- Kevin Lidlow
What is the Jets problem?
The New York lose yet again to the Pittsburgh Steelers 30 to 13 in a game where the offense, defense, coaching, and special teams were at fault. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and four touchdowns and the outstanding Steelers pull through the second half and the Jets remained clueless. The Jets are now sitting at 1-4, with the schedule getting even more tough, so the question is who is to blame for this rough start? There are many people to blame for this team so I will have to cover all of the problems.
The first problem we will look at is the defense. The defense says that they are having communication problems and the players don’t know their assignments. This is the same team from last year minus a couple of players that was extremely successful, so why are they having problems now? In 2015, they seemed to have gotten along pretty well and were one of the most dominant defenses in the league. Another problem is that they can’t cover the short passes or the long passes either. Opposing quarterbacks are being able to shoot holes in the underneath coverage, on passes of 10 yards or less, the Jets have allowed a league-high 7.91 yards-per-attempt. The linebackers aren’t great in pass coverage, they don’t react fast enough to new formations and quick screens.
The corners are to blame as well. They give too much cushion at times, especially Revis (who seems like father time has caught up to him), which means that the coaches don’t trust them to play tight with the receivers. As, for the defensive line (the strength of the team) can easily be neutralized by the dink and dunk throws. The long ball is just as worse, they have allowed a league worst 61.1 percent on passes that are 20 yards or more.
I can go on and on about the problems with the defense but I don’t want to bore you guys, plus I need to talk about the other side of the ball because they have to be blamed just as much as the defense. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has not performed like he earned that $12 million for the one year and statistics has shown that when he gets a big contract, he always has a let down season and live up to his expectations. But, it’s not all his fault.
The Jets are at their best when they’re dictating the terms of the game. However, that is never the case because they are always playing from behind, which puts Fitzpatrick under a lot of pressure, who doesn’t play well when he is out of his comfort zone. Nine out of his ten interceptions have come when they were trailing including three against the Seahawks. However, when they are ahead, he has thrown 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions, and 15 touchdowns and 20 interceptions when they are behind. This is two different quarterbacks, depending on the scoreboard.
Matt Forte and Bilal Powell are very solid, versatile running backs but they don’t force the defense to stack up on the line, like they did with Chris Ivory. They have a middle-of-the-pack rushing attack and defenses do not need to crowd the line because they defend them with a standard or light box set because the Jets do not have that home run threat. Another problem is that the receivers are not winning their one-on-one matchups. Fitzpatrick can be inaccurate at times, but it’s up to the receivers to get open, and the wide outs aren’t doing it on a consistent basis. Opponents have recorded a staggering 34 pass break-ups against them when receivers are not getting enough separation.
The last thing is the coaching. Head coach Todd Bowles has taken the blame for the Jets mistakes and usually that is what it falls on. He is the leader and commander and wherever direction he goes, the team follows. He has to do a better job on time management, so that he can give his team a chance to win. Sunday against the Steelers, the Jets had the ball on their own 46 yard line, 4th and 2, they finally started to get some momentum and Bowles decides to punt it away! Mind you, they were down 24 to 13 and they needed a touchdown but bowles wasn’t confident in his offense to get 2 yards.
There is too much to blame for the Jets failures, but the best thing to do right now is to not fire anyone right now. If anything, they need to get younger because this is an older team and they just need to accept the fact that they have to rebuild. However, the season can still be saved, it’s all about the next man up.