What it means: The Jets dropped their third straight, falling to 1-3 for the first time since 2007, the pre-Rex Ryan era. They faced a 14-point deficit for the second consecutive game, underscoring the team's penchant for prolonged funks. That falls on the coaching staff. But the problems go beyond Ryan & Co. It's a quarterback thing. It's an inconsistency thing. It's a lack-of-weapons thing. It's a pass-coverage thing. And, oh yes, the schedule gets tougher. They face the San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots in their next three games.
Stock watch: Geno Smith's stock is way down. After another lackluster performance, he's on thin ice. With the season on the brink of spinning out of control, and with Michael Vick lurking, the Jets have to make a decision. Knowing the organization's commitment to their second-year quarterback, the early sense is they will stick with Smith, whose turnover total ballooned to eight in four games. He threw an interception and was credited with two lost fumbles. One was a bad snap by Nick Mangold, but the point is, ball security remains a huge problem for Smith (17-for-33, 209 yards). His accuracy was terrible and he didn't see the field well, not recognizing blitzes. Basically, Smith is in a slump.
Offensive woes: Chris Ivory rushed for 51 yards on the opening drive, leading to a field goal, and he spent the next two series on the bench. What gives? The Jets removed their top weapon to preserve their running-back rotation. Yeah, Chris Johnson busted a 35-yard touchdown run late in the game, but he was largely ineffective. The offense went cold -- five straight three-and-outs. They waited too long to feature rookie tight end Jace Amaro (five catches for 58 yards), who became a factor in the second half.
Diminished Megatron: The Jets caught a huge break, facing a gimpy Calvin Johnson (ankle), who clearly wasn't 100 percent. Instead of suffocating the Lions, which a good defense would've done, the Jets got burned by a couple of backups, Jeremy Ross (59-yard touchdown catch) and rookie Eric Ebron (16-yard touchdown).
One of the Jets' objectives is to prevent long completions. So what happened? Antonio Allen got torched by Ross, although it appeared that rookie Calvin Pryor was late with deep help. Pryor, who left the game later with a thigh injury, got caught peeking into the backfield. We all know he can deliver a big hit, but he has struggled in pass coverage. On the second touchdown, linebacker David Harris had his back turned to Ebron on a basic seam route.
The Jets had no answer for Golden Tate (eight catches for 116 yards), the third receiver in as many weeks to reach at least 100 yards against the Jets. The defense came up small in the third quarter. After cutting the Lions' lead to 17-10, they surrendered a 90-yard touchdown drive in which their undermanned secondary was exposed in every way imaginable -- a shameful response by the defense.
Game ball: Punter Ryan Quigley. Yeah, it's rough when you're picking the punter, but he averaged 51.7 yards on six punts, helping with field position.
What's ahead: After three straight NFC games, the Jets return to the AFC. They face the Chargers (2-1) on the road.