The New York Jets played their best game of the season in a 34-16 win over the Denver Broncos that saw the Jets make big plays in all three phases. There were some eye-opening performances across the board, earning the Jets some grades that any kid would be happy to bring home. Let’s take a look.
Sam Darnold threw three touchdowns and could have easily had five if not for two missed pass interference calls in the end zone. Even still, he managed to connect on several deep balls and convert a couple of 3rd & short plays with a pair of QB sneaks. Darnold was still inaccurate on a few balls and had four passes batted down at the line. Even still, an excellent game from the 21-year old rookie. Has Darnold arrived?
Running Backs: A+
A record-setting day for Isaiah Crowell who ran for a single-game record 219 yards on the ground that included a 77-yard touchdown scamper. Meanwhile Bilal Powell added 99 yards of his own. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Wide Receivers: B
Robby Anderson caught two deep balls for touchdowns and finished with 3 receptions for 123 yards. Terrelle Pryor made a fantastic one-handed grab for a score of his own. Quincy Enunwa had his least productive day of the season and had a hard time holding on to the ball when Darnold did look his way. As is often the case with a big day on the ground, several Jets receivers made key downfield blocks.
Tight Ends: C+
Not a ton of production out of this group, but there was some excellent blocking from Chris Herndon and Eric Tomlinson that helped spring a few big runs.
Offensive Line: A+
What can you possibly say about a unit that was expected to have their lunch money taken away by Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Shane Ray? The Jets offensive line dominated from the get go, allowing just a single sack on Sam Darnold and paving the way for over 300 yards on the ground. Their best game of the season by far.
Defensive Line: A
There were some yards and points in garbage time, but when the game was still in doubt, the Jets D-line was stout. They allowed one or two chunk plays on the ground, but for the most part bottled up Denver’s potent rushing attack and got some pressure on Case Keenum along the way.
After being eviscerated by the Jacksonville Jaguars underneath in the short passing game last week, Jets linebackers did a stellar job against the run, in coverage and in getting pressure on Keenum. Avery Williamson led the way with 9 tackles, Jeremiah Attaochu had his first sack as a Jet and Frankie Luvu looked to come away with a couple of pressures.
Again, some garbage time numbers from Case Keenum will make things look worse than they actually were, but aside from giving up a touchdown on a short field after Bilal Powell’s first quarter fumble, they locked things down and kept the Broncos offense in check despite being without Trumaine Johnson.
Marcus Maye had 8 tackles, a half sack and an interception that he returned over 100 yards from a few yards deep in the end zone before being brought down at the 1-yard line to end the game. As per usual, Jamal Adams played with his hair on fire and had six tackles, including one for a loss.
Special Teams: B
Jason Myers missed a short field goal early on, but connected on two of two after that. Lac Edwards averaged 44.7 yards per punt on three punts and Andre Roberts broke a big 50 yard return, putting his average at 17 yards per return on the night.
One of the best games the Jets have played during the Todd Bowles era, we saw a team that was extremely aggressive on both sides of the ball. Deep shots down the field for the offense and plenty of blitzing on defense. Bowles has been under the microscope, but he gets to enjoy this one, as he should.