NFL Thursday Night; Jets at Bills

The Jets are good and the “Darrelle Revis got abused by AJ Green” talk is greatly exaggerated. (Photo by AP) 

[Note: Sunday turned into a disaster around here. I caught only the Eagles and Cowboys games in their entirety and spent the last three days watching the other ten Sunday afternoon games I missed. Since I couldn’t write a Week 1 recap without, you know, actually watching the games, I had nothing to offer you until today. So to recap; I started off the 2016 season by forgetting to post my picks and then having no Week 1 review. Starting strong is overrated. (And if you care, my picks were atrocious as usually.)]

This may sound too hot take-ish for it to be taken seriously, but I’m 80% sure the New York Jets are a quarterback away from being title contenders in the AFC. That Bengals team the Jets nearly (and should have) beat Sunday is really, really good, too. If Nick Folk doesn’t miss an extra point or have a 22 yard field goal attempt blocked, it’s likely the Jets win. (If you’re new to football, having a 22-yarder blocked is inexcusable. Just kick the ball straight up in the air.)

New York’s defensive front seven was awesome Sunday. Not only did they limit the Bengal offense to 57 rushing yards, but they also harassed and abused Andy Dalton all afternoon, totaling seven sacks. It was the Jets secondary that malfunctioned, and as I’m sure you’ve heard, Darrelle Revis is getting most of the blame.

Yes, Revis is no longer the lock-down corner he was in his prime. Revis Island has been bought and commercialized. After Sunday, many would argue AJ Green is the mayor. Now, this is in no way a knock on Green, but he only got the better of Revis a few times on Sunday. Yes, Green finished the game with a touchdown and over 180 yards. However, a great deal of those receptions came within five yards of the line of scrimmage. In many cases, Green’s receptions were bubble screens where Revis was ambushed by charging tight ends and/or offensive lineman. Green’s 54 yard TD reception with Revis in coverage was probably the most noticeable undressing of the All-Pro corner. Though Replays did indicate Revis was expecting safety help over the top. Reactions after the game were pretty aggressive in declaring Revis “washed,” and blaming him for all 12 of Green’s receptions and the 180+ yards that followed. Anyone willing to watch the game would see that’s simply not an accurate description of what happened. In fact, this whole conversation surrounding Revis has diverted a lot of attention from Ryan Fitzpatrick – the real culprit for Sunday’s defeat.

Look at the box score from Sunday’s loss to the Bengals and one thing jumps out at Jets fans; 2/5 in the red zone. In today’s NFL, where a majority of pass attempts hover within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage, any quarterback can run a team up and down the field between the 20s. It takes a talented QB to put the ball in the endzone. Fitzpatrick finished 4/9 inside the red zone. He has one of the league’s most physically dominant receivers in Brandon Marshall and 6’3, 215 lbs Eric Decker on the other side. If I recall correctly, Fitzpatrick attempted only one fade inside the red zone Sunday and it missed badly. With Marshall, Decker and Matt Forte now in the mix, the Jets offense has plenty of weapons. It was lethal enough Sunday to get inside Cincinnati’s 30 on six of its ten possessions. Ryan Fitzpatrick just wasn’t good enough to get the offense over the hump. He won’t be good enough to get the Jets over the hump in the AFC, either. JETS If I were Charles Barkley; Jets -1

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