Grading the Game: Jets

The Vikings were less than average in their four losses to an AFC East team this year, and the grades bordered on failing for several units that were rendered ineffective Sunday.

PASSING OFFENSE: C — Quarterback Brad Johnson was pulled for the second time in three games and it appears he might have lost his starting job to rookie Tarvaris Jackson. But this wasn't all Johnson's fault as the Vikings looked lifeless on offense for much of the game. Johnson was sacked three times and completed 10 of 17 passes for 96 yards with a touchdown and a 94.2 quarterback rating. Jackson entered late in the third quarter and completed 14 of 23 passes for 177 yards with his first-career touchdown and interception. Travis Taylor and Troy Williamson tied for the team lead with six receptions apiece and Mewelde Moore added five catches, including a reception he took 35 yards for a touchdown. Jackson's presence in the game gives the Vikings a more mobile and far more elusive quarterback.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D — The Vikings attempted only 15 rushes (tying their season low) and gained 62 yards (second-lowest total of the season) as they fell behind early and had to turn to the pass. The running game did little when it had an opportunity. Chester Taylor returned after sitting out one game because of bruised ribs and gained only 38 yards on 11 carries. The Jets‘ 3-4 defense clearly caused some problems for the Vikings line. Twenty of the Vikings‘ 62 yards came on scrambles by Tarvaris Jackson in the fourth quarter.

PASS DEFENSE: D — Here we go again. Chad Pennington became the fourth quarterback in the past eight games to throw for 300 or more yards against the Vikings. Pennington completed 29 of 39 passes for 339 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His primary target was receiver Laveranues Coles, who had a season-high 12 receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown. Culprits included a pass rush that only had two sacks, a zone scheme that enabled the Jets to find its soft spots and rookie cornerback Cedric Griffin, who was picked on frequently. Fred Smoot, who was demoted into the nickel role when Griffin was made a starter, was victimized on Coles' 21-yard touchdown reception.

RUSH DEFENSE: B — The Jets attempted 29 runs against the Vikings, the most versus Minnesota since Buffalo ran the ball 33 times in Week 4. The Jets were rewarded with only 68 yards for their efforts, but the willingness to try to run against the NFL's top-ranked rush defense helped to set up the pass and loosen things up. Cedric Houston went for 53 yards and a touchdown.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C — Ryan Longwell missed his only field-goal attempt — a 49-yarder that went wide left — and his kickoffs continue to be short. Chris Kluwe averaged 47.3 gross yards and 37.3 net on seven punts but the Jets‘ Leon Washington returned one punt 38 yards to the Minnesota 38-yard line to set up a second-quarter field goal. Mewelde Moore was replaced by Charles Gordon on punt returns but muffed his one attempt. Troy Williamson was used in place of Bethel Johnson on one kick return. Johnson averaged 18.8 yards on five returns and Williamson gained 21 yards on his lone return.

COACHING: D — Not much to be excited about here. The loss to the Jets means Brad Childress was swept by the AFC East this season. Childress' offense continues to sputter and defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin's unit struggled against the pass. Neither coach was able to make the necessary adjustments to stop the bleeding. Childress turned to Tarvaris Jackson as his quarterback in the third quarter and would be wise to stay with the rookie for the final two regular-season games.

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