LONDON CALLING

The Jets went to London for their first AFC East divisional “road game” and came out with a big 27-14 win, upping their record to 3-1 overall and are now 1-0 in the division. But contrary to most opinions I have seen about this game, this win was not all sunshine and rainbows in my eyes. Yes, the Jets basically dominated the Dolphins, but I see some glaring negatives that need to be address if this Jets ball club plans to be in the mix in November and December in the biggest of games.

As Todd Bowles addressed to the team in the locker room immediately after the game, 14 penalties is way too many. He told the team “We started their scoring drives with penalties and we stopped our own.” And he could not be more correct. The Jets defense dominated this game. The first Dolphins touchdown drive was aided by two very long pass interference calls, and the second touchdown drive was off a good kick return and a short field to work with. These are things you can get away with right now, against a Dolphins team struggling to find itself, down the roads this is a problem.

Last week we stated we would find out a lot about Todd Bowles in this Dolphin week. A lot of obstacles were here for a first year coach: a trip to London, a 9:30 Am start, first conference opponent, coming off first loss of the season. So here is my weekly personal evaluation on the Todd Bowles watch:

Positives:
1- This defense can play, and that is Todd’s calling card
2- Very impressed with the week after week goal line stands this team is able to make
3- Decided to kick off after winning the coin toss (last week he took the ball) Your strength is your Defense, start with them on the field
4- Got the first stop and then popped them in the mouth with the big play to Brandon Marshall on the first offensive play from scrimmage

Negatives:
1- Clock management was awful in this game. Continuously snapping the ball with 7-12 seconds on the play clock, in the second half up by multiple scores
2- Putting to much of the game in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hand with a lead, rather them pounding the run and depending on the defense and the clock. (Which is the strongest unit they have)

To sum it up, I may sound a little harsh on this team after a 3-1 start and a solid win. But in a game you absolutely dominate as a team, only poor game management is to blame to be in a 27-14 situation with 9 minutes left and the Dolphins on the door step of the goal line to make it a one score game. This game should have been put to bed long before that. And it did not come back to bite them on this day, but bigger opponents and bigger games will be looming. Good news is, this is all correctable and a bye week upon them to fix it. Overall this was a solid bounce back effort and always good to put your foot on the throat of a divisional opponents season. See you in two weeks.

– Rob DiToma