Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson’s knee is either made of elastic bands or he’s the best fibber west of New England, because the player who haunted the Jets didn’t look anything like the guy whose status was questionable heading into the game.
During the week, the Pro Bowl quarterback’s sprained MCL provided much consternation, but his performance on Sunday was the main reason for Seattle’s 27-17 win over the Jets.
New York (1-3) is suddenly in a tailspin, as that impressive Week 2 win in Buffalo seems like a distant memory.
It wasn’t all initially terrible for Gang Green in going toe-to-toe with the vaunted Seahawks (3-1), as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall went after Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman early and often.
Fitzpatrick showed he wasn’t afraid to test Sherman by connecting with Marshall on two of four targets in the opening quarter, including a 41-yard gain. Marshall finished with four catches for 89 yards —and a touchdown in front of Sherman —and saw a game-high 10 targets. But it wasn’t until the 14:27 mark of the fourth quarter when Sherman finally got keen on the back-shoulder throws and picked off Fitzpatrick. Until that moment, the Fitzpatrick-Marshall combination really tested Sherman, but as the Seahawks are apt to do, they adjusted to the Jets’ gameplan and really put the screws on Gang Green. Sherman ultimately accounted for two of Fitzpatrick’s three interceptions on the afternoon.
The Jets were without the services of wideout Eric Decker (labrum), and with Seattle bottling up running back Matt Forte (43 total yards), there weren’t many other options on offense to bother the Seahawks.
Metro takes a look back at the key moments in a tough loss for Gang Green.
What we saw:
1. Danger Russ
Wilson came into the game hobbled and donning a bulky knee brace. But after a week of intense rehab and around-the-clock treatment in his home, the Pro Bowl quarterback befuddled the Jets. Wilson, who went 23-of-32 for 309 yards and three touchdown passes, connected with eight different targets. He was sacked on the opening drive by Leonard Williams, and twice overall, but was mostly clean. The last time he played at MetLife, he was a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. And for at least another afternoon, he made himself right at home, thanks to a suddenly suspect Jets secondary.
2. Tight end conundrum
It’s been no secret that the tight end position has been nonexistent for the Jets under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, and that deficiency was on full display against Seattle. Braedon Bowman was the only tight end to even be targeted in the passing game — and naturally, he dropped it. Bowman didn’t register a reception. Conversely for Seattle, Jimmy Graham went wild in the Jets’ secondary as he tallied six catches for 113 yards. It was the second-straight game in which Graham went over the century mark — and also the first time that’s been achieved by a Seahawks tight end in franchise history. The Jets would take even half of that production on a weekly basis, but for the foreseeable future, the position will likely look like it’s being manned by glorified linemen.
3. Secondary is a primary concern
What was once possibly considered a fluky occurrence is now turning into a major concern for the Jets, as opposing passing games are having its way every week. Graham wasn’t the only receiving option to have success, as Wilson got multiple targets on track. Four receivers had personal long receptions of at least 27 yards, with an undrafted wideout having the longest reception of the game. Wilson hit rookie Tanner McEvoy on a 42-yard touchdown pass for the former Wisconsin Badger’s first — and only — NFL catch. The 6-foot-6 McEvoy, who starred at New Jersey prep powerhouse Bergen Catholic High School, ran through busted coverage to highlight the Jets’ continued secondary woes. And with Darrelle Revis losing a step — and now apparently nursing a hamstring injury — New York’s once vaunted secondary is now looking like the defense’s Achilles.