- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
What it means: Playoffs? Forget it. The Jets (5-7) all but destroyed their postseason hopes with their third straight loss. They've been outscored in those games 79-20. The Rex Ryan Watch is on. The Jets, once regarded as a surprise team, are falling apart before our eyes. The offense was utterly hopeless, leading to the halftime benching of Geno Smith. His replacement, Matt Simms (two turnovers), failed to provide a spark. Ryan's team is regressing against what many thought was a favorable schedule. It's one thing to get blown out by the Baltimore Ravens on the road, but there's no excuse for getting bullied by the Dolphins (6-6) at home.
Stock watch: The Jets don't have a quarterback controversy; they have a quarterback problem. What now: Smith or Simms? Does it really matter anymore? Smith, continuing his funk, completed only 4 of 10 passes for 29 yards and an interception, his 23rd turnover. He has led the offense to only one touchdown in his last 36 possessions. He had to be pulled from the game; the offense generated only two first downs and 39 yards in the first half. The Jets finished with a season-low 170 yards. The rookie needs some time on the sideline, a mental respite. Is Simms the long-term answer? No, but he's the best alternative. Evidently, Ryan has no faith in third-stringer David Garrard.
Can anybody tackle? The Jets' once-formidable secondary, circa 2011, has turned into a punch line. The decision to draft cornerback Dee Milliner with the ninth overall pick, as a replacement for Darrelle Revis, is getting worse by the game. Aside from playing soft in coverage, Milliner missed a tackle on Mike Wallace's 28-yard touchdown reception. Someone forgot to tell Milliner this is tackle football, because he went after Wallace as if he were playing flag football. That earned him a seat on the bench, his third in-game benching this season.
He wasn't the only culprit. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie, playing with a bad hip, got beat on Brian Hartline's 31-yard touchdown -- a simple slant in which LB DeMario Davis and S Ed Reed also missed tackles. Once again, Reed was invisible in pass coverage. The secondary got little help from the pass rush, which recorded only one sack against Ryan Tannehill, who began the day with a league-high 44 sacks.
No one Holmes: WR Santonio Holmes, hampered by a hamstring injury, played sparingly. What was the point in dressing him? He apparently convinced the medical staff and coaches in the pregame warm-ups that he was good to go. As expected, WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow) was inactive.
What's ahead: The Jets remain at home to face the Oakland Raiders (4-8), who will have extra rest because they played on Thanksgiving.
13hOhm Youngmisuk and Rich Cimini