Say this about the Jets. They are well-trained in the art of losing.
They always show great determination in dodging victory. It’s been like this since my 36 years of existence on this Earth.
So why should yesterday be any different than the last four decades?
The Jets played well in the first half, but they were awful in all facets of the game in the second half in taking a 23-22 loss to the Bengals in their season opener yesterday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Wanna know what was disturbing? This was predictable. It was a matter of time until things went bad for the Jets. Things went too good for the Jets in the first half when they were scoring touchdowns and tossing Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton like a rag doll.
No wonder the Same Old Jets moniker exists to this day. The Jets can hire new coaches, get new general managers and assemble new players, and they still find ways to lose.
Everyone contributed to this Jets loss from the quarterback to the wide receivers to the running back to the kicker to the cornerback to the defensive line to coaching. It was a team effort.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ran the offense precisely in the first half by throwing couple of touchdowns. He distributed the ball well to different receivers, and he used the running game often. The Jets scored 16 points in the first half, and it was enough for them to have a 16-13 lead at halftime.
Things went awry in the second half. The Jets scored six points in that half on Nick Folk’s couple of field goals in the fourth quarter.
Fitzpatrick struggled to make plays after halftime. He could not throw the ball to his receivers, and he was getting attacked often. He could not execute in the red zone. He threw his usual key interception at the wrong time.
This is the Jets quarterback in a nutshell. He’s good enough until it matters the most. Then, he becomes Ryan Fitzpatrick, which is throwing a pick at the wrong time and not generating enough offense. It’s why it’s hard to take him seriously in taking the Jets to the playoffs this year. There’s a reason he has never made a playoff appearance in his overachieving career.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker were non-factors in this game to be blunt. They never made plays at all. What stood out was when Marshall dropped a catchable ball with seconds to go in regulation. If he catches it, the Jets would have won it on a field goal by being in field goal range.
This is not going to cut it when Marshall had only three receptions for 32 yards and Decker caught two passes for 37 yards. The Jets should expect more from them each and every game. The Jets offense is predicated on how their two best wide receivers do.
In crunch time, they were nowhere to be seen. They did not show up ready to play.
Matt Forte ran the ball well in the first half. He was tough to tackle. He was able to get yardage whenever he wanted. He brought a dimension the Jets lacked last year, which is the running game. This offense was going to be well-rounded from what Forte did.
Then, he was a non-factor in the second half. The Bengals put everyone on him and dared Fitzpatrick to beat them.
Folk wasn’t the reason the Jets lost this game, but he contributed to this loss by having his 22-yard field goal attempt blocked and missing the extra point. Little things do matter.
The Jets defense was terrible in the second half. A.J. Green had his way with Darrelle Revis the entire day whether it was scoring a touchdown in the second quarter to give the Bengals a 10-7 lead or when he made that one-hand catch.
It sure makes one wonder if Revis’ best days are behind him. The Jets cornerback was often dominated by wide receivers last year.
The Jets defensive line did well by getting seven sacks, including five in the first half, but then they could not stop Dalton from throwing in the fourth quarter. It makes what they did in the first half meaningless considering they did not step up when it mattered.
The coaching staff did not distinguish themselves. Where was the adjustments on offense in the second half? How come Green was not double teamed in the second half? It’s safe to say Todd Bowles and his coaching staff were outsmarted by Marvin Lewis and his staff.
It was a team effort all around.
This was a game the Jets should have won.
But then again it’s the Jets. They snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
How many times have Jets fans seen this in their lifetime? Too many to count, and that’s why they are the Same Old Jets until their fortunes are reversed.
Now, they are in a must-win game situation against the winless Bills Thursday night at Orchard Park.
A loss Thursday night, and this season could get ugly.
From watching this loss yesterday, the Jets may not have seen anything yet.
Yesterday was just another day in Jets’ sorry history.
Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda.