As badly as the Jets have struggled in recent weeks, yesterday's game served as a reminder that there are still quite a few beatable teams left on their schedule. Yes, the Dolphins are clearly a poor team with multiple issues, but the Jets can only (and need only) beat what's in front of them.
A few key offensive players, having struggled in recent weeks, stepped up and that gave the team a completely different look. The defense also had a different look, partly by design and partly due to injury. While it's a concern that the Jets are dealing with a few injuries at the cornerback position as they prepare to face a team that can put up a lot of yardage through the air, they also figure to have an advantage in the trenches with the Giants also dealing with some injuries there.
This has the makings of a very interesting game, although I think we'd all be happy with a boring game that the Jets end up winning.
Everything basically fell into place for the Jets yesterday with many of their rivals losing. They now have a chance to put themselves back into the thick of the wild-card race if they can beat the slumping Giants on Sunday. Four years ago, this game was a turning point in their season. Could that be the case again?
BGA Extra will be back on Friday and I'll respond to any queries there. Remember to send me your questions about the game if there's anything you want me to go into more detail on.
Here are the links to each of this week's BGA articles:
- Offensive Line
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Defensive Line
- Defensive Backs
- Special Teams
If you have anything you'd like me to take a closer look at or any other questions for me, leave them in the comments section of this post (please re-submit any questions you've asked in any of the above posts), tweet them to @Bent_Double or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll respond in BGA Extra on Friday.
Tags: Miami Dolphins
Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media on Monday. Here's five things we learned...
1.) CB Darrelle Revis is still in concussion protocol, but he's making "slight" progress.
2.) LB Calvin Pace (abdomen) is day-to-day.
3.) CB Marcus Williams has a sprained MCL but there's a chance he'll be able to play on Sunday against the Giants.
4.) Bowles said that despite the strong effort against the Dolphins, the Jets still need to work on finishing games.
5.) Bowles said that Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. is "everything you want in a receiver."
Tags: Calvin Pace , Darrelle Revis , Marcus Williams
Last week, I was critical of Jeremy Kerley's punt returning, suggesting he had left some yardage on the field. After starting off this week in the same fashion, he soon shut me up, with an exciting 55-yard runback. As was the case in the 2004 playoffs when I had been calling Santana Moss "The Crab" because of his proclivity for going sideways, Kerley started off like he was going to do the same thing, but then made a sharp cut and headed upfield and broke into the clear. As I did back then, I wonder if that only worked because it was the last thing the coverage unit would have expected if they'd bothered to watch any recent film on him.
Still, Kerley does deserve the credit for a dynamic return, with credit also going to Tommy Bohanon, Rontez Miles, Trevor Reilly and Calvin Pryor for their blocking. Surprisingly, Kerley now leads the NFL in punt return yardage by 77 yards over Jarvis Landry, although his average per return is still outside the top ten.
In coverage, Reilly, Darrin Walls and Jamari Lattimore all had multiple tackles with Lattimore combining on a big hit with Miles and Reilly making one stop at about the 15-yard line.
In the kicking game, Randy Bullock snuck through a 41-yard field goal and had a couple of touchbacks, but did also boot one kickoff out of bounds. He also almost had an extra point blocked, as Brian Winters got badly beaten at the line. The Jets did see the Dolphins miss an extra point on a play where Buster Skrine created pressure.
Other than Kerley's long return, the Jets got nothing out of their return game and actually Brandon Marshall should strictly speaking be credited with a lost fumble because he touched the onside kick that otherwise hadn't travelled 10 yards before Miami recovered it.
Punter Ryan Quigley had one good 55-yarder out of bounds but also outkicked his coverage once. I'm not sure who he was angry at, but special teams coordinator Bobby April wasn't happy about that play. Miles got down there first but was blocked out and Erin Henderson overpursued badly which perhaps messed up the lane integrity. It's good to see April get angry at someone.
I'm gradually seeing improvements in the special teams personnel in recent weeks due to some of the additions to the roster, so hopefully the special teams unit will make more positive contributions down the stretch.
Finally, Tanner Purdum had one bad low snap on a punt. Perhaps he was inspired by Jamil Douglas.
Next up…Our final wrap-up, giving you the links to all today's articles and the opportunity to read the whole thing in one go…
Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are enjoying a long-awaited Victory Monday, as they take happy calls and comments after the Jets dominated the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium.
Tags: Miami Dolphins
Last week, I was wondering whether Darrelle Revis was worth the money the Jets were paying him because if he's not always going to handle the zero-coverage assignments the Jets give him and they don't benefit greatly from the traps, one-on-ones and blitzes that this enables, they might be better off just employing a more conventional gameplan in the secondary.
In yesterday's game, they were effectively forced to make that move anyway with Revis out (and especially after Marcus Williams left with a knee injury).
Williams had come up big with his fifth interception of the season as Miami looked to complete a pass near the Jets' goal line with no score in the first quarter. He jumped the route well as Tannehill threw late due to pressure. I really hope the knee injury Williams suffered came on the tackle after he made his return and not the celebratory dance he performed afterwards.
It's interesting to note that Antonio Cromartie had his best season ever when Revis was injured in 2012. The Jets also went 3-0 with Revis injured and Cromartie forced into the number one role in 2010. Sure enough, yesterday was perhaps his best game of the season, at least until he got beaten for a score on the last play of the game. It's a shame that had to ruin his performance as he badly missed the tackle to allow DeVante Parker to score. Prior to that he had been in a good position on five incompletions, including one which he almost intercepted (and a more generous official might have given him that after a booth review). He only gave up one other first down, again missing the tackle.
With Williams out, Darrin Walls stepped up. Walls started off pretty well, breaking up a couple of passes, but then he got beaten for two touchdowns and had two other potential touchdowns dropped. He was lucky on two other plays where he got burned on a third down drop and an overthrow. He was in a good position on three other incompletions, so overall it was a mixed bag for Walls.
As the nickel back, Buster Skrine was also a mixed bag. He gave up four first downs, including a 40-yarder over the top to set up the first score and break up the shut-out late in the third quarter. He also missed three tackles, one of which should have been a tackle for a loss. Skrine did make some good open field tackles and a couple of nice third down plays in coverage, one being a leaping pass deflection. Skrine was back in a full-time role yesterday, for the first time since the bye, following which his role seemed to have been reduced.
Dexter McDougle became the dime back with Williams out. He got beaten for a first down on third-and-10 and gave up one other first down in zone coverage.
Dee Milliner still didn't get any playing time and, as I alluded to last week, I wonder if he's not really part of their plans this year. Or at all, even. To his credit, Milliner was still displaying a positive attitude on the sideline, but it must be frustrating for him. Perhaps he's still not 100 percent.
At safety, Calvin Pryor broke up a couple of passes and had a tackle for a loss. He also came unblocked on a blitz to pressure Ryan Tannehill. Most importantly, he avoided any bad mistakes. The other starter, Marcus Gilchrist, had a few important tackles, but did get beaten a few times in coverage. He also overpursued on Parker's touchdown and there was one play where he made a poor effort to tackle the ball carrier, half-heartedly throwing a shoulder at him as he broke Skrine's tackle.
Finally, Rontez Miles saw brief action again, getting in on an open field tackle over the middle.
Next up…Some ups and downs on the special teams unit…
Having hardly used their edge rushers since early in the season, the Jets ran a load more packages with them in yesterday's game. Ironically, had he still been here, this would have been a gameplan which would have allowed Quinton Coples to finally have a chance for some decent playing time. Then again, this approach might have been specifically installed in an effort to prevent Coples from revealing too much about the Jets gameplan to his new team.
In this game, the Jets ran multiple packages with Lorenzo Mauldin and Mike Catapano as the two pass rushing ends. Both had more pass rush reps yesterday than Coples has in any game this season. As I said last week, it's difficult to know whether to classify Catapano as an end or a linebacker, but here he actually lined up several times as a middle linebacker in passing situations and dropped into coverage several times. That's not something he's ever done before at the NFL level.
Mauldin responded with a sack and a fumble recovery and Catapano had one quarterback hit and a couple of pressures, but actually their pass rushing production was pretty disappointing and there were a lot of plays where Ryan Tannehill had plenty of time. You have to wonder how Coples himself would have produced if given the same assignments.
While the obvious narrative is that Coples was not a fit within the Jets defense and media sources are keen to slap themselves on the back about the position change they always said was doomed to fail, the reality is that there never really was much of a position change. He just stopped getting reps in pass rush situations.
