New York Jets Report Card: Week 1
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
Fitzpatrick: 15/24, 179 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
A very workmanlike performance for the Jets defacto QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. The truth is, that’s more than we’re accustomed to as Jets fans, hence the “B” grade on the curve. Ryan was accurate and moved the team down the field with great ease, taking some pressure off of the running game. He threw the ball with precision more often than not, gunning it into tight windows. It was encouraging to see the way he spread the ball around amongst his receivers, not relying on any single target more than the rest.
Running Backs: A-
Ivory: 20/91/2, 1 reception for 9 yards
No single play stands out, but the Jets backs were relentless and reliable today. They don’t have that break away speed but, hey, who needs it? Powell also pitched in 62 yards on 12 carries and caught 2 passes for 16 yards.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B
I can already tell that I’m going to have a tough time grading this category all season, because I can’t seem to locate a TE that wears green. Kidding aside, what impressed me most today was the way that everyone (well, the wide receivers at least) found a way to contribute. Marshall looks like a man amongst boys out there, hauling in a touchdown in the corner of the endzone and ripping an interception away from a defender. Decker also caught a Ryan Fitzpatrick touchdown and, yes, even Chris Owusu was a factor (55 yards on 4 receptions).
Offensive Line: A-
Many Jets fans are down on this offensive line, but maybe it’s because, unlike the QB situation, we’ve been spoiled for far too long. Of course, we’ll see what they do against premier defensive lines in our 4 matchups against the Bills and the Dolphins. But for now? Mission accomplished. A combination of good gameplanning by Chan Gailey and quick decisions by Ryan Fitzpatrick helped the Jets QB to stay clean today, but the offensive line sure didn’t hurt either. They also did a heck of a job establishing the run. Giving them a tick off from an A grade for the miscommunication between Mangold and Fitzpatrick that resulted in a major loss of yardage. Speaking of Mangold, the Jets survived a scare when he left the field briefly. Don’t worry, there’s no major injury.
Defensive Line: C+
They didn’t have much help from their backers, as Todd Bowles often rushed as few as 3 or 4, but Sheldon Richardson’s absence was notable. Wilkerson had a quiet game, but did tally a sack.
Prayers for rookie LB Lorenzo Mauldin, who suffered a serious head/neck injury. What concerned me the most about this unit heading into the season was the lack of speed, and that concern was validated today. Jets backers did well enough against the run, but scrambles by both Browns QBs hurt them. The pressure that these linebackers did provide on the QB today was still enough to
Antonio Cromartie suffered a potential season-ending injury. The Jets too often struggled to get off the field on 3rd and long. The bend don’t break policy was in full effect, though, and Marcus Williams impressed with 1 interception and nearly a 2nd.
Special Teams: C-
Kerley is underwhelming on punt returns. Nick Folk was 1/1 on FG attempts.
Positive marks all around, but you can’t get an A when you blow a challenge like the Jets did today. It was truly inexplicable: Bowles burned a timeout needlessly when any fan at home could have told you that the play– a Browns catch–would stand as called. Nevertheless, how can you not feel good about the way the Jets defense turned things around in the 2nd half? For that matter, how about Chan Gailey’s gameplan on offense? For the first time in a long time, it felt like our coaches knew what they wanted to accomplish on offense.