Week 4 Game Recap: New York Jets 3, Baltimore Ravens 13
What you need to know
Brooks Bollinger made his first career NFL start but was unable to make the throws when needed. He got flustered easily and dropped the ball down to run before he needed to on a few occasions. He displayed awful accuracy towards receivers near the sidelines, but was able to connect with targets in the middle of the field. He displayed the quickness that was his trademark in college, but the Ravens were ready and did not allow him to gain any yards. Despite his struggles, Herman Edwards left the young signal-caller in the game for its entirety, leaving Vinny Testaverde watching on the bench.
Curtis Martin was unable to find much running room, averaging only 2.3 yards per carry and going down easily. The Ravens were able to stuff eight and nine men in the box because of Bollinger’s ineffectiveness. After a fumble return gave them first and goal at the one yard line, the Jets ran the ball three times but were unable to score.
Laveranues Coles caught only one pass in the entire game, and even that catch came late in the game with the outcome already decided. Bollinger couldn’t find Coles near the sidelines where he was deployed most of the day, instead looking over the middle for the options present there. Justin McCareins had a decent day statistically, but he dropped a couple easy passes, one that appeared to be a possible touchdown.
The Jets’ defense nearly made up for its’ offense with two huge plays. The first took place on the Ravens’ first offensive play, when John Abraham came up behind Anthony Wright and knocked the ball loose, eventually returning it for a touchdown that was negated because of a penalty. Early in the third quarter, Jamal Lewis fumbled the ball and Victor Hobson recovered it, returning it to the one yard line before being forced out of bounds by Todd Heap. The defense held the Ravens’ running game to 2.5 yards per carry but weakened as the game went on, as they were on the field for 38 minutes.
The Ravens went with a conservative game plan, relying heavily on the run all game long. Between Jamal Lewis (29 carries) and Chester Taylor (11 carries), the Ravens carried the ball 40 times. Jamal Lewis had an up-and-down game, scoring his first touchdown of the year on a one yard plunge but also nearly giving one up with his third quarter fumble. Chester Taylor worked well as his backup and also providing good speed out of the backfield. Alan Ricard played in his first game of the season after hurting his calf during training camp, but was not on the field much.
Anthony Wright’s numbers weren’t too impressive, but he performed efficiently and within his limits. Todd Heap was once again an integral part of the passing attack, and was targeted on third downs especially. Derrick Mason once again proved to be a reliable outlet for Wright and was able to elude tacklers to create yards after the catch. Mark Clayton started his first game of the season, making official his surpassing of Clarence Moore on the depth chart.
The Ravens defense performed effectively but, given the circumstances, didn’t have to do much. Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister helped to shut down the Jets’ passing game. Peter Boulware had his first sack in nearly two years when he got to Bollinger on a third down play, forcing a punt. The defense was unable to force a turnover, but nearly had one on an easy interception that was uncharacteristically dropped by Deion Sanders.
What you ought to know
Bollinger showed little to many folks think he’s an NFL caliber quarterback. Herman Edwards was very cautious with his quarterback; avoiding the pass unless is was absolutely necessary. Bollinger was nervous in the pocket, dropping the ball to run when nobody was covered well before he had to. He did not run effectively though, running into a web of defenders on a number of occasions. He didn’t even attempt to dive into the end zone on a bootleg run from the one yard line, instead going out of bounds at the two yard line without getting touched. Bollinger didn’t have the arm strength to throw to the sidelines, often overthrowing his intended target by eight feet or more. He found most of his success throwing across the middle, but was unable to do this consistently at any point. He did avoid any giant mistakes all afternoon though.
When the game was pretty much locked down, the Jets pulled many of their key starters and Brunell got some mop up work. He was not required to do much of anything, although had good velocity and accuracy on his pass to tight end Ben Hartsock. He should be a serviceable back up for the Jets if they need him to be.
New York fans were brought back to reality as Geno Smith turned in a dismal four turnover performance. Smith threw two costly first half interceptions and gave away a fumble in each half. These turnovers led to 28 points for Tennessee. Smith’s first interception was a severely underthrown deep route to Stephen Hill. Hill took a massive hit from safety, Michael Griffin and left the game with a head injury. Later in the second quarter, Smith was scrambling for a first down, but lazily reached out for the marker and the ball was swatted away. Smith ended the second quarter with an ugly throw into double coverage. Cornerback Alterraun Verner intercepted both passes and should be credited for playing tight, man coverage against New York receivers. Last week, Buffalo allowed free releases off the line of scrimmage. Tennessee’s coaches obviously noticed that on film and didn’t give receivers a cushion.
Tennessee took a 24-6 lead into the second half, so New York had no choice, but to throw their way back into the game. New York’s offensive line, namely Vladimir Ducasse, played an all around sloppy game. After keeping his uniform clean against Buffalo, Smith took five sacks and was under constant duress. Right defensive end, Ropati Pitoitua recorded two sacks and had no issues getting off blocks and applying pressure. Pitotua exposed D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s lackadaisical effort and Ducasse’s all-around poor effort. Early in the fourth quarter, Smith was pressured by defensive end Karl Klug and fumbled the ball away. As Klug chased Smith towards his own end zone, Smith attempted to shift the ball to his left hand and fumbled it away. Klug recovered the ball in the end zone for the touchdown.
Field position and penalties were a huge issue throughout the game. Tennessee routine pinned New York’s offense inside its own 10-yard yard line, forcing Smith to speed up his read progressions. Smith took several big hits, but hung tough in the pocket. Early in the fourth quarter, Smith was buried deep in his territory, took a big hit and delivered a crisp 20-yard pass down the seam to Kellen Winslow. Tennessee deployed an overload blitz and Smith showed poise by completing the pass. Smith’s lone touchdown pass went to tight end Jeff Cumberland late in the fourth quarter. Cumberland ran a post route and Smith fit the pass in a tight window for a 34-yard touchdown. Griffin bit on the pump fake and Cumberland ran untouched into the end zone.
Smith is extremely raw as a passer and mistakes are bound to happen. Smith must do a better job at protecting the ball, getting through his read progression, and throwing passes away when receivers are covered. A road meeting in Atlanta on Monday Night Football won’t be the cure to Smith’s ills.
Martin was meant to be the focal point of the offense but was unable to do much against a Ravens’ defense that was cheating heavily towards the run, averaging only 2.3 yards per rush. After an interception return gave the Jets the ball on the one yard line, Martin had two chances to pound it in but was unable to gain a single yard. Martin got dinged up in the second quarter after a defender leg-whipped him directly on his right knee. He missed the rest of that offensive series before returning. With eight men in the box all day and nine on occasion, Martin was struggling for one and two yard gains on most of his runs.
Blaylock entered the game for Curtis Martin after his minor injury and was blown up in the backfield on both of his runs. His lone reception on the day was a meaningless dump off of the Jets’ last offensive play that fell ten yards short of converting a first down.
Sowell was the target of a few passes over the middle, but was well covered by Ravens' linebackers.
Running back depth isn’t great right now, so fullback Tommy Bohanon has been more involved with ball carrying and route running. Bohanon is a physical runner that runs north-to-south into open holes. Bohanon showed soft hands by making three catches for small gains. Bohanon’s receptions occurred during the fourth quarter when Tennessee was playing zone coverage.
Houston led the Jets in rushing yardage in this game with 49 yards on 12 attempts. He was New York’s most effective rusher, but left the game with a left knee injury. Houston was unable to put any weight on the leg and was carted to the locker room. Before the injury, Houston was running with power through the Indianapolis defense. His rush for 13 yards is the longest rush for the Jets this season.
Houston also contributed one five yard reception.
After weeks of hard-nosed running, Ivory was given his first start of the 2014 season. Squaring off against Detroit’s stout run defense, Ivory ran eight times for 51 yards during New York’s first drive. Ivory displayed his traditional hard-nosed running style by following his blocks, running through arm tackles, and generating yards after contact. Despite his early success against one of the league’s top run defenses, Ivory was only given 11 additional carries and felt victim to New York’s insistence on passing and using a running back rotation. New York did target Ivory six times in the passing game, which was a season high, but Ivory is not a good pass catcher. Ivory was only able to haul in two of his six targets, which included a few ugly drops and misfires by Smith. New York never trailed by more than 14 points, but the play calling became increasingly more pass heavy during the second half after the running game was working during the first half. Johnson was able to chip in a late rushing touchdown, but Ivory was clearly New York’s best runner and should have been given more carries throughout the game.
Chris Johnson came off the bench and only garnered eight total touches, which is a season low. After weeks of lackluster performances, New York opted to give Ivory a start and he did not disappoint. Ivory out-rushed Johnson 79-4 during the first half. In the fourth quarter, Johnson had arguably his best run of the season. On a 2nd-and-5 play from Detroit’s 35-yard line, Johnson ran off left tackle and appeared to be corralled for a short gain. Johnson, however, kept driving his legs, and accelerated untouched into the open field for an easy touchdown. This scoring play reduced the deficit to 24-17, but the play occurred too late in the fourth quarter.
Powell came out with the first team offense, but was immediately subbed out for Greene. Powell and Greene rotated each series, but Powell was a mainstay on third downs. Powell did not pass block, but slipped out as a safety outlet for Sanchez. Despite only taking four carries, Powell demonstrated some nice wiggle in space. Overall, the 49ers quickly closed running lanes and forced Sanchez to throw the ball.
McCareins was the most successful receiver on the day, mainly because his routes went across the middle. He dropped two easy passes that would have extended drives, one which he actually had a chance to break for a big gain. Like every other Jets receiver, when McCareins ran a route near the sidelines Bollinger was unable to accurately pass to him.
Coles found the going rough as his quarterback struggled to get the ball down the field. He was targeted near the sidelines a number of times, only to have the ball sail over his head. His only catch came on the Jets’ final drive with the loss all but assured.
Chrebet was the target of only one pass that fell incomplete. He saw less playing time than usual, as the Jets tried to keep extra blockers in to protect their young signal-caller.
Cotchery was mainly used as a kick returner on the day, but late in the game with his team in dire straits, he came in and was targeted twice on incomplete passes. He probably knew more about Bollinger, as the two are used to working together in practice, but he was unable to use this to his advantage.
Despite reports of being limited, Eric Decker played extremely well and did not show any signs of his balky hamstring. Decker was responsible for New York’s lone passing touchdown. During the third quarter, Eric ran a shallow crossing pass, shook off the first defender, and lunged through two defenders to complete an 11-yard touchdown. Simply put, Decker’s effort made this scoring play happen. Decker was targeted twice in the end zone, but poor throws by Smith did not allow Decker to make a play. Decker ran the majority of his routes in the short-to-intermediate vicinity and did not have any problems making cuts. All of New York’s receivers were plagued by Smith’s overall erratic play.
For the most part Jeremy Kerley was a punt returner and special teamer for the day. His one target wasn’t even really a pass meant for him. While Kerley ran a streak up the sideline, QB Mark Sanchez threw a pass that landed near Kerley, but appeared to be more aimed at Santonio Holmes and overthrown.
Nelson caught his only pass during the first quarter on a curl route and departed with a hamstring injury.
For the second straight week, Salas made a big play on a short crossing route. Early in the third quarter, on a 3rd-and-9 play, Salas ran a shallow crossing route, made the first defender miss and accelerated into the open field for a 32-yard gain. Smith came back to Salas early in the fourth quarter for another big play. Salas ran the same route and generated a 28-yard gain on a catch and run.
Baker wasn’t targeted until late in the game, on the Jets’ second to last drive. His compatriot Doug Jolley was the target of passes earlier in the game, but whether that means anything as to their depth chart standing is dubious. He caught all three passes thrown at him and was the second-leading receiver on the day.
Jolley played more than teammate Chris Baker, but was unable to use that to his advantage. He stayed in to block more than he released in pass routes.
Dearth was targeted on a play action fake during the Jets’ ill-fated fourth and goal play in the third quarter. The Indianapolis defense was not fooled and Rocky Boiman, who was one of two Colts’ defenders sticking to Dearth, picked the pass off.
Jace Amaro’s role continues to grow. Even though four of his five catches occurred during the fourth quarter, Amaro displayed good body control and field awareness with every catch. Early in the fourth quarter, Amaro ran an option route, sat in the middle of Detroit’s zone coverage and secured a 13-yard gain. During New York’s next drive, Smith targeted Amaro twice and Amaro turned those targets into 30 yards. Amaro’s biggest play of the game, a 21-yard run-and-catch on a short cross, was impressive. Amaro displayed impressive open field speed, accelerating by the linebacker into the secondary. New York’s other tight ends, Jeff Cumberland and Zach Sudfeld, were each targeted once, but were unable to secure catches.
For the third straight week, Cumberland started in place of the injured Dustin Keller. Cumberland wasn’t involved until early in the third quarter. On Sanchez’s first pass of the second half, Cumberland caught a short dump off pass and gained ten yards. Cumberland gave a great second effort by stiff arming a defender and running his legs after the first hit. Later in the third quarter, Cumberland caught a quick dump off in the middle of the field and side stepped Patrick Willis for a six-yard gain. Cumberland isn’t an explosive receiver, but he is a solid outlet option for Sanchez. On special teams, Cumberland whiffed horribly on a block that resulted in a blocked punt.
Nugent was perfect on the day, making his only field goal attempt of 21 yards. He had no extra point attempts.
The front seven held up well throughout the day, but the sheer volume of rushes made it impossible for the Jets to hold the Ravens under 100 yards rushing. The Ravens ran the ball 40 times with their backs, pounding the ball down after down to drain the clock. The Jets were able to hold the Ravens to 2.6 yards per rush, very good under normal circumstances. Victor Hobson forced a Jamal Lewis fumble early in the third quarter and nearly returned it for a touchdown, but was forced out of bounds by Todd Heap at the one yard line. John Abraham also came close to scoring points in the first quarter, forcing an Anthony Wright fumble and returning it for a score, only to have the play nullified by penalty. Jonathan Vilma led the team with 11 tackles and five assists.
The secondary wasn’t challenged much as the Ravens ran the ball most of the game. It limited the deep pass, but was vulnerable to short hitches by Derrick Mason or underneath routes by Chester Taylor and Todd Heap. Mark Clayton was covered well by David Barrett, and Derrick Mason didn’t embarrass Ty Law. They were also able to come up with a turnover when Erik Coleman intercepted a deep pass from Wright in the end zone, but the offense was unable to take advantage. Rookie Kerry Rhodes led the secondary with seven tackles and one assist.
|QB Anthony Wright, Pass: 15 - 21 - 144 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 2 - 0|
Wright managed the game well and made smart throws most of the afternoon. His favorite target was once again Derrick Mason, who was only targeted six times as the Ravens focused on running the ball. He had a scary moment on the first offensive play of the game, fumbling off a hit by John Abraham. The fumble was recovered by the Jets and returned for a touchdown, but fortunately for Wright a defender was offsides and the play was negated. For most of the game, though, Wright was able to evade the pass rush and displayed impressive mobility within the pocket. As the running game began to produce, the play action pass opened up for Wright, and he was able to hit his receivers deep. Wright’s lone interception occurred on a deep bomb intended for Clarence Moore. It was an ill advised pass as Moore was double covered, but it was not costly.
QB Joe Flacco suffered the first loss of his young NFL career but was able to keep his team in the game in a high pressure situation on the road. Flacco exhibited superb arm strength but had trouble with accuracy hitting his receivers with the deep ball.
He fumbled twice. The first fumble was recovered by LB James Harrison who ran the ball into the end zone for a go ahead score. The second fumble was recovered by a teammate. The Ravens ran a conservative offense, as usual, but Flacco was able to hit WR Derrick Mason on a number of plays which helped a historically stagnant offense move the ball down the field.
Lewis showed improvement coming off his bye week but still appeared to be far from the player he was earlier in his career. His yards per carry were still uncharacteristically low, at only 2.8. He received a heavy workload with 29 carries, as the Ravens ran the ball 40 times with their backs. Early in the third quarter he failed to secure a handoff from Anthony Wright and the ball popped loose upon first contact. The fumble was recovered by the Jets and nearly returned for a touchdown. Lewis would atone for his mistake though, plowing forward for a one yard touchdown late in the same quarter, his first of the season. On clear passing downs, Lewis was removed from the game for the speedier Chester Taylor.
Taylor received 11 carries as the change of pace to Jamal Lewis. He displayed his usual shiftiness and was able to evade linebackers after catching the ball out of the backfield.
Mughelli spelled Alan Ricard on short yardage downs, and also caught a pass late in the game. He didn’t see much playing time.
Ricard returned to the lineup after missing the first two games with a calf injury. He served as the lead blocker for Jamal Lewis early in the game, but was spelled late by Ovie Mughelli. He caught his first pass of the season but was not used as a receiver much.
Justin Forsett was clearly the lead back for the Ravens and as long the offensive line continues to dominate, Forsett will produce. He saw all the first quarter snaps. He remains involved as a receiver, patient as a runner and reliable in pass protection. This was his most impressive game. He took his time through the hole and turned small creases into solid gains. Forsett showed impressive strength as well. He uses his quickness to create space between himself and defenders then allows his power to carry him through arm tackles and into the second level of the defense. One of his most impressive runs came midway through the 2nd quarter as an apparent wall of black jerseys formed in front of him. But as he pressed the hole and zig-zagged behind his blockers he sprung free from a sea of jerseys for a gain of 20.
This was the best game of his young career. Pierce flashed his burst and had a couple of nice cutbacks. The defense took Pierce lightly, however, as there were always more men in the box on Rice’s carries. The Ravens’ line opened a big hole for Pierce on his long run of 21 yards.
