By Matt Flynn | Staff Writer
The Jets took a different kind of loss this Thursday night, the kind of defeat at home that really stings, and for a team that’s now lost three of their last four games, one must consider the long-term consequences.
The unlikely happened, astride his star new running back in LeSean McCoy, Rex Ryan took his new team into MetLife and came out with a win, a win where he out-coached Jet newcomer Todd Bowles, and also played the same exact style of football that made the late 2000s Jets so dangerous. Ryan relied on the running game and defense and had his Bills up most of the game before a slight second-half rally by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets made things close.
It was running game against running game, defense against defense, yet it was Rex’s defense who stopped Brandon Marshall on that poorly drawn 4th and 2. It was Rex’s all-Pro back who had 159 all-purpose yards.
So the question must be asked: Are the Jets in Trouble?
The answer is yes. After starting 4-1, the lone loss being a fluke to the inconsistent Eagles, the Jets were poised for long-term success. The addition of Marshall to the receiving core that already had Eric Decker would form a great one-two punch (they still have a very good red-zone offense). Chris Ivory was ready to break out with his physical running. This all happened in the beginning, because it was stringent on new quarterback Fitzpatrick’s play.
Many Jets fans consistently wondered if Fitzpatrick was good enough for a complete season.
Here’s your answer: he’s not.
Whether it be his inconsistent deep-ball, his odd decision-making, or his unstoppable urge to turn the ball over, Fitzpatrick threw two picks in a game they needed to win. Ivory has already been worked into the ground, showing a lack of speed on several runs, and now Zac Stacy broke his ankle and will be out long-term.
Take away Edelman, you still have Gronkowski and Amendola. Take away Green, you still have Eifert and Jones. Take away Thomas, you still have Sanders and Davis. Take away Hilton, you still have Moncrief and Johnson.
If the defense can’t hold teams to under 20 points consistently, this Fitzpatrick-led offense cannot consistently put up the points necessary for a win. Are the Jets in Trouble? Damn right they are. If there’s even a question of Geno Smith starting a game with Fitzpatrick ready to have surgery on that thumb, the locker room will crumble.
Bowles is getting out-Rexed by Rex Ryan. Just wait until he has to play with the big boys down the stretch of the season.