Through the first seven weeks of the season, the Jets are 4-3 and heading into their bye week. They have had inconsistent play on both sides of the ball so far, but are on a two game winning streak. Also, they just played their most complete 30 minutes of football to get a win against the Chargers. Here is my take on how the offensive skill players have performed to date:
Mark Sanchez- B
Sanchez has been great and terrible at times, often in the same game, but has for the most part, shown the promising signs that made us trade up to get him. His 2-1 TD-INT ratio has been fine, but could be aided by not forcing balls 11-30 yards down the field. All but one of his INTs have come on long passes. If he can cut down on the fumbles, 3 so far, and bring up the completion percentage, we can play deep into January and even in February.
Shonn Greene- C+
After a slow start to the season, Greene has quietly had a solid three game stretch, putting up 83 yards against the Pats, 74 against the Phins, and he just hung 112 on the Bolts Sunday. Greene has had his issues this year on runs to the middle of the field, but he has excelled on runs to the outside. Shonn doesn’t have eye-popping speed, but once he gets the second level he has enough speed, elusiveness, and power to break big runs. Look for a solid second half from #23.
Dustin Keller- A-
Dustin is arguably our best offensive weapon; he’s too fast for linebackers to cover him and too physically imposing for safeties to shut him down. He has cooled down a bit from his torrid start and hasn’t caught a TD pass since week 2, but he has had a nice resurgence in the past two weeks. In 5 of our 7 games he’s had more than 50 receiving yards and has had a 25+ yard completion in 4 games. Look for big games against Buffalo and their 30th ranked pass defense.
Santonio Holmes- B+
Stats don’t tell the whole story in Santonio’s 2011 campaign, although he has only 22 catches for 311 yards, he has played very well. The main reason for his "lack of production" on the stat sheet has nothing to do with his play; it’s actually more telling of the cornerbacks covering him, because Santonio has drawn countless pass interference calls this year. Also, in the Chargers game he had a 23 yard TD pass nullified by an uncharacteristic holding call on Nick Mangold.
Plaxico Burress- C+
Coming back to the NFL after a two year jail sentence, Burress was expected to have trouble adjusting back to life as a professional football player. Also, with the absence of training camp he had little time to get acclimated as a Jet. Despite this, Burress has had a fairly productive start; he has had great downfield blocking and draws frequent double teams in the red-zone. However, he didn’t have a single catch in the Jacksonville and hauled in only one pass against Miami. He didn’t appear to have good chemistry with Sanchez until Sunday’s 3 TD performance. Hopefully Plax can build on this success and be a pest for opposing teams in the red-zone.
When Kerley was taken in the 5th round of the draft, I thought little of it; I assumed that he would only see the field in a blow-out. Due to his nice preseason and Derrick Mason’s complaining, JK has moved up the depth chart and is now the #3 WR. Although he has been on the field quite a bit, he has caught only 9 passes and one TD. All of his catches have come in the past three weeks, including 4 against the Chargers; 2 of those catches went for 1stdowns. His grade is a reflection of the small sample size, but he has been a solid slot receiver and he will hopefully continue to develop into a great WR.
LaDainian Tomlinson- B-
After a solid first year in the big apple, LT, who was the starting HB in the majority of the Jets’ games last year, was given a reduced role this year. At age 32, he is no longer the player he was five years ago, instead he is mainly used as a 3rd-down back and is a key part of our passing game. Although he has only run for 111 yards with a 3.3 YPC, he was been very effective in the passing game. LT is a great blocker and has some of the best hands on the team. In seven games, he has been the leading receiver twice and his great vision allows him to rack up tons of YAC.