So close and yet so far.
Leon Washington took the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and Kellen Clemens helped lead the Jets to a 17-3 lead, but the Jets defense couldn't stop the rush (again) and the Jets offense went into the toilet in the second half as the Redskins scampered by the Green and White 23-20 in overtime.
It was the sixth loss in a row for Gang Green and the third time the Jets have blown a double-digit lead this season.
REASONS TO GET UP ON MONDAY:
David Harris. How is an inside linebacker able to record 24 tackles in a football game and still be part of a unit that gives up nearly 300 yards rushing? Ah, the mysteries of life. Well, Harris accomplished this mysterious feat and has recorded 51 tackles* in the last two games.
Leon Washington. Washington got the Jets off and running by recording his third kickoff return for a score this season. Leon didn't do as well offensively as he rushed for only 13 yards on 4 carries and caught 4 passes for 18 yards.
Kellen Clemens. Clemens was serviceable in his second career start. He made some impressive plays and some questionable plays, but that's to be expected from a young quarterback. KC led the Jets on a 15-play drive that resulted in a field goal, a 10-play drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Joe Kowalewski in the first half and then led Gang Green on a 16-play drive that ended with a field goal to send the game into overtime. The second-year pro also took some big hits and was under constant duress in the game, but managed to survive. The Jets receivers could have done a better job -- Leon Washington dropped a long pass on the Jets first offensive play of the second half that would have gone for six. The pass could have been thrown better, but the catch should have been made. And then Jerricho Cotchery (who fumbled early in the fourth quarter with the Jets in field goal range) couldn't handle a pass on a critical 3rd and 7 on the 'Skins 39-yard line in overtime that would have gone for a first down. In the end, Clemens finished 23 of 42 for 226 yards, 1 TD and 48 yards rushing.
REASONS TO SLEEP IN ON MONDAY:
Run defense. Un-freakin-believable. How the Jets aren't ranked dead last in rushing defense is beyond me (they rank 27th, but that may drop after this pitiful performance). Clinton Portis came into the game with zero 100-yard rushing games this season (which was really the kiss of death) and proceeded to tear Gang Green a new one by gaining 196 yards on 36 carries (5.4 yards a rush) and a score. As a team, the Burgundy and Gold rushed for 296 yards. It was a minor miracle that the Jets were actually in this game and had a legitimate chance to win it.
Run the football! Thomas Jones had 13 carries for 49 yards on Sunday. 13 carries! If I see offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer walking down the street I'm going to kick him right in the nads. I don't understand this offense at all. The Jets did rush for 124 yards as a team, but 48 of those yards come from scrambles by Clemens.
Play calling. I guess this goes hand-in-hand with running the football, but this offense has to be the most unimaginative in the league. People may gush about Clemens' performance on Sunday (and like I said, he played OK), but this offense is still the same. In fact, Clemens' numbers looked very Pennington-like. I guess people are judging on style points. Anyway, the four-yard hitches were still there and the vertical passing game which everyone was screaming for was nonexistent -- outside of the one pass that fell incomplete to Washington. What the hell are we doing over here?
In the end it was different, but the same. The Jets moved the ball between the 20s, but couldn't punch it in when they needed to, the defense allowed the opposing offense to run with impunity and the team blew a 14-point lead.
The Jets have their bye next week.
They've earned it.
*CORRECTION: Harris has 41 tackles in the last two games not 51. Math is not my strongest suit.
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