What I would give to write a victory Monday post but as happens so often when we face the Patriots. The wheels came off and the Jets found a way to lose a game they should have won.
The final score of 22-17 makes it seem a little closer than it was, but the Jet’s offense stalled, and costly errors and mental mistakes doomed the Jets to another loss against the Patriots.
Instead of sitting here at 6-2, we are 5-3 and have had our winning streak snapped. Big Bill became the 2nd most successful coach in terms of wins and all the questions we have about our QB remain.
IN SHORT - The Jets lost the game due to two things. Zach Wilson's overall play and a JFM roughing the passer penalty negated a pick-6. The Jets should have been walking into the half at 17-3, but instead, it was 10-6. Gang Green managed 7 points over the final 30 minutes and Nick Folk kicked the Patriots to victory with 5 made field goals, because of course he did.
Football is all about momentum and the Jets lost all momentum with this penalty. Was it extremely harsh? Absolutely. Did I shout absolute BS at the TV at the time? Absolutely. But this is all on JFM, in today's NFL you can't give the officials an opportunity to throw that flag. It's as simple as that.
The NFL has informed teams that contact such as JFM's on Jones is going to get called. It's being called consistently across the league and while I don't agree with the decision to start calling these kinds of penalties, that's the world we live in right now. JFM is a repeat offender at this point, he had another one against Cincy and one last year against Miami.
Had that extended the drive full stop, it would have been an awful play, but the fact Michael Carter II picked off the pass and took it to the house for a pick-6 adds salt into the wounds. The Jets score there they have all the momentum in the world and the Patriots simply didn't have the firepower to overpower the Jets. Instead, they kick a field goal, they're down by 4 instead of 14 and we go on to lose the game.
Awful by JFM and horrible discipline by the Jets yet again.
With every passing week I'm becoming more and more convinced that Zach Wilson is not the answer at QB for the Jets and that's an extremely difficult thing to admit.
I'm tired of making excuses for him. He'd not turned the ball over and most of that was down to not pushing the ball downfield. We had become conservative with the passing game because we had a dominant defense and an outstanding running game.
Today Zach was asked to do more and despite throwing for over 300 yards and having 2 passing touchdowns, he looked ill-prepared to be a franchise QB. He made three terrible choices on the INTs that stopped the momentum and zapped the energy from the stadium.
For some reason when Zach throws the ball away he likes to get it out of bounds by as little distance as possible. He almost had one picked against Pittsburgh and he had one picked today. His third INT was mind-numbingly stupid, he called it boneheaded and I'd say that's being polite.
Here's the issue with Zach. He can't play under duress, he was 33rd of 35 qualifying QBs heading into this week when under pressure and he threw 3 interceptions, chances are he's now officially the worst QB in football when pressured. Unfortunately, you're going to get some hands in your face from time and time, sometimes you make a play, sometimes you throw it away, but you don't turn it over.
He doesn't have a feel for pressure, he doesn't slide or step up, and he bails too early. That may work at BYU because when you do that in college linemen often aren't quick enough and defensive backs aren't good enough to stick coverage. In the NFL, that just doesn't work if you're constantly doing it.
Outside of the mental side of the game, his mechanics are still all over the place and it starts with his footwork. He doesn't plant and drive, he throws off his back foot far too often and when he doesn't need to. That's why he floats and sails passes. He missed Johnson on a key down, he missed Conklin several times and instead of using his legs when lanes opened up, he tried the more difficult pass.
I'm not here for vanity stats, make no mistake about it, Zach was a huge reason we lose this football game. Even with slightly below-average play from the position today, we win that game.
I got a few tweets saying he's fine when playing with a lead. If he can't play from behind then he'll never be the QB we need him to be. I'm not saying he's never going to get there, but the evidence against him is mounting up.
It's not just the Jets QB who is inconsistent. I don't know why MLF went away from the ground game so early considering we were seeing some good success. 15 carries against a team allowing over 130 rushing yards per game coming in is inconceivable.
On Zach's first INT he got cute and instead of using the power back we just acquired to get the 2 yards, he tried to dial up a pass, and it backfired. We never fell behind to such an extent that we should have abandoned the running game.
As mentioned in the above section on Zach, the more you ask him to do right now the smaller your chance of victory. That may sound harsh but I've seen this movie a hundred times with the Jets.
Elijah Moore had one target. If you're going to activate him then use him, if you're not going to use him then don't bother activating him. He had one target and after the game he was asked about his chemistry with Zach, to which he responded he had no idea because he didn’t get the ball. This is going to spiral if allowed, Moore had a part to play yesterday and using him on just 10 snaps because the jets wanted to get Garrett Wilson on the field more (per Saleh) is infuriating, both of them can be on the field at the same time.
The defense outside of that JFM penalty did their job. They allowed one TD over 60 minutes, were constantly put in bad field positions and they sacked Mac Jones 6 times while limiting him to less than 200 yards passing. They picked off one pass and should have had a defensive TD, yet that wasn't good enough to cover for the Jet’s offensive woes. I’ve seen some people taking pops at the defense which doesn’t make any sense to me at all, they held New England to just 3.8 yards per play which is the best mark of the season for the defense.
We have been singing the praises of the Jet’s special teams recently but this was one to forget. Greg Zuerlein missed his first FG since week one on a potential game-tying effort and Braden Mann had a 22-yard punt to his name, and 0-4 punts downed inside the 20. Put that up to a bad day at the office.
I don't like blaming officials for losses, it's not in my nature. When your QB throws three picks, that's usually the reason you lose. I don't like the new rules around hitting the QB, but if they are going to call it, they need to be consistent. Zach got hit just like Jones after he released the ball, and I'd argue the hit on Zach was later than the hit on Jones.
On the Myers touchdown Sauce is blocked and driven back into the end zone, that's offensive pass interference. A receiver can't block a player and then have the ball thrown past the line of scrimmage, that block created the space for Myers and he doesn't score without it. Either the officials chose not to see it or they don't know the rules, I'm not sure which one is worse.
The Patriots get the calls, always have, and as long as Bill is the coach they always will. The officiating was poor, there's no question.
We all hate losing to the Patriots, it sucks. But we're still 5-3 and we don't have to wait long before we have a chance to get some revenge on New England. First, we need to handle Buffalo next week and that's going to be the ultimate challenge. How we respond to this week will say everything we need to know about the character of this team and the ability of Wilson.
Tomorrow I’m going to be focused on Zach Wilson.
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