by Joe Grinwis
Clemens: 12-23, 111 yards
If the Jets weren’t able to use their workhorse back and strong defense to win this game, Clemens’ grade would’ve easily been a failure. But, he did not turn the ball over once, held well on the Field Goal attempts and did what he had to do in place of the injured Mark Sanchez to lead the Jets to a 26-3 victory over the now 1-12 Bucs. However, here’s hoping that Sanchez is ready to go next Sunday against the 6-7 Atlanta Falcons, who are also battling for playoff position.
Running Back: A-
Jones: 24 carries, 99 yards, 2 TD
Greene: 6 carries, 41 yards
Jones and Greene were most of the offense today, Jones capping it off with a two touchdown performance, giving him double digit touchdowns for a second consecutive season. The one low was Greene fumbling yet another ball, something that has to concern the Jets coaching staff about his future which includes being the successor eventually to Jones as the Jets feature back.
Wide Receiver: B-
Edwards: 3 receptions, 37 yards
Woodhead: 3 receptions, 35 yards
Jerricho Cotchery only picked up one reception, but also dropped another, while Braylon Edwards and the surprising Danny Woodhead tied for the team lead in receptions. Woodhead is certainly becoming a key member of the Jets offense, whether it be from the slot position or when he is motioned out of the backfield. If he continues his hard work he may eventually become someone NFL Defensive Coordinators will have to game plan against.
Tight End: C
Keller: 1 reception, 3 yards
Mulligan: 1 reception, 2 yards
For the second straight week there is little to say about what the Tight Ends did in the passing game, but for the second straight week they held their own blocking for Jones and Greene. Congrats to Matthew Mulligan who picked up his first NFL reception today, a 2 yard pass from Kellen Clemens.
Offensive Line: A-
When Nick Mangold went down all of Jets Nation held their breaths. When he returned two plays later, we all exhaled. Once again the line was fantastic blocking for the running game and only allowed one sack of Clemens, someone who has been known to hang onto the ball a little bit more than he should. There were a couple of holding penalties, but all in all, a pretty good performance.
Defensive Line: A
Shaun Ellis continues to be one of the most under-rated players in the NFL, as well amongst fans of the Jets. He’s the longest tenured Jet and I’d almost guarantee that half of Jets Nation would not be able to tell you that if you presented them with that question. Ellis had another strong performance, this time not notching a sack, but applied constant pressure to rookie Josh Freeman. Sione Pouha continues to fill in well for the injured Kris Jenkins.
This grade would be an A+ if it weren’t for Bart Scott causing the Jets the only 3 points they allowed in the afternoon after bringing upon the team a 15 yard unneccesary roughness penalty when the Bucs were ready to punt the ball. Later that drive Tampa scored their only points of the game. Calvin Pace picked up a sack, and David Harris picked up an interception on the first play of the game.
Darrelle Revis had his fourth interception in three games and continues his outstanding, Defensive Player of the Year worthy season. Only Darren Sharper of the New Orleans Saints and Charles Woodson of the Green Bay Packers can rival Revis for the award. Kerry Rhodes also picked up his third interception in three games but continues to be the reserve to Eric Smith. The writing may be on the wall for the self proclaimed “Hollywood”. Donald Strickland picked up an interception as well after missing the last two games with a concussion.
Special Teams: A
Feely: 4 of 5 field goals
Jay Feely hit two Field Goals of 49 yards to help lead the Jets to the 26-3 victory. The only mishap by this unit today came when Feely’s 48 yard attempt went wide right after a high snap was brought down by Clemens from James Dearth. The unit had a couple of nifty returns from of all people, Brad Smith, and didn’t allow a big return either. Smith also had a pretty pass on a fake punt to S Eric Smith that gained 27 yards.
Brian Schottenheimer had a good game plan for Clemens, and for the most part called smart plays at the right times. There were some questionable decisions, like throwing on 1st and 10 and running Danny Woodhead on 3rd and 4 out of the shotgun, but, all in all a strong game from Schotty. Ryan and Pettine continue their great work with the defense and Jet fans can be proud that in less than one season Ryan has delivered one a Top 5 defense in the NFL.