After showing some first-half-rust coming off of their bye week, the Jets dominated the second half of their matchup with the Washington Redskins. The rather uneven nature of the game makes choosing the top players somewhat of a challenge. Darrelle Revis had a game-changing interception and held receivers in check for the majority of the game, but he also got burned badly on a touchdown to Pierre Garcon. Eric Decker had a touchdown catch, but he lost a bad fumble and had a couple more bad drops. Many players had up and down games last week. Here are 3 that were mostly up:
Third Star: Marcus Gilchrist (3 tackles, 1 INT, 2 passes defensed)
I was worried about the Gilchrist signing coming into the season, but he has really outplayed my expectations this year. He struggled in the preseason at times, causing serious concern about how he would play once the real games started. He's really been a solid piece thus far. Gilchrist had an especially excellent outing against the Redskins, mostly making correct reads and taking good angles. Gilchrist was really dynamic in coverage, however, blanketing anyone and everyone he was assigned to this week. He made a good read and a great break to record his second interception of the season, putting the game on ice in the third quarter. It was a great game for Gilchrist all around and he earned himself a spot on the list.
Second Star: Brandon Marshall (7 receptions, 111 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble lost)
I struggled over where to put Marshall on the list. His fumble was extremely costly, putting the Jets in a hole going into halftime. But outside of that fumble (which was arguably close enough to call forward progress on the field), Brandon Marshall imposed his will on the Redskins secondary, becoming the first Jet since Don Maynard in 1968 to record 4 consecutive 100 yard games. That took him 5 games. With Ryan Fitzpatrick instead of Joe Namath. During the game, he also had a key block in springing Ivory on his longest run of the night and an absolutely incredible catch and run for a touchdown that seemed totally impossible at the time. Let's not forget his one handed catch that hardly sticks out when compared to everything else he did on offense. He even made some good plays on the ball to break up potential interceptions, including knocking the ball off course on Breeland's interception, forcing Breeland to make a pretty impressive midair adjustment. Marshall has made a habit of making 1-2 game altering plays per week. Fortunately, the good typically outweighs the bad by a comfortable margin. He was a big part of why the Jets put 34 points on the board this week.
First Star: Chris Ivory (20 rushes for 146 yards, 3 receptions for 50 yards, 1 TD)
Chris Ivory was the biggest part of why the Jets put 34 point on the board this week. He is finally starting to get the attention he deserves due to his awe-inspiring start to the season. Chris Ivory is 3rd in rushing despite missing a game and first in yards per game with 115. How crazy good is that, you ask? Only two backs are averaging over 100 yards per game this season and the other is Todd Gurley (104.7.) who has only had to do it over 3 games and already has a fumble over that span while Ivory one of just a handful of backs with no fumbles despite receiving 90 or more touches. After the top 2, Le'Veon Bell is the only other back to average above 90 yards per game, with every other running back averaging 86.4 or fewer (with Adrian Peterson averaging the most among other backs.) Ivory is also efficient, currently sitting tied with scat back Gio Bernard for yards per attempt with a whopping 5.5 (minimum 60 attempts) and in a many-way tie for 3rd in rushing touchdowns with 4 (despite only playing in 4 games through week 6.) Ivory is still too questionable as a receiver and lacks the necessary pass protection skills to be an every down back, but he showed off some ability as a safety valve in the passing game against the Redskins, catch all 3 targets he was given and taking them for 50 yards (third on the team in receiving by 9 yards.) Ivory and Marshall are carrying the Jets offense, but if they can keep it up all season, a deep playoff run seems very possible. Keep feeding the beasts.
So after week 6, the scoreboard reads: