Lacklustre performances on both sides of the ball lead to a second embarrassing multiple score loss for the Jets in front of home fans at Metlife as Jets go down 27-12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Worrying signs starting to show as key parts of the team underperform, and poor coaching across the board handicaps a talented young roster.
The Jets loss in week three against the Bengals wasn’t something that anyone would have been upset about going into the season. But the Bengals started the season getting beaten by the Steelers and the Cowboys; both team who have no business beating the Bengals. The Jets were also coming off a thrilling victory in week two against the Browns, so all taken together Jets fans (me included) came into this week expecting a competitive game.
We didn’t get that. What we got instead we’ll go through across the three phases of the game to try and work through the trauma of what happened.
The Jets offensive line on the left hand side is a disaster. Laken Tomlinson is killing the run game and it’s only through the talent of Carter and Hall that the team got any positive yardage at all as they repeatedly have to break contact behind the line of scrimmage.
George Fant is a turnstile at left tackle, but Connor McDermott is ephemera. Mekhi Becton on crutches would be more effective at the position than either of them at this point. Fant’s knee injury adds to the list of injured left tackles on the Jets roster, and if he is going to miss any time Joe Douglas needs to bring in another tackle as soon as possible so they can start next week.
George Fant continued his worryingly poor start to the season for the Jets – Image courtesy of USA Today
Flacco retreated back into the cocoon of hesitancy that he spent week one inside of, constantly checking the ball down to Breece Hall or airing the ball out to no-one in particular into the sidelines. Garrett Wilson was the only receiver who seemed to be able to get open with any consistency down the field. Elijah Moore seemed to just be tasked with running at the sideline every play but credit should be given to Bengal’s corner Chidobe Awuzie who played excellent coverage on Moore all game.
The offensive scheme is all over the place and lacks an identity
Despite bringing in 3 new TEs this off-season the Jets don’t seem to want to use them
Garrett Wilson is a special player
In the tradition of TV platforms relying on nostalgia to bring in viewers the Jets seem to be content to play a defensive scheme from the early 2000’s to win football games. The rotating front 4-man rush no getting home against offensive lines that are beneath the talent level on the Jets D-Line is getting tiring. Mid-level QBs and poor O-Lines are being made to look elite as either the pass rush doesn’t get to the QB or the coverage doesn’t hold up in the middle of the field.
It’ll be interesting to see in a few days when the coaches film has been reviewed, and the advanced stats are out to see which part of the defence was more at fault here. The line itself though just couldn’t contain Burrow, every time Quinnen Williams, or Lawson, or whoever managed to get some pressure on Burrow he’d just slip out the other side of the line and run around until someone was open.
Ulbrich seems unable to make necessary changes to scheme to get the best out of a talented young Jets roster. – Image courtesy of USA Today
It’s baffling, after watching the film of how the Steelers and the Cowboys took apart the Bengals offence, that Ulbrich and Saleh couldn’t game plan for this week. Talent wise neither team is better than the Jets, but somehow they managed to decimate the Bengals and give their offences a long leash to eke out wins.
The defence did manage to improve in the second half and get the Bengals off the field, but it didn’t matter as the offence was unable to take advantage. Worryingly, Quincy Williams left the game in the second half with an ankle injury. Although he was the normal liability in times at coverage he was a terror in the run game and the Jets will miss that next week against the Steelers.
Scheme is tired – Ulbrich should have til the bye week to turn it around
Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed are elite
Lamarcus Joyner should not be starting on an NFL team
Quinnen Williams is the only member of the D-Line who deserves to be there
Fans who would be okay with Moseley being traded or leaving in 2023 need to seriously think that through.
Since week one the special teams unit under Brant Boyer have been solid. Zuerlein hit 4-of-4 for field goals including a few from 50 yards plus that should calm some nerves over the kicker position, and the rest of the special teams did nothing wrong which is the baseline of what you want from your special teams.
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As Jets fans we’re not particularly good at telling the real from the things our minds trick us into thinking are real when it comes to this team. The week two win was really exciting, but there were a lot of ‘teachable moments’ as Saleh would say where the team didn’t perform well enough to compete with the Browns, and all of that was still evident against the Bengals last night. The issues we saw week one against the Ravens are all still there too with the exception of special teams who seem to have gotten their act together.
Over the next fews days we’ll cathart through this on social media and our friends and realise that next week we’ll likely be watching Zach Wilson, and the ghost of Joe Flacco can go back to chasing Scooby Doo or something. There are genuine stars on this team who can change the fortunes of this franchise, but there are also serious issues that Douglas and Saleh need to address to avoid fans starting mock drafts in November.
Without addressing the dire performances of the O-Line and our Safeties, Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh are essentially punting on this season as neither offence or defence will function properly with these gaping holes in them. Next week against the Steelers should be a winnable game, but despite deficiencies in their roster they are an extremely well coached team and their defence, even without TJ Watt, can easily handle the Jets anaemic offence.
Legend @nickmangold pic.twitter.com/5Ifckqp2VW — New York Jets (@nyjets) September 25, 2022