Football is back! Which means the weekly Jets report card is back! I won’t make you choose which of those you are more excited about. The most important thing is that Jets football has returned to our lives, for better or worse. As you may have heard, the Jets blew a 16 point lead to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday that is a very costly loss early considering it was a home division game and the tough schedule as we move forward. Heres how I have the Jets graded out for Week One.
Sam Darnold finished with a 28/41, 175 yards (4.3 YPA), one touchdown and a 27.5 QBR. Darnold looked more of the pre injury version we saw last season as opposed to the post injury version. Some of this might have been the play calling but Darnold also didn’t show the signs that Jets fans excited for the expected year two leap.
He reverted back to throwing off platform on deep throws, always taking the underneath routes and not trusting himself. Now the offensive line didn’t do him many favors, as the constant pressure almost seemed to throw off his internal clock (which is death for an NFL QB). We did see some improvisation from Darnold outside of the pocket but you’d like to see the play calling catered more towards Darnolds strengths. The Jets receivers didn’t much to help Darnold either, but this was the complete opposite of the Darnold we saw at the end of last season and this preseason.
Running Backs: B
Le’Veon Bell is good. Like, really good. Bell amassed 92 total scrimmage yards (60 rushing) and showed glimpses of Steelers Bell. His ability to turn no gains into positive gains is special and something we haven’t seen from a Jets running back in eons. His touchdown catch and his two point conversion catch on the very next play seemed like it was only scratching the surface of what he can be if this offense eventually starts clicking.
Ty Montgomery was a non factor in this game which was very strange considering how he seemed to click with this offense in the preseason. I would like to see more of him and Bell on the field at the same time.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: D-
The only reason they didn’t get an F was because Jamison Crowder had 14 catches. Albeit for only 99 yards but 14 catches is 14 catches. Outside of Crowder, who Darnold appears to have really good chemistry with early, the Jets receiver group didn’t show up. Robby Anderson had a measly three catches for 23 yards including three non catches on deep balls. Quincy Enunwa had one catch for -4 yards. Josh Bellamy had one catch for 15 yards. You can’t have that type of production from your receivers when you’re going to have to score a lot points to compete this season.
Ryan Griffin had three catches for 10 yards on four targets. This team needs Chris Herndon back in the worst way.
Offensive Line: F
Man oh man. This offensive line group hadn’t played together yet and it certainly showed. Darnold was consistently under pressure and had his internal clock messed up due to the lack of protection from the Jets o-line. The Bills have a really good front seven and they manhandled the Jets up front on a good bit of plays. If it weren’t for Bells ability in the run game to create, I’m not sure what it would have looked like.
Defensive Line: C
The Jets decided to heavily invest in the defensive line this season and Buffalo exploited that but hardly calling designed runs. Henry Anderson had an okay game but committed a stupid roughing the passer call that extended a Bills drive which ultimately led to a field goal. Quinnen Williams looked completely overmatched and left with an ankle injury. Steve McLendon did recover a fumble. Leonard Williams had a very typical Leonard Williams game. A handful of almost sacks, not a whole lot in the stat book and had some noticeable not so great reps.
CJ Mosley looked every bit the guy the Jets made the highest paid LB in the league. In addition to his pick six, he had five tackles and held up great in coverage. He’s very clearly the leader on this defense and it showed when the unit imploded after his injury. Jordan Jenkins had one and a half sacks and is on his way to becoming the next Calvin Pace. A fine edge who won’t get double digit sack numbers but can win on the edge here and there while doing a good job of setting it. Neville Hewitt had an interception and I thought he held up well in coverage. Blake Cashman also tallied a tackle for loss while Harvey Langi tipped the pass that was intercepted by Hewitt.
This should be an F but Marcus Maye played his ass off on Sunday. He should have two interceptions but one was called back on a defensive holding call while the other was dropped by him. Jamal Adams didn’t have his best game. The Bills saw how aggressive he was coming off the edge and executed perfectly running right by him. The cornerbacks were bad. There’s no other way to put it. The Bills don’t have a murderers row of receivers and the Jets had no answer for them. If there’s an salvation for the corners, Brian Poole did have a fine game.
Special Teams: Lol
The Jets are on to their fourth kicker of the season. His last name is Ficken. It’s Week Two.
Sean McDermott coached circles around Adam Gase and Gregg Williams. The Jets defense forced four turnovers but two of them were tipped interceptions and one was a very generous safety call (I’m not diminishing them, I’m just pointing out what they were). McDermott knew the Jets strength was up the middle and spread the Jets defense out for a majority of the game. You can expect more high powered offenses to do the same. If it weren’t for the Bills inefficiency once they got passed mid field for most of the game, this could have been a lot uglier.
Now we’re on to Adam Gase. Where the hell was the tempo and play calling we saw in the preseason?! This looked more like a preseason game on offense than any of the games we saw in August. All of this talk about him being a QB whisperer and how he’s excited about the weapons the Jets have was stuffed in a locker once the game started. It’s not time to panic just yet but I imagine Gase is going to have a much shorter leash when it comes to producing.