By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
They say there are no moral victories in sports, but even despite a loss, the Jets can take solace in knowing that they are still a competitive football team with all of their injuries, which very encouraging after looking like a JV team last week.
In fact, the Jets had a chance to win the game with a late drive, but their offensive limitations were exposed when Jeff Cumberland bobbled a pass that would be intercepted.
The Jets pulled out all stops to win the game, going for an onside kick after returning one for a touchdown and converting another Fake punt with Tim Tebow. Nick Mangold showed some true grit coming back into the game with a heavily-taped ankle after barely walking off the field on it just minutes before.
Here are some other observations from last night’s loss:
Cromartie and Wilson step up: Being at the game, I was able to get a good look at the Cromartie-Johnson matchup, in which Cro won decisively. The Jets used a lot of single-high looks to stop the Texans rushing attack, putting a lot of pressure on their corners.
Andre Johnson was held to just one catch for 15 yards. Wilson had a much better game as well, giving up 4 catches for 46 yards to Kevin Walter.
So far, Revis’ absence is hurting the run defense more so than the pass defense.
Up and down night for Tebow: Once again, the Jets were cautious to overuse the Tebow package, and for good reason. Outside of one big run to get the Jets inside the 10 yard line, the package was largely ineffective, as Tebow only averaged 3.8 yards per rush.
He also attempted his only deep pass of the season, which could have been caught by the newly-acquired Jason Hill, but the pass was dropped.
Kerley is the real deal: Right now, it is apparent the Jeremy Kerley is the Jets top playmaker on offense, and for good reason. He posted 95 receiving yards despite seeing coverage from Jonathan Joseph all night. The Jets love him as a slot receiver, but even when Stephen Hill returns to the lineup, the Jets need to find a way to keep him heavily involved in the offense.
Good Mark, Bad Mark: All things considered, Sanchez turned in a solid performance in which he was able to give the Jets 10 points (7 came from a Joe McKnight kickoff return). Keep in mind, Sanchez is currently playing with arguably the least-talented skill position players in the NFL against one of the NFL’s best defenses in Houston.
His performance was marred by a crucial red-zone interception that turned out to be the six-point swing to be the difference in the game, and J.J. Watt kept swatting his passes at the line of scrimmage.
In a way, this game was a microcosm of Sanchez’s career: Making the best of a bad situation, Sanchez flashed the ability to be a quality quarterback with his beautiful touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland, which he then follows up with a killer turnover in the red zone.
Same old run defense: The Jets were unable to bottle up the Texans’ rushing attack, allowing 152 yards to Arian Foster. 50 of those yards came on one run that Rex Ryan claimed to be an alignment error.
The run defense was clearly improved form last week (hard to get much worse), and they did have some crucial third-down stops, but the run defense is still not quite where it needs to be.