Last night after the game I knew that I wanted to write something up about the Jets loss to the Browns, but I wanted to wait and gather my thoughts before putting anything into writing. I want to start of by entering the trust tree(steps into trust tree)… I knew the Jets were going to lose this game. I think if we all are being honest with ourselves we were all nervous going into this game. This was the type of game that just screamed Jets loss, and I don’t say that because I the Jets are worse than I thought at the start of the season, I say that because I think the Browns are better than I originally thought. The Jets were playing their 3rd game in 11 days, that’s an impossibly hard stretch of schedule time wise at any point in a season, let alone to start off the year with a Rookie QB. Add onto that the fact that Rookie quarterbacks starting Thursday night football games are 4-10, the odds were against the Jets from the start.
Having said all that I think the most important thing everyone needs to do is relax. I got into work this morning and saw that Rich Cimini started off his game recap with the following paragraph. “There are bad losses, and there are really bad losses — the kind that stick to a team for years, even decades. The New York Jets have experienced a few of those. The Mud Bowl. The Mark Gastineau game in Cleveland. The Fake Spike. The Butt Fumble. And now there’s another clunker that will torture their fan base.” Link
Now I do agree with him, this was a bad loss, whenever you blow a 14 point lead it will always be classified as a bad loss. However comparing this loss to the Butt Fumble game, and saying it has the chance to stick with them for decades seems a bit excessive to me. The Browns were favored in this game, albeit only by 3 points, they were still favored. The Browns, tied the Steelers, a perennial playoff team, and had amble chances to beat them. The Browns lost by 3 to the Saints, a team who many think will be there at the end of the year in the NFC, and in that games the Browns missed 4 kicks. What I’m saying is this isn’t the Browns of years past, they came in having forced 8 turnovers in 2 games, their defense has been playing great this year and the Jets were the unlucky team who happened to be playing them when they put it all together. The Jets pass offense struggled all night, and that was to be expected given the Browns have a good secondary and are able to generate good pressure with their pass rush. They made Darnold uncomfortable all night, and dared Bates to beat them with the pass. Besides 2 drives, the Jets weren’t really able to move the ball consistently all night, the rushing numbers look okay on paper, 107 yards and 2 TDs, but any time they had a negative run, it essentially killed the drive.
Now the point of this blog isn’t to let the Jets off the hook, if you want to be a serious team you need to win this game. There were too many stupid penalties that extended drives or put them in bad situations of offense. The defense looked gassed when the Browns started to play with tempo, and in turn they got very conservative. In the first half they were disrupting Tyrod and it seemed he was on the ground every play but in the second half, we were allowing Baker to be comfortable in the pocket. Part of that was Baker being able to make quick passes to receivers who seemed to be open on every play. But you could tell when the Browns were playing with pace the Jets seemed lost. On the other side of the ball Darnold was holding the ball in the pocket for longer than you’d like except when we were throwing screens, which everyone and their mother knew were coming in certain situations. The Browns O had the Jets D on their heels while the Jets offense became far too predictable in the second half. This next game will be the first time other than the Lions, the Jets have a full week to prepare for an opponent, and will be a big test.
The Jets have a tough match up next week versus the Jags and I think how they play will be a good indication of the progress from last year. If we see more of what we saw this week after they have had 10 days to prepare then it’s something to get concerned over. But for now lets just take this as it is, a shitty loss, on a short week, to an opponent with a great defense. For the Browns and the city of Cleveland this was their super bowl, for the Jets it was the disappointing end to a tough schedule to open the season.
Also I wanted to add on that I think Bates has been extremely disappointing thus far. Last night he was too predictable and it looked like he was treating Darnold with kids gloves. I understand Darnold is a rookie and we want to bring him along slow but you can’t hand cuff him and expect to win games.
Picks for this week coming later, just had to get this out first.