Who would’ve guessed that for the 2nd season in a row, an injury to Geno Smith was the spark plug that the Jets needed to start winning.
For the 7th time this year, the New York Jets played a ‘must win’ game.
They are now 2-5 in aforementioned ‘must win’ games.
Eugene Cyril Smith III made his first start for the New York Jets since Week 17 of the 2014 season at Miami where he threw 358 yards and 3 TDs en route to a 37-14 win. Geno started off the game throwing short passes to get his groove back and it was evident that Todd Bowles and the Jets wanted to establish the running game early to alleviate the pressure away from Smith. On the Jets first drive, Geno connected with Robby Anderson for 8 yards and Matt Forte picked up a first down. That’s all they could do, but compared to the majority of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s drives, Geno Smith looked like Broadway Joe out there.
Then, of course, came this masterpiece of a play by Punter Lachlan Edwards:
The 7th round pick from Sam Houston State University has actually had himself a good season, but this gaffe will be his claim to fame for awhile. A general rule of thumb for punters is to fly under the radar, because nobody knows who the punter is until they mess up.
After a successful Jets punt on the ensuing possession *cheers*, Joe Flacco and the Ravens quickly showed the Jets that they spent some time scouting in the film room. Their first play from scrimmage was a 53 yard bomb to Mike Wallace:
That drive ended with a 50-yard FG by Justin Tucker and the Baltimore Ravens quickly took a 10-0 lead.
Despite only being 8 minutes into the game, all signs were pointing towards another ugly game by the Jets. Soon after a 7-yard scramble by Geno to get a 1st down, the Jets were hit with a False Start penalty on Brandon Marshall (inexcusable) and then lost 3 yards on a sack. On 2nd and 18, Geno hit Quincy Enunwa on a short curl route and the unthinkable happened:
Quincy Enunwa added ‘game-breaking speed’ to his repertoire and took the short pass 69 yards to the house (nice). He had a comment about his play after the game:
I said last week that the Ravens were beatable via the big play, but I had concerns that the Jets had a player capable of making an OBJ-esk play. Quincy Enunwa-ah-ah-ah proved that he was down with the Fitzness (s/o PFT).
After hoping and praying for anybody other than Ryan Fitzpatrick to play QB and FINALLY getting my prayers answered with Geno, it was all taken away in the blink of an eye. Geno Smith took a sack on 3rd and 8 after trying to make a play out of nothing. One knock on Geno throughout his ‘tenure’ with the Jets was his football IQ. On a play that 95% of Quarterbacks throw away, Geno tried to extend the play and his ACL paid the price.
At the time, the injury didn’t seem to be severe at all. Geno hobbled off the field and was talking to trainers while Fitzpatrick overlooked. He didn’t appear to be in a lot of pain but he was brought through the tunnel nonetheless. Geno reappeared on the sidelines in street clothes in the 2nd half, much to the dismay of Jets HOFer Joe Namath:
Turns out its a torn ACL for Geno Smith, and he’s headed to IR. The silver lining of this move is that the Jets now only have 3 roster spots taken up by Quarterbacks, opening up a slot for a player in another position that they Jets need immediate help in (OLine, LBs, DBs, Tight End).
Anyways, Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game and the Jets continued the game plan that they used with Geno. Forte worked his way for a few yards while Enunwa and Marshall caught a couple short passes to move the chains. When the Jets KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), they are a good football team. It’s what they did last year, and it’s what they did years ago with Mark Sanchez. They did add in this wrinkle with rookie Robby Anderson, however:
Anderson’s 30-yard run was the longest that the Jets have recorded this year. That play set up a 13-yard TD from Fitz to Matt Forte and the New York Jets had themselves a lead.
Naturally, the Jets allowed the Ravens to march down the field to kick a FG before the half to take a 16-14 lead, but dammit the Jets were in it.
The second half of this game was the exact opposite of what had happened for the Jets all year. Joe Flacco started to force throws down the field a la Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets secondary was capitalizing on those throws a la every opponent the Jets have played this year.
First we had Buster Skrine returning an INT to the Ravens’ 3 yard line:
The Jets lost a yard on their next play and then Ryan Fitzpatrick was flagged for DELAY OF GAME from the 4 yard line. From his vantage point on the field, the play clock is so close to him that he could practically reach his hand out and high five it before snapping the ball. The Jets got a Field Goal to take a 17-16 lead but you have to cash in on goal-to-go opportunities.
We then had a Marcus Gilchrist interception on the Ravens’ very next drive:
This drive led to as much, if not more fuckery than the one before. After 3 consecutive carries for 18 yards, Forte took another carry from the Ravens’ 6 yard line and Ravens DT Timmy Jernigan ripped the ball away from him. Jernigan watched too many Jamal Lewis highlights the night before and tried to give a little shake & bake to Brandon Marshall. Marshall went right for the ball and forced the fumble while recovering it as well. That was Marshall’s 4th forced fumble and 2nd fumble recovery in 23 games as a Jet, which is just an absurd statistic for a receiver.
Forte redeemed himself with a 1-yard plunge 2 plays later to record his 2nd TD of the game.
The Jets took a 24-16 lead and didn’t look back.
