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Grading the Jets: Offense, defense, special teams, coaching: All C’s

Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets walks off the field after a loss against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac


The unit’s blistering start fizzled as Ryan Fitzpatrick & Co. failed to get in the end zone. In five red-zone trips, the offense scored just twice: a 3-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa in the first quarter and a 15-yarder to Eric Decker in the second. Decker (two catches, 37 yards) and Brandon Marshall (three for 32 yards) had a noticeably quiet day. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick (19 of 35 for 189 yards, two touchdowns and an interception) was mediocre, and his interception with 40 seconds left thwarted the Jets’ comeback. The offensive line held up exceptionally well, even with rotating right tackles Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale. Matt Forte accumulated 155 all-purpose yards in his Jets debut. Enunwa had a single-game best seven receptions for 54 yards and his TD — the first of his career — capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive opening drive.


The big fellas feasted all afternoon, and still it wasn’t enough. Even without Sheldon Richardson (one-game suspension), the defensive line sacked Andy Dalton five times in the first half — including back-to-back takedowns of the Bengals quarterback in the second quarter. Led by Leonard Williams (2 1⁄2) and new addition Steve McLendon (2), the group finished with seven sacks.

Miscommunication in the secondary was the biggest issue. A.J. Green had 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown, while Dalton was 23-for-30 for 366 yards and had two completions of 54 yards (including Green’s TD) and a 49-yard completion to Brandon LaFell. Darrelle Revis admitted, “It probably wasn’t one of my better games,” but the cornerback wasn’t the only culprit. Cornerback Marcus Williams’ first-quarter interception was quickly overshadowed by his poor pass coverage throughout the game.


“Folk Zero”?

It’s way too soon to be overly critical of Nick Folk, one of the most reliable kickers in the NFL. But his blocked field goal (following Williams’ interception) and missed extra point on Decker’s TD didn’t give the Jets any margin for error. Folk accounted for 10 points, but his PAT miss was his first in 313 career attempts. The unit is finally fun to watch again with Jalin Marshall (65-yard punt return). Aussie punter Lachlan Edwards also had a very good debut, averaging 44.3 yards on three punts with a long of 54.


The game plan was working just fine early on, but offensive coordinator Chan Gailey never adjusted as the game went on. While Forte was used heavily, Powell was rendered a nonfactor. Some may question Todd Bowles’ decision not to go for it on fourth-and-2 early in the fourth. The team wasn’t “crisp overall,” the coach said. And that’s a problem.


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