Coming into Sunday’s game at Houston with a 5-4 record, the New York Jets should’ve taken down a Houston Texan team who’s been unable to find any stability this season. Then again, these are the New York Jets.
New York Jets 17 (5-5)
Houston Texans 24 (5-5)
NFL, Week 11, Full Game Box Score
NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
By Jeff Weisinger
In a world now full of text-based language and emojis, here’s the perfect response to those who gave the Jets the label of a playoff team: “L-O-L.”
Gang Green’s 24-17 loss at the Houston Texans and new starting quarterback T.J. Yates on Sunday was more proof that this is a team that doesn’t have that closing factor most playoff teams have.
The Jets defense couldn’t contain Yates and standout wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, players of which that a typical playoff team should be able to control, even somewhat. In his first start after being signed off of the couch a few weeks ago, Yates threw for 229 yards, completing 16-of-34 of his passes with two touchdowns, both to Hopkins, who caught a total of five balls for 118 yards.
Hopkins made Darrelle Revis look less like an All-Pro corner and look more like a corner on his way toward retirement. The Texans receiving corps too full advantage of an un-interested Jets secondary that looked as if they underestimated Houston and couldn’t snap out of it once they realized what was really happening.
Cecil Shorts III also tossed a touchdown pass on a trick play, throwing a 21-yard floater to Alfred Blue in the third quarter.
The Jets weren’t just unprepared for any new gimmicks the Texans would use with a third-string quarterback and nothing to lose, they were uninterested. They couldn’t defend against the wildcat – a formation of which the Jets tried to use years ago and have seen before.
To his credit, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played valiant, doing whatever he can to push the Jets to a win.
However, he didn’t have his best game, throwing for just 216 yards with one touchdown and two picks, both late in the fourth quarter. The Jets offensive line had no answers for all-world defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who recorded a pair of sacks, and the Jets secondary got lucky in the red zone when Watt dropped a would-be touchdown pass on a fade against safety Calvin Pryor.
He hit Brandon Marshall for a 21-yard touchdown in their second drive of the third quarter, and powered his way in on the ground for a score late, however two picks would negate the tough effort.
Head coach Todd Bowles decided to go for it on a fourth down-and-five at his own 46 with three minutes left instead of pinning Houston back and letting his defense guide them back late in the fourth quarter. Instead, Fitzpatrick threw his first interception and Houston took over at their own 37.
But the biggest thing to take away from the Jets’ performance on Sunday is the lack of urgency by Gang Green, especially considering what they’re trying to achieve: a Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs in January, a spot that is still up for grabs.
The Jets have now lost four of their last six games, all four losses by one possession. To make things worse, the Jets had nine days since their last game to prepare for anything Houston could’ve brought.
Maybe it’s safe to welcome back the Jets as we know them: mediocre and over-hyped.
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