Up – Wayne Hunter
After an ugly start that had most of us clamoring for Damien Woody, Hunter has settled down and put together back to back solid performances, including a terrific one on Monday Night against Cameron Wake. Nobody ever expected Hunter to be a Pro-Bowl caliber player but if he can find some consistency and be an average starter, the Jets will at least have a year or two to find a long term replacement.
Down – Shonn Greene
I have always believed that if given the opportunity Shonn Greene could be a quality feature back. Through six games, Greene is making me reconsider that thought process. He needs to start breaking a few big runs, so his 21 carries for 71 yards could start looking like 21 carries for 115 yards. If he continues to be this sluggish, look for more carries for LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight down the stretch and then look for Mike Tannenbaum to make a strong play for Matt Forte or Maurice Jones-Drew this off-season.
Up – Joe McKnight
The new Brad Smith, who finds a way to make a few big plays each week either on offense or special teams. He should receive a bigger role as both a running back and receiver moving forward. When is the last time you heard anyone mention Leon Washington or Danny Woodhead by the way?
Down – Plaxico Burress
By everybody’s admission, he isn’t on the same page as Mark Sanchez yet which is somewhat understandable. However, the sulking on the field isn’t helping anyone. The question of if Burress is going to become a consistent weapon down the stretch, will go a long way to determining how serious of a playoff contender the Jets are.
His skill set is very raw, as basically all he could is speed rush. However, he is always going 100 miles per hour and has a natural ability to create turnovers as he seems to force a fumble every time he makes a tackle. He is a good project to continue developing in this defense and should create more plays as the season progresses.
Down – Matthew Mulligan/Patrick Turner
A symbol of Brian Schottenheimer’s problems as aplay caller, as they are dead give aways to the Jets running the football. The problem is that neither seem to provide much of a threat as a pass catcher and the only impact plays I can remember from them is dropped passes by both them and the occasional holding call on Mulligan.
Up – Jamaal Westerman
He has finally broke through with 2.5 sacks in the past 2 games, providing the pass rush the coaching staff expected this off-season. However, Westerman still must become a complete player and set the edge better in the running game, as do all the Jets linebackers and ends.
Down – Mark Sanchez
Sanchez hasn’t been quite as bad as some will lead you to believe. Yet, his continued struggles with accuracy and slow starts remains frustrating to watch. The good news is that he has avoided turnovers the past two weeks but this offense needs more from him, especially in this critical upcoming three game stretch of games.
Up – Kenrick Ellis
The rookie third round pick was finally active last week and made a noticeable impact along the defensive line. Considering the Jets struggles stopping the run, expect to see much more Ellis moving forward. There is no questioning his talent but can he continue to improve in Rex Ryan’s system?
He has been way, way too inconsistent this season. Cromartie should be as charged up as possible (no pun intended) for this Sunday, so hopefully he can begin to display some type of steadiness in the number two corner spot.
Up – Kyle Wilson
Wilson has quietly put together a much improved second year, highlighted by the job he did against Davone Bess in the slot last week. His role on the defense should only continue to grow and you feel like it is only a matter of time until he starts turning in some interceptions and sacks.
Down – Eric Smith
I am still not convinced he is anywhere near capable of being a full time starter at safety. His shortcomings in coverage are too much to overcome, particularly next to Jim Leonhard who already struggles in coverage.
Up – Nick Folk/TJ Conley
Nick Folk hasn’t missed a kick yet this year. Conley has been steady, which is saying something for the Jets punter position in previous years.
Down – Donald Strickland
It has been frustrating to see him injured again and not make much an impact when given the reps early in the year. With Wilson continuing to improve, I don’t see him having much of a role down the stretch.
Up – LaDainian Tomlinson
You have to expect a big game from Tomlinson this week against San Diego, right? LT has continued to be more productive with the football in his hands than any other running back on the team. If Greene continues to struggle, look for the Jets to lean more on Tomlinson down the stretch.
Down – Brodney Pool
I thought he could provide some support in pass coverage considering the shortcomings of Smith and Leonhard at the position. However, he hasn’t been much better and also been missing tackles all over the field in the running game.
Up – David Harris
So far Harris has been more active around the football than he was in 2010. Through six games, he has 33 tackles, an interception, 3 passes defensed, and 2 sacks.
Down – The Trips Wide Formation
There always seems to be a point in each game, where the Jets bunch three of receivers and split them out exceptionally wide. They proceed to always run the football out of the formation and opposing defenses know it. Once…I have seen the Jets run a bubble screen out of this for a 1 yard gain. It is time to can it.
Up – John Conner
The Terminator had been fairly quiet this year but has seen his usage increase in recent weeks. He had a crushing block on kick return to start the game last week and looked more efficient in the running game. Now, if he could only catch…
Down – The General Consensus On This Team
I think the win over Miami and the way it occurred may have put even more people down on this team than their three losses. They are now underdogs in their own building. Will it provide motivation?