With the Jets coming out of its bye week off what might have been its worst loss of the season to Miami at home, it was clear that with a 3-5 record, the second half of the season was going to have to start off with a bang in Seattle for this ship to be back in the right direction. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie did his best Rex Ryan impersonation declaring that the Jets were certainly playoff bound. Seattle has been extremely effective at home this year, backed by what has become one of the loudest crowds in the NFL creating a distinct home field advantage. Another week, another game in which the Jets offense really stunk it up. Let's break down the action:
This Seahawks offense thus far in the season has been at its most effective when two things happen throughout the game. One (and most importantly) running back Marshawn Lynch continues to pound the opposing defense with his punishing run style and hits big plays and two, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson is able to hit a few big plays himself while minimizing his mistakes. Perplexing for Jet fans was that in the first half, the Seahawks were right where the Jets wanted them, The quarterback was not comfortable inside the pocket and Lynch was held to under 50 yards. That appeared to be a recipe for a tough road victory but that's why they play two halves.
Though Russell Wilson fumbled in the first half that was returned for a touchdown, you can't forget that the Jets offense despite being handed two takeaways from the defense, turned it over three times itself. That basically kept the Seahawks in the game on offense. Wilson who finished 11/19 for 188 yards and 2 TDs hit two big plays in the game to lead his team: a 38 yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate and a 31 yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice.
The other key in this matchup was Marshawn Lynch. It appeared in the first half that he was in for a long day as the Jets defensive line really dominated early, forcing him to fumble as well. But like I said previously, his style of play allows him to keep going at it until he wears the defense down and breaks away for big runs. He finished with 27 carries, 124 yards, and 1 score. If this team can figure out how to bring this offensive consistency on the road, they could be headed for the playoffs.
What is there really to say about this offense at this point? They've now failed to score a SINGLE touchdown in the past two games. They do not have any identity as they now fail to even run the ball more than 20 games. You'd think with Holmes out and a really thin receiving core they'd rather try and run all game but that doesn't happen. And yes, Sanchez is in his 4th year now, but he doesn't have sufficient help to fairly grade his performance. He's proven that when he has help, he can win. That's all it comes down to.
Sanchez finished with an awful game (9/22, 124 yards, 1 INT). I really believe you cannot be overly critical of these stats because when you watch the Jets play, when they play against a good defense like what the Seahawks have, the receivers are swallowed up by the opposing secondary. Never do they get Sanchez separation. I blame that on the general manager Mike Tannenbaum. They do not even have any kind of running threat which help alleviate the tremendous amount of pressure on Mark's shoulders right now. I think it's safe to say that in the offseason via the draft and free agency, they are in for a huge retooling.
Even though the Jets have been downright anemic on offense for a better part of the season, this Seahwaks defense sure looked scary to me. Not only do they have a strong defensive line/linebacking core with guys like Chris Clemons, rookie Bruce Irvin (recorded 2 sacks in the game), etc but boy is this a strong and cohesive secondary. The sheer size of their starting corners and safeties is remarkable with all their guys standing above 6 feet which really makes them all such strong and physical players.
This unit does play better at home backed by that electric crowd but with the combination of the exceptional pass rushers and a stout secondary, I really feel like this team could get into the playoffs and could certainly be a tough out on the road with their strong running game as well.
In the first half of this football game, this unit was playing arguably one of its best halves of the year. The pass rush was FINALLY there and recorded 4 sacks, 2 fumbles with one leading to a touchdown, and a great effort stopping the run. The only real mistake was the 38 yard pass from Wilson to Golden Tate and other than that, this defense really kept the team in it which has been the story more often than not in the past 2 seasons. It's clear that even without Revis that as a unit they're getting frustrated with the performance of the offense and how can you blame them?
Because they ended up being on the field for a whopping 36+ minutes, it was clear that they were getting tired in the 4th quarter. Lynch kept pounding his way to a 100 yard game and at that point the defense looked beat mentally as well which was evident on a trick play in which Golden Tate threw a pass to Sidney Rice for a touchdown. This unit was supposed to be winning games for this Jets team but the offense isn't helping them at all.
The schedule remains relatively soft for this Jets team in the remaining 7 weeks so it'll be curious to see if this team makes a rally or continues to fade.
Thanks for reading 1st & 10's Week 10 game analysis of the New York Jets. The New York Jets are 3-6 and will be at St. Louis (3-5-1) Sunday November 18th at 1PM on CBS.