What We Learned From Jets Loss to Steelers
Added by Justin O'Connell on October 15, 2013.
This week spelled upset for the New York Jets, as they were coming off of a short week and the Pittsburgh Steelers had two weeks to prepare for them. Not to mention the Jets were probably still on a high from the win in Atlanta. Even Vegas had the Steelers favored and it appears that as usual they knew what they were talking about. The Steelers defeated the Jets 19-6 in game which New York’s offense could get nothing going.
“Hats off to the Pittsburgh defense. They played a tremendous game, including that second half. They came out and they made it tough on us. They made us be consistent on every single down and they made us drive the ball on every single down. That’s really it. Other than those two turnovers, which were my fault, they just played us hard and we knew that coming in. We knew it would be this type of game. They’re that type of team. They’re always hard to beat. You never really blow them out. That’s not the character of that team. They compete every single week. They showed up today and we didn’t get it done,” Geno Smith said.
With a enormously big game coming up with the New England Patriots next week, the Jets will have to lick their wounds and come up with a much better game plan.
Image via NYDN.com
Time to break down this weeks game:
1) Marty Mornhigweg
Marty Mornhigweg might be just as inconsistent with his play calling as Smith is with his with his play on the field. Think the two might correspond? The Jets only ran 30 plays and struggled to move the ball, yet Mornhigweg made no adjustments and never let Smith open up the offense. The only time in the game the Jets offense looked truly effective was at the end of the half, when Smith drove them down the field for a field goal. When they went over the top it turned out even better for the Jets, Smith could just not hit Stephen Hill. Mornhigweg needs to utilize Smith’s ability to throw the ball down field, as he is the best deeper ball passer in the league (statistically). Also if they cannot run the ball, they have to revert back to short quick throws and screens as a way to throw off the defense.
2) Geno Smith needs to make better decision
Smith again had multiple turnovers and it again ended in a loss. He claims that on his first interception he was trying to throw it away and he could not put enough on it, while on the second one he was hit. Regardless Smith cannot be turning over the ball in close games, especially when the offense is struggling. If all else fails Smith should take off with the ball and run it upfield. For some reason he does not want to run even when it is the only option; he has the speed, he simply needs to take advantage of it.
3) Utilize Cumberland
Jeff Cumberland is the Jets biggest pass catching threat right now, but they have not utilized him enough. He is averaging 18 yards per catch and has caught 11 of his 13 targeted passes (85%, highest percentage on the team). He led the Jets in catches and receiving yards against the Steelers, but he was the fourth most targeted player, behind Kerley, Gates, and Hill. A tight end can be the quarterback’s greatest assets and also opens up the rest of the field for his fellow receivers, and not only that but Cumberland is very athletic his size. Look for the Jets to start targeting Cumberland more often, to be one of the focal points of its offense.
4) Secondary’s hurting
The Jets could sure use Darrelle Revis’s cover abilities right now, as Antonio Cromartie is struggling out and Dee Milner is still recovering from a hamstring injury. When Cromartie was first injured reports came out saying that he could miss the rest of the season, but he came out and played on Sunday. Unfortunately, he was not his usual self and struggled in coverage against Emanuel Sanders (caught the 55-yard td reception) and Antonio Brown. Darrin Walls had a difficult time against the Falcons, but rebounded against the Steelers although he let up some big plays in the third quarter. The Jets are going to need Milner to come back and have an instant impact. The Jets bye week in week 10 can not come soon enough, so Cromartie, and the rest of the team, can get some rest.
5) Damon Harrison
One of the pluses for the Jets was its run defense, which has been stellar all season, but was especially dominating against the Steelers. They ran the ball 26 times for 73 yards, which is an average of 2.8 yards per rush and its leading ball carrier, Le’Veon Bell only had 34 yards on 16 attempts (2.1 ypc). A huge reason for all this was Damon Harrison who threw aside blockers to get to the running. Harrison was clogging holes and consistently disrupting Pittsburgh’s offensive line. The Jets defensive line has been a key to its success all season and Harrison the key to shutting down the run.