Jets get spooked again, late game issues continue to haunt

Jets get spooked again, late game issues continue to haunt
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets continue to relive the same nightmare week after week: another loss after leading late in the fourth quarter. This time around, it came against the Atlanta Falcons as the Jets collapsed and ultimately fell 25-20.

The team and media have been preaching it for weeks now: the Jets need to be able to finish games. They couldn’t put the pieces together again this week to do that.

It was a deja vu type game for the Jets. For the third week in a row, they came out of the locker room ready to roll, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive. While Atlanta was able to even it up quickly, the Jets offense found it’s momentum and was able to put up more points in an effort to extend their lead.

At halftime, the Jets held on to a 17-13 lead, and looked to maintain pace with what was a solid first half performance.

But again, deja vu.

The Jets couldn’t get back on track, and allowed Atlanta to redeem themselves after a dismal first half to come back and take the lead late in the fourth.

What Went Wrong?

Penalties: The Jets came into Sunday’s game against Atlanta leading the league in penalty yardage, and in an unfortunate way, they looked as though they wanted to keep hold of that record. The Jets garnered 50 penalty yards on the day as they continued to shoot themselves in the foot and allow Atlanta more time of possession, and more field advantage.

Play Calling: There were all sorts of questionable calls for the Jets on Sunday. From Lawrence Thomas getting the ball on a big 3rd and 1, to Matt Forte and Elijah McGuire only seeing five carries between them, the Jets offensive attack did not perform very well on the fly. You’d have to wonder whether offensive coordinator John Morton is on the hot seat, as he continues to script out first half plays successfully, but ultimately fails at doing so in crucial, late-game moments.

Missed FGs: The Jets should have won this game (just like they should have won their last two as well). Two missed field goals by Chandler Catanzaro on the day put the game out of reach for the Jets as they only ended up losing by five points. Simply, that is unacceptable, especially for a guy that the Jets put more trust into as their kicker than preseason standout Ross Martin.

The Elements: While tear drops fell from the eyes of Jets fans all over, they also fell from the sky in buckets. The rain didn’t really slow up the Jets too much in the first half as much as it did the Falcons, who had four turnovers simply from the ball being so slippery. But the second half was a different story. Jeremy Kerley made a crucial drop on a punt return to allow Atlanta to add to their lead late in the fourth. Whether that was due to the rain, Kerley attempting to make an over-the-shoulder grab, or a mixture of both is unknown, but definitely easy to assume.

Defensive line: Another poor outing from what has been a season-long disappointing show from the Jets defensive line. On the day: one sack, two pass deflections, and five quarterbacks hits. Yuck. That’s simply not going to do the job.

Offensive line: Yup, the O-line too. They allowed the Falcons defense to get to Josh McCown for three sacks and seven quarterback hits. They also couldn’t seem to make any space for the Jets running back committee as they totaled 43 yards on the day. AND they poorly protected Catanzaro during his field goal attempts, allowing the Falcons to put pressure on him in what should have been an easy six points.

Bright Spots?

Nope, there aren’t too many, but here’s are some positives we were able to dig up from the Jets loss:

Robby Anderson: The speedy receiver amassed 100 yards on the day and grabbed his third touchdown on the season. The young undrafted wideout is proving himself as a valuable asset for the Jets and whoever the future quarterback may be.

Muhammad Wilkerson: The man who never needs to practice. After being absent from practice for the majority of the past two weeks, Wilkerson has suited up for the Jets last two games and has looked stellar. He finished the day with five tackles (two for a loss) and a sack. The Jets are likely content with his latest production as he started off the season inexcusably slow.

Josh McCown: The Jets veteran quarterback had another solid day, finishing 26/33 for 257 yards and two touchdowns. He’s been doing all he can for the Jets, and is ultimately the reason the Jets have remained competitive in the majority of their games this year. It will be interesting to see if/when we see Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg make an appearance.

What’s Next?

The Jets have their only prime-time game of the season next week against Buffalo, in what will be a Thursday night divisional tilt. The Jets will be looking to avoid their fourth straight loss, while the Bills will look to remain hot and on pace to beat out the New England Patriots for the AFC East title. A short week for the Jets will likely be a major factor in how many of their mistakes they are able to clean up before the divisional battle.

– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for cover32/Jets and covers the New York Jets. He is also a weekly contributor to cover32/Fantasy. Like and follow on

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