Newsday's Roderick Boone grades the Jets' performance in Sunday's loss to New Orleans.
They just didn't get it done on this side of the ball. All they had to do was make a few plays, but they never really did, accumulating only 244 yards of offense. Mark Sanchez looked like a rookie with his four turnovers and threw for a season-low 138 yards. The Jets were horrible on third down, going 3-for-12.
They played well, limiting the league's top-ranked offense - which came in averaging 438 yards and 40 points per game - to 343 yards and 10 offensive points. They were stout on third down, with the Saints converting 4 of 13 chances. They also came up with two huge stops on fourth-and-short. They clamped down during a goal-line stand in the first quarter and had another big effort in the third quarter, taking down Pierre Thomas on fourth-and-inches from the Jets' 28. Linebacker Bryan Thomas came up with a fumble, knocking the ball free from Reggie Bush with the Jets down 17-3.
Jay Feely is as steady as they come, banging through a 38-yard field goal for his 20th consecutive make dating to 2008. He also bombed all three of his kickoffs into the end zone, recording a pair of touchbacks. Save for his 27-yard second-quarter punt that appeared to be partially tipped, Steve Weatherford did another decent job, dropped his initial punt of the game at the Saints' 4. But there wasn't much going on in the return game. Leon Washington had 17 yards on the one kickoff he was able to bring out of the end zone.
The Jets outsmarted themselves with some of their play-calling, such as their head-scratching decisions to eschew pounding the ball on third-and-short and instead trying to convert via the pass. They tried to get too cute at times rather than putting the ball in the hands of a running back and letting him plow behind their talented offensive line. They did throw in a few wrinkles on offense that worked, using more of the Wildcat look they practiced during training camp and throwing in an option play for Brad Smith. Give them credit for putting Darrelle Revis on Hofstra product Marques Colston, who was held to two catches for 33 yards. But this wasn't the best performance by a staff that came up with some good game plans in the first three weeks.