There aren’t enough negative words in the dictionary to describe just how bad the Jets looked during Sunday’s 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Since the Jets couldn’t bench their entire team for playing so lousy, Rex Ryan pulled quarterback Geno Smith after just two quarters. In doing so, Smith became the league’s first starter since Doug Flute in 1988 to go four consecutive games without completing 10 passes.
Smith’s first half performance was abysmal. He missed wide open receivers and failed to move the offense down the field, completing just four of 10 passes for 29 yards and an interception. The booing of Smith started after the team’s first offensive series and continued until Matt Simms took over to start the second half.
Despite basically being giftwrapped the starting job, Simms, who completed nine of his 18 passes for 79 yards, is yet to show he’s the answer to Gang Green’s offensive woes. Though he has a strong arm, Simms threw one interception and Miami could have just as easily picked off at least another two or three of his passes.
Neither Smith nor Simms was helped out much by the receivers. Santonio Holmes curiously played just a few snaps before sitting out the rest of the game, and for some reason, tight end Kellen Winslow has seen his time diminish the past couple weeks.
The one positive, if you want to call it that, was Stephen Hill catching a pass for the first time in weeks. Granted, he gained just two yards on his lone reception, but at this point, that has to be considered progress.
In comparison, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill lit up the Jets with 331 yards passing and two touchdowns, targeting cornerback Dee Milliner from the get-go.
With all due respect to Tannehill, a better quarterback probably would have done even more damage against the woeful secondary.
Like Smith, Milliner was also benched in the loss. It marked the third time this season Milliner was taken out in the middle of the game. The rookie corner repeatedly looks lost in coverage and can’t seem to find the ball once it is airborne.
Since Ryan doesn’t seem to want to hold those he is loyal to accountable for their actions, Antonio Cromartie and Ed Reed continue to play terribly without any repercussions.
While Cromartie did intercept his third pass of the year, it came on a floated ball that landed right in his hands. He was fooled badly on more than one occasion and gave receiver Mike Wallace far too much room to operate.
It would be easy to blame Cromartie’s struggles on his bad hip, yet he appeared to be healthy enough to return kicks once return specialist Josh Cribbs was forced to leave the game early with a shoulder injury.
Reed has started all three games since the Jets picked him up, but he has contributed nothing. There’s a reason why the Baltimore Ravens let him go after last season, and why the Houston Texans released him in November. At age 35, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to magically regain his speed and awareness.
If veterans Cromartie and Reed are being asked to mentor the young Milliner, they’ve been doing an excellent job in teaching him how not to tackle and how to let your opponent catch passes without any difficulty.
After being outgained by over 200 yards in the first half, the Jets were fortunate to lose by only 20 points. Miami missed a rather easy field goal in the first quarter, and later came away with zero points after reaching Gang Green’s one-yard line. Otherwise, their 6-0 lead at the half would’ve been much larger.
The biggest indictment against the Jets right now is how hard it is to watch them. It would be one thing if they were losing close games while making positive strides towards the future, but fans at home haven’t had any real reason to watch the fourth quarter since the team’s win over the New Orleans Saints back on November 3.
Mathematically, the Jets are still very much alive in their pursuit of the playoffs. But after three straight blowout losses, it’s realistic to wonder if they are even capable of winning another game over the next four weeks.