Week 7 Game Recap: Detroit Lions 24, New York Jets 31
What you need to know
QB Jon Kitna was far from exceptional in the first half, but due to the game plan of continuous passing, he put up some very big stats just by compiling numbers in the second half. Kitna threw 24 second half passes, and with the talent the Lions have at the skill positions itíd be tough to not put up big numbers under those circumstances.
RB Kevin Jones put up very nice numbers despite Detroit trailing the entire way. The Lions kept Jones implemented into the gameplan, and he received consistent touches throughout the game.
WR Mike Furrey broke out in a big way. With #1 receiver Roy Williams blanketed by double coverage for most of the afternoon, Furrey took advantage by finding soft spots underneath and hauling in a game high nine receptions (many of which were wide open).
RB Leon Washington was the difference maker in the game. He enjoyed a breakout game, and looked like the best player on the field the entire day. He got carries under all circumstances, including on the Jetsí final drive when they were trying to run out the clock.
QB Chad Pennington was very solid. His only turnover came off a tipped ball, and he made several very nice throws. He didnít force anything, and put up solid, albeit unspectacular, stats. His numbers probably couldíve been better, but the Jets only threw six passes the entire second half.
Jerricho Cotchery was the teamís leading receiver, hauling in a team high seven passes for 79 yards. He made a couple of very tough grabs, and clearly has Penningtonís confidence at this point.
What you ought to know
|QB Jon Kitna, Pass: 22 - 36 - 269 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0|
Kitna put up some very big numbers mainly through repetition. The fact that Detroit threw the ball so much, especially in the second half, meant Kitna was going to put up big yardage numbers. The Lions trailed the entire game, thanks to the inability of the defense to stop the Jets at all. One could make the case that even though Detroitís defense is terrible, it has been Jon Kitnaís best friend as far as fantasy stats go. Kitna himself looked very good at times, and even showed an added wrinkle of elusiveness in the pocket. He was able to avoid the rush with some nifty moves on a couple of occasions, and bought himself extra time several times. Kitna focused on Mike Furrey a lot in the second half, but his three touchdowns went to three different receivers. The first score was a nice grab by Roy Williams gliding across the back end line of the end zone. The second was a shovel pass to Kevin Jones, who made a great effort to get in. The third one was another exceptional effort by his receiver, as Mike Furrey laid out and dragged his feet to score the final touchdown of the game. Kitna was intercepted twice and nearly intercepted on two other occasions, but one of his picks came off a deflection (though granted, it was still a poor throw). Kitna lost 21 yards passing on a screen to Kevin Jones that was negated by penalty.
On a second half completion, he went over 20,000 passing yards for his career.
|RB Kevin Jones, Rush: 15 - 86 - 0, Rec: 6 - 57 - 1 (6 targets)|
Jones continued his outstanding season, gaining over 150 yards from scrimmage and adding a touchdown on a shovel pass from Jon Kitna. Facing the leagueís fourth worst run defense, Jones did what he was supposed to do. He ran hard, ran with power, and kept his legs moving all game. And on another positive note, despite the fact that Detroit trailed from the beginning, Jones remained a focus of the game plan with 21 total touches in the game. Jones lost 21 receiving yards after a screen pass was called back due to penalty.
Calhoun played sparingly, and the closest he came to having a real impact was when he caught a screen pass that he took down to the six yard line.
Furrey earned the full trust of Kitna in the game, especially late in the contest. He was targeted on what was at the time a game saving fourth and 11 reception late in the fourth quarter. He showed great hands on another fourth down conversion on a later drive, saving an errant pass from Kitna. He was rewarded later on in the drive when he was again thrown to in the end zone for a touchdown in the corner. Furrey did a fantastic job of keeping his feet inbounds, though he may have juggled the ball upon finishing the play. It appeared he did juggle it, and the officials reviewed the play, but there was no conclusive replay that showed the ball come loose. Furreyís big day was a product of Roy Williams being blanketed by constant double teams. His solid performance ensured heíll remain a focal point of the offense going forward, and it gives future opponents one more weapon to be concerned about in the Detroit offense.
Williams was blanketed by double coverage for much of the game, and it was only through his own athleticism that he was able to salvage a productive fantasy game. He beat two defenders to the spot on his touchdown reception, and leapt in the air to haul in the strike from Jon Kitna. Williams was open in the end zone on another occasion for another potential score late in the game. However, Kitnaís pass was too high for Williams to haul in and it bounced off his hand incomplete. He didnít register his second reception of the game until early in the fourth quarter, and it was his last reception of the game. There was no reason to force the ball to him because Mike Furrey was wide open and was making plays.
Hakimís involvement was very limited (one reception), though he was targeted on a fade pass in the corner of the end zone that fell incomplete.
Campbell caught a 22 yard tight end screen on a play designed for him, further boosting his team-leading yards per carry. Heís never a focal point in the offense, but the team does seem to make an effort to get him the ball once per game or so.
Pollard continued his quiet campaign as the forgotten TE in Martzís system. He was targeted just twice, catching only one. He was not thrown to in the second half.
Hanson connected on his long field goal of the day, an easy boot from 25 yards out.
