The Jets are on their first winning streak of the 2017 and have improved their record to 2-2 after today’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. I am not sure how many people would have predicted that the Jets and the Patriots would be tied in the standings after the first quarter of the NFL season, but that is where we are.
What went right? Let’s talk about it.
Bilal Powell: Powell’s 75 yard touchdown run got the Jets on the board. As it was happening, I was sighing because he failed to keep his balance, and it seemed like that thwarted a big run. As it turned out, that was a blessing in disguise because the Jaguars stopped playing when he went down, and Powell got up. Even without the big run, Powell would have had a nice day. That carry took his numbers into the stratosphere, though, as he finished with 163 yards on 21 rushes. He had 5 runs that gained 10 yards or more.
Elijah McGuire: McGuire was the second part of the two-headed monster out of the backfield that carried the Jets on offense today. He fell 7 yards short of giving the Jets a second 100 yard rusher, but his 93 yards on only 10 carries provided a big boost. He had a long touchdown run of his own, a 67 yarder and added in a 22 yard reception. Believe it or not, getting young legs into the backfield can be a good thing. Some of the cuts he made on the field were ridiculous and signs that he could continue to produce going forward.
Leonard Williams: Williams seemed unblockable. He had 7 tackles, but even that feels like selling him short. No matter what the Jaguars tried to do on offense, it seemed like he was getting into the backfield and disrupting things.
Kony Ealy: I counted at least three passes Ealy deflected, including one that he picked off.
Jamal Adams: He continues to find himself in the right spot and make contributions that don’t find their way onto the stat sheet.
Marcus Maye: Once again, the rookie appeared to be a steady hand at the back of the defense.
Lachlan Edwards: His 70 yard punt in overtime totally flipped field position, setting up the chain of events that led to this victory.
Chandler Catanzaro: He was 3 for 4 with the winner on his field goal tries today.
Morris Claiborne: I think Claiborne’s early play this year has been a bit up and down, but he seemed to hold his side of the field well today. Granted, the best player on the Jets defense was probably Blake Bortles, but I didn’t see many instances where Claiborne was beaten.
Josh McCown: I think this was a game where statistics don’t accurately portray quarterback quality. If you look solely at the numbers, McCown looks like he had an excellent game. I thought he was very lucky, though. We are a few inches away on a number of plays from talking about how McCown cost the Jets the game. I thought most of the sacks were mainly a result of McCown lacking pocket awareness. I put the lateral Miles Jack returned mainly on McCown. He threw it before Bilal Powell was ready for it, and there is no way McCown should be throwing a backwards pass at that point of the game. After that, McCown twice threw balls that probably should have been game-losing interceptions that defenders could not handle cleanly, and he fumbled away a ball that could have won the game for Jacksonville had the Jaguars recovered. Ironically his one statistical blemish, the interception, might have been the only negative offensive play for the Jets late in the game that was not McCown’s fault. It was just bad luck that Powell fell down. In any event, the Jets need much steadier play from the quarterback position going forward.
Brian Winters: This was a choppy return to the lineup with multiple penalties.
Darron Lee: Lee made a few splash plays, but I thought his overall performance was inconsistent between getting beaten for a touchdown in coverage early and once again missing his gaps in the run game.
Believe it or not, the Jets have a realistic chance to be over .500 after 5 weeks as they take on the Browns next weekend.