The New York Jets suffered a crushing 27-23 defeat against the Miami Dolphins to fall to 3-6 for the season. Prior to the week nine match up, the road to the playoffs was already an uphill battle; however, this loss pretty much sealed the Jets fate.
New York Jets Week Nine Takeaways
Despite coming into the season as a win-now team, the Jets must focus on the future as their playoff hopes are all but gone. While the Jets have a few winnable games left on their schedule, they aren’t a very good team. There are many holes on both sides of the roster and several star players are underperforming. This was supposed to be the game that would propel the Jets to turn the tables as they won seven of their last nine games on the road agains the Dolphins; however, this time they came up short. Here are a few other takeaways.
Quarterback Questions Remain
Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s dismal season continued after throwing two picks in the second half of the game to add to a league leading 13 interceptions for the season. In the third quarter, Fitzpatrick was looking for tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins when defensive tackle Jordan Phillips dropped into coverage and made the pick which led to a Miami field goal. Fitzpatrick’s second pick came in the red zone when Bobby McCain intercepted a deep pass intended for wide receiver Robby Anderson. While Fitzpatrick was able to take the Jets down the field a few times, red zone struggles continued. After being third in red zone efficiency in 2015, the Jets are ranked No. 30 in 2016 at 41.38 percent.
After a low hit on Fitzpatrick, Jets fans got their wish when Petty came in for relief. He was only in for a few plays, completing both of his pass attempts for 19 yards. His highlight was a 15-yard screen pass to Bilal Powell which later led to a field goal to cut the lead to 20-16.
If there’s a time to evaluate Petty, it’s now. Head coach Todd Bowles has a tough decision to make. Turning the offense to Petty may send a signal to the locker room that the season is pretty much over as he waves the white flag. However, if the turnovers continue there won’t be much of a choice.
Miscues and Mental Mistakes
The Jets looked undisciplined and sloppy throughout the game accounting for six penalties for 60 yards in the first half and 10 for 77 on the game. After successfully stopping Miami running back Jay Ajayi in his first three runs, an unnecessary roughness penalty on Buster Skrine and a foolish unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Calvin Pryor kept the drive alive. The Dolphins were able to take advantage as Ajayi broke loose for a 20-yard touchdown run giving Miami a 7-3 lead.
Another significant blunder led to a special teams score for the Dolphins that pretty much sealed the game. Late in the fourth quarter, an offsides penalty against Antonio Allen during kickoff led to re-kick. Running back Kenyan Drake gashed any hopes the Jets had of winning the game with a 96-yard return to put the Dolphins back on top 27-23 with 5:15 left in the game.
The disparity between the Jets run defense and pass defense is a head scratcher. While the Jets came into the game leading the league in run defense, Ajayi finished with 111 yards on 24 carries. While the Jets were able to stuff the run several times throughout the game, it was big holes here and there that did the damage. In total, the Jets gave up 137 on the ground.
Unlike previous weeks, the pass defense wasn’t under much scrutiny. Struggling cornerback Darrelle Revis had a quiet day as Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn’t try to exploit him. Tannehill only had 149 yards passing with the longest pass play being a 24-yard completion to tight end Dominique Jones.
Defensive end Leonard Williams has been a bright spot for the Jets as he continues his sophomore campaign with eight total quarterback pressures (two QB hits) and four solo.