Inside the Jets' loss to the Ravens

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
1:34
PM ET
Thoughts and observations after breaking down the tape:

PREDICTABLE START: Whenever a wide receiver gets ignored in a game or complains about not getting the ball enough, the Jets always seem to make a concerted effort to throw to him on the first play of the next game. It happened in Oakland with Plaxico Burress, who made a reception on the first play after being held without a catch the previous week. It's like Brian Schottenheimer's way of pacifying his players.

So, on Sunday night, you knew they'd throw to Santonio Holmes on the first play. Remember, Holmes chirped last week about wanting the ball. Sure enough, Mark Sanchez looked for Holmes on the first play, a quick slant. Thing is, LB Jameel McClain read it, too. He cut off the passing lane by dropping into that zone, forcing Sanchez to pull it down and giving Ed Reed time to blind side Sanchez for his strip sack.

PROTECTION NEEDED: On the two strip sacks, by Reed and DT Haloti Ngata, the Jets didn't keep any RBs or TE's in for extra protection. They had five plays in pass routes, with all the pressure on the five linemen.

KILL SHOT: It flew under the radar, but Brodney Pool made an absolutely devastating block on Bernard Pollard on Joe McKnight's 107-yard kickoff return. If Pool blasted Pollard any harder, he would've sent him to the Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Have a feeling that'll show up on Rex Ryan's "Play Like a Jet" video this week.

NOT PLAYING LIKE A JET: One play that won't show up in the highlight reel will be OLB Jamaal Westerman on Ray Rice's 3-yard TD run. Westerman encountered FB Vonta Leach, the lead blocker, but instead of taking him on, he ducked a shoulder to avoid a head-on collision. It allowed Rice to cut to the inside toward the end zone.

LEAKY LINE: The press-box stats gave the Ravens 10 QB hits on Sanchez, but it may have been more. Looking at the tape, it's hard to assign blame on certain plays because there were unblocked rushers. This much was apparent: LG Matt Slauson surrendered at least two QB hits, C Colin Baxter allowed one and TE Matt Mulligan allowed one (Terrell Suggs on the Lardarius Webb interception).

Obviously, the Jets are concerned with their tight-end blocking. Veteran free agent Brandon Manumaleuna is scheduled for a tryout Tuesday, a source confirmed.

BRILLIANT DISGUISE: Kudos to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who schemed up a great play to confuse Joe Flacco and force him into an interception (returned for a TD by LB David Harris). The Jets ran a zone blitz with three DBs rushing the passer -- S Eric Smith, CB Kyle Wilson and McKnight (his first play ever on defense). Harris, Calvin Pace and Marcus Dixon faked rushes and dropped into coverage. McKnight created pressure with a corner blitz and Flacco forced a horrible throw.

RUNNING WOES: In an attempt to run the ball and/or protect Sanchez, the Jets used a higher percentage of two-back sets than usual. But it didn't help in the running game. Here's a breakdown of how they ran in three different personnel packages:

2 RB/2 TE/1 WR -- Six rushes for eight yards.
2 RB/1 TE/2 WR -- Five rushes for 15 yards.
1 RB/2 TE/1 WR -- Four rushes for 12 yards.

In other words, on 15 of their 16 designed running plays, they had two RBs and/or two TEs in the game, making it somewhat predictable for the Ravens.

ODDS AND ENDS: Rough game for TE Dustin Keller, who had three drops ... FB John Conner made no effort to recover the loose ball on Ngata's strip sack. Maybe he thought it was a pass, not a fumble, but he should've pursued it anway ... Holmes didn't bother to chase Webb on his 73-yard interception return. Holmes, the intended receiver in the flat, just watched Webb tear down the sideline.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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