Beating the bad teams is part of the job description of becoming a competent NFL team and the New York Jets checked that box today by dominating a miserable Washington Redskins team 34-17. The highlight of the afternoon was a strong Sam Darnold performance as he put together his first career four touchdown game and threw for 293 yards (9.8 YPA). Outside of an ugly first half interception, Darnold looked the part of the player Jets fans expected and hoped to see this season.
Offensively, the football was spread around well. Ryan Griffin led the way with 109 receiving yards and a touchdown. Jamison Crowder scored for the third week in a row and had 76 yards receiving. Demaryius Thomas had 44 yards receiving and both Daniel Brown and Robby Anderson had a touchdown reception on their only catches of the day. The running game racked up 118 yards on 31 carries spread between Le’Veon Bell, Bilal Powell, Ty Montgomery and Josh Adams. Powell was the most effective runner of the four, finishing with 42 yards on only 7 carries. Bell struggled again as he only 59 yards on 18 carries. However, Bell did also add in 33 yards receiving. The Jets also scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the fourth game in a row, speaking to the strength of their opening scripts.
Defensively, the Jets completed overwhelmed Dwayne Haskins and the Redskins offense. Jamal Adams continued his tear with 3 – yes 3 – sacks. Nathan Shepherd grabbed another sack and Henry Anderson was back on the board with a sack as well. Washington scored a pair of garbage time touchdowns but the Jets defensive shut them out while the game was in still question, despite being stuck in a few bad situations from turnovers. It was also another encouraging game for rookie cornerback Blessaun Austin, who looks like he could be a building block at the position.
Washington is probably going to be a 2-14 or 1-15 team so it is hard to get too excited about the win but it isn’t like the Jets squeaked by today. They dominated a team that they should dominate, which matters. More importantly, Sam Darnold has put together back to back quality performances.
The competition for the Jets spikes up next week against the Oakland Raiders before they go back to playing bottom feeders again (Cincy and Miami). Next week will be a great opportunity for this team to show true progress in the second half of the season and an opportunity for them to finally notch a win in the AFC.