Moeller: Jets Knock On The Door, But Can’t Kick It In

Head coach Todd Bowles said it a few times during his post-game press conference Sunday afternoon in Miami.

“We have to finish,” he said.

He is certainly correct.

For the past two weeks, the Jets have let a likely victory slip from their grasp. First, it was the struggling Patriots, who were revived by a serious of miscues and questionable play calling.

This time around, the Jets build a 14-point lead against a less than stellar Dolphins unit only to see it quickly diminish due to costly penalties, an untimely interception, and again some head-scratching play calling.

It left them with a frustrating 31-28 defeat, one that easily could have been a victory that could have further solidified their confidence.

This was a game in which they knocked out starting quarterback Jay Cutler and held running back Jay Ajayi – a pain in their side in recent years – to 51 yards.

The Jets moved the ball once again with their efficient short passing game from Josh McCown, whose lone mistake in the end shouldn’t diminish his overall performance.

Bilal Powell was back and ran the ball hard, and Matt Forte proved to couple his well as the duo split 84 yards between them on 16 carries. Sure, it’s not a huge amount, but it is enough.

McCown’s third touchdown pass of the afternoon, a 10-yarder to Austin Sefarian-Jenkins with just under two minutes left in the third quarter appeared to seal the bow at 28-14.

It would be up to the Jets’ defense that finally got a strong game from its defensive line and two interceptions and two sacks. The rumors of Muhammed Wilkerson heading to the bench likely will be squelched as Wilkerson picked off a pass and applied pressure all afternoon.

Now, it was the time to finish.

But the quickly maturing Jets couldn’t close the deal.

They couldn’t finish.

“We have to develop a killer instinct,” added Bowles.

Yes, they do. And like I said last week, they are getting there. Be patient.

Their overall effort and performance is far more than anyone expected this season, If the Jets would have knocked off New England and Miami, they would have a ton of momentum returning home to face a questionable Atlanta Falcons team this Sunday.

Four days later, they would get a Thursday night home revenge match against Buffalo,

A 3-4 record might have been reconfigured into a 7-2 or 6-3 mark with playoff talk running rampant.

They may get to five wins over the next two weeks, but it shouldn’t be a major concern.

If the Jets continue to play the way they have, they will continue to improve and be very entertaining to watch.
When they do, the Jets will be able to finish and to develop a killer instinct.


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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