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A heaping helping of Jets-Ravens Whispers . . .

Max Mitchell had ice on his left elbow leaving the stadium, but it’s probably not something that will keep him out next week . . .

Joe Flacco’s eye level wasn’t great today – too often looking down at the line instead of downfield. Maintaining the proper eye level, keeping your eyes downfield, is essential for good QB play.

True he was under pressure on some plays, but once you start dipping your eyes, it’s hard to be successful . . .

John Harbaugh is a tremendous football coach. While he doesn’t coach the Ravens’ defense, he certainly is involved in their defensive game plan, and he knows Flacco’s game better than most from their time together in Baltimore, so he had his defense playing schemes and formations today he knew Flacco wouldn’t deal well with.

Good coaching job . . .

Jets GM Joe Douglas has done a good job of improving the talent on the Jets roster, but continues to struggle in the placekicking department.

From Kaare Vedvik to now, it’s been a rollercoaster ride, and today, there was a missed 45-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein along with a missed extra point.

This begs the question – Why did they need to move on from Eddy Piniero, who was 8-8 on field goals last year as a late-season replacement?

They said they wanted to have a kicking competition. If that was the case, why not also have a punting competition? The punter struggled at times today, including two short punts that gave the Ravens two short fields, and they scored touchdowns on each of those possessions . . .

The Ravens lost backup left tackle Juwuan James to an ankle injury in the first half, and their franchise left tackle Ronnie Stanley was inactive today, so they were down to third-string left tackle Patrick Mekari for a big chunk of the game.

So why wouldn’t couldn’t the Jets’ seemingly improved defensive line take advantage of that?

That is troubling . . .

There is no doubt tight end Lawrence Cager has a lot of potential, but what was the rush to get him out there so fast on offense? He was out there early in the game, and was called for holding on a running play, and then fell down on a crossing route that was picked off by Ravens safety Marcus Williams.

Look, he has tremendous potential, but he’s still a major work in progress in his transition from wide receiver to tight end, which started this past off-season.

Why have him out there at the beginning of the game? Perhaps he’s not ready for prime time yet . . .

You hear this stuff all the time – “We played well on defense aside from the two or three explosive plays.” You heard that last year, and now after today’s game. I don’t get that one. We aren’t grading on a curve. Those explosives lead to losses, so what difference does it make how you played aside from those plays?

The Jets need to cut out those explosives if they want to become an elite defense.

The coverage on the 55-yard TD pass from Lamar Jackson to Rashod Bateman in the third quarter was not professional quality. You can’t let a guy get behind a defense like that. Totally inexcusable.

And before that Jackson’s 25-yard TD to Devin Duvernay on Bryce Hall was way too easy. A simple fade route on the right side in man-to-man coverage. A layup. Either the coverage was very poor, or the scheme. Hall is a solid player, but he’s not a speed merchant, so putting him on an island like that on a player with world-class speed, might not be ideal.

But these two explosive players, hurt the Jets a great deal, and tilted a close game to the Ravens’ favor.

So some would argue you should avoid talking about how you played well you played aside from the explosives.

Explosives count and often decide games.

September 11, 2022

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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