STARS OF THE GAME:
Despite six Quincy Carter sacks the Jets were able to pull out a late win against Cleveland. (Jets Insider.com photo)
5. Justin McCareins: The ex-Titan is finally reaching the potential the Jets knew he had when they traded for him last spring. Yesterday he grabbed six balls for 71 yards and 1 TD while proving why he is a perfect fit for the Jets’ West Coast Offense. He made a few tough catches over the middle and had a key 3rd down catch on the Jets’ scoring drive where he caught the ball off a dig route three yards in front of the marker, spun around and lunged to pick up the 3rd down on 3rd and 11. 2 Plays later, McCareins caught a quick screen, broke a tackle and ran in for an 11 yard TD. McCareins also showed his terrific blocking, spring Martin and Jordan on a couple of long runs to the outside. McCareins showed his all-around skills on a day where points, and yards for that matter, were at a premium. If McCareins continues to play at that level, the Jets offense could become more explosive when Chad Pennington returns.
4. The Browns’ Offensive Line: The Browns offensive line did a great job containing the Jets talented defensive linemen by only allowing one sack and it was to S Eric Coleman. Ross Verba in particular did an excellent job on John Abraham as he did not allow Abraham to get to the QB. Unfortunately for Cleveland, they were plagued by poor throws from both QB’s as they missed open wide receivers down the sideline. The Browns offensive line also opened some holes in the running game, as the Browns grinded out 99 rushing yards against an improved Jets run defense.
3. Browns Defensive Coordinator Dave Campo: The once embattled head coach of the Dallas Cowboys called one of his best games as defensive coordinator of the Browns. Campo, who was Quincy Carter’s head coach in Dallas, attacked Carter with timely blitzes, most of which came on 3rd down. Throughout the game, Campo seemed to know exactly what play the Jets were going to run. Campo called for a lot of stunts, confusing the Jets’ O-line en route to six sacks, two of which came from athletic linebacker Chaun Thompson. Campo also called for a lot of 2-3 Deep coverages to cover the deep throws and predominately used man on the outside to pressure Carter into tough throws. Campo’s defense shut down the Jets offense. When one thinks about how little talent the Browns have on defense, the feat becomes that much more impressive.
2. The Jets’ Offensive Line: The Jets’ OL which has been rock steady all season surprisingly struggled early giving up five sacks in the first half and six in the first forty minutes. The six sack total was the most given up by the Jets since 1999. The Browns blitzed Carter often, making him uncomfortable in the pocket. The Jets offensive line, in particularly guards Pete Kendall and Brandon Moore struggled against the barrage and the Jets only managed 79 total yards in the first half. However, in the second half, the Jets decided to run the football. The offensive line immediately picked up its intensity, spring huge holes for LaMont Jordan to run through as the line sprung LJ for 61 rushing yards in the 4th quarter and a 75 yard game-winning scoring drive with less than five minutes remaining. Making adjustments in the middle of the game to help its team win the game is what separates the Jets’ offensive line from others in the NFL.
1. LaMont Jordan: After Sunday’s game, it’s apparent why Terry Bradway decided not to trade LaMont Jordan this season, as the talented RB ran for 73 yards on 18 carries as Curtis Martin was sidelined ailing in the 2nd half with a bruised knee. Down 7-3, the Jets drove 75 yard on 10 plays in 5:55, deciding to do what they do best, run the football. Jordan ran through the Browns defense behind a revitalized Jets offensive line gaining 61 yards in the 4th quarter alone and dominating on the go ahead scoring drive. Jordan also ran for a key first down on the Jets final possession which allowed them to run out the clock and claim victory. One can see how valuable Jordan is to the Jets after this game, as he proved to be a weapon late in the game against a worn down defense. Jordan has a superb combination of speed, constantly turning the corner when running off-tackle, and power, knocking Kenard Lang’s helmet off as he broke though his, and other Brown tackles throughout the day. Jordan was the main reason the Jets pulled out with a win in the poorly played contest and it should be a top priority of this team to re-sign Jordan at the end of the year.
GOAT OF THE GAME:
Browns K Phil Dawson: Dawson, who had not missed a FG this season and had hit 27 straight, missed two field goals in the game. The 2nd of which gave the Jets enough momentum to drive 75 yards down the field and win the game. The Browns offense is not very explosive, to put it kindly, so when they have a long drive, it is imperative to get points because it could be the last time they are in scoring position. Dawson is sure to get an earful from Browns Fans...
