After taking a couple days to gather my thoughts (i.e. stare longingly out a window all weekend) here are some of the main takeaways from the Jets' loss Thursday night against the Patriots.
They are who we thought they were!
... and we let 'em off the hook! For a team that began the season ranked dead last in ESPN's power rankings (not that they truly mean anything), it's especially disheartening to know that they missed a perfect opportunity to defeat their division rival, on the road, on primetime. The Jets had every chance to win this game and let each one slip through their fingers, quite literally. It's more than likely that when the Jets meet the Pats again in Week 7, they won't be nearly as vulnerable. Amendola and Gronkowski will likely be back on the field and Brady will have developed some chemistry with his receivers. This Jets team can not afford to leave wins on the table the way they did Thursday night.
Catch the damn ball
Geno Smith is far from blameless in the loss, but there's something to be said about the momentum swing that occurs when numerous passes are dropped. Smith threw some very good passes throughout the game only to have them dropped, most notably by Clyde Gates and Stephen Hill. When the passes that hit the receiver in the hands aren't hauled in, a young QB is left vulnerable to make his own mistakes. The Jets are reportedly working out some WRs this week which should, at the very least, put some pressure on the guys who are in the starting lineup now.
The Jets got a big break in Week 1 when the Bucs' Lavonte David committed a personal foul on Geno Smith to set up the game winning field goal. Their luck did not follow them to New England. After Stephen Hill caught a long pass over the middle in the 1st quarter, the DB's leg inadvertently swung upwards during a tackle and kicked the ball loose for a fumble that would be recovered by the Patriots. That was a big blow to the Jets' momentum. On a 3rd and goal, Geno rifled a pass down low to Clyde Gates, and on the field it was called a TD. Replay didn't clearly show the ball hitting the ground, though one could infer that Gate didn't catch it cleanly. It could be argued that the call on the field should have stood for lack of conclusive evidence, but that was not the case. The Jets settled for a field goal.
Far more egregious, however, was the call on Julian Edelman's fumble. The receiver caught the ball, took a step upfield, and then had the ball knocked out and recovered by the Jets. To the surprise of everybody (the announcers and even Pats fans themselves, as evidenced by Twitter) the officials overturned the call on the field.
Regardless, of these bad breaks, the Jets did themselves no favors. Still, doesn't sting any less.
Chris Ivory looked very good running the ball. He was explosive and constantly picked up yards after the catch. Frankly, he looked like a man nobody on defense was too eager to step in front of. Why, then, did he get just 1 carry in the 4th quarter of a 3-point game? It made little sense at the time, and is certainly something to keep an eye on moving forward. Will Morningwheg make a habit of sabotaging the run game in favor of his pass-oriented play-calling?
The Jets D held the Patriots to just 9 first downs over the course of the entire game. An astounding stat, but again, it may just make the Jets lament that they managed to lose this game even more.