Adam Gase’s offense didn’t have much of an answer for the Buffalo Bills “B” team but it didn’t matter because Gregg Williams’ defense showed up and did their part once again. The Jets would wind up winning a 13-6 snooze fest to close out a miserable 2019 season that had far more downs than ups as Joe Douglas gets to work on fixing what ails Gang Green. How did we grade it? Let’s take a look.
Sam Darnold went 23-36 for 199 yards along with 1 TD and one INT. Conditions were poor early on and looked to get worse as the game progressed. Even still, there were some opportunities to make plays that Darnold missed, especially on and under thrown would-be TD pass to Daniel Brown in the end zone. Not a great showing for Darnold to end the season and not as good down the stretch as he was last season, but now we wait to see what year three has in store.
Running Backs: C
The numbers never tell the story with the backs this season. The run blocking has been so poor that there’s just no room to work with and that was largely the case once again today. Le’Veon Bell had 16 carries for 41 yards (2.6 YPC) and was largely a non-factor. Was this Bell’s final game as a Jet? We’d bet yes.
Wide Receivers: D
Jets receivers combined for just 131 yards through the air and the team’s lone score came on a 1-yard score from Jamison Crowder. In what could be his final game as a Jet, Robby Anderson had just 3 catches for 18 yards and a drop.
Tight End: F
Daniel Brown had 3 catches for 32 yards and that was it for the tight ends on the day. Brown was a disaster in pass protection but in his defense, it was a terrible call by the coaching staff to put a poor blocking tight end in a one-on-one matchup with a defensive lineman. With no Chris Herndon all season, the group has been invisible since Ryan Griffin went on IR.
Offensive Line: B-
Far more often than not, Sam Darnold had time to throw but wasn’t able to make much happen. The run blocking was poor once again but the concern heading in to the game was that with so much inexperience on the line, Darnold’s health would be at risk. That didn’t end up being the case as Darnold was sacked just twice.
Defensive Line: C+
Not much in terms of getting to the quarterback, but the Jets defensive line did apply pressure and shut down the run for most of the day, playing a big role in holding the Bills to just six points. Undrafted free agent Kyle Phillips had another strong outing, giving fans more reason to believe he’ll be an assett for the long term. Folorunso Fatukasi also flashed a couple of times in blowing up opposing blockers.
Another solid day for Tarrell Basham despite having a strip sack taken away after officails blew a review of the play. James Burgess and Neville Hewitt combined for 13 tackles and Burgess came away with his first career interception. Jordan Jenkins picked up a sack and two tackles for loss.
Let’s be honest here. The secondary kept the Bills out of the end zone and got an interception from Aruther Maulet. That being said, they were playing a back up QB with some receivers who rarely ever see the field. The Bills handed this one to the Jets and it was more evident in the secondary than anywhere else on the field.
Speical Teams: F
Sam Ficken missed two more field goals and will likley be elsewhere next season. Braxton Berrios had just one punt return for 9 yards and Vyncint Smith’s lone kick return went for 16 yards on a play that saw the special teams unit get hit with a flag to back the offense up.
Adam Gase’s offense was stymied by Buffalo’s number two defense but Gregg Williams’ defense played every snap like it was a playoff game once again. Kudos to Williams on what may have been the best coaching job of his career, finishing in the top 10 on defense despite a plethora of injuries.
Meanwhile, we continually saw Gase’s offense throw passes short of the sticks and at one point he stalled out a drive by going wildcat on 3rd down when Darnold had connected on all five of his pass atttempts. Gase himself said after the game that he wished he could have that one back.
After a 1-7 start the Jets finish up 7-9 but with what will undoubtedly be a far more difficult schedule next season. Until next time, folks. Have a great offseason.