Jets Defense Again Missing in 45-20 Thrashing from Oakland

For nearly two quarters, the Jets appeared ready to stay within striking distance of the high-powered Raiders and trail only 14-10 at halftime.

Suddenly, the untimely turnover dashed their hopes.

Kalif Raymond muffed a punt on his own four-yard line, and the momentum swung heavily back in the Raiders’ favor  three plays later with a 21-10 halftime lead.

The Jets responded with the second half kickoff and a drive that responded in a field goal that narrowed the gap to 21-13, but the Jets’ defense crumbled.

Oakland then coasted to a 45-20 home win, leaving the Jets with some monumental concerns about their defense.

Here’s are some quick takes from the game:

JOSH McCOWN—The 38-year-old basically kept the Jets in the game as he completed 17 of 25 passes for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns both to Jermaine Kearse, who is beginning to develop some good chemistry with him. McCown took off on a 22-yard scamper in the third quarter that helped Chandler Catanzaro kick his second field goal, this one from 40 yards.

McCown was sacked four times –through no fault of his own —  and did manage to avoid more sacks with his movement around the pocket. He looked  more comfortable overall and was the victim of a series of dropped passes. This loss certainly can’t be saddled on him.

DEFENSE: Try 818 yards allowed in two games. This time around, Oakland racked up 180 yards on the ground, the Jets have allowed 370 in two games.  They did slow Marshawn Lynch for only 45 yards and  13-yard touchdown run. However, Cordarette Patterson ran threw a hole the size of a three-lane freeway on a 43-yard TD jaunt, and Jalen Richard broke numerous tackles on his way to a 30-yard score.

Their passing defense wasn’t any better, as Oakland’s Derrick Carr threw three touchdowns to Michael Crabtree, who burned corners  Morris Claiborne twice and Justin Burris once. Carr completed 23 of 28 for 230 yards. Buster Skrine also had a bad game.

Up front, the Jets’ pass rush wasn’t there. They didn’t sack Carr and were held in-check the whole afternoon, without registering a quarterback hit. Muhammed Wilkerson and Leo Williams went missing. This came after head coach Todd Bowles called out the defensive line after their play against Buffalo in the opener.

The starting linebacking play was below average. Darron Lee looked a bit overwhelmed due to his undersized frame. Overall, the team’s tackling effort left a lot to be desired.

It is a huge concern considering this was supposed to be the team’s strength.

RUNNING GAME – Matt Forte flashed some of his old Bears prowess as he rushed for 53 yards on just nine carries (5.9 average) and Bilal Powell ( 13 yards) and rookie Eli McGuire (29 yards) showed promise, as the Jets appear to be developing a three-back attack. They produced an effective 126 yards on the ground.

The lone concern would be getting Powell into motion more, as he ran for 5.5 a clip last season. Yet, a plus-100-yard total is a huge step forward.

OVERALL: The Jets last began the season 0-2 in 2007. Like their opener, the Jets were right there before everything crumbled around them.  Bowles stated that his defense is “not very good at all,” admitting they made plenty of mistakes.

 They will need to secure this porous defense quickly or it will be a long, long 15 weeks ahead. Ironically, their offense has played better than expected  and has been increasing their continuity, while the defense hasn’t played with the intensity and aggressiveness they showed in the preseason.One consolation is they will return to MetLife for their home opener against Miami next Sunday.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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