Now he's in Miami playing pretty much the exact same role he was before. In a limited rotational role, he beat James Carpenter into the backfield leading to a sack, drew a Breno Giacomini hold to negate a big pass play, got in on a tackle in the backfield and hit Fitzpatrick once. It was one of his most disruptive games of the season but not, as the media (and he himself) would attribute it to, because he was returning to his natural defensive end position. The Dolphins just let him eat; that's all.
Other than his sack, which came after a fumbled snap, Mauldin almost got to Tannehill low on the play where he was intercepted. He did miss a tackle on a draw play though, although that did slow up the runner on third and long. Catapano also pushed his man into the quarterback as that intercepted pass was released. He did give up a first down in coverage.
Also on the outside, Calvin Pace had a quiet day, but made a play in coverage and was in on a run stop. Trevor Reilly saw some rare action on the outside too.
The rotation on the inside was interesting too, as Demario Davis - who usually plays every snap - split time with Erin Henderson. Any thought that Henderson would immediately fix the issues Davis has been having was soon dispelled when he left a halfback completely uncovered in the flat for a 17-yard gain. He also gave up one other first down in coverage and missed two tackles, but did stuff one run and also broke up a pass with a hit.
Davis seemed to respond well to the reduced role, with a tackle for loss on a pass to the flat and another good coverage play. However, he overpursued twice and gave up three first downs in coverage, although one was negated by a penalty. Davis still seemed to be very vocal with an active role in leadership, but you wonder if that falls on deaf ears when the rest of the team know he himself hasn't been performing well.
David Harris seemed unaffected by the rotation alongside him, as he had a non-eventful day. He made a good open field tackle after a short pass and was in on one run stuff. He did get blocked out on a screen pass though.
Next up…With no Darrelle Revis, the Jets secondary held up well in the first half, but the cracks started to show down the stretch…
Tags: Calvin Pace , David Harris , Lorenzo Mauldin , Mike Catapano , Trevor Reilly
It was clearly a strong performance by the Jets' defensive line on Sunday, with Miami rushing for just 12 yards and surrendering three sacks and eight quarterback hits. Even the late production Miami enjoyed was all passing yards exploiting the secondary.
However, there wasn't that much in the way of statistical production or even individual disruption you could point to. Miami rushed the ball just nine times before abandoning the run altogether, so there weren't many opportunities to make plays in the running game.
That meant Ryan Tannehill dropped back over 60 times. So while the line did create some pressure, the rate at which they did so was actually not that impressive, especially considering the injuries on the Dolphins' line.
Already without Ju'wuan James and with Branden Albert banged up, Miami lost pro bowl center Mike Pouncey and replaced him with a rookie who had never really snapped before. This was the doomsday scenario I feared when the Jets began the season with no backup center, other than the emergency options of Brian Winters and Dakota Dozier.
Jamil Douglas kept snapping low and that led directly to some of the pressure the Jets generated. That's before we get into his blocking and that of his colleagues on the line, including James' replacement Jason Fox, who was badly burned for a sack. Sheldon Richardson was disruptive, even though he only had one tackle. After a quiet start, Richardson had several pressures, including a strip sack and a couple of hits. He also batted a pass down at the line.
Muhammad Wilkerson was also credited with a pass breakup and he had his eighth sack of the year. He added a hit and a couple of pressures and also helped to bottle up three runs.
Last week, Damon Harrison had 10 solo tackles, but this week he only had one. However, he was in on five tackles in total, all of them close to the line of scrimmage. On only nine carries, that's pretty impressive, and the fact that the Dolphins were so quick to abandon the run perhaps underlines how well the Harrison-anchored run defense is playing.
Harrison also drew a hold in the pocket, as he almost had a sack of his own. He did jump offsides on second and short, though.
Rookie Leonard Williams played less than half the snaps for the first time all season, but still made some good contributions. He made one sparkling play against the run, penetrating and then shedding the block to stop the run for no gain and was in on one other run stop. He also had one quarterback hit and a couple of pressures. Off the bench, Stephen Bowen and Leger Douzable barely played, as the Jets tweaked their rotations. I'll elaborate on that in the next section.
Next up…more on the different rotations employed by the Jets up-front as we look at the linebacker performance…
Sooner or later, Devin Smith had to come up with a big play. The Jets had almost connected with him on end zone throws or deep passes multiple times this year, a number of them being plays he should have made. Smith's touchdown reception on Sunday was tougher than many of the ones he failed to make, as he made a leaping reception while tightly covered on a post route to give us our first viable glimpse at his potential. The reaction he got from his teammates spoke volumes, too.
Smith also made a good play earlier in the game when he came back to the ball to make a reception, then spun away from a defender to turn it into a 17-yard gain on second-and-18. It's just a shame he had to make these contributions in a game where the Jets would probably have won easily anyway, instead of in a game where those catches might have been the difference between winning and losing. Hopefully there will be more to come from Smith.
Smith's performance also happened on a day where it was overshadowed by a superb performance from Brandon Marshall, who had 131 yards and two scores on nine catches. Marshall, as was the case with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chris Ivory, looked much fresher and sharper in this game than he has in recent weeks. Maybe Fitzpatrick shaving his beard has restored everyone's mojo.
Marshall was too big and strong for Brent Grimes and made catches on him in a variety of ways, whether overpowering him with size, winning at the line, blowing past him with speed or creating separation with a sharply-run route. However, what you might not have noticed was his blocking on Ivory's touchdown run, as he drove his man out of the play and then peeled off to seal the safety to the inside. Marshall did have one drop where he tried to catch the ball with one hand, but otherwise was unstoppable with only one other unsuccessful target.
As I pointed out last week, Eric Decker has a strange habit this season of only being productive in one half. On paper, this was his most balanced game of the season, as he had three catches for 44 yards in the first half and three catches for 40 yards in the second half. However, one of those first half catches was negated by a penalty, so he only officially had two catches for 22 in the first half, both of which were in the last minute.
Decker's first three receptions came up short of the first down, but he added a touchdown and a first down in the second half and now has eight touchdowns on the season. Only three NFL wide receivers have more; Odell Beckham, DeAndre Hopkins, and Brandon Marshall, who have nine each.
Decker did drop what should have been another touchdown pass and also had a couple of bad blocks, but he remains on course for a 1,000 yard season, which is good production for a number two receiver in a run-first offense.
Quincy Enunwa remains a big part of the offensive gameplan, while Jeremy Kerley is still a non-factor. Enunwa finds himself in a lot of mismatch situations, but the team's success rate when targeting him remains poor. He had two nice first down catches but was unsuccessfully targeted four times with two passes off his hands. He made some good contributions as a blocker, with a good cut block, a kick-out and one play where he lawn-chaired a run blitzer. There was also one missed cut block which allowed his man to stuff a short yardage play.
Once again, tight end Jeff Cumberland didn't play much and struggled to hold up at the point of attack when he did. Kellen Davis played more and held up better, but still had a few mistakes. Davis stayed in to pass-block a season-high nine times in each of the Miami games, but less than three times per game otherwise. Neither tight end was targeted.
Next up…onto the defense, where the linemen all made contributions, taking advantage of the injuries on the Miami line…
Tags: Brandon Marshall , Devin Smith , Eric Decker , Quincy Enunwa
Right from the get-go against the Dolphins, Chris Ivory looked sharp, bursting for a big first down and finishing the run strong by driving for extra yardage. He followed that up by bouncing outside to turn a potential loss into a short gain.
Things went downhill for him after that, as he was stuffed on two short-yardage plays (although he got an unbelievably favorable spot on one that gave him the first down) as he produced just seven yards on seven carries over the rest of the first half.
The second half was much better, as Ivory racked up 61 yards on 12 carries, although over half of those came on his spectacular 31-yard touchdown run in which he broke five tackles. He picked up two other first downs on outside runs and added 15 yards on two receptions.
Ivory ended up with 87 yards on 21 carries, although he lost eight on his final carry of the game and also had a 20-yard run negated by a hold. With five games to go, Ivory needs 234 yards to reach 1,000 for the first time in his career. He's been on course to reach that mark in each of the past two seasons and fallen short.
In reserve, Bilal Powell made some good contributions, bursting up the middle for 17 yards and running hard on two short yardage conversions. In the passing game, he had a drop and was stopped short of the marker on a short third down pass. In addition, he had the ball knocked away from him over the top on a play where Ryan Fitzpatrick appeared to have had easier options available underneath.
