For the third straight game, Jets fans had very little to cheer about. Gang Green squandered any hope of a victory with a sloppy second half. One of the few cheers on the afternoon was the fumble return for a touchdown by defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. Seattle's rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was under tremendous pressure on the play and avoided several tackles before Mike Devito came in for the finishing blow.
Wilson was hit from behind and the ball squirted loose with Wilkerson scooping it up for a touchdown. That would be the only touchdown the Jets would score on the day. The offense was nonexistent and the defense only showed up for the first three quarters. The Jets had Wilson on the run in the first half, but gave him a lot of time in the pocket once they wore down. The Jets defense kept them in the game as long as possible, but it is hard to win a game if your offense doesn't extend drives and put points on the scoreboard.
The biggest negative on the day was the lack of communication the Jets demonstrated on offense. Who could blame quarterback Mark Sanchez for feeling uncomfortable in the pocket? The Seahawks came with different pressure packages all afternoon long and overwhelmed New York's offensive front. Perhaps the biggest communication breakdown occurred when Sanchez was sacked and stripped.
The Jets were down 21-7, but had a chance to march down the field and turn the game into a one possession lead. Cornerback Richard Sherman had different plans in mind when he rushed Sanchez and stripped the ball from his grasp. Jason Jones quickly fell on the loose ball and the Seahawks killed any hope of a Jets' comeback. Seattle put a dagger in the Jets when they capitalized on the turnover on the ensuing possession. The Seahawks pulled some magic out of the playbook when they pitched the ball to wide receiver Golden Tate who proceeded to sling a touchdown pass to a wide open Sidney Rice.
"I need to make better plays than that and we can't win with the way I played today," admitted Sanchez following the loss . "I've got to take care of the ball better and help us. Our defense kept us in it, especially early. And then the self inflected wounds we talked about during bye week really came back to bite us."
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Wilkerson played hard throughout the game and enjoyed a breakout performance. He registered seven tackles and recorded the first touchdown of his young career. One play in particular perfectly illustrats Wilkerson's determination to make a play. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch took the handoff from Wilson and exploded up the middle only to find a wall of Jets' defenders. While fighting for extra yards, Wilkerson came crashing in and knocked the ball out. The ball fell to the bottom of the pile and Pace recovered it and gave the Jets prime field position. The Jets did not capitalize on the turnover. The following possession Sanchez threw an interception to Sherman who waited patiently as Sanchez double pumped in Keller's direction and telegraphed a pass right into the Seahawks' defensive back's hands.
The Jets looked ill-prepared for Sunday in Seattle and even though they had two weeks to familiarize themselves with the Seahawks formations. Pete Carroll's defense confused Sanchez throughout the game and forced him to make bad decisions and errant throws. On a day when the Jets showed signs of giving up on the season they also showed some positives. The young defensive line dialed up the pressure, creating turnovers and producing scoring plays. Ryan needs to make a decision on what he wants to do with at the quarterback position. He is starting to use Tim Tebow more, but is constantly calling the same plays, which made it easy for the Seahawks defense to react to the formations. Playing two quarterbacks is hurting Sanchez, he can't seem to find a consistent groove.
The Jets once again did not have a running game and this is against a Seahawks team that gave up 243 rushing yards the week before against the Minnesota Vikings. The Jets will not have an easy time against the St. Louis Rams. Quarterback Sam Bradford is coming off one of his best games of the season. He threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns against one of the best defenses in the game. Stephen Jackson finally woke up and produced 101 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Danny Amendola had 11 catches for 102 yards receiving. The Rams had every aspect of their offense working. They led most of the game, but allowed the San Francisco 49ers to stage a comeback and eventually the contest ended in a tie. The Jets need a win if they want to compete for the playoffs and show any sign of life to their fans.