This is the kind of game in which picking the best players is tough. The Jets may have only lost by 1 score, but they were handily beaten throughout the course of the game. There were very few bright spots for the Jets, but a handful of players managed to stick out. So let's hand out the "best of the worst" awards for the first (and only, certainly) loss of the season.
Third Star: Ryan Quigley (8 punts, 46.4 average, 3 within 20)
Quigley got a lot of work this week. He's often been criticized for his occasional stinker (usually by me), but Quigley has really improved over time. He had good distance on his kicks despite having to kick directional and out of bounds kicks all game to avoid the dangerous Darren Sproles. On the punt return touchdown by Sproles, Quigley actually placed the punt perfectly, trapping Sproles in a corner with excellent hang time and positioning. Obviously you don't want your punter to be one of your top 3 performers, but Quigley had a really nice outing despite Sproles' touchdown return. Great job Quiggles, but I really hope I never have to put you on this list again.
Second Star: Darrelle Revis (1 tackle)
It's rare that you have a "top performer" who has exactly 1 tackle in his stat sheet, but that is often what you want from a shutdown corner. Revis was rarely tested and negated any receiver he lined up against. There was one pass which had a chance against him, but would have required a perfect pass and catch. It didn't happen. Revis did everything he could, but it wasn't enough. Unfortunately for the Jets, this wasn't the kind of team that has an elite receiver for Revis to go Island-mode on, ruining their offense. When the opposing team doesn't test Revis, there isn't much he can do to change the game. It still earns him second place on this list for the second consecutive week, however.
First Star: David Harris (10 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
David Harris looks like a new man this season, showing up all over the field and showing a lot more energy than in recent years. The Hitman forced a crucial turnover that gave the Jets a chance to turn the game around (though the opportunity was squandered quickly by Fitzpatrick.) He did a good job overall in coverage and was a force against the run. He did allow Sproles to break free on a wheel route that could have resulted in disaster, but it also have required an excellent throw and catch. It didn't happen. Harris probably shouldn't be covering Sproles without any help in the first place, considering how explosive Sproles can be and how Harris' biggest weakness is in coverage. He dealt with a finger injury, but didn't let it stop him from leading the Jets' defense to a solid overall outing, despite the loss.
So after week 1, the scoreboard reads:
|Darrelle Revis||15 points|
|Brandon Marshall||15 points|
|David Harris||12 points|
|Calvin Pryor||5 points|
|Chris Ivory||2 points|
|Marcus Williams||2 points|
|Ryan Quigley||2 points|