Sunday, November 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: New York Jets
By Rich Cimini
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.