There were many fine candidates for the game ball in Week 9 for the Jets. I could not begrudge anybody who wanted to give it to Ryan Quigley for his emergency kicking work and big time punt late in the game. While I can give Quigley an honorable mention, I am going with rookie Lorenzo Mauldin.
Mauldin was credited with two sacks in the game. Really, though, he was part of three sacks. He twice was credited with half a sack and also recorded a full sack of his own.
It is no secret that the Jets need to get more production from their edge rushers. They have a good secondary that will produce opportunities for coverage sacks. They have as much interior line talent in the league drawing double teams and giving the edge guys one on one matchups. The Jets just have not gotten the pressure they needed off the edge so Mauldin seems to be getting more of a look.
To be sure, part of Mauldin's success was due to coverage. His production in those situations is kind of the point, though. The secondary will provide chances for the guys off the edge to clean up. This team does not necessarily need somebody who will dominate opposing tackles as much as it needs somebody who can eventually get there as the initial coverage holds. To his credit, Mauldin did have one really nice rush where he dipped his shoulder to get around the corner.
Is this the start of something bigger? Was it just one game? Only time will tell, but Mauldin gets my game ball in Week 9 for his work. Who gets yours?