Baltimore Ravens 16 @ New York Jets 24
With the outrageously difficult part of the season over for the Jets, they are paired up with the 0-7 Cleveland Browns next week. If the Jets have any playoff aspirations, this is where they have to pick it up. Here’s what’s up next for them:
@ Cleveland Browns (0-7)
@ Miami Dolphins (3-4)
vs. Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
vs. New England Patriots (6-1)
vs. Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
@ San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
vs. Miami Dolphins (3-4)
One of those teams are not like the others. However, these next 3 weeks are incredibly important if the Jets want to make any kind of playoff run this season. It certainly is possible, but I’ve seen them do worse against even lesser opponents.
The Cleveland Browns are a mess. They point to the Jets and say, “Wow, they’ve got it all figured out.” They’ve had six quarterbacks take snaps this year. This week, we could see Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, or even Terrelle Pryor. The Browns also claimed QB Joe Callahan off of waivers Monday, so maybe he’ll get in, too.
The Browns were a lot scarier when 1st round pick Corey Coleman was healthy. He’s a tremendous wideout, but it seems unlikely that he will play this week due to a broken hand. The Browns best weapons are Terrelle Pryor (35-431-3 receiving, 8-21-1 rushing, 41 yards passing), TE Gary Barnidge (30-361-0), and RB Isaiah Crowell (495-4 TDs rushing, 12-107-0 receiving). The key to shutting down the Browns has been stopping Terrelle Pryor. The former QB from Ohio State can run, pass, catch, and probably kick with the rest of ’em. Their defense has been shredded through the air for 2080 yards and 18 TDs, so this could be a huge spot for
Bryce Petty Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa, and company.
Prediction: New York Jets 27 @ Cleveland Browns 13
Now on to the awards:
Sheldon Richardson (8 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hits)
Sheldon must’ve been reading my past few posts because he was playing angry on Sunday. Even with the absence of Mohammad Wilkerson, Richardson was all over the field, rushing the QB, blowing up screen plays, and completely eliminating the Baltimore run game. After some mediocre games, Sheldon finally showed us the All-Pro defensive lineman that we all know he is capable of being.
The Jets as a whole only allowed 6 rushing yards, which is a new franchise best for them. Here’s LaDainian Tomlinson to help show you how far 6 yards is:
Matt Forte (30-100-1 rushing, 5-54-1 receiving)
This was Matt Forte’s best game since his 3 TD performance against the Bengals in Week One. Given Ryan Fitzpatrick’s struggles, opposing defensives have stacked the box to force Fitz to pass more often, but Forte was able to wiggle out of some tackles and had an integral role in the passing game. Forte has been money on screens, and he joined an exclusive club during last week’s contest.
Robby Anderson (3-41-0 receiving, 1-30-0 rushing)
Preseason favorite Robby Anderson is finally getting some action. Anderson provides some spark and speed that the Jets haven’t had in years. As he gets a feel of the game and learns from one of the best in Brandon Marshall, Robby Anderson could become a household name in a couple of years. His 30 yard rush was the Jets’ longest run of the season, and he went up and caught a pass on 3rd down that previous Jets receivers wouldn’t even think about going up for (@ Stephen Hill, Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, Jeremy Kerley, Santonio Holmes, the list goes on). This guy is fun to watch:
Ryan Fitzpatrick (9/14, 120 Yards, 1 TD)
Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick came in for an injured Geno Smith and helped win the game. Yes, he didn’t throw an interception. For once this year, his on-field product was halfway decent. But, there are two things that he did that make him the WOAT.
First was the delay of game penalty from the Ravens’ 4 yard line. This is Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 11th year in the NFL, and he’s been playing competitively since 1997 at the VERY least (counting high school and college). So for at least 19 years, Fitz has played Quarterback with a play clock. It is inexcusable for a delay of game penalty to be called in that situation. The seconds are literally ticking down in front of your face. The play before was a short run, it wasn’t even some long play down the field that the linemen are trying to catch up and get to the line in time. That five yard difference for the Jets proved to be too much, and they could only get a Field Goal on that drive. In a tight game like that, you have to get as many points as possible. A gift-wrapped interception bringing you the ball on the opponent’s 3 yard line is as good as is gets.
The second issue I have with Ryan Fitzpatrick is his jackass comments after the game:
Hey, Ryan Fitzpatrick, you sucked more than a vampire with emphysema. You threw 11 interceptions in 5 games, while only throwing 5 TDs. You threw 6 interceptions IN ONE GAME. You can’t be in your right Harvard educated mind and think that it was a crazy move to replace you at Quarterback. This man is lucky he doesn’t have a social media presence because he gets roasted by anybody with a keyboard. Even Ari Gold has a message for him:
Ryan Fitzpatrick continued the game plan that Geno Smith was doing more than fine in and won a very winnable game. Everybody gave up on you because you are playing historically horrendous football. Geno Smith was beating up the Ravens because he was spreading the ball around and had established the run early. Fitz has stared at Brandon Marshall on 75% of his snaps and either sidearms it to him or throws a nauseating shovel pass to nobody.
Usually soft-spoken, Todd Bowles had a laugh out loud comment regarding Fitz’s tantrum:
The Australian-born 7th round pick does have a solid boot, but that fumbled snap was ridiculous. MetLife Stadium is usually pretty windy, but that’s his home field and it truly is an inexcusable play. It was an ugly start to the game, but luckily, it was the Ravens’ only Touchdown of the day.
T-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-thats all folks. Until next week, here’s a video of some guys bein’ dudes: