AFC East: 2013 Week 12 NYJ at BAL

Notes: Jets conjure up Alosi memories

November, 24, 2013
BALTIMORE -- Three years removed from one of the most embarrassing plays in franchise history, the New York Jets triggered unpleasant memories Sunday with an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on their sideline.

It happened on Jacoby Jones' 37-yard punt return in the third quarter of the Jets' 19-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Jones reversed field and ran up the Jets' sideline. During the run-back, the Jets' Troy Davis was blindsided by Courtney Upshaw, a crushing block that drew a gasp from the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium. An unidentified Jets assistant coach, perhaps protesting the legality of the block, erupted and got too close to the sideline.

The Jets' bench was penalized for interfering with officials. At least they didn't try to trip any opponents players. Former Jets strength coach Sal Alosi infamously tripped a Miami Dolphins player in 2010, fueling national headlines. Ultimately, Alosi resigned under pressure.

Soon after Sunday's penalty, CBS went into the archives, showing a replay of the Alosi debacle.

"He's on the white (boundary) -- it's not like was on the field -- but I know it's a point of emphasis to be off that area," Rex Ryan said. "It wasn't intentional, and you get caught up in the moment. We saw one of our players get hit. Those things happen. It's unfortunate. We're not the only team (that it's happened to). At that time, I was expecting a different call."

Meaning a penalty on Upshaw. Davis suffered a chest injury and didn't return to the game. Ryan, caught on camera, seemed incredulous by the call, mouthing what appeared to be an expletive.

Mo better than the rest: One of the bright spots for the Jets was DE Muhammad Wilkerson, who recorded two of the four sacks. He has 10 sacks, the most by a Jets player since John Abraham recorded 10.5 in 2005. Wilkerson is on a roll, with seven in his last seven games. He also was flagged for roughing the passer, tackling Joe Flacco beneath the knees -- a hit that could result in a fine.

Razzle dazzle: One of the Jets' best plays (there weren't many to choose from) was a 13-yard pass from Josh Cribbs to QB Geno Smith out of the Wildcat. It was the first reception of Smith's career, becoming the first Jets quarterback to catch a pass since Ken O'Brien made a 27-yard reception from Al Toon in 1991.

Suspect pass pro: Geno Smith was sacked three times and under heavy pressure, especially in the first half, but the pass protection was "decent," according to Ryan. He seemed more upset with the receivers, lamenting dropped passes. Unofficially, there were two drops -- Santonio Holmes and David Nelson.

The invisi-Hill receiver: WR Stephen Hill was held without a catch for the third straight game. Ryan had threatened to demote the slumping Hill, but he was in the starting lineup. His snaps, however, was reduced.

Injury report: CB Antonio Cromartie left late in the game with a non-contact hip injury. He has been bothered by a hip ailment for much of the season, but he described this as worse than the previous injuries. RB Chris Ivory sprained ankle on his first carry of the game and will go for an MRI exam. He stayed in the game, which is always a good sign.

Passing game problems for Jets

November, 24, 2013
BALTIMORE -- When Rex Ryan gave his opening remarks at the New York Jets' postgame news conference after a 19-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, he pointed to a lack of third-down conversions and dropped passes.

“I’ll feel much better about it when we really look at it,” Ryan said. “I just know it jumps out at me. Drops in the National Football League as a receiver, you must catch the football.”

David Nelson and Santonio Holmes each had one drop, and it’s certainly been an issue in the past, but it doesn’t account for a passing game that was way out of synch. You could blame the cold for the 140 yards passing, but Joe Flacco and the Ravens had 273.

“It wasn’t [hard] for Baltimore to judge balls, so it wasn’t hard for us,” Stephen Hill said.

Running back Bilal Powell had a team-high three catches for 24 yards, and Greg Salas led in yardage with 48 on two catches. Tight end Kellen Winslow, who did not see extensive playing time, rounded out the list of Jets with more than one catch, with 34 yards on two catches.

If the obvious answer to struggles in the passing game had to do with rookie quarterback Geno Smith, it’s something that the Jets are definitely not ready to discuss.

So instead, the players used words like technique and execution when talking about the struggles in the passing game.

Notably however, Ryan declined to say Smith would be the starter next week against Miami.

One of the best passes came from Josh Cribbs during a Wildcat play. Cribbs got plenty of help from his receiver on the play, who was none other than Geno Smith.

Deep ball mars Reed's homecoming

November, 24, 2013
BALTIMORE -- Ed Reed spent most of his career in Baltimore, so it’s no wonder the ties are deep. Before the game, Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb asked Reed if he could have his jersey, and on the field in the frigid air after the 19-3 loss, Reed took it off and give it to him.

Reed also had a hand in the touchdown play that cemented the Ravens' win in the third quarter. He was right there as Joe Flacco threw a 66-yard pass to Jacoby Jones, Reed put his arms out to grab Jones by the hips, but there was too much momentum and speed and they all ended up in the end zone, Jets defensive back Dee Milliner and Dawan Landry at their heels.

[+] EnlargeJacoby Jones and Ed Reed
Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsJacoby Jones slipped by Ed Reed, right, and the Jets' secondary en route to a 66-yard TD catch.
“We knew they were going to take a shot,” Reed said. “They had the wind at their backs. So we knew they were going to throw deep, Jacoby made a play. He adjusted to the ball really well. I probably should have grabbed him and taken the penalty, but he was the one that made the play.”

"I’m not going to pin it on any individual,” Ryan said. “Certainly not one one guy, certainly not Ed Reed. He’d probably be the third on that list if you want all honesty.”

Milliner actually took the blame for the touchdown, saying it was on him.

“I was right there, just got to go get the ball,” Milliner said. “Flacco threw a good ball, threw away from both the defenders and Jacoby made a good catch.”

Milliner also dropped an interception in the first quarter, which he said would have changed the momentum of the game right away. Antonio Allen dropped another one. The only one who did grab one was Antonio Cromartie, who later left the game with a hip injury, and also allowed a 60-yard pass to Torrey Smith.

“Overall, we did OK,” Cromartie said. “There were a few passes that got away from us, and there were also some plays that we could have made. We will just keep working at it.”

Afterward Reed played a bit of the philosopher.

“It’s always special being here,” Reed said. “You hate to be on this side of the fence. Somebody’s got to win, somebody’s got to lose. It was a great football game. It’s a child’s game we play. We had fun. We’ve got to make our corrections and be ready to play next week.”

Using words “great football game” and “fun” in the context of the decisive 19-3 loss may seem particularly tone-deaf, but then again Reed is coming back home, which adds a little perspective.

Rapid Reaction: New York Jets

November, 24, 2013

BALTIMORE -- A few thoughts on the New York Jets' 19-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium:

What it means: So much for the win-one, lose-one trend. The Jets (5-6) dropped their second straight, damaging their wild-card hopes. They fell to 2-6 in the conference, which means their chances of winning a tiebreaker are remote, as of now. It's hard to win when you can't score, and the Jets were utterly inept on offense, producing only 199 total yards and going just 1-for-12 on third down. Yes, it was windy, but that didn't stop the Ravens (5-6). Geno Smith was terrible, the pass protection stunk, the receivers were invisible and the play calling was predictable. In short, it was a total disaster.

Stock watch: Smith continued his funk, looking hopeless against the Ravens' pass rush. For the first 54 minutes, he had only four completions and 42 yards. He finished with two interceptions, increasing his total to 18. His passer rating was an unsightly 14.7, one week after a 10.1 stinker. The question is, what now? Our prediction is that Rex Ryan will stick with Smith because Matt Simms is an unproven commodity. Either way, the Jets are in a lousy position.

Reed's lousy homecoming: The Jets signed former Ravens great Ed Reed to help their problems against the deep ball. So what happens? The future Hall of Famer looked old and slow on Jacoby Jones' 66-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, which iced the game. Jones beat rookie CB Dee Milliner (so what else is new?) and got behind Reed, who was in his customary deep-middle spot. He showed no recovery speed whatsoever, and that was that -- the first touchdown of the game. Earlier, CB Antonio Cromartie was burned on a 60-yard reception. The Jets emphasized the deep ball in practice, yet they allowed Joe Flacco to throw for 273 yards in brutally windy conditions. The secondary is a bust.

Trickeration: Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg tricked up the running game, featuring a heavy dose of the Wildcat, especially early in the game. The Jets also threw a pass out of the Wildcat, with Josh Cribbs finding Smith for 13 yards. All things considered, it might have been the Jets' best play of the game. Clearly, Mornhinweg's goal was to keep the Ravens' rugged front seven off-balance with different looks. The strategy also was a way to take pressure off the turnover-prone Smith.

Sal Alosi revisited: The Jets' bench was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter because an assistant coach got in the way of an official on a long punt return by Jones. Naturally, it conjured up memories of the infamous Alosi trip in 2010. This time, it wasn't intentional. The unidentified coach simply got caught up in watching the play and wandered too close to the boundary. Leave it to the Jets to entertain us with a nostalgic moment. They got lucky because it didn't lead to any points by the Ravens.

What's ahead: The Jets return home for their first meeting of the season with the Miami Dolphins.

Halftime Report: Ravens 9, Jets 3

November, 24, 2013
BALTIMORE -- In the freezing cold -- it felt like 22 degrees in Baltimore at the start of the game with the windchill -- the Ravens have a 9-3 lead against the New York Jets in a field-goal fest.

The Jets have held running back Ray Rice to 16 yards on 8 carries, but have allowed 168 passing yards to the Ravens. The Ravens have 212 yards of total offense compared to 73 yards for the Jets.

WILDCAT SETS TONE: In the first two series, the Jets snapped the ball seven times to Geno Smith and four times to Josh Cribbs. Cribbs actually threw a 15-yard pass to Smith. The Jets employed a lot of Cribbs in the wildcat in a win against the Saints this season. Notably, he didn’t take a single direct snap in the second half of that game.

SECONDARY ISSUES: Ed Reed was able to break up a pass in the end zone, a 12-yard pass intended for Jacoby Jones. There was contact on the play and a flag was thrown in the end zone, but after the refs conferred, the flag was picked up and Reed was credited with pass defensed.

Antonio Cromartie picked up an interception in the second quarter, but he also gave up a 60-yard pass to Torrey Smith. There were two dropped interceptions by the Jets, one from Dee Milliner and another from Antonio Allen.

HOLMES, HILL, NELSON? The top three Jets receivers of the first half are, in order, Greg Salas, Geno Smith and Bilal Powell. The Jets main wide receivers all but disappeared in the first half.