- Kevin Lidlow
Defense crumbles again, Jets lose to Packers 44 to 38
We can recall in the beginning of the year about how the Jets defense was going to be the strongest unit of this team, in fact they even called their secondary "New Jack City," with guys like Adams and Maye coming into their second year, in addition to bringing back Morris Claiborne and signing Trumaine Johnson for 5 years $72 million. But recent weeks (including this week) have shown that it is the exact opposite as for the second time in a row the defense couldn't close out a game where the Jets were winning but ended up losing to the Packers 44 to 38. Of course it didn't help the fact the Jets committed 16 penalties in addition to having the defense completely crumble against a Green Bay team that has been dismantled all year.
In the beginning of the game, it seemed as though the defense was playing decent enough to come away with a victory, the defensive line in particular who recorded 4 sacks on Aaron Rodgers today in which one of them came from Leonard Williams (4th on the year). But after he got ejected in the 2nd quarter for punching Packers running back Jamal Williams, that's where the defense started to decline. The defense would end the game giving up 127 yards rushing total and 413 yards passing in total to cap the Packers comeback win.
Of course there was positives from this game starting with the offense having themselves a game, torching the Packers defense that was ranked 30th overall. With a rookie quarterback like Sam Darnold as your quarterback this is a good sign because he took what the defense gave him and looked very impressive for the third straight week. Darnold finished the day completing 24 out of 35 passes for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns in addition to no interceptions for a second week. He also had a passer rating of 128.4, but what really caught my eye today was the productivity of both Elijah McGuire and Chris Herndon as they both recorded a touchdown reception from Darnold, as well as a rushing touchdown from McGuire. The second year running back has been making the most of the starting role and looks like more elusive and making better cuts to gain more yardage, for example: the touchdown run in the first quarter on the design run to the outside where he cut back to the inside to an open seem for the touchdown. While Herndon and Anderson are proving to be Darnold's go to guys as they develop their chemistry.
The other positive came from the special teams as they are without a doubt the strongest unit of this team all season and today was no different. Andre Roberts has shown us all season long why he deserves to be in the pro bowl, he finished the day returning 4 for 203 yards and a touchdown. But it wasn't just him, the kickoff team forced a fumble that allowed to set the Jets offense up in Green Bay's territory. Brant Boyer needs to stay with the Jets and be their special teams coach.
The Jets will finish off their 2018 season going into FoxBorough MA to take on the Patriots who is looking to clinch a first round bye after clinching their 10th straight AFC east title. Regardless if the Jets win or lose, they will still have a top 10 pick and what better way to end this disappointing season than to not only ruin their division rivals first round bye but to also have Sam Darnold be the first rookie quarterback to win at Gillette stadium in 10 years.