The Morning After: Jets Defense Can't Stop Wildcat

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The Morning After: Jets Defense Can't Stop Wildcat

If last week in New Orleans it was QB Mark Sanchez' time to get back to earth, last night in Miami it was the heralded Jets' defense that lost the game for the Gang Green. The unit that many thought was among the league's elite got totally embarrassed by Miami's wildcat offense and 2nd year quarterback Chad Henne whom, as Rex Ryan put it after the game, the Jets' defense "made look like Dan Marino."

The first warning sign was Miami's opening possession when they easily moved 80 yards on 12 plays and scored a touchdown. Then, the Dolphins added a field goal on their second possession, equaling the number of points the Jets' defense had allowed a week before against the Saints.

As the second quarter began, it seemed like New York's defense finally figured out how to stop Miami's tricky offensive system. The Dolphins had the ball only twice in the second period, courtesy of the long drives sustained by the offense, and gained just one first down. The Jets, meanwhile, scored two field goals and took a 13-10 lead right before halftime.

The defense held Miami on one more possession in the third quarter before Miami went into the Wildcat mode and just ran over New York's defensive unit. At one point in the third period the Dolphins ran five direct snap plays in a row, gaining 25 yards and 2 first downs.

Miami took a 17-13 lead as the final quarter began, but the Gang Green instantly responded with two long passes - a 53-yarder to WR David Clowney and then a 35-yarder to WR Braylon Edwards. The latter catch was initially ruled a touchdown, but overturned on a Miami challenge, which gave the Jets ball on Miami's 1-yard line. RB Thomas Jones rumbled into the end zone one play later and the Jets retook the lead, 20-17.

This game all of a sudden began looking like a shootout when on the ensuing possession Chad Henne threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn who outran CB Darrelle Revis and S Kerry Rhodes.

The teams exchanged quick three and out possessions before the Gang Green were given a gift pass interference penalty that put the ball on Miami's 3-yard line. Thomas Jones scored another touchdown, putting the Jets back on top, 27-24.

There was still over five minutes left in the final quarter - plenty of time for Miami to get back on top and plenty of time for the Jets defense to finally do something significant. Unfortunately, the defense once again found no answers for Miami's attack, as the Dolphins methodically marched down the field, converting two third downs, including a 3rd and 10 on the Jets' 16-yard line.

The final score, 27-31, did not really reflect how pathetic this defense looked for the most of the night. They got dominated at the line of scrimmage, were missing tackles and blowing coverages, and just could not find any answers against Miami's offense. Rex Ryan, as Eric Mangini before him, failed to make any adjustments over the course of the game, which could be another warning sign.

The bad:

1). Entire defense had an awful game. They allowed 413 yards, did not create a single turnover, did not register a single sack, did not even have one hit on the quarterback.
2), CB Darrelle Revis was beaten on the 53-yard touchdown and on a few shorter plays. The only good from Revis last night was a touchdown saving tackle on Ricky Williams.
3). LB Calvin Pace was getting run over and caught out of position. His presence did not improve the defense at all.
4). S Kerry Rhodes was among the players who got beat on the 53-yard touchdown pass. He also missed quite a few tackles and looked more like a ballerina there rather than an NFL safety.
5). TE Dustin Keller was nowhere to be seen. The Jets threw just once in his direction.
6). RB Thomas Jones once again struggled, despite scoring two touchdowns. He averaged just 3.2 yards/carry on 13 runs. Jones also dropped a screen pass when not a single Miami player was within 5 yards.

The good:

1). WR Braylon Edwards made an immediate impact and looked like he was totally worth what the Jets gave up to get him and more. He caught 5 passes for 64 yards, 1 TD and did not have a single dropped pass.
2). WR David Clowney finally got involved in the offense. Sanchez threw 4 passes to Clowney and all of those passes were caught for a total of 72 yards. Can we finally move Clowney above WR Brad Smith on the depth chart?
3). NT Kris Jenkins was seemingly the only player on defense who was making plays.
4). RB Leon Washington averaged 4.4 yards/carry on 10 runs and added a 13-yard reception.

Next Sunday the Jets will face another division rival, the Buffalo Bills (1-4), and they better be ready on BOTH sides of the football.

Tags: mark sanchez, thomas jones, braylon edwards, darrelle revis, dolphins, david clowney, miami


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