Patriots @ Jets Report Card
posted at 9/20/2009 9:19 PM EDT
Hard to summon up the energy to compose this report after the Patriots' uninspiring effort against the hated Jets in Gotham. The Pats had a chance to seize control of this game in the first half. But, as was the case last week against Buffalo, they were unable to finish drives...settling for FGs, instead of posting 7s. Lots of blame to go around. But hey, its' still early in the season...and the Patriots will improve as the season progresses. Nor are these NY Jets the second coming of the "85 Bears.
It is what it is...a regular season loss...albeit a very dissappointing one. Here are my grades: A.) OFFENSE:
It's clear that this group is a far cry from the 2007 unit that swept across the NFL landscape like a Sahara sandstorm. The Patriots failed to score a TD for the first time in 36 games. Is it any wonder that the Pats lost? 1.) QB:
Though Tom Terrific completed a ton of passes, the average gain per completion was a pathetic 4.4 yards! As promised, the Jets blitzed hard and blitzed often, causing many rushed throws, and severly limiting the ability of the Pats to throw downfield. That said, Tom missed several open receivers, as he continues to shake off the rust accumulated from missing the 2008 season. A 53 passer rating is not going to get it done...as Jets' QB Mark Sanchez, operating under far less duress, outplayed his notable counterpart.GRADE: C-;
Fred Taylor ran well and hard in his Patriots' debut. Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk also had their moments. But Sammy Morris looked slow hitting the line. The Pats, who managed to scrape up 89 yards rushing...probably should have kept at it a bit more, in hopes of wearing down the Jets front seven...and keeping them honest.GRADE: C;
Were unable to hold off the blitzing onslaught, even though they prevented Tom Brady from getting sacked. Tom was hit too often, and under fierce pressure throughout. Though this performance was not of the embarrassing variety that the OL experienced in Miami a few years ago, or in the loss to the Giants, it was nothing to write home about. The Jets' front 7 pushed this unit around. Holding call on Steven Neal really hurt. The overall play of this group must improve by leaps and bounds, if the Pats hope to contend.GRADE: D+;
4.) WRs @ TEs:
Ben Watson wasn't the factor he was against the Bills...as Tom Brady had little time to seek him out. Randy Moss was awful, and appeared almost disinterested when it became abundantly clear that Brady wouldn't have the time needed to find him deep. Joey Galloway continues to stuggle picking up the offense, and getting on the same page with his new QB. Galloway looked 37, as he had a couple of drops. Julian Edleman, a/k/a Wes Welker Jr., continues to impress with a Welker like 8 catches for 98 yards. Third/fourth WR Jabar Gaffney, who had chemistry with Brady, has been noticably missed. GRADE: C; B.) DEFENSE:
Jets did the Pats a favor by being over protective of rookie QB Mark Sanchez in the first half...in which Sanchez threw only 5 passes. But, in the second half, the Jets turned Sanchez lose on the very mediocre Patriots' secondary. Since the Pats' front four were able to apply only modest pressure on the rookie QB, he picked the Pats apart...leading to 13 unanswered points...and the win. 1.) DL:
Did a reasonably good job in the first half against the run. But, as stated above, could apply no pressure to QB Sanchez in the second half. As a result, the Pats repeatedly could not get off the field on third down. GRADE: C;
Were justifiably concerned with stopping Jets' all-purpose pain in the neck RB, Leon Washington...and did a reasonably good job containing him. But, TE Dustin Keller was a killer on a couple of key plays...including the games' lone TD. No pressure applied to Sanchez...but a decent job defending the run, particularly by ILB Gary Guyton, who led the team with 10 tackles. GRADE: C+;
Had no answers for WR Jerricho Cotchery, who averaged a whopping 22 yards per reception. For the second straight week, missed tackles were a problem. It did not help the cause when safety Brandon Meriweather left the game early with an injury.GRADE: C-
C.) SPECIAL TEAMS:
The Pats were clearly beaten in this underrated phase of play. Punter Chis Hansen was awful, as he averaged less than 37 yards per kick...including one forgettable 31 yarder. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was the sole bright light of this unit, hitting all three of his FGs. The Patriots had problems covering kicks. Returner Leon Washington constantly put the Jets in good field position with his returns...and punter returner Jim Leonhard averaged 12 yards per punt return.GRADE: D
After a Patriot loss, BB usually explains to the media that, "We all have to do things better...and that starts at the top with me." Although its' usually just coach-speak, this time, it rang true. The OL appears to need a shake-up...37 year old WR Joey Galloway is not cutting it...and there were too many penalties.
But, most importantly, the Pats' defense is not playing aggressively enough. As a consequence, they are not forcing turnovers, and not getting off the field enough on third down. Perhaps the current personnel limits BB's options. Nonetheless, the Patriots' defense scares no one.
First, the Pats made Bills' QB Trent Edwards look like a pro-bowler, as his posted a 114 passer rating. Now the Pats allow a rookie starting his second NFL game to post a 101 rating. With Atlanta (Matt Ryan) and Baltimore (Joe Flacco) coming up in the next two weeks, this is particularly disquieting. GRADE: D
E.) PLAY OF THE GAME:
Mark Sanchez hitting WR Jerricho Cochery on a 43 yard catch and run...setting up the Jets' go-ahead TD;F.) PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Here is the box score: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=290920020