Here is Joe Malfa with grades for the Jets’ offensive performance against the Bills…
Last week’s word for the Jets’ offense was frustrating… this week’s word is scary. The offense showed glimpses of how dangerous it can be in Week 1 against the Bengals, but it failed to convert in key situations, ultimately resulting in a one-point loss. In Week 2, the offense was stellar throughout and came up big in key situations. They were 8/13 on 3rd down and scored on all seven trips to the red zone (4 TDs, 3 field goals). With Marshall, Decker, Forte, and the emergence of Quincy Enunwa, this offense has the ability to be one of the league’s most dangerous.
Ryan Fitzpatrick — A — 24/34, 374 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs
Fitz’s performance on Thursday night may have been his best one yet in a Jets uniform. He looked shaky and fumbled the ball twice early on, which had many fans in that “here we go again” frame of mind, but Fitz rallied and led the offense to 37 points. He did not get Marshall and Decker involved as much as he should have in Week 1, but he fixed that against the Bills. He was careful with his throws, avoided taking major risks that could have led to game-changing mistakes, and did everything he had to do to stop Gang Green’s losing streak against the Bills.
Matt Forte — A+ — 30 carries, 100 yards, 3 TDs; 2 catches, 9 yards
Forte earned an A+ for the second straight week, but his second game in a Jets’ uniform was even better than the first. When Maccagnan decided to sign Forte, there were questions about how much he had left in the tank — I think all of those questions have been answered. It would be nice to see his touches limited in order to make sure he is fresh and healthy all season, but it will be difficult to take him off the field if he keeps playing like this
Quincy Enunwa — A+ — 6 catches, 92 yards
Enunwa’s Week 2 performance eliminated any doubts about his Week 1 performance being a fluke. We saw again that Chan Gailey will use Enunwa in a variety ways — as a tight end, in the backfield, in the slot, and out wide. Fitzpatrick has also displayed a new level of trust in throwing the ball Enunwa’s way. He is now a key part of this offense, and he is going to be the X-factor that can help this team win games throughout the season.
Brandon Marshall — A — 6 catches, 101 yards
Marshall gave everyone a good scare when he went down clutching his knee in the 2nd quarter. Stephon Gilmore dragged him down awkwardly by his facemask, and Marshall’s knee buckled underneath him. Everyone, including Marshall, thought his season was over when he limped down the tunnel into the locker room, but he came jogging out of that same tunnel just a few moments later. The team is calling it a “sprained or strained MCL,” but it seems as if he is on track to play against the Chiefs with the 10-day respite between games playing to his advantage.
As far as his performance, Marshall was an absolute beast. Gilmore and Ronald Darby form one of the best CB tandems in the league, and neither of them could shut him down. He did have another key drop deep down the field on 3rd down, which is now his second key drop in two weeks. He needs to fix this issue going forward, but other than that, he looked like the record-breaking WR he was last year.
Eric Decker — A+ — 6 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD
In some ways, Decker may actually be more dangerous than Marshall. His combination of strength, speed, and athleticism make him nearly impossible to defend over the middle, and that is where he did most of his damage against the Bills. He came out fired up (almost too fired up, earning a taunting penalty early on) and did what he needed to do to help the Jets avoid an 0-2 start.
Jalin Marshall — B- — 3 catches, 45 yards
The undrafted rookie had the costly fumble that was returned for a TD in the 3rd quarter, but he redeemed himself with a key 27-yard catch on 3rd down in the 4th quarter. The Jets went on to kick a field goal on that drive to extend the lead to six. It is starting to look like the Jets are expecting Marshall to be more than just a return man in his rookie season.
Offensive Line — A
Giacomini is still out and James Carpenter left the game in the 2nd quarter with a calf injury, but the offensive line played well once again. Fitzpatrick was only under pressure a few times, hit lust three times, and sacked only once. The offense was also able to pick up over 100 yards on the ground for a second straight week. The offensive line was a major concern coming into the season, but so far so good.
Overall Offensive Grade: A+
If the offense can perform like this on a consistent basis, the Jets might be able to play deep into January.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com