The most interesting thing the Jets did with Powell was line him up off the tackle's shoulder as an effective tight end a couple of times. On one of these plays, they ran behind him and he got blown up and called for holding as the run was stuffed for a loss. Powell is a good blocker as far as halfbacks go, but I don't know how realistic it is to expect him to handle those situations.
As for Stevan Ridley, he has now carried the ball nine times this year and gained zero yards. That's before taking into account the five-yard loss he had on his only reception.
At fullback, Tommy Bohanon was again a big part of the gameplan, as was the case in London. The Jets often lined him up out wide and then motioned him into the backfield. Bohanon dropped a pass, but it looked like he would be stuffed for a loss on the play anyway. As a blocker, Bohanon got blown up a few times and didn't have much success sustaining blocks, but did make a couple of good run blocks.
Next up…a monster game from Brandon Marshall, but perhaps more excitingly rookie Devin Smith emerges for the first time…
Tags: Chris Ivory
Facing the formidable Ndamukong Suh for the second time this season, the Jets once again handled the Dolphins' front seven by limiting the damage he was able to do. Suh had four tackles (one for a loss) and a quarterback hit, but Miami only had one sack as a team and the Jets were able to rush for 137 yards.
The Jets opted to take a different approach to the challenge of mitigating Suh this time, relying a lot more often on quick-developing plays and hoping their linemen could handle him one-on-one in those situations. There were mixed results here, with right guard Brian Winters getting badly owned by him a few times, including on fourth and short on the first drive and early in the third quarter where he got driven into the backfield and his holding penalty negated a long run.
Manish Mehta of the Daily News tweeted after the game that Winters "won the head-to-head match-up" with Suh both times this season, based solely on Suh's numbers, but the reality was that he rarely had to block him one-on-one and often got blown up when he did. Nevertheless they asked more of him this time than last time, which could be a sign that he's developing and settling into that starting right guard role. I wouldn't go overboard with the praise yet though, because this was still an extremely uneven performance from him.
With Suh lining up wider on passing downs, he was also able to drive Breno Giacomini back a few times, although Giacomini had the most dominant block of the game against him, completely burying him on the outside on the play where Chris Ivory had his long touchdown run. While that wasn't otherwise a well-blocked play, Giacomini definitely won his match-up on that rep and did have some other good run blocks.
Center Nick Mangold held his own more often against Suh, but it wasn't one of his more dominant games. He did have a couple of good run blocks towards the end of the first half though.
The other tackle, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, had a couple of good run blocks, but did allow some penetration. He also false started twice and Giacomini - who also had a holding penalty - did once.
At left guard, James Carpenter had the most positive run blocks on the line, although he also allowed some penetration. His role was perhaps more important in the passing game though. With Giacomini getting beaten several times in pass protection in the first half, the Jets started pulling Carpenter out to the right to help out on that side. This was effective in cutting down the amount of pressure from the left side of the defensive line, but also fed into the running game as the Jets were able to get Carpenter on the move with some pulling run blocks late.
Pulling Carpenter to the right is not something the Jets would have done much with Winters in the line-up in the past because obviously it requires Mangold to block down to the left, leaving Winters exposed to a potential one-on-one match-up with Suh. Winters is still a player that looks bad at times, but it perhaps could be seen as a sign of his development that they had the confidence to build this into their gameplan and have success with it.
Off the bench, Brent Qvale got in for a short yardage rep and was also able to get on the field for the victory formation, along with Wesley Johnson.
In terms of pass protection, the Jets did give up one sack, as Quinton Coples beat Carpenter to lead to Fitzpatrick being sacked by Ferguson's man as he tried to step up. Despite the low sack count, the pass protection was far from perfect though. While Giacomini had a much easier time with Carpenter helping him at times, this exposed Ferguson to an extent and he was driven back in the pocket several times, leading to the aforementioned sack and one big hit on Fitzpatrick.
There was also some interior pressure, as each of the interior linemen was driven back into the quarterback a couple of times and Mangold did get beaten cleanly for a hit. Winters has given up seven pressures in the two Miami games - more than the rest of the season combined.
To sum it up, on Fitzpatrick's first touchdown pass, the announcers praised the pass protection but the reality was that Giacomini got beaten outside, Winters got driven back into Fitzpatrick's lap and Suh shoved Mangold into Fitzpatrick as the pass was being released. In other words, the pass protection would prove just about good enough for Fitzpatrick to get the job done, which was essentially the case all day.
Next up…Right off the bat, Chris Ivory was looking sharp, but it took a while for it to translate to good statistical production…
Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tidied up his beard during the week, hoping it would help him "recover his mojo". While the idea that facial grooming choices would impact athletic performance is somewhat nonsensical, if it helped put him in the right frame of mind during his game preparation, I'm all for it.
It seemed to work for Fitzpatrick, as even with the Jets only 7-0 up late in the second quarter, he was already putting together his best game for ages. This was before he padded his stats in the second half to end up with 277 yards and four touchdowns. Statistically, this represented his best game as a Jet, even though he didn't throw any passes in the last 10 minutes with the Jets comfortably ahead.
(As an aside, you probably saw the stat which said that Fitzpatrick was the first Jets quarterback to throw for four touchdown passes since Mark Sanchez in 2011, but it's worth remembering that Sanchez was absolutely awful that day. Sanchez completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes on the day and only had 117 passing yards with 3.37 to go before leading a drive that ended with Santonio Holmes' game-winning touchdown that rallied the Jets to a win over a poor Bills team whose quarterback -- a guy named Ryan Fitzpatrick -- outclassed Sanchez that day. However, I disgress…)
There was something different about Fitzpatrick this week, as he managed to maintain a good rhythm throughout the game. He moved more effectively in and around the pocket, was on the same page with his receivers most of the time and generally threw the ball accurately and on time. As good as his numbers were, they could have been even better as his receivers dropped a handful of well-thrown passes.
Early on, I wasn't so sure Fitzpatrick was set to have a big game. Two early passes were dying ducks and one was batted down at the line. However, he settled down afterward, executing a Jets gameplan that was built around looking for mismatches and spearheaded by the fact that their No. 1 receiver against Miami's No. 1 cornerback was an automatic mismatch on any given play.
The announcers alluded to the fact that the Jets had simplified certain things on offense this week, but one other change was that Fitzpatrick was using "kill" calls at the line to audible (or bluff the defense into thinking that's what he was doing). Typically in the past, a Jets quarterback "kill-killing" a play would have usually been a sign we could expect a run up the middle, but in yesterday's game, it signified a pass and Fitzpatrick had some good success doing this, including one of his touchdown passes and another that should have been a touchdown but was dropped.
Having passes batted at the line remains an issue, although on the one play when the announcers criticized him for not throwing to his hot read, that simply wasn't an option due to the play design. Bilal Powell wasn't available as an easy safety valve because he was selling the play fake and the only other player who didn't run a downfield route was Quincy Enunwa, but Fitzpatrick had to wait for that to develop because Enunwa ran across the field and underneath the formation. He tried to loft the ball to Enunwa, who had a stumbling linebacker trying to keep up with him, but the defender was able to reach up and tip it.
He still hasn't learned to slide, but Fitzpatrick did pick up a couple of first downs with his legs. One came after a fumbled snap on a third down play when his options would have included Stevan Ridley in the left flat, Powell coming underneath on a slant from the slot and Brandon Marshall running a go-route down the seam on an inside release.
Fitzpatrick wasn't perfect -- and maybe his statline flattered him to some extent, especially in light of how overmatched the banged-up Dolphins were on defense. Still, he took advantage of opportunities and seems to have righted the ship following the recent offensive struggles that were threatening to knock the Jets out of postseason contention. Maybe he'll only prove to have righted the ship temporarily, but at least that gives them a fighting chance and some momentum heading into a big game against the Giants next week.
Next up…Having struggled to handle JJ Watt last week, the Jets' offensive line would have their hands full with the player some regard as the next best defensive lineman in the league…
Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
We want to hear from you! What did you think of the Jets' game against the Dolphins? Record a reaction or question about the game, which may be used by Brian and Corey during TheJetsBlog Post Game Podcast, call 1 (831) 769-6387 or use this to record a message (please remember to leave your name and city): Keep it under 30 seconds and there's a better chance you'll make it on the show!
Welcome to BGA! We'll be here the day after every Jets game for an in-depth review of what happened. We'll look at each position group throughout the day, so keep coming back to TJB to check it out.
