Absolutely stunning! I still can’t believe that the Jets beat CIN 34-31 with a “backup QB” after last week’s NE horror show. I had to review the tape multiple times before posting because there were so many things to analyze. Let’s take a look at the game/players and realize a QB controversy is looming:
– Changes made by the offensive staff this week, Mike LaFleur (OC) was up in the booth while Rob Calabrese and Matt Cavanaugh were down on the sideline.
– Significant play call changes as more “jet sweeps” and RPO’s were included in the game plan. And LaFleur opened up the trick plays as he whipped out multiple WR “flea flicker”
passes and the “Philly special” for the final two point play of the game.
– Braxton Berrios had a 29.5 average on his kick off returns. But his only punt return was on the Jets final drive of the game and it was huge. Instead of fair catching it at the 10, Berrios returned it for 16 yards and got the offense into decent field position. If the offense started at the 10 yard line you wonder how conservative Saleh/LaFleur would’ve been.
– Matt Ammendola was decent as he was 2/3 in FG and 2/2 in XP. But with his leg strength he needs to have a better attempt on the 54 yarder he missed.
– What a pleasure to only see the Jet punter ONCE all game as Tom Morstead generated a 45 yard average.
– A bend but don’t break effort from the defense. Particularly with them having to deal with three first half turnovers by the offense, impressive that they only allowed 10 points.
– Fantastic early stand by them after the first INT as they stopped CIN four times and prevented them from scoring.
– Nice return by CJ Mosley as he had 10 Tackles and a TFL. With Mosley and Jarrad Davis making his debut, the defense was able to play an extremely “light box” (6 men) and limit
CIN to 16 rushes for 41 yards.
– An actual Jabari Zuniga sighting and in one game he produced more than Vernon Gholston did in his career (Sack and a QB Hit). Who saw that coming?
– Excellent game by the DT’s as Sheldon Rankins had 4 Tackles, Sack, 2 TFL’s and a QB Hit. While Quinnen Williams had 2 Tackles, Sack, TFL, QB Hit and a Pass Defensed.
– Shaq Lawson didn’t have the “stats” but had the biggest play of the game with his tip and INT that set the offense up in prime position.
– With the defense in “nickel” most of the game Michael Carter had a ton of reps and continued to impress (4 Tackles, Pass Defensed). And when he was sent on blitzes he “sped up” Joe Burrow and forced him into incompletions.
– Brandin Echols continues to grow at CB, he was a big part of the coverage that limited JaMarr Chase to 3 catches and 32 yards.
– Excellent game by the OLine particularly in pass protection, Mike White was kept spotless in the pocket. And Michael Carter was effective running the ball.
– Speaking of Michael Carter he was dynamic in all phases as he racked up 172 total yards and a TD (15 rushes / 77 yards / TD and 9 recs / 95 yards). Carter’s “contact balance” is outrageous, as he constantly shakes off tacklers keeps his feet and picks up additional yardage.
– Ty Johnson contributed heavily in the passing game as he had 5 recs / 71 yards and a TD.
– Jamison Crowder and Elijah Moore provided reliable underneath options for Mike White all day. Crowder recovered from his fumble and had 8 recs / 84 yards. While Elijah Moore had 6 recs / 67 yards.
– Now let’s deal with the multiple “elephants in the room”, Mike White changed the offense entirely:
* Even though he never started before, his experience in the league (drafted in 2018) allowed him to run the LaFleur/SF offense efficiently. As was said in the post game press conferences LaFleur called multiple deep shots early in the game. But White showed an “inner clock” and came off of those progressions when he knew they weren’t there and went to intermediate receivers or check downs. This allowed for the offense to keep “moving the chains” and never getting into 3rd and longs.
* Another benefit of White not staying on the deep shots in his progression was he got rid of the ball quickly and made the OLine not sustain blocks for too long. The trait White displayed yesterday is one of Zach Wilson’s biggest issues. Wilson (so far) looks for the “sexy shot” and doesn’t come off of it, leading him to scramble and taking risks down field. Against TEN it worked 4-5 times and they were able to win, but I remember saying it would be hard to sustain an offense based on “off script” deep shots.
– White was excellent (37/45, 405 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT) and as mentioned above was a “chain mover” as he specialized in intermediate and check down routes. Its crazy/sad to think he was the first Jet QB in 21 years (Vinny Testaverde) to throw for over 400 yards.
– Trait wise White showed the good “inner clock” I mentioned above, and decent arm strength on medium throws. His one deep shot was pretty erratic (40+ yards to Elijah Moore) and he “lumbers” around a little bit on the few occasions where he had to move in the pocket.
– Hopefully Wilson was taking notes on the way White ran the offense yesterday. Because he needs to mix White’s “inner clock” and willingness to take check downs into his game.
– As far as the rest of the season, if White continues to impress I would keep Wilson on the bench and make him earn the starting spot. It would be totally unfair to the rest of the roster to just hand the spot back to Wilson, they deserve to stay enthusiastic and try to win as many games as possible.