By Brian Clark
Quarterback – A-
Brett Favre – 25/32 224 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Brett Favre was efficient again against the Titans, utilizing his ball skills to execute quick passes and throwing balls in some tight spots. He’s a wizard at ball fakes prior to the throw, and he holds the linebackers just for the one extra second so the WR can get free underneath. The touchdown pass to Coles was a beautiful throw breaking all the rules that a quarterback should follow, by throwing across his body in the middle of the field, but with the way he’s playing now, I will not question his play. He’s projected for 29 touchdowns this year, which is nothing at all to complain about.
Running Backs – A+
Thomas Jones – 27 carries, 96 yards, 1 TD
Leon Washington 8 carries, 82 yards, 2 TD
How impressive was this group. I know that the offensive line played great, but these guys finished off their runs. Jones pushed hard and grabbed extra yards. His touchdown screen catch was another great sign of great downfield blocking by the O-line and vision from Thomas Jones. Leon Washington needs to be signed to a 5 year deal now. He is guaranteed to make an impact in every game. As he broke out into the open, it looked so familiar since I feel like I’ve seen a situation like that in every game this year. Even then, he ran hard between the tackles, and runs low and strong on his late TD run. Even having him on the field takes the attention away from other players. With him split out wide, if he is covered by a linebacker, the Jets have a severe advantage. If he is covered by a safety, the Jets have the ability to throw deep. If they are in a zone, the linebackers will cheat to him, leaving other areas open. His impact is a lot more than when he touches the ball.
Wide Receivers – B+
Laverneus Coles – 7 receptions,88 yards 1 TD
Jerricho Cotchery – 6 receptions, 55 yards
One thing that both these guys have are strong hands. Many times the Jets receivers had a defender on them, with a hand in the way, and every time they reach through and grab it for the completion. How many drops do these two have? They both are great over the middle and in space, and yesterdays game plan took advantage of that.
Tight Ends – A
Dustin Keller – 6 reception, 42 yards
He is becoming one of Favre’s favorite targets. He is a sure handed 3rd down stud. Not to mention that, his athleticism is causing problems for defense. He had 3 penalties on the Titans defense all because they couldn’t stay with him. Those pass interferences, and illegal contact penalties are as good as 3rd down completions since they give the Jets a new set of downs. Right now, he is becoming one of the most dominating tight ends in the league.
Offensive Line – A+
Where was the dominance of the Titans defense. They were neutralized completely by the Jets offensive line. Brick had another strong game, and he can no longer considered a bust. He is a strong and shut down a sack master in Kyle Van Den Bosch. I’m going to rep one other guy. Brandon Moore. He pancaked more guys on running plays opening up big holes. On Leon’s big run his block held up two guys and left that hole for Leon to run through. He is the only guy who was not considered a “big time” o-line player, considering the 2 first rounders used on Brick and Mangold, and wasn’t a big signing like Faneca and Woody, but he has played as well or better than all of them over the past few games.
Defensive Line – A
Although they didn’t get any sacks on Collins, they pushed the line back into his face enough times to alter throws and really put pressure on him. Jenkins outplayed Haynesworth and is a contender for the MVP in my opinion. This group allowed 45 yards rushing, but gave up nothing when the big yards were needed. On a 3rd and 1 in the 1st half, Jenkins pushed two guys back right into Lendale White, stopping his momentum and letting the LB’s behind him clean it up for a loss of yards. Based on where they were on the field, the Titans with a no gain might have went for it. But with a 2-3 yard loss, they had no option but to punt. Also after both of the turnovers by the Jets offense they allowed only 1 first down. Great playing by the guys up front.
Linebackers – A-
I was very worried about how this group would react to the Titans bread and butter, their tight end play and Chris Johnson out of the backfield. This group did a great job shutting those elements of the game out, and essentially taking away their strength.
Secondary – B
When you let Justin McCareins be the opposing teams leading receiver with 43 yards, you know this group did a good job. There are a few reasons why this group worries me a little bit. Firstly Dwight Lowery didn’t come back in for the 2nd half, which forced the Jets to play Hank Poteat and <gasp> David Barrett to play. David Barrett was horrible in coverage and either gave up the completion or how to hold the receiver to keep them from getting the ball. We need to send him packing and get a better coverage guy in there. I understand Barrett serves the need to play both CB and safety, but when you can’t play either well enough to justify staying on the roster, you need to let him go.
Special Teams – B
We had a relatively quiet game in the return game, and we did not have the usual great starting position that Leon has afforded us. When you evaluated our kicker it involves not only field goals and extra points made, but it also involve kickoffs. Although Feely cannot kick it into the end zone, he forced the returner to the side line on every single return essentially limiting the big return, as the Titans started one drive on the 34, but the rest were inside the 25. That is a great job by the coverage team, and really owned the field position game.
Coaching – A
I’ll start this with a few stats and then back it up with analysis. Time of Possession: 40:30 Jets, 19:30 Titans. 3rd down efficiency 7-13 (does not include penalties). 28 first downs gained compared to 16 for the Titans. Goal to go efficiency 3/3 100%
The coaches understood the strength of the Titans was inside and was their pass rush and interior run defense. They completely took that out of the game with the quick passes and short routes manipulating the Titans weakness, their secondary. Great play calling by Schotty, they just controlled the ball. It has become a staple for this team to finish each half strong. The Jets last drive in each half was of 13 plays 78 yards 7 minutes and 30 seconds for a field goal, and 12 plays, 75 yards, 7 minutes and 34 seconds for a game clinching field goal. When the game matters, they take the air out of the ball and control the play, giving any team that needs to come from behind no chance to execute that. No more Fire Mangini chants, no more Fire Schotty chants. This staff is for real.
Studs of the Game: Leon Washington, Dustin Keller, Offensive Line