Let's move on to discuss yesterday's game…
After their recent struggles, the Miami Dolphins might have been exactly what the doctor ordered for this Jets team. As their meeting earlier in the season seemed to show, this is a team the Jets match up well with. Yesterday's comfortable 38-20 win was further evidence of that. With Miami players dropping like flies as the Jets played the more physical brand of football from the outset, the Jets were able to exploit mismatches all day, just as they were in London in October.
The Jets had a confident and aggressive approach to this game, as they controlled the clock, went for the jugular once they got into the red zone and, for once, marched down the field on a late first-half drive instead of getting conservative in that situation, as they've been doing in recent weeks.
The Jets made some changes on defense that seemed to have a positive effect, as the team posted a first half shutout. Maybe some of these were enforced due to the absence of Darrelle Revis and maybe some were designed to thwart any gameplan details that the newest Dolphin, Quinton Coples, might choose to share with his new teammates. Whatever the reason, the defensive performance provided the foundation for the Jets' win. Miami actually racked up 250 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, but never got closer than 14 down and never realistically threatened after halftime.
The injuries had a dramatic effect on Miami, which showed signs of the same fragile psyche and questionable body language that had blighted the Jets in recent weeks. While it was good to see the Jets once again being the aggressor, Miami looked like the same team the Jets handled easily in October, as any short-term benefits they got from the coaching change seem to have worn off.
So, despite the comfortable win, I'd caution against expecting them to repeat the feat against some of their tougher upcoming opponents. Nevertheless, I'd be lying if I said I haven't started scoreboard-watching again now the team is back over .500.
Next up…Despite a dramatic change in appearance, maybe Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting to look more like his old self…
Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Jets safety Calvin Pryor called out Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Twitter after Tannehill called him "classless."
Tannehill had words for Pryor after Pryor laid a hard hit on Dolphins receiver Rishard Matthews, knocking him out the game with rib and chest injuries. Pryor celebrated the hard hit after the play while Matthews was tended to by trainers.
"That's kind of a classless move to celebrate when a guy is injured," Tannehill said (Nov. 29). "Obviously, it was a good hit, a clean hit. But to celebrate when a guy is down is a classless move."
Pryor then sent out the following tweets:
Throw a better ball next time @ryantannehill1 teammate would've never got injured!!! Sorry if you felt I was classless at the moment.- Calvin Pryor III (@star_island25) November 30, 2015
I was definitely celebrating the great play I made. I would never celebrate someone getting injured during the game. C'mon now- Calvin Pryor III (@star_island25) November 30, 2015
Linebacker Demario Davis said the Jets were celebrating the play rather than taunting Matthews.
"I don't think it was a taunting type of move," he said. "That's not who we are. We're not going to taunt a person who's down. I think we were more excited about CP and the hit he had, so you had celebrating. You're not noticing a guy is down. You're more celebrating with your teammate. I know me and a couple of guys, when we saw he was down, we took a knee and prayed for him. So it wasn't taunting."
Tags: Calvin Pryor , Matthew Eisenberg
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A neater look sure suits Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The last time Fitzpatrick trimmed his beard, he threw for six touchdown passes in leading Houston to victory in 2014. The recently shorn Fitzpatrick wasn't quite as prolific Sunday for the New York Jets, connecting for a mere four scores in a 38-20 rout of Miami.
It was Fitzpatrick's best performance since joining the Jets this year, and was punctuated by Brandon Marshall's most impressive outing in green. The receiver had nine receptions for 131 yards and two TDs.
Fitzpatrick, who trimmed his Viking-like beard for his 33rd birthday this week, didn't seem bothered by the left thumb on which he had ligament surgery on March 13. He also connected with Devin Smith for the rookie's first NFL touchdown, and with Eric Decker in New York's fourth win in the last five meetings with Miami. The Jets (6-5) had lost four of their last five.
Chris Ivory clinched it with a 31-yard TD run on which he broke four tackles.
Miami (4-7) now has dropped four of five and is 3-4 under interim coach Dan Campbell, who took over after Joe Philbin was fired following the Dolphins' lopsided loss to the Jets in London.
New York took control in the opening half. Miami's best threat in the half ended in Tannehill's poorly thrown attempt to Kenny Stills. Marcus Williams, a backup cornerback who leads the Jets with five interceptions, stepped in front of Stills and returned the pick 21 yards.
Williams, starting for injured Darrelle Revis, hurt his knee on the play and did not return.
The pick set up New York's first touchdown. Marshall made receptions of 20 and 16 yards before beating Brent Grimes, Miami's best cover man, for a 17-yard score.
New York outdid that impressive 72-yard drive with a 92-yarder to end the first half. It was one of the Jets' best possessions of the season, capped by Smith's post pattern on which he got a step on Jamar Taylor.
Miami gained only 81 yards, 8 rushing, in the opening half, when it lost four players to injury: center Mike Pouncey (right foot), receiver Rishard Matthews (ribs/chest), defensive tackles Earl Mitchell (calf) andC.J. Mosley (calf). The Dolphins finished with 12 yards on nine rushes.
Fitzpatrick's third scoring throw, a 2-yarder to Decker, capped a short third-period drive of 25 yards set up Jeremy Kerley's weaving 58-yard punt return.
The Dolphins finally converted a third down deep in the third quarter - the Jets had stopped them on 20 in a row, including New York's victory at London in September. The conversion came as part of a touchdown drive sparked by Grimes' 28-yard punt return. A 40-yard completion to Landry led to Landry's 5-yard TD catch to make it 21-7.
But Marshall outjumped Grimes for a 2-yard score and Ivory bulled his way home to put things out of reach. The 38 points were a season high for the Jets.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
The Dolphins are a team that has struggled this year for various reasons but regardless of their opponent's issues this is the sort of game that the Jets have needed to have ever since their loss to the Patriots.
For the first time since that Patriots game, I saw a Jets team that cleared the cobwebs from that loss and went out and actually dominated an opponent that they clearly could have.
The offense was able to move the ball at will through the air and on the ground. The emergence of Devin Smith with his first touchdown was an element that this team has sorely needed on offense; a third receiver other than Eric Decker or Brandon Marshall.
Defensively, the Jets played extremely well despite missing Darelle Revis for this game. The secondary looked very sharp regardless of their top cornerback's status for this game.
While the Jets let up a few gainers here and there, most of the damage seemed to happen after the game was well out of reach -- and even then the Jets did not let their opponent off the mat.
For all the platitudes and cliches about this being a must-win game, this was just that. The margin for error from here on out for the Jets is as slimy as it gets, but the Jets playoff chances live to see another week -- when they meet their MetLife Stadium co-tenants next Sunday.
As expecected, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (concussion) is on the inactive list for Sunday's home game against the Dolphins. Marcus Williams will for start for Revis.
Miami wide receivers Rishard Matthews (illness) and Jarvis Landry (knee) are active. They had been listed as questionable.
Defensive end Quinton Coples --- the former first-round draft pick waived last week by the Jets and claimed by the Dolphins -- is active and will play as a DE in Miami's 4-3 scheme.
Jets inactives: Revis; S Dion Bailey (ankle); QB Bryce Petty; WR Kenbrell Tompkins; OLs Dakota Dozier, Ben Ijalana; DL Josh Martin. Miami: OT Ja'Wuan James (toe); TE Brandon Williams; LB Chris McCain (hip); TE Jake Stoneburner; WR Matt Hazel; OT Ulrick John; LB James-Michael Johnson.
The Jets host the Miami Dolphins later today, aiming to stem the tide and turn their season around following four losses in the past five games. The teams already met back in Week 4 with the Jets winning comfortably, 27-14, in London. Since then, Miami has shaken up its coaching staff and looked to have bounced back to some extent, but remain a game behind the Jets at 4-6 after losing three of their last four.
Let's break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) to try and highlight what the Jets need to look out for.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has had a disappointing year, although his numbers are not all that different from last season's. However, he has already thrown 10 interceptions after only throwing 12 all of last season. Most recently, he threw a pick-six to give the Cowboys the lead in Miami's loss to Dallas last week.
Tannehill has displayed good mobility in the past, but has recorded just 57 yards on 20 carries so far this season. He rushed for over 300 yards last year.
Backup Matt Moore has thrown just one pass all season, but is arguably one of the most competent back-ups in the league.
Left tackle Branden Albert missed the first game against the Jets back in October and the Dolphins' line struggled without him, as had been the case for much of last season. He's back now, but still not having the kind of year expected from him. On the other side, Jason Fox has been starting in place of last year's first round pick Ju'wuan James who has been injured and remains out. Fox has struggled badly in that role as the pair have combined for 12 penalties at right tackle on the season.
Center Mike Pouncey has been Miami's best lineman so far this year, but the guards either side of him have really struggled. Rookie right guard Jamil Douglas was benched after the loss to the Jets, but his replacement Billy Turner hasn't been that much better. At left guard, Dallas Thomas has struggled all year as the Eagles' Matt Tobin is the only NFL guard to have given up more sacks.
Jeff Linkenbach, who has started at both guard and tackle in recent seasons for the Chiefs and Colts, will join Douglas on the bench.
Lamar Miller, coming off his first 1,000-yard season, is once again leading the Dolphins in rushing. He has 565 yards and five touchdowns, averaging five yards per carry. In addition, he has 35 receptions.
Backup Damien Williams has had some injury issues this year and not contributed much, but the team has received a boost from rookie Jay Ajayi, who has started to flash some talent in recent weeks. Ajayi could eventually be a good contributor in the passing game.
Miami does not employ a conventional fullback.
Jarvis Landry gave Buster Skrine some troubles in their recent meeting, before the Jets switched Darrelle Revis onto him and were able to prevent Miami from getting back into the game. With Revis out, that won't be an option for the Jets this time. Landry's ability to make things happen after the catch is excellent, although he hasn't had a 100-yard game since Week 2. He is questionable with a knee issue but will play.
Despite having 20 fewer receptions than Landry, Rishard Matthews leads the team in receiving yards. Veterans Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings were also expected to boost the passing game, but they've combined for just 29 receptions on the season. Rookie Devante Parker has also been a disappointment with just four catches.
Another veteran, Jordan Cameron, has 23 receptions and two touchdowns, but has been a step down from Charles Clay at tight end. In the London game, youngster Jake Stoneburner caught a touchdown pass, but he has hardly played since then as Dion Sims has returned to reprise his backup role.
It was fascinating to see how the Jets handled Ndamukong Suh in the teams' first meeting earlier this year. Suh was primarily lined up opposite Brian Winters, but the Jets opted to stretch out the defensive line and got Winters on the move so he wasn't required to handle Suh directly too often. It was evident Suh was not particularly motivated at the time, but he still made some impact plays in that game. Since that time, he's really upped his game, especially in the pass rush. He has four sacks, all since that match-up.
Alongside Suh, former Texan Earl Mitchell has really struggled against the run. He is backed up by former Jet CJ Mosley. Suh doesn't need much backup as he plays the majority of the snaps and actually played every snap against the Bills a few weeks ago.
With Cameron Wake out for the season, Derrick Shelby has been starting at defensive end, which arguably upgrades them against the run. Olivier Vernon will be relied upon to provide a pass rush with Wake out and has produced well over the past few weeks. Shelby has replaced Wake directly on the left side, so Vernon will once again be matched up with D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
It will be interesting to see how much - and in what role - the Dolphins will use Quinton Coples, whom they claimed off waivers from the Jets during the week. Vernon's role is pretty much the same as the role Coples had with the Jets over the past couple of seasons.
At linebacker, starters Jelani Jenkins, Koa Misi and Kelvin Sheppard and veteran reserve Spencer Paysinger are all listed as questionable. The three other linebackers to have seen action for Miami this year are all undrafted rookies. Jenkins and Misi both missed the Dallas game with Zach Vigil and Neville Hewitt getting the call.
Sheppard has struggled this year but actually had one of his best games of the season with the rookies alongside him. The versatile Misi has had a good year against the run, but all of the linebackers have had struggled in coverage, including Jenkins who has had a somewhat disappointing season following a promising 2014 campaign.
In London, an already injury-plagued secondary suffered a few more injuries and the Jets were able to capitalize on some inexperience in the backup ranks, but the Miami secondary is healthy again now. In fact, the team only has two players on injured reserve.
Brent Grimes is Miami's best corner, but he lasted just six plays in London after getting burned by Brandon Marshall on the Jets' first snap. In recent weeks, Jamar Taylor has been the other starter although the former second round pick has struggled.
Veteran Brice McCain is listed as a starter but has been employed in the slot as a nickel back in recent games, which plays more to his strength. Reserve Zackary Bowman - who intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick in October - also gets reps in dime packages.
While Miami lost Louis Delmas to injury during the offseason, Reshad Jones has had a good year at safety with Walt Aikens and Michael Thomas splitting time alongside him. Jones is tied with Grimes for the team lead with three interceptions.
The Dolphins still have two rookies kicking for them. Placekicker Andrew Franks has made eight of nine field goals on the season, while punter Matt Darr has had an underwhelming season.
Landry is a dangerous player on returns, as the Jets found out in London. In coverage, Paysinger leads the team in tackles.
I'll be back Monday to recap the game.
Tags: Miami Dolphins
Out: CB Darrelle Revis (concussion) and S Dion Bailey (ankle)
Probable: C Nick Mangold (hand) and DE Sheldon Richardson (hamstring)
Both Mangold and Richardson were full participants at practice on Friday.
Tags: Tim Reilly
New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis has officially been ruled out for this week's game against Miami. (Popper, Nov. 27).
Revis suffered a concussion in the third quarter of the Jets 24-17 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Head coach Todd Bowles sent Revis home from the team's practice facility on Wednesday after doctors determined he was not healthy enough to sit in on meetings.
Marcus Williams will start in Revis' place on Sunday.
Tags: Darrelle Revis , Tim Reilly
The Jets recently added defensive lineman Mike Catapano to their active roster. He played his first game for them in the loss to Houston on Sunday, although he only saw action on one defensive snap. Jets fans might not know too much about Catapano, so I've been looking at game footage to try and assess what he brings to the table.
The 25-year-old Catapano is listed at 6'4" weighing 285 pounds and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 draft by the Chiefs. He saw action in 15 games as a rookie, albeit mostly on special teams, registering four tackles and a sack. He missed all of 2014 due to illness and was released this September after the preseason. Catapano was added to the Jets' practice squad in September and was promoted to the active roster last week.
Let's recap Catapano's career so far and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses...
Who is Mike Catapano?
Catapano was the 2012 Ivy League player of the year as a senior at Princeton after he recorded 12 sacks. He was also named an FCS second-team All-American. His stock rose after the pre-draft period, but he still lasted until the seventh round, where the Chiefs selected him.
In his rookie season, Catapano made some modest contributions in a backup role, recording four tackles and a sack. His best game was actually the first game of his career in which he played 33 snaps and recorded three pressures. He only played 44 snaps over the next 14 games before seeing action on 17 snaps in the last game of the year.
In 2014, Catapano missed the entire season because of a mysterious illness that was later diagnosed as a gastro-intestinal virus. In 2015, he turned up in great shape and had a terrific preseason, but was still released. The reason cited by Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was that Catapano would be a better fit on a 4-3 team.
Here are my observations from watching regular season and preseason footage from Catapano's career so far, divided into categories:
Catapano was used as a defensive end while with the Chiefs, primarily either as a five technique or shading the guard's outside shoulder. He has lined up outside the tackle at times, which is what he did most of the time in college.
Before the preseason, Catapano told the media he was "the leanest, meanest 290-pounder in the league" after having added 20 pounds and cutting down his fat percentage. When he attended his pro day, Catapano was only 271 pounds. He still showed outstanding strength, though, with 33 bench press reps. His vertical leap (37.5 inches) gives some indication of his explosiveness, which is evident from watching him on film. However, his agility numbers were also solid, with a 4.3 short shuttle and 4.75 40-yard dash.
Catapano is able to use his strength to hold his ground well in the running game. Also, when not blocked, he is explosive enough to shoot gaps and pull down the runner in the backfield. At the NFL level, most of his regular season reps have been in pass-rushing situations, but he made some good plays against the run in preseason action.
Even in college, he was never particularly productive against the run, with no more than 20 solo tackles in any one season. He had 29 tackles for a loss in four years at college, but 19 of those were sacks.
Catapano has the strength to make arm tackles and closes well to wrap up ball carriers. He's also pretty relentless in pursuit. Catapano didn't have any missed tackles in the preseason or regular season action as a rookie, but he had two in three games this year in the preseason. One was at the point of attack and the runner was stopped after a couple more yards anyway. The other came as he dropped into coverage and then came up too fast when the quarterback scrambled up the middle.
Catapano seems to give a consistent effort and plays to the whistle. I can see him being a fan favorite if he gets his chance and plays well for the Jets. As already noted, he hasn't played many snaps at the NFL level, but did play 54 snaps in the last preseason game this year.
As noted, Catapano had three pressures in his first NFL game. He ended his rookie season with a sack and eight pressures in 78 pass rush attempts, which is not bad production for an interior lineman. In five preseason games, Catapano recorded 10 pressures (including five quarterback hits) in 103 pass rush attempts.
A lot of his pressure comes from the fact that he is so relentless and therefore if the coverage holds up, he will eventually get to the quarterback. He seems like he is at his best when bull-rushing. However, he also shows an ability to get off his blocker, mostly by using brute strength.
Catapano has only dropped into coverage a few times at the NFL level, but he was credited with 13 pass breakups in college. While I assume most would have been batting down passes at the line, his college film does show some examples of him dropping back and sniffing out screen passes.
Catapano went to Princeton, so he's obviously intelligent. He also showed improvement each year when in college. On film, I didn't see him blow any obvious assignments. He was called for three penalties in his rookie year -- two when he jumped offsides and one when he was called for holding on a return. He also had a holding penalty on a return in the preseason this year.
Catapano has made some good contributions as a wedge blocker on the kickoff return unit. That could be somewhere he could replace Leger Douzable, who has been inconsistent in that role, to provide the Jets with an immediate upgrade on a struggling unit.
Catapano has also contributed on the punt rush unit. He did not get any special teams reps in his first game with the Jets, though.
It might seem weird that the Jets would jump on a player who was cut because he wasn't a good fit for a 3-4 system, but the Jets have been using a lot of four man fronts. Perhaps Catapano can fit in here after all. He was a teammate of Josh Martin in Kansas City, so the two of them may be able to help each other with the transition.
Catapano apparently had a concussion as well as the virus when he was kept off the field in 2014. In his rookie year, he missed time with an ankle injury and continued to be listed on the injury report for several weeks after he returned.
When the Jets first signed Catapano and even when he was activated, it didn't receive a lot of attention, but after this latest loss, many Jets fans are starting to reset their expectations for the season and look ahead. In that regard, Catapano can be added to the list of guys who can make an impression over the next month or so to prove they can be future contributors for the team.
In the short term, he can provide a boost to the return units as I've noted, but I'm also interested to see if he can contribute on defense.
Catapano's preseason game film was really impressive, with PFF giving him the fifth best grade at his position. If the reason behind his release really was just to do with fit, then the Jets might have stumbled upon a player with good ability and upside.
Some statistics from this article came from PFF.
Tags: Mike Catapano
Welcome to BGA Extra, where I draw a line under the previous weekend's game by responding to your questions from BGA during the week which you can read here. After the jump, I respond to your questions about the game against the Texans.
lamjones: Will the current vets (Mangold, Brick, Revis, Harris) be retired by the time we see a real winner (if we see one at all)? In other words, assuming we are on an upward trajectory what's your assessment of where we are on the curve?
I'm sure if you asked the brain trust, they would characterize these recent struggles as temporary blips on a path towards their overall objective of creating sustainable success.
How long will it take? Well, we've seen that you can go from bad to good within a year or two, although often when a team looks like they've turned the corner, it happens a year or two later than you expected. The issue, I guess, is if these recent losses are a sign that the team needs to go back to square one or can continue on the same path they've already set out on.
Those guys should be here next year, although they might not all be here the year after that. Maybe some of them will not be retired, but no longer Jets when the team finally puts it all together. It's obvious the team needs to establish a younger core to build around.
f16jet: Why does it seem like we had a worse defense last year, and still played games pretty close? We got more beef up front, and upgraded the CB's, and this defense plays worse than last year's? One thing Rex had, along with his coaches, was the knowledge of players, and what they were able to bring to the table, and to put said players in the right situation to match their talent level. I don't see this, week in, and week out, from this coaching staff. With all the talent on this D, we play like mutts. Our CB's sucked last year, and their names changed week to week, but Rex was able to do a good job with what he had. These coaches can't do a better job with better players, what's up with that? I am alone in this thinking?
You're certainly not alone to feel troubled and bemused by the team's struggles.
The front seven hasn't played as well this year and that's a combination of players being banged up, adjusting to the system and perhaps not being ideally suited to the roles required in some cases. While the personnel is better this year, that doesn't automatically make it a better defense, as we've seen.
Antonio Cromartie has struggled so badly this year that I'm not sure the cornerback position is any better off than it was. Is a team better off with two average starting cornerbacks or one good one and one bad one? Probably the former because then you don't have a bad cornerback out there ripe to be exploited all day. Also, you save quite a bit of money that could have been used elsewhere to improve the team.
I'm actually wondering why Kacy Rodgers hasn't come in for more criticism. Whenever the offense struggles, Jets fans typically blame the coordinator, but because they've had defensive minded head coaches in recent times, the head coach seems to get the blame for defensive struggles. Maybe Rodgers, a first-time coordinator, is struggling to get to grips with his role.
carlhungus: Why isn't this team able to develop talent? Do you feel it's more coaching or lack of talent to work with?
This is something that was an issue for the previous regime too and I constantly wondered if the coaching staff (ie positional coaches, not the head coach and coordinators) were to blame. It might be a little early to write off this coaching staff, but it would be nice to see some more positive results sooner in a lot of cases.
hazard2012: I realize there's a combination of factors involved [in the Jets' struggles], but what do you feel is the single biggest element (or lack thereof) in these recent failures? Individual players? Lack of talent? Schemes? Play calls? Coaching? What's the one thing that most needs to change if we're to get back to winning ways?
I don't know.
That might not seem like an enlightening answer, but in a way it is because I'd have been more prepared to give a more direct answer in recent seasons. It's too early to put my finger on where the biggest issues are with this regime right now, but those are all areas where it would be nice to see some positive progress.
Melissa Siegel: Isn't it a good thing that Coples cared more about the win than about his individual stats in the Miami game? I'd love to know which players were upset about their lack of playing time despite the victory.
It's a good point and that was certainly my read on the situation at the time. Who knows how the team viewed it though?
As for who was miserable after the win, I shouldn't really share those kind of details in respect of players that are still on the team, but what I will say is that one of them is really obvious.
Johnsec125: When is the draft?
April 28 to April 30. Should we be looking forward to the draft or dreading it?
Uncle Joe: Why didn't the Jets double team Watt? Why didn't they have a back-up plan for when Marshall was doubled all day, like getting Kerley and Decker more involved? Why not play Mauldin more, he was showing real fire getting to the passer! Is Ivory really shot, he only ran for around 37 yards with a handful of carries, and he has not been involved the way he should be the last few games? How can Bowles defense get torched by trick plays and a 3rd string QB that had not started a game since 2011 and only has 40 something passes thrown his ENTIRE career?
They did double team Watt, a lot.
They did get Eric Decker more involved in the second half. Brandon Marshall wasn't really "doubled all day" anyway.
Mauldin only plays pass rush situations because he's shown in preseason that rushing the passer is the only thing he can do at an NFL level at this time. There's only a finite number of pass rush situations in any one game and he's basically getting all of them.
JayM: Where were the safeties on the 2 TD passes to Hopkins?
I'll show you:
On the first one, Marcus Gilchrist had to cover a receiver running a deep crossing route and Calvin Pryor was sitting in the flat in case a back or tight end leaked out to that side (three stayed in to block). It looks like it's a cover-zero assignment for Darrelle Revis, so he is at fault here. Could Gilchrist have seen that Revis was beaten and abandoned his assignment? Maybe, but that would have left the deep crosser wide open for an even easier completion and still a huge gain. Also, he'd have had to change course, so Hopkins probably still gets over the top on him anyway.
The second one is a one-on-one as well. Again, Gilchrist is covering a receiver running across the field. Pryor is single-high so there's no chance he could get over to Marcus Williams and obviously they were challenging T.J. Yates to attack that match-up.
I must say, in Williams' defense, DeAndre Hopkins got away with a BLATANT push-off here.
a57se: So, comparatively speaking, how good was Mo Wilkerson on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being JJ Watt yesterday?
About five or six. It was probably Muhammad Wilkerson's quietest game of the season but I still had him down for 10 positive plays and only three negatives.
Bdarc23: Did it looked like Fitz might have suffered a concussion to you on the TD run? The announcers were all over that and he did perform horribly right after with the 2 quick picks.
Oh, he got his bell rung, no question. You could tell from the way he wore that same "I'm OK, I'm fine" look on his face that a boxer has when they've been rocked by a punch but are pretending it didn't bother them. Whether or not that constitutes concussion is for the doctors to decide and I guess he convinced them he was alright.
