Jets' grades: Offense gets an 'F' after taking step back

Jets quarterback Geno Smith walks back to the Jets quarterback Geno Smith walks back to the sideline after he threw a fourth-quarter interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Oct. 13, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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OFFENSE

F It took the Jets until the second half to get their offense moving, only to have Geno Smith derail the entire operation. The rookie's first interception (picked off by Ryan Clark at the Steelers' 1) was a harbinger of things to come. The Jets never made it into the end zone with Smith capping his weak performance with another interception with 2:59 left in the game. The absence of tight end Kellen Winslow (four-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy) certainly hurt the Jets, who had only two pass plays of 20 yards or longer.

 

DEFENSE

D Rex Ryan's highly ranked defense began strong, forcing a three-and-out on the Steelers' first possession. The front seven pressured Ben Roethlisberger (three sacks) and forced Pittsburgh to settle for three field goals in the first half. But the unit had no answer for wide receiver Antonio Brown (nine catches, 86 yards) and tight end Heath Miller (six catches, 84 yards), and Antonio Cromartie was beaten badly on Emmanuel Sanders' 55-yard touchdown catch.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

B Nick Folk was the sole source of points for the Jets. The kicker is 13-for-13 this season after nailing field goals of 25 and 39 yards. The average Steelers drive started at their 23, thanks to punter Ryan Quigley. Clyde Gates broke off a 33-yard kickoff return, and Jeremy Kerley averaged 11.3 yards on four punt returns.

 

COACHING

D A week after Marty Mornhinweg was lauded for his game plan against the Falcons, the Jets' offensive coordinator's conservative approach against the Steelers left much to be desired. His receivers struggled to get open and the absence of top targets Winslow and Santonio Holmes was noticeable. The Jets seemed primed to score just before the first quarter ended. But instead of going for it on fourth-and-1 from the Steelers' 2, Ryan called for his field-goal unit. "My thinking there was to take the lead," Ryan said. "It was kind of windy out there. I thought our defense was playing well at that time, let's just get us on the scoreboard."

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