It turned out to be quite a celebration for week 1 on Monday night. The New York Jets look to continue the festivities on Sunday a familiar divisional opponent, in the Miami Dolphins. Let’s get weird with stats, projects, and some random observations as we look ahead to week 2.
Numerical MomentumAfter Sam Darnold’s pick six, the Jets took control of the emotion of the game (as well as the score). A good way to calculate that is collecting the big plays each team made and comparing. For now, let’s call it the Big Play Rating. That’s touchdowns, 3rd/4th down conversions, gains of 15 yards or more (that result in at least a first down), takeaways (fumble recoveries or interceptions), sacks, tackles for loss of 5 yards or more, and special teams touchdowns. Also, factoring in negatives based on penalty yards surrendered. Comparing that final value between the two teams helps evaluate how dominant a team played. I want to work on this throughout the season so stay tuned for a more visual representation in the coming days. I’ll try to release findings from the Jets first game and other week 1 games soon on Twitter.
The Real Darron Lee
Darron Lee had the type of Jets fans have been begging for him to have for a while on Monday. There wasn’t much to nitpick this time as he finished with 8 tackles, 2 INTs, and 1 TD. He also was PFF’s top graded LB for week 1. Unfortunately, the question still remains: was that the real Darron Lee or just a one-time occurrence. According to head coach Todd Bowles, Lee has been working hard to improve his game after his first two seasons were below expectations. It’s not just his play that’s improved, though.
Before the season, Bart Scott took a shot at him before the regular season, calling him soft. Lee responded in an incredibly mature manner, completely different from the combative Twitter persona we’re all used. He also resisted individually collecting slander receipts on Twitter after the game. Maybe…just maybe…our ILB is growing up! Let’s hope his improving maturity is part of what’s helping improve his game.
Culture is King
Many players stressed in the offseason that the culture in the Jets locker room had changed for the better. Steve McClendon, Jermaine Kearse both corroborated that claim. But it was Jamal Adams that really said it with his chest when he seemed to call out some of his former teammates for being bad influences. Adams promised things have changed and though it’s early, the Jets looked completely different on Monday. The key test to any locker room, though, is when adversity strikes. It’s hard to see this group as the type of group to point fingers at this point. But we’ll definitely check back with this midseason.
PredictionsLast week I was kinda right about Henry Anderson. He didn’t get a sack but he was a force in pass rush. Nathan Shepherd didn’t get his splash play but I hope y’all put the idea of that Thanos cele on his timeline. Here are my predictions for this week:
Robby the Dolphin Slayer
Robby Anderson knows what he did to the Dolphins last season and I think he’s gonna be on his worst behavior. Expect at least 150 yards receiving and 2 TDs from Anderson as the Dolphins fail to figure out how to keep him, Enunwa, and Jermaine Kearse under wraps. Also, expect Anderson, who also a respected touchdown celebration artist, to have something special planned if he gets in.
Brant Boyer Redemption Tour
Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer had a rough first two seasons with the Jets and the preseason still had folks concerned. However, after a great special teams performance in week 1, I think his redemption tour has begun. I think on Sunday, the Jets will have a special teams takeaway and Boyer will start to settle in to a more comfortable relationship with Jets fans.
Fear no Moore
Good news Jets fans. NO MORE MATT MOORE! There is no fear of the famed Jet-killer making an appearance on Sunday. There is the uncertainty of whatever Ryan Tannehill is. However, this time, we know if Tannehill ever exits the game for any reason, the quarterbacks behind him are David Fales and Brock Osweiller. Sleep easy Jets fans.