JetNation Tuesday Morning Tidbits; Defensive Backs Step up, Shell Pitches Shutout
A few notes, links and ramblings about the 3-2 Jets to pass along:
- With such a young roster, more often than not this season, win or lose, the majority of the Jets’ top performers will likely be players with only a couple of pro seasons under their belts. This week however, two of the top performers were a couple of veteran defenders in Morris Claiborne and Demario Davis. Claiborne picked up 9 tackles and a key interception while providing tight coverage all day and Davis had six tackles of his own to go along with a sack and several QB hits. One of Davis’ hits played a key role in forcing the interception that Claiborne pulled down as the ball came out wobbly on impact.
- Jamal Adams had a pair of glaring mistakes as he appeared to be the culprit on a touchdown pass to fellow rookie David Njoku, as well as allowing Isaiah Crowell to break free and pick up a first down on a play that could have been several yards short of the marker. Even still, Adams came away tied for the team lead with nine tackles.
- Fellow rookie Marcus Maye came away with his first interception as a pro when he broke on a pass toward the sideline from rookie Deshone Kizer inside the 5-yard line. A huge momentum changer and hopefully one of many more to come.
- After cutting ties with cornerback Marcus Williams to make room for wide receiver Jalin Marshall, the hope among Jets fans is that cornerback Derrick Jones is continuing to trend upwards in his development. We pointed out Jones notable improvement as training camp progressed in our camp reports here. If he has continued to build on that, perhaps he gets some reps in the near future with Williams gone while Darryl Roberts and Juston Burris are nursing injuries.
- With Marshall back on the roster, we may get to see just how much, if at all, his ball security has improved. Throughout camp and the pre-season, we’d see an impressive catch or two followed up by an easy drop. Marshall has shown he has the traits to get open, but that won’t matter if he can’t hold on to the ball more consistently.
- Running back Bilal Powell suffered a strained calf against the Browns and is said to be day-to-day, so the Jets will likely look to add a back for game day against the Patriots. This cold mean Marcus Murphy gets the call from the practice squad with rookie Elijah McGuire, an injured Matt Forte and little-used Travaris Cadet being the only backs on the active roster.
- The Jets offensive line got little push in the run game all day long, and there were some breakdowns early against the Browns. Credit the unit for cleaning things up and keeping Josh McCown upright when the Jets went to an almost exclusive passing offense later in the game. Brian Winters and Brandon Shell in particular were singled out by pro football focus as two of the Jets’ top performers, no doubt as a result of the strong second half, although Shell was flawless in pass pro from start to finish according to PFF.
Brandon Shell was perfect in pass protection against Cleveland, allowing 0 pressures over 34 pass block snaps #Jets
— John Gatta (@PFF_JohnGatta) October 9, 2017
- Through five games, Leonard Williams and Mo Wilkerson have combined for zero sacks, the exact same number the Seahawks have gotten out of former Jet Sheldon Richardson. Raise your hand if you predicted any of that.
- He was far from perfect, but it was encouraging to see linebacker Darron Lee play with some decisiveness at times against the Browns. Lee flashed on a couple of plays in which he reacted without hesitation as he has in the past, as a result, we saw a couple of tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage for the embattled defender. Arguably Lee’s best game as a pro.
It’s Patriots week, folks. Even with a three-game win streak in tact and the performances mentioned above, the Jets will have to be better this week than they were against the Browns, or things will get ugly in a hurry.