The Good, the Bad, and the Dak hosting the Jets (9-17-2023)

Because I could only follow the game online, NY Jets at Dallas 9/17/23, I cannot give too much beyond what the site updated during the course of the game. So, things like injuries, accuracy, or intent on certain passes or plays will not be mentioned as the site can't provide that.

The Good:

1. CD Lamb: He had himself a game with 11 catches on 13 targets for 143 yards. He was pretty much the receiving game today.

2. Stopping the Run: This was an issue last week, and at times it was dangerous this week... particularly given that it was to be expected that the Jets would make extensive use of Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook. That attack was largely stalled... some of it came because our offense, particularly in the first half scored points, but both Hall and Cook had a lot of troubles in this game. Hall only had 9 yards and Cook had 7 yards and lost a fumble. The leading Jets rusher today was Zach Wilson, and he only had 5 carries.

3. Team Rushing: Individual rushers weren't necessarily that great... as our leading rusher, Pollard, only averaged around 2.9 yards per carry, but because the offense as a whole had a good day, the team got lots of chances to run the ball and just about everyone had at least one carry... Particularly in the second half when it appeared that the game plan shifted to playing the clock more than playing to score. All of that worked and gave the Cowboys as a team over 100 yards rushing.

4. Micah Parsons: He only had two sacks... but he seemed to be everywhere in the game. He had some nice places in the running game, including two tackles for loss on Dalvin Cook, one of which forced a fumble that Parsons then recovered, and he even had a pass defended.

5. The TEs: They didn't have as many catches or as many yards as CD did... but both Ferguson and Schoonmaker caught the first passing TDs of the 2023 season. Good for them.

6. Turnovers Forced: Cook's fumble has already been mentioned... and that was a big thing, but then we add in Zach Wilson's picks. Diggs had an INT, Hooker had an INT, and Kearse had an INT... Granted this was against Zach Wilson and not Aaron Rodgers, but forcing them is still good regardless of who was at QB for the Jets.

7. Offensive Strategy: The Jets came in with an elite level defense... and when one considers what they can do, that's to be expected. It's something that makes attacking them hard, as in theory they have the front to slow down the run and the secondary and scheme that Dak has been known to struggle with... and I'm sure the Jets plan was to ride that defense to keep the game close enough where they weren't having to rely on Zach Wilson's arm behind a shaky offensive line.

And it would seem like McCarthy's strategy for the offense was to pass to get ahead and get the lead and then grind the clock in the second half... essentially try to get in front and then negate the sort of things that have caused Dak's inconsistency to be troublesome in the pass. Granted, it's going to be a strategy that will require Dak to do well (see: the Dak), but it's not a bad strategy... particularly as we began to execute and build that lead in the first half and early third quarter. It ground the clock down and attacked what the Jets could do offensively if they wanted to win...

The Bad:

1. Situational Discipline: We didn't have a lot of penalties and they weren't for a huge number of yards... but there were times, particularly late in the game where the secondary forced a 4th Down play and then had a pass interference or an offsides penalty convert the first down for the Jets. Those sorts of things hurt...

2. Leaving Points On the Board: A 30-10 win is great... but when we consider that we only scored two TDs in the game and kicked five field goals, many of which were in the red zone... it's something where there were clearly points left out there.

3. Lamb's Fumble: While he had a great day... that fumble could have been a turnover...

The Dak:

All things considered; he had a great day. We have to remember that the Jets have an elite, or near elite defense. It's something that nearly got them to the playoffs last season with Zach Wilson as their starter... and that's not something easy for anyone to attack. It's also noted that the Jets generally run a zone coverage scheme, something that Dak has had a history of struggling against. Most of his career picks and bad games have come as a result of teams largely playing a zone coverage scheme. And I'll even admit that coming into the game, I expected the Jets secondary to give Dak a lot of trouble...

But they didn't do that. Dak came out passing, and I think we were well into our second offensive drive before Dak threw his first incompletion and finished the day completing around 82% of his passes, had no picks, two TDs, and 255 yards against an elite defense that should have given him a LOT of trouble... or at the very least, a lot more trouble than was had in the game. That's 112 more yards than he threw for in week one, and against a better defense than he faced in week one. Now, one could argue that there is room for improvement in the red zone, but all things considered, he also threw two TDs there and didn't have the critical incompletions or INTs that were troubles last year. And against a defense as good as the Jets, that's a great day for Dak.

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