Jets Regular Season

Jets Blow Big Lead, Collapse 21-24!

Admin - October 27, 2002

The same old Jets! How many times have we seen this? How many times have we seen this team take a big lead only to blow it later, stop playing, and then lose? How many times have we seen offensive coordinator Paul Hackett start calling conservative plays as soon as the Jets turn the ball over? Aren't you tired of this "not to lose" mentality? I know I am!

The Jets took a promising start, as WR/PR Santana Moss made a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown. Then the Jets scored on their first two possessions - QB Chad Pennington threw touchdown passes to WR Laveranues Coles and WR Wayne Chrebet, and took a commanding 21-3 lead in the 2nd quarter. The next drive ended with an interception - TE Anthony Becht couldn't catch a pass, the ball was deflected off his hands and picked off by the Browns. That's when I recalled the last game of the 2000 season. On that winter afternoon two years ago the Jets took a 14-0 lead against the future champions Baltimore Ravens, and it seemed that the Jets would win and make the playoffs. The Jets fumbled, Baltimore scored, and the Jets never got the momentum back, losing that game 20-34. But let's get back to today's game. The Browns scored a field goal on their next possession and the score became 21-6. It didn't look like a collapse, not yet. On the ensuing kickoff RB LaMont Jordan returned the ball 34 yards to the Browns' 49-yard line, and the Jets found themselves in a great position to extend the lead. This drive ended with Wayne Chrebet's fumble on the Browns' 7-yard line, and the smell of the possible collapse appeared in the air.

As the second half went under way, we saw a totally different Jets' offense. Predictable, conservative plays, the fear of turning the ball over - I'd lost count if I tried to remember how many times I've seen that happen with this team. The Jets went three and out on their first two possessions, allowing the Browns' defense to get completely rested and get their confidence back. Meanwhile, Cleveland's offense slowly but methodically was moving the ball down the field. The Browns scored on their second possession of the second half - an 11-play drive that lasted 4 minutes and 41 seconds. The score became 21-13, and considering that the Jets' defense was totally exhausted, the future started looking quite gloomy for the Gang Green. The Jets needed a spark from their offense but got another three and out instead, the three and out that took only 1:10 off the clock. Three minutes later QB Chad Pennington got sacked and fumbled the football, which was recovered by the Browns inside the Jets' 15. Tim Couch first connected with Andre' Davis for a touchdown, and then with Dennis Northcutt for a two-point conversion. The game was tied at 21.

RB Chad Morton returned the ball to the Jets' 41-yard line, and the Jets got the ball back with one quarter left to play. Six plays later the Jets were facing a 4th and 1 on the Browns' 40-yard line, and Herman Edwards chose to punt.... Your defense is tired, you can't stop the Browns' offense, you face 4th and 1 in the opponent's territory and you choose to punt!!! What's that? Stupidity? Fear of making a mistake? Lack of confidence in your offense? Matt Turk punted the ball into the end zone, so the punt gave the Jets only 20 yards! Was it worth it? I don't think so.

14 plays later the Browns scored a field goal and took their first lead of the game. The Jets still had a chance to tie and force 15 minutes of extra time, but K John Hall's field goal attempt got blocked. The collapse was complete.

I don't understand those people who still think that Herman Edwards is a good head coach. Once again he failed to make any adjustments and decided to choose the "not to lose" path. Yes, Paul Hackett is ultraconservative, but don't all his play calls go through Herman Edwards? Doesn't Herman Edwards have any clue of what's going on? He's incompetent, plain and simple! I already hear Edwards' supporters saying "but he took us to the playoffs last year", but it wasn't really him. You should thank John Hall's field goal against the Raiders, one of those field goal attempts that he usually misses, and multiple lucky breaks that the Jets were catching for the most part of last season. Luck has run out, and there you have it... 2-5! Herman Edward\'s true coaching ability is finally showing up!


P.S. Hey, at least we're not the Bengals...