-WR/KR Jerricho Cotchery had a nice 30 yd kickoff return on his only opportunity. It looks like Cotchery could become the regular return man on kickoffs.
--The Jets defense played very well as a unit. The Jets Front four did not have their best game, but it was good to see that the Jets defense can play well without the defensive line getting constant pressure. The Jets contained the Browns’ two-headed rushing attack of William Green and Lee Suggs and the Jets corners blanketed WR’s Antonio Bryant and Dennis Northcutt throughout the day. The unit seems to get better with every game and with every game, the improved speed on defense become more and more evident.
-CB Terrell Buckley had another good game. He had good deep coverage on a couple plays and almost had an interception.
After being very quiet for the past month or so, -S Erik Coleman had a solid game recording five tackles, a sack, and almost had a near interception where he jumped a post route over the middle but dropped the would-be interception. Coleman’s instincts continue to improve with experience.
-On one hand, QB Quincy Carter didn’t lose us the game...but he almost did. Coming off a solid game last week against the stingy Ravens defense, Carter looked lost throughout the game. Carter was under constant pressure, continually holding the ball too long and taking the sack instead of hitting his check-down receiver, proving the fact that he is not a good fit for the West Coast Offense. Carter missed a couple of open receivers and through into double coverage a couple of times, one resulting in a pick when he through a bomb to Santana Moss down the left sideline. Carter did however make quick decisions and accurate throws on the scoring drive late in the 4th quarter, helping the Jets win the game. But if Quincy Carter continues to play the way he did today in Chad’s absence, the Jets will have a tough time making the playoffs.
-P Toby Gowin, out-kicked his coverage on two punts, resulting in a couple of big punt returns by Dennis Northcutt. But at least he proved he is a solid tackler!
-LB Eric Barton did not have his best game. Barton was late back-pedaling into coverage resulting in a couple of big gains over the middle and was frozen by Jeff Garcia’s play-action fake, which resulted in a TD by TE Aaron Shea, who was supposed to be covered by Barton.
-Penalties. The Jets had 5 penalties for 50 yards, including two "roughing the passer" penalties, one by John Abraham(resulted in a first down), one by Shaun Ellis. This is the most undisciplined Jets team in the Herm Edwards era. The Jets cannot continue to give away free yards, especially when they are locked in a defensive battle where yards are at a premium.
QUESTIONABLE COACHING DECISION OF THE GAME:
-Browns DB Earl Little appeared to have his knee down at the 2 yard line after intercepting Quincy Carter’s deep pass intended for Santana Moss, but ran the ball back to their 23 yard line. Herm Edwards decided not to challenge the call. The call did not have a direct effect on the game, but giving a deficient offense free yards could come back to haunt the Jets.
MY TWO CENTS:
-If the Jets continue to play like they have the last two games, they will not make the playoffs. The Jets are playing like a sloppy football team, committing uncharacteristic penalties and worst of all, not capitalizing on golden opportunities. For example, Dennis Northcutt drops a short punt in the 3rd quarter and B.J. Askew recovers on the Cleveland 48 yard line.
OK, Jets... You have good field possession. Now go for the kill!
Two plays later on 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 42 down 7-3, Quincy Carter spins off a blitzer and chucks the ball down the left sideline to a streaking Santana Moss. Except there were two Brown defenders covering him. DB Earl Little picks it off.
Two plays after the interception rookie FS Erik Coleman jumps in front of Dennis Northcutt over the middle, and Kelly Holcomb’s throw hits Coleman in the hands...but falls to the ground.
After the would-be interception on 3rd down, Holcomb’s pass is incomplete.
Good job, D. Now lets get something started O!
Wait a minute! There’s laundry on the field!! John Abraham is called for a 15 yard ‘Roughing the Passer" penalty giving the Browns a first down (a horrible call by the way).
The Browns did move down the field but New York’s new favorite kicker Phil Dawson missed the field goal, his 2nd miss of the day. A good team would have put the Jets away right then and there. A good team would have scored after getting the ball in the opposition’s territory. A good team would caught the interception. A good team wouldn’t have committed the penalty giving the opposition a free 1st down. Get my point? If the Jets are going to be a playoff team, they must capitalize on their opportunities, and they must learn to then put their opposition away. But I also do give the Jets credit, they did come back and win when they didn’t bring their "A" game, and that shows character. But they cannot expect to get lucky again...