Jets legend Joe Namath got the last laugh over fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, as the Jets ran roughshod over the Buffalo Bills, Thursday night, but not all is right with Gang Green.
Following their 37-31 win at Buffalo, most of the Jets players were happy to get to .500, but were also quick to admit there’s still much room for improvement.
Their head coach, for one, gave some praise, but readily admitted there’s still lots of work to be done.
“We’re still getting better [but] we have to get better at a lot of things,” said head coach Todd Bowles. “We’re just going to continue to work. … We need to find different ways to win ball games [because] we’re not going to win every game scoring 37 points.”
Bowles’s quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, indeed looked sharp as he led a Jets offense that hung 37 points and 493 yards of total offense, including 28 first downs, on a Bills defense that was led by Rex and Rob Ryan. The outage was a team high under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, and the fifth-best total for the franchise since 1970. Having two 100-yard receiving performances (Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall) and almost a third (Quincy Enunwa who was just eight yards shy), plus a 100-yard rusher (Matt Forte) all at the same time means the Jets have the capability of being one of the league’s truly elite offenses.
But that doesn’t mean all is completely right. The right tackle position is still in flux, as Bowles noted they’ll likely still go with a two-man rotation of Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale heading into their Week 3 battle in Kansas City. The Chiefs annually boast one of the best defenses in the league, and Arrowhead Stadium is always one of the toughest venues for opposing teams, so the Jets will need to be even better this week.
Defensively, the Jets have been great in most areas, namely the defensive line, and cumbersome in another, such as the secondary. The pass rush has been stellar so far, but Gang Green knows they’ve got some things to fix in the secondary. The sample size is still small, but cornerback Darrelle Revis has shown a penchant for allowing the big play. There have been some “busts in the coverage” over the top of Revis, as Bowles reasoned, but it’s still an alarming trend for a secondary that has a future Hall of Famer in Revis and a ball hawk in Marcus Williams.
New York has allowed passing plays of 54, 71, and 84 yards in its first two games. It’s something they’ll definitely need to shore up in time for Sunday.
Bowles was firm in his standing that they’ll correct the issues and didn’t sound like it’s too alarming just yet, despite noting the mistakes are “Day 1 training camp stuff.”
“It’s one guy here or there, but we have to clean that up,” Bowles said. “The communication has to be cleaner. … We shouldn’t be busting. We have to make sure we correct that.”
They may catch that break on Sunday, if the Chiefs’ offense doesn’t right its own self. Kansas City came into this season confident they’d be one of the league’s highest-scoring outfits, but following their loss in Houston, yesterday, they may be just as inconsistent as the Jets’ secondary. Kansas City committed three turnovers, allowed four sacks, and had a plethora of dropped passes and drive-killing penalties. So, if there’s ever a time for the back-end of the Jets’ defense to get right, maybe the Chiefs’ sputtering offense could be just the elixir.
Gang Green notes:
- Reports are that Marshall has a sprained MCL, but no structural damage, although Bowles said nothing definite will be announced until Wednesday’s official injury report.
- Bowles noted that Decker is dealing with a “sore shoulder.”
- The Jets signed tight end Braedon Bowman to the practice squad, and have released defensive lineman Claude Pelon. Bowman was originally waived after Week 1 to make room for the return of Sheldon Richardson following his one-game suspension to start the season.
- Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles has been inactive for the first two games, but is expected to return this week and be ready for the Jets. Charles is coming off the second ACL tear of his career.