New York Jets Report Card
Week 2: New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
Fitzpatrick: 24/34, 374, TD, 5 rushes for 21 yards
Fitz has struggled in the past against this Bills team and against Rex Ryan’s schemes, but that wasn’t the case this time as he lit up the field with over 300 yards passing. Buffalo’s front 7 had more than one chance at forcing a turnover against him but they didn’t: no harm, no foul – for now. He did a great job getting the ball out of his hands and his runs were once again timely and clutch. After a season debut in which Marshall and Decker were rarely targeted, it was nice to see Fitzpatrick incorporate both of them and even Jalin Marshall and his chemistry with Quincy Enunwa continues to improve.
Running Backs: A
Forte: 30/100/3, 2 receptions for 9 yards
Powell: 1/2/0, 1 reception for 1 yard
It would have been hard to expect this much from Forte, who, though aging for a running back, has been both a tremendous asset and a steadying force for a Jets offense that needs his versatility. He wasn’t so active out of the backfield tonight, but hitting the century mark with 3 TDs is a tough thing to ignore and will probably end up being one of the best performances by a back in the league this week. It’d be nice to see the Jets get Bilal Powell more involved, however.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: A-
B. Marshall: 6/101/0
J. Marshall: 3/45/0
Enunwa has been off to a hot start and is becoming a featured piece in this offense despite the presence of Marshall and Decker. The Jets nearly had 3 receivers go over the 100 yard mark. Brandon Marshall dropped one big pass and had a scary moment where he twisted his knee on an illegal hit by Buffalo, but he did return to the game. Enunwa suffered some bruising to the ribs, and Decker was flagged once. Other than that, quite an impressive performance.
Offensive Line: B+
Johnson did an admirable (if not flawless) job filling in for an injured Carpenter. The Bills put some pressure on Fitzpatrick, but the offensive line allowed just 1 sack and paved the way for Forte’s 100 on the ground and the Jets’ dominance of the time of possession. Whatever else you might want to say about them, this unit has been far from the liability that many predicted it would be.
Defensive Line: D+
After posting 7 sacks last week, the Jets had none this week. That’s with the addition of Sheldon Richardson, who made a key stop to prevent the Bills from converting a much needed 1st down, but looked like had a little catching up to do on the field.
Another ho-hum game for a unit that is still solid against the run but struggles to contribute any pass rush or coverage skills. Despite all of the talk about the Jets adding speed at this position over the off-season, we’ve yet to see that really pay off. 2016 1st round linebacker Lee had a tackle for a loss.
Yikes. Marcus Williams had his 2nd straight game with an interception and that’s where the good news ends. Revis is still a quality corner, but needs safety help at times. The rest of the secondary is riddled with problems and safety Calvin Pryor, who looked poised to break out, had a quiet night.
One poor instance of coverage, but other than that, a solid bounceback game for Nick Folk who was 3/3 on field goals and hit all of his 4 PAT’s. With the Jets scoring so much on offense, 1st year punter Edwards only had 2 opportunities.
I’ll be generous and give the coaching some leeway here, as Thursday night games are tough to prepare for at any time, let alone on a Thursday night game on the road against a division rival this early on in the season. That aside, the continuing breakdowns in the secondary and the failures to adjust to stop the big plays downfield are a major concern. Additionally, Bowles made a questionable decision in opting to kick the extra point on the final touchdown, when a 2 point conversion would have given the Jets a 14 point lead.