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Talk about a 180-degree turn . . .
The Jets go from playing a rookie project QB, picked in the 7th-round, to facing future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Rodgers.
After QB Teddy Bridgewater got hurt on the Miami Dolphin’s first series, he was replaced by developmental rookie Skyler Thompson.
Not sure that the QB depth-chart plan for Miami entering the season was ideal. To have a third-string QB, behind a pair of injury-prone quarterbacks, Tua Tagovailoa and Bridgewater, like Thompson, who needed an NFL redshirt year, was misguided.
Not saying the Dolphins shouldn’t have kept Thompson around, but put him on the practice squad, and have a veteran #3.
And the Jets’ defense dominated Thompson. Now it didn’t help that he was playing behind a pair of backup offensive tackles. Starting right tackle Austin Jackson is on short-term IR, and starting left tackle Terron Armstead, got hurt in the first quarter.
But nonetheless, Thompson isn’t ready for prime time, and the Jets ate him for lunch, to use a bad cliche.
Now they face Rodgers. I’m not sure I can remember a quantum leap in competition at the QB position, from one week to the next, for Gang Green, in all my years covering the Jets.
And Rodgers at home, coming off a loss, adds to the challenge.
While the Packers are coming off a loss, it’s not like Rodgers is playing poorly. On the season he has 8 TDs, 3 picks, and has completed 67.9 percent of his passes, with a 95.8 QB rating. Not elite by his standards, but solid, nonetheless.
He’s getting used to new receivers and recently got his bookend tackles back from IR from 2021 knee injuries. Those guys are knocking off the cobwebs.
This is going to be a very tough spot for the Jets. I want to go back to something we wrote before the Pittsburgh game.
“This week’s matchup is favorable for the Jets based on last season and the first few weeks of this season,” we wrote on September 28. “When they face quarterbacks who aren’t full-field readers and aren’t good at going through the progression scans, they fare a lot better. When they face elite full field-readers, like Joe Burrow, who see the weak spots of the coverage, they tend to have issues. They face Aaron Rodgers in a few weeks. That could be an issue – he sees everything. Mitch Trubisky is an ideal opponent because he doesn’t see the field well and often relies on simple one-read throws dialed up by the offensive coordinator.”
Trubisky, rookie Kenny Pickett in his first start and Thompson aren’t full-field readers. Pickett and Thompson could get there in time, but they are rookies and need work in this area. Rodgers is the quintessential full-field reader. So don’t put the Jets’ pass coverage in Canton based on the last two games. Let’s see what they do against Rodgers in Green Bay.
One thing that needs to improve is the Jets’ pass coverage at linebacker because Rodgers loves throwing to tight end Robert Tonyan. The Jets’ inside linebacker and defensive leader is a really good tackler, but is sometimes a tick late getting over in coverage. Nobody will touch this one. It’s a third-rail issue . . .
As we mentioned on Sunday, the Jets need to improve their run defense moving forward. They gave up 137 yards on 26 carries against Miami, a team with two backup offensive tackles right now.
There were a few big runs up the middle by Miami, a couple right after a backup defensive tackle, who is a great guy and has a good motor, but has a hard time getting off the blocks. He seems to be beyond reproach.
Jordan Whitehead, D.J. Reed and Kwon Alexander have given the Jets’ defense an edge. Their collective toughness is rubbing off . . .
October 10, 2022
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