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Greenberg: Reviewing a Long Day in Buffalo

Posted Nov 18, 2013

Long day with a short explanation: The Jets still have too many positions where they can be exploited. It’s easy to turn their inconsistency into a maturity issue, but for the most part, their better veteran players show up every week. When they get more good players, they will win more often.

Biggest Disappointment: By now, we are accustomed to turnovers and secondary breakdowns. But the Jets’ offensive line was manhandled for four sacks, a Geno Smith fumble, and a smack in the quarterback’s solar plexus by Marcell Dareus on the game’s first series that foretold a long afternoon. Sixty-nine of the 134 rushing yards in 23 attempts came on one Chris Ivory run long after the game was decided.

Biggest Cause and Effect: Smith didn’t turn the ball over once in the win over New Orleans two weeks ago, in part because the Jets ran for 198 yards and he threw the ball only 19 times.

Best Call: In the second quarter by CBS’s Ian Eagle, after EJ Manuel wedged for a first down one play after Leger Douzable’s jumped offsides on 4th-and-6: “Could be a game-changer.”

Silliest Mistake: Douzable’s was a doozy.

Best Jets defensive play: With help of an Ed Reed blitz, Muhammad Wilkerson sniffed out a third-down screen to Tashard Choice, forcing the Bills to punt. Or actually, to try to punt — Brian Moorman dropped the snap and the Jets converted to get back into the game — or, at least they were for three series. It was nice while it lasted, though.

Worst Jets defensive play: Dee Milliner didn’t turn around on a wind-blown Manuel pass off his back foot to T.J. Graham on the Bills’ first touchdown. Graham beat Milliner back to the ball by 3 yards.

Best Jet: Wilkerson.

Best Jets Catch: Santonio Holmes not only came back to beat Stephon Gilmore for a 33-yarder on a windblown deep ball by Smith, but Tone beat Gilmore’s hold, too.

Best Throw: Geno Smith to Holmes for 38 yards on third-and-13 to set up the Jets’ first score. On one of the few times that Smith had time, he delivered.

Worst Throw: Smith never saw Jairus Byrd on the third-quarter interception in front of Holmes.

Biggest Break: Moorman’s drop of a perfect snap, nothing you would expect of a 12-year veteran.

Biggest Waste of a Break: The Jets converted on Chris Ivory’s touchdown, then forced a 3-and-out. Trailing by 13 in mid-third quarter, there still was plenty of time to persevere with the run, that being what you have to do sometimes to get it going. Instead, three short passes failed, the Jets punted and BANG! In two plays Manuel burned first Milliner, then Cromartie, putting the lead back to 20.

Biggest Question: Why not more screens to slow down the Bills’ rush?

Best Answer to Biggest Question: Da’Norris Searcy picked off a slip screen to Holmes and returned it for a touchdown. But that was when the game was practically over. The Jets needed to do more of this earlier.

Best Ed Reed Sighting: He sniffed out a first-down end-around that left the Bills second-and-13 preceding Dan Carpenter’s 42-yard field goal. He was nowhere to be seen as Cromartie was getting toasted on a 43-yarder to Marquise Goodwin.

Best Reason Matt Simms Looked a Lot Better Than Geno Smith: The Bills, up, 34-7, had stopped blitzing by then.

Worst Excuse to Make a Quarterback Switch: See above. Let Geno play. If he is to be your guy, he will learn. If he doesn’t, then you learn he isn’t your guy. Any organization starting a rookie quarterback is in it for the long haul.

Worst Excuse for a Bad Performance: Rex took the guys to Dave & Buster's on Saturday night. Really, is there something better to do in Buffalo?

Most Glaring Week-In-Week-Out Deficiency: Still the Jets’ corners. We keep waiting for Antonio Cromartie to pick it up. Instead, he was left in the dust on Goodwin’s touchdown. Rex, singling out Milliner for praise for a second straight week, is pretending his confidence-deficient rookie is playing better than he is. Manuel, without his two best receivers, Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods, still threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns.

Best Reason the Jets Can’t Put Back-to-Back Wins Together: Basically, it’s that they play on the road (1-4) every other game.

Best Reason Not to Despair: The Jets still hold the last AFC Wild Card spot with six games to go and only one team left on their schedule has a winning record.

Best Reason to Despair: In his last five games, Smith has thrown one touchdown and eight interceptions.

Best Reason to Check Your Eyeglass Prescription: Nick Folk missed for the first time this season and — thanks in part to the wind — really badly.

Best Perspective: With few exceptions, most of the Jets' inconsistency is being shown by their young players, so should you really be surprised by all the ups and downs? You were expecting maybe the ’62 Packers? And in August, who wouldn’t have signed up for 5-5?

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