The New York Jets followed up their 3-1 start with a 2-2 second quarter, leaving their overall record at 5-3. Let’s review what we saw from each position and look ahead to their third quarter opponents…
QuarterbackRyan Fitzpatrick has basically been the best version of Ryan Fitzpatrick possible. His rate of turnovers dropped in the second quarter, although he did sustain a thumb injury and show a continued proclivity to throw the ball up into coverage. Geno Smith played competently in fill in duty versus Oakland until two poor fourth quarter decisions on taking sacks basically wiped out anything positive he had done. This is Fitzpatrick’s job the duration of the season unless he has issues with the thumb or complications post surgery (likely to happen this Friday). The Jets lack of run game in recent games threatens to put more on his plate down the stretch, is he equipped to handle it?
Statistical Pace: 61.8 completion percentage, 3,580 yards, 26 TDs, 14 INTs, 248 rushing yards, 2 fumbles
Running BackAfter a monster game against Washington, Chris Ivory’s production has fell off a cliff. He looked hurt against New England and the offensive line was mauled against Oakland and Jacksonville. Zac Stacy remains an inefficient backup and is miscast as a third down back. Bilal Powell has missed three straight games and been unhealthy overall since week 1 in a so far disappointing season. Stevan Ridley has been activated but unused the past two games, which has been mildly perplexing. The Jets would be wise to see what they have with him sooner, rather than later.
Statistical Pace: Ivory: 276 carries, 1,088 yards, 12 rushing TDs, 28 receptions, 240 yards, 2 receiving TDs
Wide ReceiverBrandon Marshall and Eric Decker have continued to produce despite both dealing with nagging injuries. Ironically, it has been the Jets passing game that has been leading the way over the past three weeks, instead of their running game. Jeremy Kerley has got himself a little more involved and mid-season addition Kenbrell Thompkins has flashed when given the opportunity. Devin Smith has struggled to dig himself out of the hole of missing so much training camp. It will be hard for him to make an impact this season.
Statistical Pace: Marshall: 108 catches, 1,460 yards, 10 TDs. Decker: 72 catches, 944 yards, 12 TDs.
This is still generally a black hole for this offense. The suspension of Quincy Enunwa has hurt the Jets running game more than their passing game. Jeff Cumberland had a big play against Jacksonville but that is basically all he has contributed this season. Kellen Davis has been more inconsistent than expected as a blocker. Enunwa will be back after the Buffalo game and work to get some of his playing time back from Thompkins, who is occasionally being used in his H-Back role.
Some of the warts have started to show after a strong start. James Carpenter has remained rock solid but that is about it. Nick Mangold is banged up and will likely have to deal with a lingering neck injury for the rest of the season. Willie Colon has also been hurt and struggles without Mangold in the line-up. D’Brickashaw Ferguson has had an ugly month of football, furthering proving the Jets need to start thinking long term options at left tackle. Breno Giacomini has been inconsistent at best. The depth here is concerning with the struggles of Wesley Johnson and Brian Winters against Jacksonville.
Mo Wilkerson continues to lead the way with another All-Pro caliber season. Sheldon Richardson played his best game of the season last week and seems to be fully rounding back into form. Fans are growing frustrated with rookie Leonard Williams, which is perplexing because he has been what he was advertised to be coming out of USC. Nobody should have expected big sack numbers from him, particularly in this defense. He has been steady against the run but made limited impact plays and so far looks to be a poor man’s version of Wilkerson (comparing him to Wilkerson’s 2011 rookie year). Damon Harrison and Leger Douzable remain solid in their respective roles.
Statistical Pace: Wilkerson: 64 tackles, 10 sacks, 6 TFLs, 8 passes defensed. Richardson: 28 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 TFLs, 2 passes defensed, Williams: 54 tackles, 2 sacks, 10 TFLs.
Despite both being born before the Roman Empire collapsed, David Harris and Calvin Pace remain the Jets two best linebackers. Demario Davis is a liability in coverage, can’t tackle consistently and struggles in the open field. Todd Bowles has began experimenting with using him at outside linebacker in pass rushing situations. Quinton Coples has all but been relegated to the bench and has been ineffective when playing. Lorenzo Mauldin provided hope for this position with a two sack performance last week and should be looking at more playing time going forward, the same goes for veteran backup Erin Henderson.
Statistical Pace: Harris: 110 tackles, 4 sacks, 8 TFLs. Davis: 92 tackles, 0 sacks, 4 TFLs. Pace: 18 tackles, 4 sacks. Mauldin: 18 tackles, 4 sacks.
Darrelle Revis is still terrific, despite illogical arguments based on nothing shown on the film or statistics suggesting otherwise. Antonio Cromartie has been a bad cornerback the past 2.5 years outside of about 8 games in Arizona last year. It is probably time to look at cutting his reps back substantially. Marcus Williams has been very good when asked to play outside corner and leads the team in interceptions. After a great first quarter, Buster Skrine has struggled and been banged up. The Jets badly miss Calvin Pryor at safety, who has been great when in the line-up. Marcus Gilchrist had a rough two game stretch against New England and Oakland but beyond that has been steady. They are going to struggle to replace all the injured parts in the coming weeks, particularly if players like Rontez Miles, Ronald Martin and Dee Milliner aren’t ready for action.
This has still been a sore spot and is likely to get worse with Randy Bullock replacing Nick Folk who was moved to IR today. Ryan Quigley is inconsistent at best. Zac Stacy was finally relieved of kick return duties and the coverage has improved slightly with the return of Jamari Lattimore and Darrin Walls.
THIRD QUARTER PREVIEW
- Week 10 vs. Buffalo (4-4) – A critical division game that could allow the Jets to simultaneously begin separating from the pack in the AFC Wild Card and damage a division rival’s chances at the playoffs.
- Week 11 at Houston (3-5) – Somehow not even as good as their record indicates. The Jets have the benefit of having 10 days to prepare. This is a no excuse, must win game.
- Week 12 vs. Miami (3-5) – The Dolphins still stink, despite changing coaches. After handling them in London, there is no reason to think the Jets can’t complete a season sweep at home.
- Week 13 at Giants (5-4) – Should be a fun one as both teams should be battling for a playoff spot in December. Odell vs. Revis? Sign us up.