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Jets grades: Offense has to do better

Jets running back Bilal Powell crosses the goal

Jets running back Bilal Powell crosses the goal line for the Jets' only touchdown during the second half against the Chargers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

Offense: D

Bryce Petty finished with a 49.6 quarterback rating, was sacked three times and threw one interception. Some of Petty’s throws were pretty good, but he was too high or didn’t have enough touch on a few others. It’s too much to ask Petty to carry the offense because he can’t right now. The Jets went 3-for-14 on third down and had five three-and-outs out of 14 possessions. The offensive line utilized backups at center, right guard and right tackle. Bilal Powell earned his second 100-yard game of the season with 145 yards on 19 carries for a 7.6 average.

Defense: C

The defense did what it could against Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, allowed only 14 points and held the Chargers to 5-for-15 on third down. Gates, however, caught six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers averaged only three yards a carry, but Melvin Gordon gained 81 yards on 19 carries before leaving with an ankle injury in the second half. Rivers wasn’t sacked but was hit five times, including twice by outside linebacker Josh Martin. Safety Jamal Adams almost had his first career interception.

Special teams: B

The Jets opened the game with an onside kick and recovered it, though the offense couldn’t do anything with it. Lac Edwards had a season-high nine punts for a 43.6 net average, including five inside the 20. JoJo Natson got his chances but averaged only 4.3 yards on seven punt returns.

Coaching: C

The offense has to do better than this. Yes, Petty made only his sixth start, but there were some questionable play calls, including a pass play on a third-and-1 that upset left tackle Kelvin Beachum. The onside kick call was excellent.

Turning point

With the Jets down 14-7 and facing a fourth-and-7 from the Chargers’ 17, Petty threw an incomplete pass to Robby Anderson with 3:07 left that basically ended the afternoon for his team. Petty’s throw was terrible, especially with cornerback Casey Hayward owning tight inside position on Anderson. A back-shoulder throw or a fade route might have been a better call.

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