By Peter Schwartz
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The New York Jets tweeted the following at 8:03 on Monday night: “Houston, you have a problem. #MNF”
At 2-3, it’s the Jets who have the real problem right now.
They played hard and they played better, but they fell short against the Texans, 23-17, on Monday night at MetLife Stadium. They were fortunate that the 5-0 Texans didn’t play their best game, but the Jets couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were in front of them.
The Jets lost because they continue to shoot themselves in the foot.
“That’s a good football team that we played,” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “The thing that is upsetting is the fact that we helped them. Clearly, that’s a good football team that doesn’t need any help. We’re kicking ourselves. We used a couple of timeouts that hurt us at the end.”
The injury bug also continues to plague Gang Green. With Santonio Holmes out for the season, Clyde Gates had a chance to step up, but he suffered a shoulder injury. Kenrick Ellis started in place of the injured Sione Pouha, but he left the game with a knee injury.
The offensive line continues to struggle. They have to do a better job of keeping the hands of opposing defensive lineman down. J.J. Watt swatted down three passes, so the passing lanes have to improve.
The Jets’ defense has to get better against the run. More was expected of this unit that has turned out to be a major disappointment so far this season.
It goes in the meaningless category of moral victories, but after getting blown out by the 49ers the Jets took a bit of a step forward with Monday night’s game. The Jets have two more games before the bye week, and they probably need to split those contests against the Colts and Patriots to have any chance of salvaging their season.
The Jets have fallen to 2-3, but it could be worse.
“I’m just upset, obviously,” said Mark Sanchez, who had two passes tipped for interceptions. “It’s a loss. We really did hang in there and we’ve got to just keep fighting and come in with a good attitude, like I know we will next week. It’s a short week, and we’ve got a good Colts team that’s really energized. So we’ve got to keep playing well.”
The Jets were better on Monday night, but with their MASH unit of a roster, they need to be exceptional to win games.
The Jets’ captains were #11 Jeremy Kerley, #21 Jonathan Grimes, #23 Shonn Greene, #30 LaRon Landry and #71 Damon Harrison.
Undrafted rookie DT Harrison appeared in his first NFL game, while undrafted rookie Grimes made his NFL debut.
CB Aaron Berry made his Jets debut, as well. He played in 12 games for the Lions from 2010-11. WR Jason Hill made his Jets debut after playing 50 games for the 49ers and Jaguars. FB Lex Hilliard made his Jets debut. He played in 50 games for the Dolphins and Patriots.
TE Jeff Cumberland notched his first NFL touchdown catch, hauling in a 27-yard pass from Sanchez.
For the second time in his NFL career, Joe McKnight returned a kickoff for a touchdown as he scampered 100 yards for a score.
With that touchdown, the Jets have now returned a kickoff for a touchdown in 11 straight seasons under special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff. That is an NFL record.
Mark Gastineau and Wesley Walker were inducted into the Jets’ Ring of Honor at halftime. There are now 12 names along the ring.
The Jets are off on Tuesday and are back on the practice field on Wednesday to begin preparations for Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff against Andrew Luck and the Colts.
That’s all for now! Check back on Friday for a Jets-Colts preview!
Were you encouraged by the Jets’ performance, or was it just another frustrating loss? Offer your thoughts and comments in the section below…