As I already mentioned, I did thing Cromartie and Pryor also should have been looked at after they went down after colliding with each other on the play after Revis went down, but the medical staff were pre-occupied with Revis at the time and both stayed in.
lbp44: Do you think Todd Bowles is enough of a motivator to be an NFL head Coach? I know a team often adopts the characteristics of its Coach. Bowles is stoic and reserved--actually appears above the situation. Obviously he is a self-motivator but I wonder if this translates to the young men that are NFL players?
Well, we will have to see how the team responds to the fact that Bowles apparently "lit into them" after the most recent loss.
I know players love Todd Bowles, but they loved Rex Ryan too and it became apparent that Rex's style eventually started to fall on deaf ears. Maybe that's happening a lot sooner with Bowles, but hopefully it's early enough that he can adjust to it.
Hazard2012: Where's this aggressive DL play we were told would happen? Are Wilkerson, Richardson, Harrison and Williams not the players we (and everyone else) thought they were? And where are our edge rushers when we need them, especially Coples, Mauldin and Pace?
The defensive line has been plenty aggressive and has played really well against the run for the most part. The production in terms of pass rush hasn't really been there (apart from Wilkerson), but a big part of that is that teams are neutralizing that with a quick passing game.
I think all four of those guys are what we thought they were. I predicted Leonard Williams wouldn't be instantly dominant at this level. Damon Harrison has always been a one-dimensional player. Wilkerson has been great. Sheldon Richardson's just missed some time, but has made plenty of impact plays in those games he has played in.
The outside linebackers simply haven't been employed as edge rushers in this system. That's something which was temporarily successful but hasn't worked so well in recent weeks, so maybe Bowles - who has never been married to any specific scheme - will take a different approach.
BenNevis: Why are Bowles and Gailey leaning so heavily (and in such clutch situations) on rookie WRs who can't catch and why won't they use a proven clutch WR (e.g. Kerley)?
I have asked the same things. Cleary Jeremy Kerley isn't in their long term plans and Devin Smith is, but you'd at least like Smith to establish himself by having some kind of production before you have him out there on fourth down, let alone make him the target.
Disgruntled Jets Fan (via twitter): Why is Dee still not getting reps?
Bowles answered this in his presser. Apparently Dee Milliner was healthy on Sunday, but was inactive because he hadn't practiced all week, due to illness. You'd like to think they'd give him a shot to show what he can do before they decide on his long-term future, but they haven't done that with Kerley or Quinton Coples, so…
Mike (via email): Clearly the linebackers are the biggest flaw of the defense (outside of ST, the entire team). Of the current roster is there any reason to believe in improvement? Should the Jets start over next year? How do you think the Jets will approach the linebackers going forward, and how would you do it differently?
Demario Davis has been a disappointment and it seems likely he will be gone before David Harris, which had seemed extremely unlikely over the past few years.
Bowles says Erin Henderson might get more reps, but I can't say I'm that high on him being much of an upgrade.
Maybe Bowles should do what he did last year in Arizona and accept he only has one decent ILB and then pair him with an extra safety in the box to add to the versatility in the back seven.
Andy (via email): How many more wins would this team have had last year with Fitz 2015 level production from the quarterback position?
Extrapolated over a whole season, Ryan Fitzpatrick is on a pace for about 3,500 yards, 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Let's call rushing and fumbles a wash and ignore sacks (even though Geno Smith probably takes more). Compared with Michael Vick/Geno in 2014, this works out as an extra 400 yards and nine touchdowns over the course of the season, but three more interceptions. Let's say they would be a touchdown better off in about half of the games. They lost one game in overtime and three by three or less. So maybe they win two of those four. Also they had three losses by seven or eight points, so maybe one of those turns into an overtime win. That would get them to 7-9.
A more interesting comparison would be 2013, where they were 8-8. A similar upgrade in that year could have made them into a 10 or 11 team. Then again, they only had one loss by fewer than 10 points all year.
And finally: The GIF of the week featuring Muhammad Wilkerson getting nasty.
Earlier this week, the Jets signed free agent linebacker Josh Martin to their active roster. Jets fans might not know too much about Martin, so I've been looking at game footage to try and assess what he brings to the table.
The 24-year old Martin is listed at 6'3" and 245 pounds and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. He played sparingly on defense over his first two seasons, making one start. Much of his production (26 tackles, 0.5 sacks, one forced fumble) came on special teams. He has spent time with the Chiefs, Colts and Bucs so far in 2015.
Let's recap Martin's career so far and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses...
Who is Josh Martin?
Martin was a productive player in college (Columbia), but not considered likely to be selected heading into the 2013 draft, although his stock rose following a decent pro day. The Chiefs signed him as an undrafted free agent and he was with them until September.
Martin was considered a core special-teamer for the Chiefs and saw some action on defense, including one start. They placed him on injured reserve in September after he suffered a concussion dring the preseason, then released him from the reserve with an injury settlement the next day.
Martin signed for and played two games with the Bucs earlier this season, albeit solely on special teams. They also ended up releasing him with an injury settlement.Earlier this week, the Jets signed Martin from the Colts' practice squad. By rule, he must remain on the Jets' active roster for at least three weeks.
Here are my observations from watching regular season and preseason footage from Martin's career so far, divided into categories:
Martin was employed as an outside linebacker while with the Chiefs, having played as a defensive end in college. It was rare that he lined up inside, matched up in the slot or put his hand in the dirt, but he has done each of these things every now and then.
He was never really employed situationally with the Chiefs, just rotating in for a series at a time. In his rookie season, he only played in garbage time, other than the last game where he played the whole game. In year two, they got him some reps earlier on in games.
Martin made a huge impression at Rutgers pro day in 2013, running a 4.57 forty and putting up 30 reps in the bench press. However, other than his three-cone drill (7.08) the rest of his workout numbers were actually below average for his size. He does showcase his ability to get downfield and his physicality on special teams.
His listed size is perhaps a little small for an outside linebacker role within the Jets' current defensive scheme.
Martin seems to play with good discipline and wasn't taken advantage of by blockers in the running game too much. A productive tackler in college, he hasn't produced much in the running game at the pro level. He made a good play during the preseason to stop the running back for a loss coming unblocked off the opposite edge.
Impressively, Martin has had just one missed tackle in all of his preseason and regular season appearances at the NFL level, according to PFF. That includes special teams play. That came on a fake punt as the run went outside and he made a desparate, diving attempt to try and cut down the runner before the marker.
Martin closes well on the ball carrier and shows good technique. He can also deliver some big hits, although that's how he ended up with a concussion in the preseason.
Martin has had half a sack and six pressures in 80 pass rush attempts at the NFL level. In addition, he's had one sack, four hits and eight pressures in 123 pass rush attempts in preseason action. That's reasonable production but nothing special.
Much of the pressure he has been generating at the NFL level has come either as he's been unblocked off the edge or on an inside stunt, although he has won some one-on-one matchups, showing an ability to get the lineman's hands off him and to duck around the edge on a speed rush. He was mostly taking advantage of backups on these plays, though.
In college, he had 17 sacks in three seasons, along with 14 quarterback hits. His career-high seven sacks in 2011 was tied for third-best in the conference.
As a converted defensive end, Martin will probably not have much to offer in terms of coverage abilities. In regular season action, he hasn't dropped into coverage much, although he's done it a little more in preseason games. He's been targeted three times (all in preseason action) and given up two receptions for 16 yards. He was credited with two pass breakups in college, presumably batting passes down at the line.
You would expect Martin, who attended an Ivy League school, to have good smarts, and I didn't see him blow any obvious assignments. He's also been a disciplined player with just one penalty in NFL regular or preseason action (a holding call on a return).
This is clearly where the Jets will be hoping for immediate contributions from Martin. He has played a variety of special teams roles over the course of his career and has been a productive tackler in coverage, with 10 in 2014. PFF named him as all-NFL for that year and gave him the best special teams grade in the league.
He consistently did a good job of getting downfield to bust the wedge on kick returns and contained return men well when he got down there.
It's not just in coverage where Martin excels. Check out this great article that gives an example of his blocking on the return units.
While Martin has undoubtedly been brought here to contribute on special teams, the Chiefs do play a 3-4 defense. That should mean the Jets' base packages are familiar to Martin, not that they use them very often.
Martin has already been on injured reserve twice this season -- once with a concussion and once with a hamstring issue. He also missed time with a hamstring issue last season and was listed on the injury report seven times with a variety of minor issues.
