Offense Can't Capitalize
The Jets' struggle to capitalize on third down and in the red zone continued in their 30-10 loss. The Jets had two opportunities to score a touchdown in the first half and came away with 3 points. QB Joe Flacco and the offense took over on their own 8-yard line and drove to the Cardinals' 13 before turning over the ball on downs as Trevon Wesco and Le'Veon Bell couldn't convert on third- and fourth-and-1. Three plays later, LB Avery Williamson's interception set the Jets up with a first-and-goal, but the offense settled for a field goal and Sam Ficken's 26-yard boot cut the Cardinals lead, 7-3.
"I'm going to have look at that to see exactly what happened because it was hard to tell from the pictures exactly what the issue was," head coach Adam Gase said of the failed conversions on third- and fourth-and 1. "It looked like they had some kind of penetration where we had to stop our feet and try to make a cut. I don't know if we lost a backside block when that happened. I have to look at the film on what happened on both of those. The third-and-1 I thought we were going to get it because anytime we've run the ball with Wesco, we've gotten a yard. It just seemed like we got stopped there. I don't know exactly what happened."
On the offense's final possession before the end of the first half, TE Chris Herndon's 15-yard catch-and-run put the Jets on their own 47-yard line. The Green & White punted after a holding penalty and sack backed the unit up to their own 37. WR Jamison Crowder sparked the offense with a 52-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter that put the unit on the Cardinals' 22-yard line. Crowder cut Arizona's lead, 17-10, four plays later with his second TD of the season (11 yards).
The Jets finished 4 of 13 (31%) on third down and converted 1 of 7 (14%) in the first half. The offense went three-and-out on its first two drives before it moved the chains and started the second half with a three-and-out. RBs Le'Veon Bell and Frank Gore were efficient on the ground in the first half, totaling 72 yards on 15 carries (4.8 avg) and finished with 90 yards on 22 carries (4.1 avg). Flacco, making his first start since Week 8 of 2019 and in place of Sam Darnold, completed 54.5% (18 for 33) for 195 yards and 1 TD. The offense totaled 285 yards.
"We have to go back to work and learn from this film," Gase said. "We have to play a full 60 minutes and need all three phases playing well together. It's like one side of playing well and the other side is not. Then we finally get something going and we fall apart on the other side and we're not giving ourselves a chance to be there in the end."
See Best Images from the Week 5 Game at MetLife Stadium Against Arizona
Defense Flashed, but Got Gashed
The Jets defense allowed 496 total yards, the most in the season, but also flashed at times. The group yielded 17 points in the first half and kept DeAndre Hopkins (2 rec, 25 yards) and Kyler Murray's legs (31 yards, 1 TD) in check, but Murray was efficient with his arm. He threw for 380 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT while completing 27 of 37 (73%) and Hopkins finished with 131 yards and 1 TD on 6 catches. The Cardinals scored three of their four TDs on the ground with three different players – Murray, RB Chase Edmonds and RB Kenyan Drake.
LB Avery Williamson picked off Murray after LB Neville Hewitt got his hands on the pass and set up the offense with first-and-goal after a 21-yard return. Then the Cardinals, on their next possession, extended their lead and drove 75 yards on 10 plays and Murray's 2-yard run put the visitors up, 14-3. Before the end of the half, with 53 seconds remaining, Arizona drove 52 yards to set up K Zane Gonzalez for a 47-yard field goal that extended its lead 17-3.
"It was just in a situation where I was ratting the quarterback, making sure he didn't get out of the pocket," Williamson said of his interception. "We ended up getting a tip and I was in the right place at the right time. I was trying to score with it and thought I could beat Drake around the corner, but the sideline came up pretty quick."
He added on the defense's performance: "We have to continue with our third-down emphasis, but eliminate the few big plays," Williamson said. "That's what hurt us."
After the Jets offense cut the Cardinals lead to 17-10, the defense stuffed Edmonds on third-and-1 on Arizona's 39-yard line. Arizona went for it on fourth down and Murray found TE Darrell Daniels for a 31-yard gain that to New York's 30. Six plays later, Drake found the end zone and put the Cards ahead, 24-10.
"The defense did a good job in the first half and kept it tight," Gase said. "I thought they did a really good job of keeping Kyler in the pocket and making it tough on him. We played good up front for a long time and we couldn't play complementary football on offense. ... We get to 17-10 and get to fourth-and-1 and they convert and end up scoring to put the game out of reach."
Jamison Crowder once again led the Jets with 116 receiving yards and 1 TD on 8 catches (14.5 avg,) and became the third different Jets receiver in the last 52 years with three consecutive 100-yard games, joining Brandon Marshall (2015) and Al Toon (1988). He's scored a touchdown in two of the three games he's played in this season (missed Weeks 2 and 3) and put the Jets within one score, 17-10, in the third quarter. His 52-yard catch-and-run set up the Jets on Arizona's 22-yard line and four plays later, he caught a short pass over the middle, turned upfield and stretched his hand over the goal line for the score.
"I'm just trying to be a viable option for the quarterback," Crowder said. "I just think also, as a team, we're not really playing good team ball. We're getting down, we're getting behind in the game. On offense, we're not taking advantage of the opportunity, so we're having to throw the football. There are multiple things that are factoring into that (Crowder's early success). Like I said I'm just trying to be a valuable weapon for the quarterback and just make plays, and hopefully we can get a win."