The Lions came in as one of the leagueís worst teams at defending the run, and it only got worse in this game. They were absolutely torn up by RB Leon Washington, who torched them for 129 yards on 20 carries, including two scores. Kevan Barlow added another 49 yards and a score, and the Jets reached their season high in rushing yardage by the end of the third quarter. Detroit displayed very poor tackling, and was very slow to the edge as Washington continuously was able to turn the corner upfield. Without question, the Lionsí inability to stop the Jets run game was the big difference in the game.
The first pass of the game was very telling of the Lionsí afternoon. They nearly picked off Chad Penningtonís first pass off of a deflection, but instead the ball fell harmlessly incomplete. It would be a sign of things to come, as the Lions came close to making plays but never could quite get it going. Boss Bailey dropped an interception, Dre Bly almost made a play on the long touchdown to Justin McCareins, and the Lions came close to sacking Chad Pennington several times. Of course, none of those things actually happened, and those missed opportunities were a big reason for why Detroit was never able to quite make a game of it. LB Paris Lenon was shaken up and limped off the field. He was replaced by LeVar Woods, who was also shaken up and had to leave the game.
Penningtonís day nearly started off very inauspiciously. His first pass attempt was batted up into the air for what seemed like an eternity, but the ball fell harmlessly to the turf instead. Things got much better for him after that. He made a perfect pass to Jerricho Cotchery down the seam for 28, and later heaved a nice deep ball to Justin McCareins for a 44 yard touchdown. Pennington typically had loads of time to throw, and the two sacks recorded by Detroit were very isolated plays and not indicative of how the Jets offensive line performed. The Jets ran a no-huddle offense for much of the game, and it appeared to work very well for the most part. It kept the Lions personnel on the field for long stretches of the game, which any Detroit fan will tell you is a recipe for defensive disaster. In general, Pennington looked very solid. The only blemish on his ledger was an interception attempted for Chris Baker. The pick wasnít entirely Penningtonís fault, as it bounced off Bakerís hands. However, it was a poorly-thrown ball in any event.
Pennington went over 10,000 career passing yards early in the contest.
Washington was easily the star of the game. He had several gaping holes opened for him by the offensive line, but more than anything Washington made plays. He was very shifty and showed nice elusiveness running inside, but he also showed a nice burst when turning the corner outside. He got all of the significant carries, including red zone touches and the carries when the Jets were trying to run out the clock late in the fourth quarter. His first touchdown was a strong run from the five yard line, and his second was a nice display of balance as he tip-toed the sideline to get into the end zone. One must keep in mind the fact that this was all accomplished against the Lions defense, but Washington certainly looked like a legitimate feature back in the game. On that note, it would be shocking if Washington didnít get a chance to be ďthe manĒ in the featured role until/unless he canít handle it. If Washington is available in your league for whatever reason, make sure he doesnít remain a free agent for very long. Washington lost three yards rushing on after a penalty negated the play.
Barlow saw his carries decrease significantly as the game wore on. The reasoning was no mystery, as Leon Washington was carving up the Lions almost at will. With the Jets running out the clock late, it was Washington and not Barlow who was getting the touches. And when the Jets were in the red zone, they didnít hesitate to give Washington the ball. Barlow did manage to score, but it appeared that was only because Washington had to come out of the game to fix his shoulder pads. It would be a shock if Washington didnít get a full chance to be the teamís featured runner going forward.
Cotchery was the main target for Chad Pennington, though he did just about all of his damage in the first half. He made a spectacular one-handed snag of a pass early in the game, and was consistently able to get open for big chunks at a time. But the Jets played it more conservatively in the second half, and Cotchery only got one more catch after halftime.
Coles didnít record his first reception until 2:22 left in the first half. It wasnít that he couldnít get open; just that others were more open. By the time the second half rolled around, the Jets went into conservative mode and only threw six passes (though Coles did catch three of them).
McCareins made his only target of the game count, hauling in a 44 yard touchdown reception by getting behind Dre Bly and Terrence Holt on a play-action fake. It was McCareinsí first touchdown of the year, and first reception at all since Week 2.
Baker caught a wide open 16 yard pass over the middle, but that was the extent of his involvement. Like the rest of the Jets, he saw very little action after halftime.
Nugent nailed his only field goal try from 33 yards out.
The Jets won the game and held the Lions to 122 yards on the ground, but it should be noted that those yards were compiled on just 25 carries. The reality is, the Jets didnít do a good job defending the run Ė they just did a better job than Detroit. They never really were able to stop Kevin Jones, and the Jets big lead had more to do with the Lions reluctance to run than anything.
The Jets made several key plays when they needed to, despite giving up a bunch of yardage and scores through the air. A lot of the damage they gave up came when the game was already pretty well in hand and Detroit was in desperation mode. DB Kerry Rhodes nearly picked Jon Kitna late in the first quarter for what looked to be a huge missed opportunity. However, Rhodes more than made up for it later when he made a spectacular interception going over the receiver for the turnover. CB Andre Dyson seemingly suffered a concussion late in the contest while tackling WR Mike Furrey.