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We Were Wrong: Bye Jets, Hi Falcons

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Actually I was wrong mostly so let’s talk about that too

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets
about the losing. and lots of other things
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Having penciled the Jets game in as a loss for various excellent reasons —

  • Hobbled Hobbit
  • Seemingly tough opposition on the DL
  • Uncertain health for Baldwin and Lockett as well
  • Hard to win on the road in the best conditions, but 10 a.m. makes it even worse
  • Jets figure to be more cautious after 8 turnovers vs. Chiefs

— I was the wrongest. A lot of you were off base, but I was the wrongest. Oh well. The more, the errier.

Lingering injuries would limit Russell Wilson’s effectiveness

The “linjurings” limited RW’s ability to scramble around the edge, or for first downs. Russell carried the ball twice, for minus-2 yards. So he wasn’t effective outside the pocket. He wasn’t able to use his legs to thieve yards on broken plays. No matter. He just needed to be mobile. Inside the pocket.

He wasn’t going to beat a defensive end around the corner. But a few steps up here or there when the pocket started to collapse? That he could do.

Germain Ifedi gets beat and the pressure is upon Wilson within two seconds. He can’t go side to side, he can’t spin, and he can’t take off and run (doctor’s orders). But he can shuffle forward a couple strides and dump the ball off over an unbeat Justin Britt. C-Woke picks up nine.

(By the way, Michael doesn’t have to pass block on this play, the left side of the line does its job, and Britt is the first to help Michael up 10 yards downfield.)

Exhibit two is a still photo that a) allows you to still be mad at the offensive line and b) looks like trouble.

Seattle Seahawks v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Except Sheldon Richardson does not sack Wilson on this play. Again, it’s a question of escaping vs. exploiting. RW on half a leg might not be able to run the read zone effectively, because who would respect the QB keeper, but he was still himself enough to Houdini his way right out of trouble. At least sometimes.

The Jets pass rush would be bothersome

“The Jets’ DL will be making Russ run for his life almost as much as the Rams were”

— posted by Wade 8813 on Sep 28, 2016 | 11:58 PM

Correct if you thought they’d be somewhat bothersome on the ground, in that they held the Hawks’ running game in check. 66 yards on 26 carries is Seattle’s worst rushing output of the season.

Incorrect, in that they did not disrupt Wilson enough to get him off his game. Which is being one of the best pocket passers in the league.

Only two sacks and one 133.5 QB rating later, the conclusion is that either the Jets did a poor job of rushing the passer, or the offensive line kept Wilson clean, or the pressure was present but ineffective, hi have you met Unflappable Russ, yes you have, he’s a dear.

In reality all three answers have to be true to some extent. Though the core reason hardly matters, to be honest. Because we were wrong. The Jets’ D-linemen did not dictate the game, quite the opposite.

The road would be a problem, and 10 a.m. to boot

As it often is.

Truth: the defense DID have trouble getting off the field... on the first drive... and that’s it. Look at the next seven drive lengths for the Jets after their opening 8-minute, 29-second possession:

2:59, 3:52, 3:31, 3:09, 1:44, 1:30, 1:08, 1:07

Only one of those drives ended in points. If it took the defense time to get in the game and assert themselves, that handicap wore off in a hurry. Once the first-drive doldrums passed, the Hawks held the Jets to 21 yards on their next 10 rushes, which is misleading because half that yardage came on a 3rd-and-28 draw play.

Trepidation was fair: Seattle’s RW era record in 10 a.m. games had been 8-9 going in. Now it’s even. Which isn’t the best. But with the NFC East and the AFC South on the schedule next year, the potential exists for four more 10 a.m. games just next season. Nice to get another win under the belt and continue to wound, if not exactly slay, that particular monster.

Fitzpatrick would eschew risk-taking in favor of safe passes

“Fitz plays cautious. Avoids the heavy interceptions. The result is a sack heavy game (possibly for both sides).”

— posted by Cannibal Hawk on Sep 28, 2016 | 4:17 PM

A popular opinion to get wrong.

“After throwing six picks the previous week... Fitzpatrick will throw zero picks against Seattle on the way to a 17-13 win.”

— posted by BlackBlack_Blues on Sep 28, 2016 | 4:42 PM

After all, the way to defeat the Hawks is to take the underneath stuff they give you, extend drives, get points, win time of possession, convert third downs, avoid turnovers, and whatever you do, don’t let the LOB eat you alive. It is known.

Fitz didn’t stay away from Sherman. Twelve targets his way, which turned out to be a couple too many for the Jets’ chances.

He didn’t protect the ball. Two interceptions and a fumble. Just because the last one worked out for them doesn’t make it right.

New York didn’t extend drives, after the first half. Everything that got them down the field safely at first, they either abandoned or it stopped working. Look at the Jets’ drive 1: run, run, run, run, short pass for 1, short pass for 15, run, short pass for 12, run, short pass for 11, run, drive stalls with a sack and an “incompletion.”

New York gained positive yardage on its first 11 plays, picking up significant enough yards after the catch to get into field goal range. Then the game plan evaporated. Deeper shots were taken, runs were stuffed.

About the only thing the Jets did was convert third downs, but even then they were concentrated in the early going. They were 3-for-4 in the first quarter and just 4-for-11 thereafter.

Bye Bye Week

Thank goodness that Sunday without Seahawks football is over Looking ahead for the first time: The Falcons shocked the Broncos and their imitation Lynch yesterday, in Denver. Shocked all of America really, as the Broncos had not allowed opposing quarterbacks to look competent since — well, since sometime last season.

Will the Falcons be able to move the ball (sometimes)? Will Richard Sherman follow Julio Jones around from side to side (yes)? Will Jimmy Graham continue to put up No. 1-receiver-type lines (perhaps)? Will the offensive line continue to show growth (fuck yeah)?

In short, what will the game look like? You can be wrong without trying too hard, you know. It’s easy -- just try and be right. As much fun as it is to float hyperbolic, absurd scenarios, there is no Kafka in football! The four Eagles fans in attendance today will back me up on this obscure bit of gridiron humor that I hope you do not get.

You know, just be the wrong you usually are. That’s what works for me.