano says it "seems like a given at this point" considering the lackluster performance the team has had all season long. So, while fans will be focused on the Jets' high draft pick, finding a new head coach will also be on their radar. 

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Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)
Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There doesn't seem to be any way for Todd Bowles to save his job now, which means the Jets are probably already thinking about what comes next. Most good executives always have a list of future potential coaches. Surely GM Mike Maccagnan and CEO Christopher Johnson have lists, too.

It's hard to say for sure who is on it with four games to go in the regular season. It's not even absolutely certain who will lead the search, though one team source indicated Maccagnan will have "strong influence" if not total control. Regardless, the Jets will have several strong candidates from which to choose.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darnold looks good, could start 00:00:53
New York Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is encouraged by what he's seen from Sam Darnold in practice, but will he play on Sunday?

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold was back with the first team at practice on Thursday, which means the first-year signal-caller could see action for the first time in nearly a month when the Jets hit the road Sunday to take on the Buffalo Bills.

Talking on "Good Morning Football" this morning, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Darnold is "expected to exit the injury report pretty soon." Darnold took part in full practice drills, and seems to be back on track after a foot injury that sidelined him in Week 9.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles hasn't said whether or not Darnold will start across from fellow rookie QB Josh Allen. Darnold noted feeling great after practice Wednesday, as he continues to practice hard...

Tags: Josh Allen, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are looking to avenge their embarrassing 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills last month, and in Jamal Adams' eyes, "It's personal.

"They came in and they whupped us," Adams continued, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. "They don't like us, we don't like them, so it's going to be a tough battle."

So much went wrong for the Jets on Nov. 11 that it was fair to question of the players quit. The heat under head coach Todd Bowles' hot seat was scorching; owner Christopher Johnson did comment on Bowles' job status after the game. 

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold
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Get to know Jonotthan Harrison 00:02:19
Jonotthan Harrison would be a homicide detective if he wasn't playing football. He shared a lot of interesting facts with Jeane Coakley.

Jets C Jonotthan Harrison is something of a Renaissance man.

The 27-year-old University of Florida product revealed to SNY's Jeane Coakley some of his varied interests.

Harrison said football came later in his life because he was simply too big to play in his youth. That put the sport on the back burner until around halfway through college, he said.

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mark Sanchez seems to be taking his "Butt Fumble" saga in stride, but Plaxico Burress is still firing his shots.

The former Giants receiver caught Sanchez in his crosshairs Wednesday, two days after the quarterback added another butt-centric fumble play to his repertoire in his debut with the Redskins.

"I can't wait to see this QB play for the Washington Redskins for the rest of the season," Burress tweeted. "@mark_sanchez Let me grab my popcorn. #comedyfor3hours #checkdowning Yup I said it!!"

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
		
		 (John Minchillo/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (John Minchillo/AP)

It has been six years since that infamous day at MetLife Stadium. The Jets and Patriots were pitted against each other in a division matchup on Thanksgiving, and New England was the obvious favorite. 

But it was one play in particular during this blowout loss for Gang Green that would be cemented in history -- and it wasn't good. Jets QB Mark Sanchez wanted to hand the ball off for a fullback dive, but miscommunication forced him to run himself.

Well, Jets fans know what happened next...

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Bowles and Darnold on QB status 00:00:57
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and Sam Darnold talk about the rookie QB's health, and Jamal Adams talks about his desire to beat the Bills

Jets QB Sam Darnold spoke Wednesday about his ongoing recovery from a strained foot and how he feels about his chances to return Sunday against the Bills.

"I'm really excited about this week and where we're headed," Darnold said. "Really excited about how I felt today, so as of right now I'm really excited about hopefully getting the chance to play Sunday."

"I like to take everything one day at a time, especially this injury that I had," he added. "I'm really just trying to practice hard every single day. And when Sunday comes and I'm healthy, I'm really looking forward to going out there and playing well."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs against New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports  (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs against New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said S Marcus Maye underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair his shoulder injury that placed him on the IR for the remainder of the season. 

When asked about his expected recovery, Bowles answered with "a couple months," which is a good sign for the second-year player.

Maye, a second-round pick in 2017, is the seventh-leading tackler for the Jets in 2018-2019. He tallied 34 tackles, a half-sack, a forced fumble and one interception in six games this season.

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With a 3-9 record, the Jets are currently on pace to make the third overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

But their road to the No. 1 pick remains complicated with four games left in the 2018 season.

The 49ers and Raiders are the leading contenders for the top pick with a shared record of 2-10. In the event two or more teams are tied for the worst record at the end of the season, the team with the lowest strength of schedule is awarded the No. 1 pick.

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Should the Jets pursue McCarthy? 00:01:03
Ralph Vacchiano defends Mike McCarthy as a good option to be the next head coach of the Jets over the likes of Lincoln Riley.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is no more accomplished coaching candidate on the market right now than former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, and there isn't likely to be one when this season is over. His record is stellar. He's coached a string of top-10 offenses. He even has a Super Bowl ring.

He could be exactly the coach the Jets need to turn around the star-crossed franchise.

Of course, that might be what they're thinking in Cleveland and Tampa Bay -- and maybe Cincinnati, Baltimore, Denver and a few other cities, too.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 3, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) causing a fumble during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Dec 3, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) causing a fumble during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Is this what redemption looks like for Mark Sanchez?

Taking his first NFL snaps since Jan 1, 2017, the former Jets QB came in for the Redskins Monday night against the Eagles after Colt McCoy left the game with a season-ending leg injury in the second quarter.

And it didn't take long for Sanchez to inadvertently remind the football world of the most infamous play of his career.

Tags: Washington Redskins
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have had some bad losses during the Todd Bowles era, but it was Sunday's 26-22 defeat to the Titans that elicited such a strong response from the normally reserved Jets head coach. 

"This game will stick with me for the rest of my life," he told reporters on Monday. 

Bowles, who has never made the playoffs and has had just one winning season in his four-year head coaching career, oversaw his team blow a 16-point lead that they held late in the second quarter to drop their sixth straight game. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a 29-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a 29-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Timing can be everything for a team that is rebuilding. It needs to bottom out in a year when the right players and coaches are available to help with their long-term plan.

That's why the Jets should consider it a sign that the Green Bay Packers fired coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday afternoon. And as soon as they fire Todd Bowles after the season (which seems like a given at this point), they need to put McCarthy at the top of their list.

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Grades for the Jets 26-22 loss 00:03:49
Ray Lucas, Victor Green and Chad Cascadden deliver their grades for Jets performance against the Titans in the 26-22 loss.

The Jets crew hands out grades after New York's fourth-quarter meltdown led to a 26-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Tags: Tennessee Titans
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Penalties hurt Jets in loss 00:01:39
The Jets looked like they were going to beat the Titans at home. Ultimately falling short as penalties riddled the team in the 26-22 loss.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are many things that have become trademarks of the Todd Bowles era. One big one is that the Jets simply never learned how to finish games.

And that's exactly what happened to them in Tennessee on Sunday afternoon.

They fought hard and played a gritty game all day, building a 16-point first-half lead and still leading by nine points heading into the fourth quarter. Then they melted down on both sides of the ball and lost their sixth straight game, 26-22 to the Titans.

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Tennessee Titans, Ralph Vacchiano
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