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Darnold, Herndon, Kearse & Pryor Step Up; Other Game Observations

For the first time in a year the Jets finally “stacked” wins with a wild 42-34 victory over IND.  In a game where they were far from perfect on both sides of the ball the Jets were opportunistic and scrappy.  If this type of game happened a few weeks ago they would’ve lost, so they’re showing progress as a team.  Now that they’re back at .500 let’s see if they can continue to mature and keep the “streak” going against MIN.

Special Teams

– In a game that punters must dream of Lachlan Edwards kicked only once and held for TEN kicks (7 FG and 3 PAT).

– Andre Roberts had one decent kick return (30 yards) but other than that he had no major impact.  But it is comforting to finally have a returner who secures the ball and doesn’t leave it on the field.

– Game ball to Jason Myers as he scored 24 points on 7 FG and 3 PAT.  His impact on the game can’t be minimized because he kept the team up by two or more scores as IND kept scoring.

Defense

– The overall performance of the defense was uneven as Andrew Luck kept the pressure on all game.  The issue of covering TE’s popped up today as Ebron, Swope and Alie-Cox had multiple catches and TD’s.  Also due to the defense running a “light box” IND running game had a bigger impact than expected.

– But the defense was opportunistic as they forced four turnovers.  They also held IND to only two FG’s when the offense turned the ball over twice deep in their territory. They were also lucky because IND WR’s had multiple drops which killed drives.

– The scheme in terms of covering the crossing routes in the middle of the field was much better.  Brandon Copeland and Avery Williamson had multiple PBU’s and Darron Lee had an INT which effectively ended the game.

– Avery Williamson continued his good overall play as he contributed an INT in addition to his PBU’s.  Also his ability to strip the ball out of players hands needs to be noted.  Because on multiple PBU’s IND receiver actually caught the ball but he was able to pull it out for no catch.

– Brandon Copeland was a “low level” signing but he has outperformed his contract. He continued his solid play as he had PBU’s but also brought edge pressure and had a tackle for a loss.

– Jamal Adams had an up and down game.  Two times in coverage he got beat by the TE for big gains (even though he indicated they pushed off).  But he also forced a fumble that Jordan Jenkins recovered and tipped the ball that Mo Claiborne returned for a pick 6.

– Mo Claiborne had a big game with a pick 6 and a tip that led to Avery Williamson’s INT.  Claiborne has far outplayed Trumaine Johnson, if Johnson comes back healthy and lives up to his contract the secondary will be in excellent shape.  If not are we looking at another Revis situation?

Offense

– Credit to the coaching staff for the way the team handled the FG at the end of the first half.  For once the team looked aware and prepared as everyone moved together to get the clock stopped.

– It was great to score 42 points but the team needs to be better in the red zone.  Some of those seven FG’s need to be converted into TD’s.

– Issues with ball security cropped up again as Quincy Enunwa put the ball on the ground after a WR screen.  These need to be cleaned up because they all seem to happen on plays that get big gains.

– The OLine had another solid game as they were decent in run blocking and solid in pass blocking.  Spencer Long though had a couple of bad moments.  He had another poor shotgun snap which almost gave IND a turnover.  And on a big gain on a screen pass he was called for being down the field too soon.

– Chris Herndon had his best game as a pro with two catches for 50+ yards and a TD.  On a wheel route out of the backfield he made a circus catch and took the ball away from Hooker.

– Good game for Terrelle Pryor as he stepped up when Quincy Enunwa left the game due to injury.  He was a big target in the red zone as he scored a TD.  And showed an excellent catch radius making several leaping catches that extended drives.

– Jermaine Kearse finally looked like himself as he had a big game.  Making key catches for first downs and catching slants for big gains.

– Sam Darnold had his best game as a pro as he took advantage of the cover 2 scheme IND ran.  He completed 80% of his passes (24/30 280 yards) with 2 TD’s and an INT.  His INT was a back foot underthrow as the pocket was pushed into his face and he couldn’t step into it.  What you have to love about Darnold is the visible growth you see game to game.  Earlier in the year he was locked into Enunwa as his main target, today he spread the ball around to seven receivers.  Last week against DEN Darnold attacked vertically, today he took what the IND zone gave him and had a great completion percentage.  And to think he’s only six games into his career and 21 years old.

This Article Was Written By KRL

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