Lorenzo Taliaferro didn’t receive significant carries or snaps until late in the 3rd quarter. It may have been dictated by the matchup and worry with Hurst in pass protection or Taliaferro may be used primarily as the closer for the Ravens. Another concern is that Taliaferro will receive less carries when Pierce is fully healthy. Harbaugh said Pierce was held out for precautionary reasons. Taliaferro looked like his normal no nonsense self. On his 1 yard touchdown Taliaferro showed off a new running strategy of hitting his blocker instead of the defender but still managed to power through for the touchdown. Taliaferro was mostly less productive than Forsett. The Panthers began bringing more men into the box on 1st and 2nd downs giving Taliaferro fewer holes. His most impressive came on 3rd down when he accelerated through the hole past the Panthers second level defenders. Then he spun off a Jacoby Jones block and dragged defenders for a few more yards for a gain of 23.
Mason was once again the favored target for Anthony Wright, who targeted him six times, completing five of them. As the running game began to have success, Mason was single covered down the field and was utilized well in play-action. He was covered primarily by Ty Law on the day, and was able to use his speed and agility to beat Ty Law on a 32 yard catch, 20 of which came after he caught the ball.
Clayton saw his first start of the season after proving to be far more effective than counterpart Clarence Moore in the first two games. Clayton wasn’t able to do much though, catching only one of his four targets for a measly four yards. He was covered by David Barrett most of the day.
Moore failed to catch a pass despite being targeted twice. He was the target of a deep pass from Anthony Wright that was intercepted in the end zone by Erik Coleman.
Marlon Brown had a strong showing against the Bills. He isn’t a finished product but continues to make plays and should continue to get more targets. Brown converted a third and long by working back to Flacco after he broke the pocket and made a tough contested catch. Brown was targeted back to back on red zone throws with the first one underthrown by Flacco. The second was a vertical route well run by Brown as he got inside position on the defender. Flacco threw it up high and let Brown make the tough catch for a touchdown. Brown narrowly missed on a long completion after Flacco broke the pocket and the improvisation almost led to a touchdown.
Not a spectacular outing, but Jones caught his catchable balls on hitches and curls. Jones had little chance at the ball on Flacco’s incomplete attempts deep.
After a huge Week Three, the Jets wanted to make sure Torrey Smith was kept in check. They blanketed him with coverage all night and made it difficult for Flacco to find the rookie for a pass. He was barely able to make a grab for a single yard and many of the other passes in his direction were not really reachable. The Jets were able to lock him down and hold him there for the duration of the game.
Heap caught every pass thrown at him. He was able to run routes across the middle and found openings, and also was able to occupy the attention of Jets’ safeties to help his teammates. Heap also may have made a game saving tackle on Victor Hobson who, after recovering a Jamal Lewis fumble, almost returned it for a score only to be knocked out of bounds by Heap.
Wilcox came into the game late and was used primarily as a second tight end to block. He caught the only pass thrown at him, but with the health of Todd Heap no longer in question he did not receive much playing time.
Owen Daniels seemed to maintain roughly the same role he had through the first 3 weeks. Replacing Pitta will come by committee. Daniels’ first reception came midway through the 2nd quarter. He was set up with a tight end screen, followed his blockers well, and picked up 13 yards. Daniels followed it up with a very impressive 3rd down hands catch he extended for and snagged out of the air. Daniels made another hands catch to convert a third and 8
On Pitta’s single catch, the Ravens send Ray Rice into motion to go out wide right, drawing some of the defense with him. Pitta slips out to the left and makes a nice catch for a short gain, which he then cuts inside, showing good vision and speed in gaining extra yards.
Stover was perfect on the day, converting both of his field goal attempts (25 and 42 yards) and his sole extra point attempt.
The Ravens knew the run was coming, and they stuffed eight and sometimes even nine men in the box to stop it. Curtis Martin was held to 2.3 yards per carry and was completely stuffed on two goal line attempts from the one. Anthony Weaver was carted off the field with a leg injury after that goal line stand. Peter Boulware made his return to the team felt with a sack late in the game that forced the Jets to punt. Ray Lewis led the team with seven tackles and two assists, also tacking on a sack.
The secondary wasn’t challenged deep by Brooks Bollinger, and this made their job easy. The only receivers they had to account for were those over the middle less than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage, as Bollinger could not accurately throw passes towards the sideline or down the field. They effectively veered these options through the first three quarters, only letting up in the fourth quarter when they played prevent defense. Deion Sanders had an opportunity to intercept a pass and return it for a touchdown, but he was unable to secure the football. Ed Reed led the secondary with four tackles.