Week 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Jets
Smith: 24/38, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble. 6 rushes for 47 yards.
It’s tough to ignore the two turnovers, especially when one of them costs you a touchdown. But rookie Geno Smith sure showed some poise today, coming up big when it counted and flashing potential on numerous occasions. There were moments when he played like a rookie, yes, but there were also some plays that made him look like a veteran: particularly the times when he threw it away instead of forcing it into coverage. Turnovers from a quarterback are a common sight for Jets fans, but what Jets fans aren’t quite used to is accuracy: when was the last time Sanchez went 24/38? Geno also showed himself to be quite the threat on the ground, scrambling for 47 yards.
Powell: 12 rushes for 29 yards, 4 receptions for 35 yards.
Ivory: 10 rushes for 15 yards.
Bohannon: 1 reception for 21 yards
What a brutal day for Jets rushers, going against the vaunted run defense of Tampa Bay—there’s a reason they ranked 1st against the run last year. The Jets simply could not get their running game going all day, but Powell did contribute 35 yards receiving.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C-
Not too much to see here. The Bucs secondary was ferocious, landing devastating hits against Jets receivers all day—injury some in the process, too. Holmes was limited going against Revis on the other side, but it’s nice to see him back on the field, at least. Kellen Winslow impressed, he certainly has some chemistry with Geno Smith.
Offensive Line: D+
The offensive line must do a better job, both in protecting Geno Smith and in establishing the run game on the ground. The Bucs defensive line was dominant at times.
Defensive Line: A-
The defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage effectively, limiting Doug Martin to just 65 yards and a touchdown on the ground, with most of those yards coming in the 2nd half. As a reminder, Doug Martin had 1,400+ yards rushing last season. Wilkerson is a monster, and he’ll lead a talented and deep Jets defensive line this year, Harrison was largely steady in the middle and will continue to contribute even when Kenrick Ellis returns from his injury. Sheldon Richardson made his presence known in his rookie debut.
DeMario Davis plays with a kind of speed that Jets fans have rarely seen at LB lately. Come to think of it, Antwan Barnes isn’t exactly slow either, as he notched his first sack as a Jet.
Despite a few breakdowns here and there, the Jets secondary did limit Freeman to 210 yards and 1 touchdown through the air. Landry (Dawan Landry, that is) pulled in a pick that was air-mailed to him. Cromartie struggled more than expected against Vincent Jackson on the outside, leading to a 154 yard game for Jackson.
Special Teams: C+
The coverage team could use some work, especially in reference to the last play of the game. Kerley had a couple nice returns, and Nick Folk made the field goals he was called on to make.
The Jets came into this game intent on shutting down the run—and they did. Marty Mornhinweg doesn’t have much to work with, but he’s using it well. For the first time in a long time, one actually saw some (gasp!) open wide receivers.
Next up: the Jets fly to New England for a Thursday night showdown—a battle for 1st place.