|Jets frustrated by mistakes, missed opportunities|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 15 September 2008 13:38|
``We let things get away,'' center Nick Mangold said Monday. ``We were doing some good things and there's little mistakes and penalties that really hurt us.''
The Jets were slight favorites entering the game, and for good reason. They were facing untested Matt Cassel instead of Tom Brady and had the excitement of Brett Favre making his regular-season home debut in front of 78,000 raucous fans.
Talk about a letdown.
Instead of sending a message that the balance of power in the AFC East might be shifting, the Jets reverted to their old, mistake-filled ways in a 19-10 loss Sunday.
There was certainly plenty of blame to go around. There was conservative play calling on offense, a lack of big plays on defense and an inability by the special-teams unit to give New York any advantage in field position. Throw in a missed field goal and six penalties that cost them 60 yards, and it's no wonder the Jets felt downright frustrated.
``Even without the Tom Brady factor, there was a chance for us to come out and be 2-0 in the division and we didn't get it done,'' safety Kerry Rhodes said. ``We're 1-1 and we've still got a chance and there's a long season to go, but this was a game we thought we had a chance to win and we thought we could've won and we couldn't get it done.''
While Cassel's performance was hardly eye-popping, he was efficient and benefited from consistently outstanding field position. Of the Patriots' nine series, five began in Jets territory, with an average start at the New England 42.
``Doesn't matter who you're playing, when the opponent has that type of field position, there's going to be issues,'' coach Eric Mangini said. ``It's tough to consistently prevent the other team from scoring points when they're starting in plus territory like New England was most of the day.''
``It's a situation we'll look at,'' Mangini said. ``We'll look at it very closely, then we'll move forward here, see where the different opportunities are and evaluate them.''
Still, the Jets were very much in the game. Favre led an impressive drive, featuring a 54-yard pass to Laveranues Coles, midway through the second quarter - only to have it stall at the goal line with three failed running plays.
On first-and-goal from the 3, Thomas Jones went off right guard for a yard. He went up the middle for another yard on the next play, and then lost 2 yards went Richard Seymour plowed into him off left guard. Instead of taking a lead, the Jets settled for a field goal that left them three points down.
``That four-point swing is difficult to lose,'' Mangold said, ``but I'm a running guy and I like to pound it in and I thought if we were able to clean it up just a little more, we would've been in there.''
Mangini further defended the calls, saying he liked what the line and the running backs had been doing to that point. He also addressed the criticism that Favre was somewhat handcuffed by the play calling.
``We're not calling plays in a vacuum,'' he said. ``It wasn't a function of not realizing that Brett was here. It was a function of what we thought was going to work at that point.''
alled for holding, negating a big run by Jones, and Favre followed with an illegal forward pass. Three plays later came an offensive pass interference on Jerricho Cotchery, who made a terrific catch on a 40-yard pass down the sideline that was overturned when he was called for pushing defensive back Deltha O'Neal.
On the next play, Bubba Franks caught a pass for minus-5 yards, and then Favre was picked off by Brandon Meriweather on a poor throw. The Patriots turned the turnover into a touchdown and a 10-point lead.
New England was able to eat up the clock down the stretch by running all over the Jets, led by LaMont Jordan's 62 second-half yards.
``When we needed to make big stops, we didn't make them,'' linebacker Eric Barton said. ``It's as simple as that. We didn't force any turnovers, we didn't get the ball back in our offense's hands more. We didn't do that.''