Jets 20 Dolphins 14
by Brian Clark
Quarterback – A-
Brett Favre – 15/22, 194 yard, 2 TD
The long awaited start by Brett Favre for the Jets did not disappoint. He drove the Jets down the field on multiple drives in the first half. His ability to throw the deep ball made every Jet fan tear a little on the 56 yard TD pass to Cotchery, and his ability to extend the play was seen on the TD pass to Stuckey. He was exactly what was billed, and gets the win.
Running Backs – A-
Thomas Jones – 22 carries, 101 yards, TD
Thomas Jones hit the hole hard and did a great job running in the seams made by the offensive line. His touchdown run is something that a high quality running back would make, bouncing off the tackle and taking the run to the pilon. It was his running earlier which allowed for the play action game to be effective. By already matching his touchdown total from the previous year, he looks primed for a strong season behind the offensive line.
Wide Receivers – B
Jerricho Cotchery – 3 receptions, 80 yards, TD
Chansi Stuckey – 2 receptions ,37 yards, TD
Laverneus Coles – 1 reception, 5 yards
The Jets receiving corps made some big plays early, but seemed to have a diminishing impact as the game progressed. Cotchery’s route on the deep ball was crisp and the way he finds the goal line is always a great trait to have in a receiver. Stuckey (my boy), did a nice job holding onto the Favre floater for the touchdown. Coles despite making a short reception on the first play of the game, was basically invisible for the remainder of the game. I wonder to what extent the injury had on his mobility.
Tight Ends – B
Chris Baker – 2 receptions, 34 yards
Bubba Franks – 2 receptions, 19 yards
Although none of the tight ends had any game changing plays, they’re production helped move the chains and extend drives. Baker caught a 29 yard pass on 2nd and 12 to help put the Jets in the red zone. Besides that all the catches were short curl routes that only gained minimal yardage.
Offensive Line – B-
Although they made good holes early for the running game, the offensive line had a relatively weak game in my opinion. They allowed multiple backfield pressures, and there were 3 or 4 occasions where the d line was able to break through the line at the snap. They allowed 3 sacks and a few other hurries on Favre. Despite all that when look at the end results, the Jets had a 100 yard rusher, and a QB who threw for 2 TD’s, so I can’t crucify them that much, but I do anticipate an improved performance next week.
Defensive Line – A
Great job by this group as each member had a contributing factor to the success of the game. This group had impacts on both the running game and the passing game. Kris Jenkins ate up runners on the inside, and it is noticeable when you have a presence like him in the middle. The Dolphins only gained 49 yards total on the ground, which is definitely attributed to the line play. Besides that, Sean Ellis had 4 tackles and a sack and I would hope for more performances like this, especially from the two outside rushers, Thomas and Pace.
Linebackers – A
Calvin Pace had 5 tackles and a sack Bryan Thomas had 3 tackles and 2 sacks. Both of these OLB’s had strong impacts in the success of the defense. Eric Barton led the team with 6 tackles, and David Harris picked up 5. The only bugaboo I have with this group is the coverage of the TE’s and RB’s in pass protection. Chad ate us up underneath (as expected), but I hope they do a better job next week against a less accurate QB.
Secondary – A+
I am glad I was already on the Dwight Lowery bandwagon before, because at least I was able to enjoy that comfy seat for a short while. The rookie was impressive in his first NFL game picking up 4 tackles, and making 2 TD stopping break ups in the endzone. This guy is the real deal, and although he may not have elite speed, he has great instincts, as seen on the 4th down play. Revis looked strong, and his 1 handed interception to seal the deal was the clincher to a great performance. Rhodes didn’t have a game changing day, but when the Dolphins receivers have 7 catches for 74 yards total, you can’t fault the group.
Special Teams – D
I don’t want to bring up the horrible game that this group had, but I must. The only thing saving this group was from an F, was Graham’s 45 yard average on punts, which is decent. Nugent missed his field goal, and then we couldn’t find someone to take the kickoff. My question is, if we couldn’t find someone to kick the extra point, why not just put Graham back there to drop kick it through. We know he has experience, and for a former rugger it should be an easy kick. Leon Washington was surprisingly quiet in the kicking game as well.
Coaching – B-
The coach can’t have a bad game, unless he comes in unprepared. It is hard to believe that someone who is as detailed as Eric Mangini, would not have a detailed contingency plan for if Nugent gets hurt. Once that injury happened, the Jets floundered for a bit until they had almost all of the 2nd quarter and some of the 3rd quarter to consider their options (even Kellen Clemens kicking XP’s). Besides that, his defense was strong, and the offense controlled the tempo of the game.
Studs Of The Game: Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Brett Favre