New York Jets Game Balls – “We’re On to New England”

Dan Marcus hands out game balls for the New York Jets win over the Washington Redskins

It wasn’t pretty by any means but the New York Jets turned it on in the second half after trying their darndest to give the Redskins a reason to stay in this game.This game was probably more of a testament to how bad the Redskins are than any indication of the Jets coming into their own but it is a win nevertheless and as such we have some metaphorical hardware to hand out as we set our sights on New England.

Chris Ivory

After our second Game Ball recipient dubbed him “the best running back in the NFL,” Ivory was able to lend some credence to that argument by running over and through the Redskins defense to the tune of 146 yards on 20 carries (7.3 YPC) and a TD. Not only was the “Kraken” effective on the ground but he also flashed some versatility by hauling in three reception for 50 yards, which was the third-highest total behind Marshall and Eric Decker. On a personal note, it was nice to see Chan Gailey commit to feeding Ivory early and often because you could tell that the Redskins defense was worn down by the end of the game and more importantly, it sets up the potential for some big plays off of play action.

Brandon Marshall

What else can you say about Brandon Marshall that hasn’t already been said, he’s quickly become the darling of Jets Nation given that all he does is make plays with and without the ball. If you ask me, Marshall is the “straw that stirs the drink” for this Jets offense because he demands attention wherever he’s lined up and if you run the risk of leaving him one-on-one, big plays will inevitably ensue. Case in point: with 5:53 left in the third quarter, Ryan Fitzpatrick floated up a pass that looked like it was destined to become the Jets’ fourth turnover of the day when Marshall swoops in, picks the ball up off of his shoelaces and marches it in for a 27-yard touchdown. Granted, you can also count on him to be the cause of at least one bone-headed play a game (directly or indirectly) but when you have a guy this good, you can’t blame the powers that be for trying to get him the ball any way they can.

Darrelle Revis

To this point, the “Second Coming” of Revis Christ has been nothing short of spectacular as he continues to find himself around the ball in big spots. Although he’s not the same guy as he was say in 2009, when he had arguably the best season a CB has had in NFL history, Revis is benefiting from one of the best front sevens in football and a HC who is not afraid to turn up the heat on opposing quarterbacks. If you play close attention, you’ll notice that Todd Bowles doesn’t always have Revis out on his namesake island but he does put him in positions to come up with momentum-changing turnovers like the one he had yesterday early in the third quarter. If you believe in the notion of pace, Revis is on pace to have a career year in terms of interceptions as he already has three through five games, which makes you wonder why opposing QBs keep throwing in his general direction but I think we’re all more than happy to watch them try.

Marcus Gilchrist

Gilchrist was arguably the most overlooked off-season (albeit critical) acquisition the Jets made , as this team has lacked a true/competent Free Safety capable of locking down the back-end of this defense. To date, the fifth-year Safety’s biggest contribution has been the trickle-down effect his presence has had on Calvin Pryor in that he is finally able to play his natural position as a roving “box” Safety. However, yesterday was Gilchrist’s moment to shine as he registered three passes defensed and a big interception in the third quarter, which effectively put the game out of reach for the Skins.

Offensive Line

You don’t put up 221 yards on 41 carries, including a few huge gains highlighted by Chris Ivory’s 54-yard rumble. The unit that went into the season with a fair amount of question marks has thus far been one of the biggest strengths of this team, especially in terms of pass protection. Although the entire unit is deserving of this honor, the highlight of the game (at least in my opinion) was watching Nick Mangold flash some wheels in getting down the field to clear the way for Ivory on a 23-yard screen pass during the Jets first scoring drive midway through the first quarter. I’m sure we’ll have more detailed analysis by virtue of the Big Man Report later this week but for now, we’re going to paint em up for the Big Uglies.

Take A Lap

Eric Decker

Despite his stat line, this was a rare clunker for Decker who had what will likely be considered his worst game in Green and White as he had serious trouble catching and holding on to the ball early. His fumble on the Jets’ first offensive play from scrimmage spotted the woeful Redskins offense great field position and ultimately a 7-0 lead for absolutely no reason. I understand that fumbles/turnovers invariably and inevitably happen but these are mistakes that you absolutely cannot have against a better team, especially heading into the NFL Kremlin this week. I wouldn’t expect Decker to end up back on this list in the near future but for now, a little extra cardio will do him some good.

Special Teams

Depending on how you define the word, there was nothing special about the Jets special teams yesterday and we’re specifically referring to the blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown by the Redskins late in the fourth quarter. This is not the first special teams blunder this year for Bobby April’s unit (see: Darren Sproles touchdown), of course we might be nitpicking here but this was definitely a lap-worthy offense.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Some, (including members of our own staff) believe that this was one of Fitzpatrick’s best (if not the best) game he’s played as a Jet but until he starts cutting down on the bone-headed decisions and turnovers, he’s going to be relegated to the ceremonial punitive track team. The bearded one has turned the ball over in every single game this season and many of those, including his interception yesterday, have come in attempts to force the ball to Brandon Marshall while other receivers are wide open. Although, it’s hard to blame him in some sense considering that Marshall can be thrown open and make plays even when he has defensive backs clinging to him like their NFL careers depend on it, it’s unrealistic to expect the defense to keep bailing him out by getting the ball back at such a prolific clip.