- The Jets’ outlook now, Blake Bortles’ struggles and the Jags’ problems stopping the run
Three thoughts from the Jets’ 23-20 overtime victory over the Jaguars
1. The tank gone awry? Not so fast. The Jets might be an even .500 after back-to-back wins over the Dolphins and Jaguars at home, but this is the soft underbelly of their schedule. After the Browns next week, the Jets play the Patriots, and still ahead are games against formidable opponents like the Falcons, Panthers, Chiefs and Broncos. A 2-2 start was better than many expected of a Jets team that purged its roster of most of its veteran talent this offseason, but you can’t assign much meaning to a mistake-filled, 23-20 overtime win that very nearly ended in a tie. The outcome had more meaning for the Jaguars, who blew a chance for their first 3-1 start in a decade and to end the day atop the AFC South after the Texans’ blowout win over Tennessee.
2. Blake Bortles and the Jaguars passing offense were as out of synch as the preseason portended. The same team that hung 44 points on the Ravens last week struggled to move the ball through the air. Bortles and his receivers didn’t seem to be on the same page (Exhibit A: That stray pass to a very different spot than receiver Allen Hurns was running on third down in the red zone, forcing the Jags to settle for a second-quarter field goal). Leonard Fournette is a special player, but it’s hard to go very far with an offense that’s one-dimensional. Speaking of Bortles, his needlessly lowering his head to knock into Jets linebacker Juston Burris while running out of bounds was a dumb, and dangerous, decision.
3. The Jets took advantage of a Jaguars run defense that has been soft so far this season. Entering the game, the Jags ranked second in the NFL in total yards allowed, but were in the bottom five in the NFL in stopping the run. Bilal Powell went untouched on a 75-yard TD early in the game, and broke off another 33-yard run that set up a field goal right before the half. Little-used rookie Elijah McGuire, pushed into a larger role with Matt Forte sidelined with turf toe, gave the Jets the lead in the third quarter with a 69-yard run.
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