By picking up someone regarded as a good special-teamer, the Jets have at last addressed an area of need which has been crying out for reinforcements since before the start of the season.
The fact that Martin replaced Quinton Coples on the roster might have some people making a direct comparison, but if Coples wasn't going to contribute, replacing him with a guy like Martin -- who can provide a much-needed upgrade to that unit -- is a much better use of a roster spot.
Whether Martin will be here long-term remains to be seen, but the Chiefs did put a lot of effort into developing him. He could certainly be a player whose contributions grow as he continues to establish himself.
Some statistics from this article came from PFF. I'm also working on a scouting report for Mike Catapano which will be posted soon...
Jets coach Todd Bowles discusses the status of Darrelle Revis after a concussion and bouncing back from the loss to the Texans.
The crew plays Fact or Fiction on a number of topics including the Jets defensive line, the offense and the depth chart.
Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are stuffing their Thanksgiving podcast, and they're joined by Newsday's Bob Glauber (13:00) to talk about the state of the Jets, Todd Bowles, and Sunday's showdown with the Miami Dolphins.
Tags: Miami Dolphins
After losing for the fourth time in five games, Jets head coach Todd Bowles voiced his frustrations to his players in the locker room, Muhammad Wilkerson told WFAN on Tuesday (Nov. 24).
"Coach Todd, after the game, went off on us and told us, 'Losing is not acceptable,'" Wilkerson said. "He doesn't like losing, as well. I'm pretty sure that everybody in the locker room definitely needs to have that spark lit under them this week, and we need to get these wins rolling quickly."
Bowles, in his first season as Jets head coach, said after the Jets' 24-17 loss to the Texans that he was upset at his team, but would handle the matter internally.
"I'm extremely upset today, but I'm not going to take it out here," Bowles said at the time. "We'll discuss that in-house when I get back in the locker room and we get in the meeting."
The Jets started the season 4-1, but have dropped to 5-5 and sit in a four-way tie for sixth in the AFC Wild Card race heading into Sunday's game against the Dolphins. New York doesn't hold any tiebreaker over the other 5-5 teams (Chiefs, Texans and Bills).
"These losses are starting to get out of hand for us," Wilkerson said.
Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson , Matthew Eisenberg
The Miami Dolphins have claimed Quinton Coples off waivers.
The former first-round draft pick was cut by the Jets on Monday.
This season for the Jets, the 25-year-old Coples had appeared in 10 games (two starts) while failing to record a sack.
The Jets play the Dolphins on Sunday.
Tags: Miami Dolphins , Quinton Coples
The Jets have signed OLB Josh Martin to the active roster, the team announced.
Martin started out as an undrafted LB with Kansas City in 2013, out of Columbia. He played his first two seasons with the Chiefs, then moved to Tampa Bay this season. He was waived/injured by the Buccaneers in October and was signed Oct. 31 to the Colts' practice squad.
Martin has half a sack, a forced fumble and 28 tackles over 21 games in the NFL.
The wide receiver and quarterback relationship is extremely important -- just ask Brandon Marshall.
Marshall shared a photo of himself on FaceTime with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
"Communication is key.. . Even over FaceTime with your QB!!!" he posted on Instagram.
Tags: Brandon Marshall , Ryan Fitzpatrick
Colin Kaepernick will not play again this season, after landing on injured reserve for a torn labrum in his shoulder. But, his 49ers career may be over, too, as he was benched in favor of their backup.
So, should the New York Jets look into trading for the quarterback?
Peter King floats the Jets as one of the options for the 49ers if they want to deal the QB.
"Because they're in need of a quarterback of the future, and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey likes versatile athlete types," King wrote in The MMQB (Nov. 24).
But, Kaepernick is owed $13.9 million next season and recovery time for his expected surgery is 4-6 months.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith not looking like long-term solutions, do you think the Jets should inquire on Kaep?
Tags: San Francisco 49ers , Andrew Vazzano
Safety Ronald Martin was added back to the Jets' practice squad after clearing waivers, the team announced Monday night.
Martin was placed on waivers before Sunday's loss to the Texans. New York signed him from the practice squad to the active roster before the Jets' Week 10 loss to the Bills.
Martin, 22, is in his rookie season after attending LSU.
Tags: Ronald Martin
For all the changes the Jets made this offseason, yesterday's loss and the struggles over the past few weeks had a familiar feel to them.
However, if I told you at the start of the season that the Jets would be without Nick Mangold, Sheldon Richardson and Darrelle Revis during a November road game against a team leading their division, would you really have expected anything better than a competitive loss?
Right now, the Jets are victims of their own early-season success because the 4-1 start placed unrealistic expectations on the team. At the same time, they're not as bad as this 1-4 stretch would suggest either.
I remain extremely impressed with the Texans and hope to see them continuing to improve as the season endures. I have a feeling I'll be rooting for them come playoff time, because right now the Jets aren't showing many signs that they'll be there. However, right now this team needs to stop worrying about the playoffs and instead focus on getting back to winning ways. Hopefully, that can begin on Sunday because time is running out on the season.
There was no BGA Extra last week because you guys were kind to me and didn't ask me many questions after the Bills game. However, BGA Extra will return on Friday and I'll incorporate the few questions I did get into that article. Remember to send me your questions about the Texans game if there's anything you want be to go into more detail on.
Here are the links to each of this week's BGA articles.
- Offensive Line
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Defensive Line
- Defensive Backs
- Special Teams
If you have anything you'd like me to take a closer look at or any other questions for me, leave them in the comments section of this post (please re-submit any questions you've asked in any of the above posts), tweet them to @Bent_Double or email email@example.com and I'll respond in BGA Extra on Friday.
Tags: Houston Texans
Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media on Monday. Here are five things we learned...
1.) QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will start against the Dolphins on Sunday, and there wasn't much discussion regarding a potential change.
2.) The release of LB Quinton Coples was strictly a business decision.
3.) CB Darrelle Revis is still going through concussion protocol and didn't feel better on Monday.
4.) C Nick Mangold had an MRI on his hand that came back negative. However, he has 6-7 stiches in his hand and his availability for Sunday will depend on his pain tolerance.
5.) Bowles is hopeful that DE Sheldon Richardson (hamstring) will be able to play on Sunday.
I've come to appreciate Jeremy Kerley as a punt returner this year. Yes, he offers no threat whatsoever, but he's been reliable at fielding the ball and on a special teams unit that can't otherwise seem to get out of its own way, that's appreciated because an ill-timed muff would strike me as the kind of thing this team wouldn't respond well to.
However, this week, Kerley annoyed me a little bit. At least three times, it seemed like he had a ton of room to run but he didn't make the most of it. The Texans have been susceptible to return yardage over the course of the season, but Kerley was unable to exploit this, dancing around and ultimately going nowhere on one play and then indecisively running towards the sideline and out of bounds on the other two.
The blocking in front of Kerley was perhaps not the best, but he still seemed like he could have done better on those plays. He also seemed to cut a forlorn figure on the sidelines even after Brandon Marshall's game-tying touchdown, so I wonder if he's started going through the motions, seeing the writing on the wall for next year.
His returns brought back memories of Santana Moss, who I coined "The Crab" when he similarly checked out in 2004, giving a poor effort on returns and in terms of going over the middle with a contract extension - one the Jets couldn't afford and ultimately side-stepped by trading him - looming on the horizon. I called him the crab because he basically ran laterally and then just ran straight out of bounds on nearly every punt return like he was only capable of going sideways. Kerley wasn't as bad as that, but did leave some yards on the field.
Other than this, there wasn't much to report on special teams. In the kicking game, Randy Bullock made a field goal and kicked three touchbacks. Ryan Quigley had two nice punts - it was almost three, but he put one in the end zone. Tanner Purdum had a bad snap and one punt was nearly blocked as Erin Henderson left a rusher unblocked and Calvin Pryor double-teamed instead of picking that up.
On kick returns, Antonio Cromartie had a good one out to the 40. He was stuffed inside the 20 on one though, as Leger Douzable missed his block.
Finally, in coverage, the likes of Buster Skrine, Rontez Miles and Kellen Davis made nice tackles and Henderson combined with Trevor Reilly to force a fumble, although how he didn't recover it, I'll never know. Miles also nearly blocked a punt but Skrine was called for a personal foul which turned a 45-yard net punt into a 71-yard net punt in the fourth quarter.
Next up…Our final wrap-up, giving you the links to all today's articles and the opportunity to read the whole thing in one go…