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Greenberg: The Long and Windy Road

Posted Nov 25, 2013

Looking for light at the end of the wind tunnel ...

Best Jet: Sheldon Richardson. Impressive rundowns of Tyrod Taylor and Ray Rice. Nine tackles, including three for losses and a half sack. It's Richardson vs. Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso for defensive rookie of the year.

Most Exciting Play: Ryan Quigley angled a punt away from returner Tandon Doss that didn’t stop rolling until 67 yards later. Sorry, the best we have to offer.

Best Run: Nice cutback by Chris Ivory for 17 yards on the Jets' second possession to set up their only score.

Biggest Disappointment: That Ivory run represented almost half of Ivory’s 35 yards for the day, which means he averaged two yards on the rest of his carries. The Jets were only 3.6 per carry for the day. They can’t win with this rookie quarterback in constant third-and-longs.

Best Play by Geno Smith: A 13-yard catch from Josh Cribbs out of the Wildcat that proved to be the best manifestation of the kid’s athleticism. Geno didn’t pull a significant escape from the rush all day. We don’t mean to blame the victim, only to suggest that a sprintout or three might have slowed the rush and taken advantage of an asset — his legs.

Best Smith Throw: Over the linebackers to Greg Salas for 18 yards to the 9 to set up the Jets’ only score. Even better than the later 30-yarder to Salas because it showed touch.

Worst Smith Throw: The ball slipped out of his hand on a third-down shortie to Bilal Powell. The Jets settled for a Nick Folk field goal for their only score.

Best Example Why Joe Flacco Is in Year Six with a Ring and Smith Is in Year One with Eight Touchdowns and 18 Interceptions: On second-and-15, the Ravens quarterback threw over blitzing Dawan Landry directly to his vacated spot to TE Ed Dickson for 13 yards to set up a makeable third-and-2.

Most Embarrassing Moment: Nick Mangold's shotgun snap hit Greg Salas while he was in motion and Terrell Suggs fell on it at the Jets 18. Fortunately, two plays later, Marlon Brown and Torrey Smith seemed to defer to each other on a Flacco pass and Antonio Cromartie picked it off, thank you very much.

Second Most Embarrassing Moment: An assistant coach caught in the forbidden zone for sideline personnel blocked a zebra running to make a call, costing the Jets 15 yards. What else can go wrong? Better not ask.

Spoken Like a Defensive Coach: Ryan wanted to blame drops for Smith’s 9-for-22 for 127 yards but corner Dee Milliner had butterfingers, too, on a certain interception.

Spoken Like a Coach Trying to Protect Rookies Who Currently Need Significant Protecting: See above.

Reed It and Weep: Ed Reed didn’t close on Jacoby Jones’ 66-yard touchdown catch from Joe Flacco. That said, it was one of only two explosive plays the Ravens hit. Not to suggest that this is the 1976 Steelers secondary back there, but to be fair, you can live with just two big plays if your offense can score.

Lying in the Reeds: Reed did arrive on time to save a Flacco-to-Jones touchdown. The officials correctly picked up the flag after a good chest-first breakup.

Worst Officials Call: Muhammad Wilkerson was tripped by beaten offensive lineman as he was about to sack Flacco at the waist, ended up at his feet and was flagged for a low hit on the quarterback. The only alternative for Wilkerson would have been to let Flacco escape.

Not So Special: The Ravens averaged 21 yards on five punt returns. On one by Jones that went for 19 yards, Ellis Lankster attempted a rolling tackle right after the catch and missed badly.

Biggest Break: A.Q. Shipley got called for a hold of Kenrick Ellis to offset the blatant facemask grab by Ellis. The Jets forced a field goal.

Reason to Keep the Faith: Next week is the first of two games left against the Dolphins, who are 26th in the NFL against the run.

Reason to Try Chuck E. Cheese's Next Time: The Jets will be 1-5 on the road when they go to Charlotte in three weeks.

Second-Best Reason to Keep the Faith (downgraded from last week’s First Reason to Keep the Faith): Still right there for a playoff spot, with Carolina the only team remaining on the schedule with a winning record and three of five contests at home, where Jets are 4-1.

Next Move: Perhaps a dose of the good old blustery Rex Ryan would help take the pressure off a young team that still has too many holes to be called a true contender. You know, the old end-around, off of play action, that makes the coach, not the kid quarterback, the primary media target.

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