Monday, October 22, 2012
Stock watch: Risers and fallers
By Rich Cimini
A look back at some of the winners and losers from Sunday's game:
1. Jeremy Kerley. It’s hard to believe that he began training camp in Rex Ryan’s doghouse. Maybe Ryan should get ticked off at more players. Kerley, easily their top playmaker, delivered a career game, catching seven passes for 120 yards. If he didn’t slip on the third-down bootleg pass at the end of regulation … well, we’ll never know.
2. Nick Folk. He might be the most consistent player on the team. Yeah, the kicker. He went 4-for-4 on field goals, including two pressure kicks from 43 yards at the end of regulation. Folk improved to 11-for-11 on the season. Clutch.
3. Dustin Keller. He looked like his old self for the first time since mid-August, before his hamstring issues. Exploiting two rookie safeties, the Jets’ tight end made seven receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown, giving Mark Sanchez a consistent over-the-middle threat.
1. Stephen Hill. Oh, what a costly drop. If the rookie makes that catch at the Patriots’ 14 with 2:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Jets have a first-and-goal inside the 10. If they don’t score a touchdown to take a four-point lead, they at least force the Patriots to use all three timeouts. Oh, what a costly drop.
2. Kickoff-coverage unit. Allowing a 104-yard kickoff return is bad enough, but allowing it to Devin McCourty? Come on, that’s weak. The Patriots’ kickoff-return unit stinks. Before Sunday, their longest return was 28 yards. That’s below Joe McKnight’s average, for crying out loud. It was an inexcusable breakdown.
3. Tony Sparano. The Jets recovered a fumble at the Patriots’ 18 with 2:01 remaining in regulation and the offensive coordinator replaced a red-hot Sanchez with Tim Tebow. It immediately made the offense one-dimensional. Predictably, Tebow ran out of shotgun and was stopped for two yards. It was a questionable sequence of play calling by Sparano, one of the big factors in the loss.