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OH NO! 0-2

By Chris Pine
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
September 15th, 2003
There will be no comeback today, Buddy
There will be no comeback today, Buddy
Was the outcome of this game ever really in doubt? It was embarrassing just watching it unfold. I don’t know where to start with this game recap. What is there to say that the angry crowd inside the Meadowlands didn’t already say with their incessant rain of “boos” throughout the second quarter. The defense was poor at best, the running game was non-existent, and the offensive play calling incredibly suspect to say the least. The contest started out on a pretty high note just as last week’s game against the Redskins. On the first possession the Jets held Miami forcing a punt and then had a string of impressive plays including some great pass completions to Wayne Chrebet once, Curtis Conway twice and then one to Santana Moss; each pass over 15 yards. Then implausibly the Jets decide to run a reverse which just devastated all of the momentum that they had built up over that span. What I will never understand is why a team feels compelled to “change things up” when what they are already doing is working fine.

We all know what happened after that; “The Ricky Williams Show” began as he was on his way towards compiling 172 total yards. It was unbelievable the way he moved across the field at will. If he was met at the line of scrimmage he somehow was able to push ahead for four yards anyway. I think he was only stopped three times all game. He was amazing. The Jets defense should be ashamed of themselves. I refuse to listen to anyone defend them either by making claims that Ricky Williams is one of the best rushers in the league and I should cut the Jets some slack. If you want your team to be considered a playoff contender than you have to be up to the task of stopping players like Williams. End of discussion.

Then you have to wonder how you would explain Jay Fielder’s performance; 14 of 19 for 190 yards plus a touchdown. These numbers aren’t too impressive until you place them next to his five rushes for thirty-five yards and a touchdown. He outran Curtis Martin. That is embarrassing in itself. Now tack on top of that the performance that Patrick Ramsey had in week one and you wonder what the problem is with this defense that allows the opposing quarterback enough time to go through his progressions and then scramble for first downs and scores.

Now there were some bright spots for this team including the play of Santana Moss who pulled in five catches for 152 yards. Most impressive was the 61 yard catch he made taking some hits and staying upright long enough to speed down the sidelines. It is too bad though the Jets were held scoreless on that drive because maybe I would be writing about how that was a turning point in the game instead of just some insignificant highlight in a game of few highlights. Moss did show us his playmaking ability and some never before seen toughness as he shook off a few big hits. It actually looks like Moss is finally going to live up to his hype.

Testaverde was a lot better although you have to discredit roughly seventy of his 373 passing yards since those were mostly on the final drive and only came about due to the prevent scheme the Dolphins were displaying at the time. Even with that said I do think he was exponentially better than the previous week. He seemed confident and his passes were crisp and accurate. There were a few drops and his one interception is forgivable because by that time in the game he was just trying to make something happen. He did also happen to become the ninth quarterback to pass for over 40,000 yards but I am pretty sure that doesn’t have the impact he had hoped for.

What do the Jets need? Well for starters I would like to see Anthony Becht average more than four yards a catch. Becht doesn’t seem to have the ability to run over a speed bump let alone any linebackers who may be covering him. If he does not show any improvement Herman Edwards has to start thinking about using Chris Baker in his place.

The team also need Curtis Martin to show up. Maybe Edwards plan of resting him during most of the preseason and training camp backfired on the team, because right now Martin looks weaker and slower than I can ever recall. Of course the offensive line isn’t helping him out too much either. This line needs to start imposing it’s will upon the opposing team if we are ever going to see a crooked number in the Jets win column.

Finally, the Jets need some consistency from the defense. It seems as though the players are unaware of what is unfolding around them on every play. They always appear to be catching up to the offensive player instead of meeting them head on. Shaun Ellis and John Abraham both had excellent games and Chester McGlockton is making some noise and a case to start for this team but besides that there is little else to get excited over. The secondary seems weak and overmatched. It appears as though opposing receivers are controlling to zones instead of the other way around.

The Jets need to step up and begin playing the way that they are capable of playing. The team needs to begin to execute on both sides of the ball more consistently and prove that they deserve to play in the National Football League. This years Jet team can not risk having another slow start; not now with both Miami and New England evening up their records this week and Buffalo making it appear as though they can not be beaten. The Jets have to make a move now or be buried at the bottom of this competitive division all season long.

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