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Greenberg: Highlights Few and Far Between

Posted Oct 28, 2013

Only once did the Jets flush Andy Dalton, so this one swirled down the toilet.

Best Jet: Nick Folk. Rarely a good sign when this is the kicker.

Next Best Jet: Ellis Lankster made two good tackles on special teams.

Next Best Jet After That: Uh, can we come back to this one?

Best Jets Play of the Game: Muhammad Wilkerson deflected Dalton’s pass to Sheldon Richardson, who tipped it back to Wilkerson for an interception. These guys should be on the beefiest hands team ever for onsides kicks.

Second Best Jets Play of the Game: Matt Simms’ hurdle for the marker on fourth down with the score 49-9. Fell four inches short, but by that time we were easily entertained.

Turning Point: Dalton and Marvin Jones arrived safely at Paul Brown Stadium.

Biggest Factor Why the Jets Couldn’t Keep Themselves in the Game: The secondary, left exposed by a nonexistent pass rush (one sack), performed terribly.

Second Biggest Factor Why the Jets Couldn’t Keep Themselves in the Game: They had 93 rushing yards. In the three wins since the one opening day against Tampa Bay, the Jets have averaged 159.

Scariest Sight: Dee Milliner, the ninth player taken in the last draft, wasn’t even close to covering Jones on any throw before being benched. Milliner never turned around to play the ball on the back-shoulder throw to Jones on the first Cincinnati touchdown, and with the Bengals up, 14-0, barely forced himself into the vicinity on a 45-yard Jones catch-and-run that put the ball at the 6. Either Milliner, benched for the second time in his rookie season, still is injured or he’s completely lost confidence or both.

Best Reason Not to Despair: The Bengals are 6-2 and not looking like any wild-card-game loser this time around. They are going to win the AFC North going away and play Denver in the conference championship game.

Biggest Reason to Despair: The Jets didn’t belong on the same field with one of the best teams in the conference, which, by the way, New England is not. The requisite weekly pick-six by Geno Smith — two of them, actually — occurred long after hope was abandoned Sunday. Unless they were in Rex Ryan’s choice of coverages, mistakes didn’t get the Jets into a 28-6 halftime hole. They simply were manhandled.

Best Reason to Tip Your Cap and Move On to the Saints: Dalton made some gorgeous throws, like the bomb to A.J. Green with Antonio Cromartie stride for stride, and the lob past Darrin Walls to Jones in the end zone to make it 21-3.

Worst Reason to Tip Your Cap and Move On to the Saints: Drew Brees can make those throws, too. Darrin Walls replaced Milliner and promptly got beat for a Jones touchdown catch, too.

Best Reason You Didn’t Turn to Ice Skating on NBC: Goal-line stand by the Jets at 14-0. Good breakup on third down by Landry, then strong penetration by Sheldon Richardson and David Harris to stop BenJarvus Green-Ellis on fourth down. We thought the tide had turned. We thought wrong.

Next Best Reason Not to Be Watching Ice Skating on NBC: Can we come back to that one, too?

Second Guess Just for the Sake of Second-Guessing, Since It Wasn’t Going to Matter Regardless: The only attempt the Jets made to stretch the field was to Jeff Cumberland before he exited with a head injury. Made just two throws to Stephen Hill, a dink and a dunk before he limped off following the second. The Jets will be working out Lam Jones and Fred Baxter this week.

Best Reason for Instant Replay: Not only was Giovani Bernard down by Calvin Pace’s contact, but the running back’s reach for the end zone broke the plane before the ball came loose and went over the end line. It was ruled a touchback by a side judge just 3 yards away from the play

Best Reason to Wonder If Geno Smith Ever Is Going to Get It: He keeps making the same sideline throw for the same pick-pix, although on the first one Sunday, it appeared Jeremy Kerley broke off his route.

Next Best Reason to Wonder If Geno Smith Ever Is Going to Get It: When a sacker comes through untouched, it usually means the quarterback didn’t recognize the coverage. Jets offensive linemen have been spotty through eight games, but it’s not all on them.

Best Reason Not to Worry If Geno Smith Ever Is Going to Get It: He has won half of his eight NFL starts, three by leading scoring drives on the final possession.

Best Reason Not to Give Up on the Jets Making the Playoffs: They may not be great, but they certainly so far have proven to be resilient. The loss at Tennessee was almost this bad and still the Jets haven’t lost consecutive games.

Next Best Reason Not to Give Up on the Jets Making the Playoffs: After New Orleans next week, the only team remaining on their schedule that currently has a winning record is Carolina at 4-3.

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