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What were your surprised and/or disappointed by in the New York Jets week 2 performance?
Dalbin Osorio: So, I think I was once again disappointed with how terrible the Jets run defense is. This is a team that, for the longest time, was one of the better run defense units in the league and they have now been beaten up by the Bills and Raiders respectively. Granted, Oakland and Buffalo have above average units (more Oakland than Buffalo) but the Jets DL is supposed to be the team’s bread and butter and it’s just been manhandled through two weeks. This puts more stress on the worst ILB duo in the NFL, and then forces the Jets to play their safeties up for run support. It’s a domino effect that Todd Bowles and Kacy Rodgers need to solve if they are going to right the ship.
The thing I’ve been most surprised by is the play of Morris Claiborne. Amari Cooper was held to 4 catches yesterday by Claiborne, and realistically the Jets had a shot to steal one early in the third quarter because of the coverage on the Raiders’s number one target. Through two games, you haven’t heard Claiborne’s name a lot and that’s good because it means he is not getting beat repeatedly. He is competing, and now that he seems 100% healthy it’s been good to see because he’s still young enough to be able to help out with the team long term
Scott Mason: I was disappointed that Jeremy Kerley was taking snaps for Ardarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. I was disappointed that Matt Forte was getting more than a handful of touches. And I was disappointed that once the blowout took shape in the 4th quarter that Josh McCown stayed in the game rather than allowing Bryce Petty to get some time with the starters.
I was pleasantly surprised that Brandon Shell mostly held his own against Khalil Mack. Mack is arguably the best defensive player in the sport and other than one jailbreak blitz where Mack got to McCown, Shell handled the superstar pass rusher remarkably well. In fact, the entire offensive line did better than I expected, giving McCown more time to throw on most downs than most believed they would.
But other than that, nothing really surprised or disappointed me. Was I surprised or disappointed that Darron Lee and DeMario Davis can’t cover anybody or stop the run? No, because I expected that. Was I disappointed that the defensive line didn’t get a lot of pressures despite being held up as some sort of fearsome unit? No, because I expected that, too.
Most of all, was I surprised that despite hanging in there at the half that the Jets ending up getting destroyed? No, because above all else, that was what I expected most of all. This was one of the NFL’s worst teams playing one of its best, and the game more or less went according to script.
Going forward, I’d like to see more chances for the young WRs and Bryce Petty. But would I be surprised if that happened? Yes, because Todd Bowles clearly has no idea what he’s doing, and his incompetence is one expectation I know I can count on every week.
Joe Malfa: Nothing disappointed me more than the fact that Jeremy Kerley — who will turn 29 in November, had already reached his ceiling, and has no future with the team beyond this season — took reps away from ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. It makes no sense. It honestly makes less sense than giving the ball to Forte instead of Powell, because that can be justified if you think the Jets may be trying to preserve Powell’s health for a possible trade. Starting Kerley only makes sense if you are trying to evaluate one of the young quarterbacks by providing him with a polished receiver, but last time I checked the Jets are still starting a 38-year-old journeyman. Get the young guys some more reps.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well Marcus Maye played in coverage. Throughout his college career and the preseason, coverage ability was never really his calling card. He was never bad, but he was never particularly good. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just one reception for 16 yards on 28 coverage snaps. It was a solid day for the 2nd round pick
David Aitken: In a positive sense I was surprised by how well Maye and Adams played. They had an uneven debut last week against a less talented offense, and I expected this to be a tough outing given the potency of Oakland’s offense through the air. After 45 points were given up, Adams and Maye are arguably the only two players on defense I didn’t have a problem with. I also can’t help but be impressed with what the Jets have added in Jermaine Kearse, though I’m still hesitant to say he’ll be on the roster past this year. I’m beginning to think he should be.
As for negative surprises, there are two that stick out in my mind. The last thing I expected was for the Jets to be the league’s worst run defense after two games. Expecting the Jets to be bad is one thing, but the complete deterioration of this front seven as a run defending unit was unforeseen and there’s an argument to be made that if this continues it’s the biggest demerit against Maccagnan of all.
Secondly, I don’t at all understand the point of continuing to play McCown, Forte and Kerley deep into the fourth quarter of a blowout performance. It’s a point within a game where Bowles doesn’t even have to indulge questions about tanking, because playing backups late in games that have gotten away is a common league-wide occurrence. You were already giving McGuire touches in the first half (nice to see) and have ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen on the bench – get them reps.
Jake Benaquisto: As Joe said, I was disappointed by the lack of opportunities for ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. It has been clear for some time now that the Jets aren’t measuring this season by wins, so I find it hard to understand why the young receivers aren’t getting more playing time. While I think this will change in a few weeks, it is frustrating to see those snaps on offense wasted on Jeremy Kerley.
On a more positive note, I was surprised by how well Brandon Shell played on Sunday. Shell was going up against one of the best defenders in the NFL in Khalil Mack, and only gave up one sack. Mack was relatively quiet all game, and Shell deserves credit for keeping Josh McCown upright.
Mike Nash: I was not surprised with the result of the game. The Raiders are one of the better teams in the AFC. The Jets hung in there for a bit, but overall Oakland dominated the game.
The main thing that was disappointing to watch was seeing Jeremy Kerley get reps at WR over Chad Hansen and Ardarius Stewart. I was not a fan of bringing Kerley back in the first place. Having a veteran like Kerley taking snaps away from two promising young WR’s is insane to me.
Greg Armstrong: There was a couple of surprising things that happened Sunday. The first was Todd Bowles not playing the young guys in the midst of a blowout. For the better part of the fourth quarter, the game was decided and yet Bowles still stuck with the veterans like there was a realistic shot at coming back.
The second surprising thing was Brandon Shell’s performance against Kahlil Mack. Mack is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and the Jets offensive line has received a good amount of, well deserved, scrutiny for their play. Shell held his own the entire game (besides one sack on a jailbreak blitz) and hopefully can use this as a stepping stone.
The last surprising thing to me was that the two rookie safeties are far and away the Jets best defensive players right now. Jamal Adams is like a rocket to the ball and Marcus Maye is a wrecking ball who can actually cover some. While both of these guys aren’t playing phenomenal, they’re playing well for two rookies while the rest of the defense is bringing the team down.
Jared Scherl: The most disappointing, albeit not surprising performance from the Jets’ loss to the Raiders came from linebacker Darron Lee. All preseason we heard how Lee had gained muscle mass this offseason and has returned with a supreme knowledge of Todd Bowles’ defensive playbook. Although it’s early, so far Lee has looked just as bad, if not worse, than last year. On Sunday in Oakland he was downright embarrassing. Not only is Lee making zero impact plays that should be expected out of a first round pick (1.5 sacks, 0 forced fumbles, and 0 interceptions in 15 career games), but he’s an absolute liability in pass coverage and run defense. Watch the replay of Cordarrelle Patterson’s 43-yard and Jalen Richard’s 52-yard touchdown runs from Sunday–on both plays Lee looks like a high schooler matched up on an NFL player. Lee was tossed aside with such ease by the Raider’s lineman that they could’ve used one arm and taken him out of the play just as easily.
The scouting report on Lee coming out of college was that he’s too small and would get pushed off the ball too easily by bigger and stronger NFL linemen. His alleged “strength” would be above average skills and speed in coverage. That’s exactly what’s happening in the pros, except without being able to cover anyone. I’m tired of hearing that Lee showed “flashes” last season and undoubtedly has the “athleticism” to be a good player. You know who else made a decent play every now and then and also had undeniable athleticism? Stephen Hill and Dee Milliner.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com