New York Jets Report Card Week 11: Grading Each Unit
It was a game that the Jets could have and should have won. Leading by three with under six minutes left, Tim Tebow drove the Broncos 95 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
It's a loss that puts the Jets' playoff hopes in severe jeopardy. The margin for error is razor thin for the rest of the season. Next week versus the Buffalo Bills is now a must-win and they must keep that mentailty for the rest of the season.
But before we move on, let's look back at this week and evaluate how each unit played.
The New York Jets offense never seemed in sync against the Denver Broncos.
Mark Sanchez struggled again. His numbers look decent, but it wasn't the finest game for Sanchez. He didn't throw the ball down the field and never strung enough passes together to get a good drive going. He also threw a terrible pick-six that partly cost them the game. On third downs, the Jets were three for 14.
The ground game wasn't much better. Joe McKnight was average filling in for Shonn Greene, who left the game with a rib injury. One positive, though, was McKnight's effectiveness in the passing game. The Jets ran a few nice screen plays—something we haven't seen them do since Leon Washington was around.
The offensive line was brutal. It seemed like Sanchez had pressure every time he dropped back to pass. In particular, Wayne Hunter had yet another miserable performance. It's games like this where the Jets miss Damien Woody.
Up until the final drive, the defense was playing an amazing game. They were controlling the line of scrimmage and shutting down Tim Tebow and all of his tricks.
Then, the last drive happened and it seemed like they had never seen the Denver Broncos offense before.
They had a tough assignment playing on a short week against an unorthodox offense, but that last drive was atrocious. To let them drive 95 yards in the final minutes with your playoff hopes hanging in the balance was inexcusable.
This is a game that will drive Mike Westhoff crazy for weeks. Every facet of special teams had a poor game.
Nick Folk missed two field goals. T.J. Conley shanked a punt. Joe McKnight lost a fumble on a kick return. Plus, they would have given up a kick-return touchdown if Donald Strickland didn't make a shoestring tackle.
The Jets special teams are going to want to burn this tape.
Not a good night for the coaching staff either.
For some reason, the New York Jets don't throw the ball down the field. I don't know if Brian Schottenheimer isn't calling the right plays, Mark Sanchez isn't looking downfield or the offensive line can't protect for that long. It could be a combination of the three, but clearly something is wrong and they need to fix it.
Their offense is as predictable as any in the league and if they can't stretch the field, defenses will stack the box and sit on their short passing routes.
For Rex Ryan, his in-game management was suspect once again. He decided to use a timeout on a 21-yard field-goal attempt and then didn't use one at the end of the first half when Denver was punting to give the Jets more time to operate in the two-minute drill.
One thing you can't fault Ryan for is the game-winning touchdown play. Ryan is an aggressive coach. That's part of the reason why Jets fans love him. Sometimes it will backfire. The all-out blitz failed, but if Eric Smith kept his outside contain, we could be talking about a 6-4 Jets team right now.