Give the New York Jets credit for this: for the most part, they have been a pain in the neck for many of the top contenders in the NFL. New York’s Week 15 matchup with the New Orleans Saints was no different.
The Jets hung around with the Saints longer than anyone expected, but couldn’t muster enough offensive firepower to pull off the colossal upset. The Jets fell to the Saints 31-19 despite a gutsy effort from their young defense inside arguably the most hostile environment in the NFL.
Bryce Petty’s first start in relief of the injured Josh McCown didn’t go well, and he’s who we’ll start with when assessing what went wrong for the Jets at the Superdome.
Bryce Petty is not the savior
If this wasn’t blatantly obvious before Sunday, then it is now. Petty was pedestrian aside from a savvy scramble in the third quarter followed up by a rainbow pass to Elijah McGuire. He finished the afternoon with 17-of-36 with 167 yards, a touchdown and an interception on a forced throw.
Petty was erratic throughout the game. He missed receivers in a variety of ways and should be partially blamed for New York’s general disorganization offensively. The 2015 fourth-round pick telegraphed throws often, which is why several of them were batted at the line of scrimmage.
Petty does some nice things and it wasn’t a horrendous day for the Baylor product. But it wasn’t a performance that would spark much hope in his potential as a legitimate starter.
Quite frankly, Petty didn’t do much to earn another start next week against the Chargers. If the Jets were smart, they’d see what they have in Christian Hackenberg for the rest of the season.
Michael Thomas carves up Jets’ secondary
Fantasy football players who have Michael Thomas will certainly be happy with his performance, but they know they could’ve gotten a lot more.
Thomas finished the day with nine receptions on 11 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown. In reality, Thomas probably should’ve had 10 receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns. Thomas dominated Morris Claiborne all afternoon.
Suddenly, Claiborne hasn’t been reliable after a strong start to the season. He was primarily responsible for Demaryius Thomas’ big day last week, and was dominated by Thomas all afternoon. New York’s secondary must shape up with Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen coming to town next week.
Drew Brees wasn’t pressured nearly enough
The Jets tried to harass Brees, but to no avail. The Jets were unable to sack the 38-year old Hall of Fame quarterback and they didn’t really come close.
New York was opportunistic Sunday, forcing three turnovers against a prudent Saints offense. Leonard Williams might have had the play of the day with an athletic, leaping interception of Brees in the first half. The Jets also did a nice job of jarring the ball loose and forced two fumbles out of Brandon Coleman. It wasn’t a terrible day for the Jets defense, but the talent simply didn’t measure up.