ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.— It’s going to be a long flight home for the Jets from Orchard Park to Florham Park.
It’s also going to be a long drive for myself. With the Jets having lost, it’s time to hit the road in order to get back in time for tomorrow’s good-bye media availability. Essentially, it’s the last time players will talk before draft-ish time.
So, before heading on back to New Jersey, here are three quick thoughts on the Jets 22-17 loss to the Bills which, in my opinion, is the worst in team history.
Chris Ivory’s diminished role awfully questionable
I wrote about this extensively here, but just reiterating, I am absolutely dumfounded as to why Chris Ivory was not more involved in the offensive game plan.
I’m not buying the “injury excuse.” If Ivory was truly impacted by his knee, he wouldn’t have broken off that 58-yard run. Game planning? Instead of using a bruising running back in the wind and snow, the “game plan” was to hand it off to Stevan Ridley (2.3 yards per carry entering the game) and air it out in 20 mile per hour winds? It doesn’t make sense. Not at all.
Throughout this season, Jets head coach Todd Bowles has made many, many rookie/first-year coach mistakes. Be that timeout management, clock management, questionable play calling or other things of that nature. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey hasn’t been without blame, either— see designing a play for Kellen Davis with the game on the line.
But, up to this point, the Jets were able to survive it all. They just couldn’t today. And, unfortunately, this rookie mistake by Bowles cost the team a chance at the postseason. Of all the things Bowles has done this season, though, this one kinda sticks with me the most. I just don’t get it. Can’t wrap my mind around it.
Now, does that mean the team should lose confidence in Bowles? Absolutely not. The mistakes Bowles made this year are correctable. He just needs more experience. Again, in my opinion, I believe Bowles will be one of the NFL’s best in a few years.
This year, though? Man, it cost the Jets big time. Especially here in Week 17.
Why did the Jets refuse to give Darrelle Revis help?
Darrelle Revis is a very good NFL cornerback.
But he’s not the Darrelle Revis from 2009 anymore.
Offenses seem to realize that, those that analyze the game seem to realize that. The Jets, on the other hand, do not. And the refusal to make any sort of adjustments regarding No. 24 was the biggest reason for the defense’s struggles Sunday.
Against the Bills, second-year wideout Sammy Watkins — matched up almost entirely on Revis— caught 11 passes for 136 yards. No other Bills player caught more than three passes. Each and every time quarterback Tyrod Taylor dropped back, he was targeting and throwing at Revis.
Even more mind-boggling? Instead of giving Revis help, the Jets continued to allow him to try to cover Watkins 1-on-1.
And Revis continued to get beat.
Sunday may have not only been Revis’ worst game this season, but worst ever in a Jets uniform. It was downright ugly at times. Making matters worse? After the game, Revis refused to talk to reporters.
If you’re going to give quotes and spend time talking when people are singing your praises, you can’t run and hide when things aren’t going your way.
Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t avoid the media after throwing three interceptions. Chris Ivory didn’t avoid the media after seeing his role diminish. Sheldon Richardson didn’t avoid the media after failing to make much of an impact on defense.
But Revis? He left as soon as the game ended. That’s a bad look.
This is one of the worst losses in Jets history
I’m not a Jets historian, but it’s certainly hard to find many games that are as bad as this one for the Jets.
Here’s essentially the hand the Jets were dealt: Beat a Bills team without ten starters, and make the playoffs. Beat a Bills team with nothing to play for, and make the playoffs. Beat a Bills team that had been one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments this year, and make the playoffs.
The Jets didn’t beat the Bills. The Jets aren’t in the playoffs.
This game was supposed to be a layup for the Jets. And it should have been. They just had absolutely no emotion except for a series or two here or there. The defense was lifeless, offense dead and there was just simply no spark; no sign that the Jets were playing for their postseason lives.
Combine that, with the fact thousands of fans made the trip up to Orchard Park to watch the game, and the team’s ex-head coach sent them all home depressed? You get a devastating defeat.
What’s even sadder? With how red-hot the Jets had been over the last month of the season, if they were to make the playoffs, there’s no reason to think they couldn’t made a run. It’s not unreasonable to think they could have been playing in San Francisco in a month.
Who exactly would have been standing in New York’s way? Alex Smith, Brock Osweiler (or a sore-footed, weak-armed Peyton Manning), A.J McCarron, Brian Hoyer and now a hobbled Tom Brady.
Instead, the Jets “didn’t execute” on Sunday (the most common excuse given by each player). I asked Nick Mangold why the team “didn’t execute” with everything on the line.
“I don’t know.”