Five weeks of football are in the books, and only two AFC teams have a better record than the New York Jets.
Yes, that is 100% factual information.
After an ugly game in Cleveland that was nonetheless a win, here’s my weekly ranking of the Jets’ top 10 players on the year.
The rankings are meant to list the players in order of the greatest net impact on the team over the course of the season. I take into account the season’s full body of work and contribution to wins and losses, not future potential or past reputation.
Check out last week’s rankings here.
10. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE (Last week: Unranked)
ASJ has revived the tight end position for the Jets. There was plenty of offseason talk about his rejuvenation and perseverance, but usually when he hear those things it’s just that. Talk. Not in this case. Seferian-Jenkins is noticeably motivated out there, showcasing newfound blocking ability and using his size to body up smaller defenders. He had only 29 yards against Cleveland, but that is really misleading. He had a few impressive first down catches and also a key touchdown that put the Jets ahead for good.
9. Robby Anderson, WR (Last week: 6th)
Anderson had a quiet game against the Browns. He has shown signs of improvement in the intermediate area this season, but overall just continues to be relatively absent when the deep ball isn’t there. If you take away Anderson’s two deep ball receptions of 41 and 69 yards the last two weeks (not to just toss those aside, those are game-changing plays that have tremendous impact even if they are uncommon), his numbers on the season:
12 receptions, 27 targets, 110 yards (4.1 yards per target), 6 first downs (22%). That is very poor efficiency. His good plays are good enough to leave him on here, but Anderson still has some developing to do. He’s shown the ability to do it, though.
8. Demario Davis, ILB (Last week: Unranked)
After two straight weeks in the “Knocking on the door” column, he’s here! If you told me after the Oakland loss that Davis would find his way into the ranks of the team’s best players, I would have laughed extremely loud. Nevertheless, Davis is here.
You may remember the Jets were rumored to be after a linebacker named D’Onta Hightower. Over the last three weeks, Davis has looked like that kind of player. He’s reading and choosing gaps with efficiency (the opposite of what he did Weeks 1-2) and making plays at an excellent rate. He got credit for 4 quarterback hits, a sack, and a tackle for loss against the Browns. The man currently ranked second in the NFL in tackles is starting to do more than just pile up numbers.
7. Elijah McGuire, RB (Last week: 7th)
McGuire couldn’t get anything going on a day where the Jets offensive line was overmatched by the Browns defense, but his efficiency on the year is still very impressive. On the team, McGuire trails only Bilal Powell in scrimmage yards (231). He maintains a 5.2 yards per carry average and has caught 5 of 7 targets for 3 first downs and 55 yards (11.0 yards per reception).
6. Jermaine Kearse, WR (Last week: 8th)
Kearse had a mostly quiet game but came through in the fourth quarter as he broke free for a game-sealing 24 yard touchdown. His chemistry with Josh McCown is more evident than any other passing target on the team to this point. McCown has a 120.2 passer rating targeting him, compared to 83.3 targeting anybody else.
5. Bilal Powell, RB (Last week: 5th)
Powell left the game in Cleveland with just 2 carries for 5 yards and 4 receptions for 28 yards. Similar to McGuire, he remains the team’s most productive offensive weapon while maintaining efficiency. He leads the team with 12 total first downs and 312 yards from scrimmage,
4. Kony Ealy, Edge (Last week: 3rd)
Ealy takes a slight dip as he sits the week out. The Jets missed his playmaking as a pass rusher.
3. Leonard Williams, DL (Last week: 2nd)
Williams didn’t have a very good game against the Browns, tallying only two tackles. The Jets rarely blitzed, likely trying to contain DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan inside the pocket. The defensive line, including Williams, did not create much pressure against a decent Browns line, and were often bailed out by some nice tackling from the linebackers and secondary players. Williams has been far better than his zero sack number would suggest, but this was a mediocre, if not awful, performance. He did force at least a couple incompletions with late pressure, but also gave up a first down with a bad offsides penalty.
2. Jamal Adams, S (Last week: 1st)
For the first time, the league’s #6 selection falls below the perch of GangGreeninYonkers’ weekly roster power rankings. His fall has more to do with the consistency of the man above him, however, as this was Adams’ first poor game.
Adams failed to execute a few plays on the ball. Isaiah Crowell found himself in a basketball-type 1-on-1 situation on the sideline in which Adams missed a leg tackle to give up the first down. David Njoku used his size to beat Adams in coverage a few times, including a touchdown. On Duke Johnson’s 41 yard screen-to-touchdown, Adams was lined up deep in what looked like cover 2, so he should have been able to find room to meet the ball. Instead, he was removed from the play by a wide receiver, contributing to the score happening.
Just one bad game from an otherwise standout player.
1. Marcus Maye, S (Last week: 4th)
This is a second round selection getting recognized for being the best player on the New York Jets. This is not a joke.
Maye’s consistency as a rookie starting day one has been special. Everything Jamal Adams has done, Maye has done at an even better level of consistency. Coming downhill, Maye is always able to find the perfect spot and bring just the right amount of boom to stop a big play from becoming a huge play. Playing center field, he displays impressive instincts, best showcased by his red zone interception of DeShone Kizer in the first half.
If you were excited about having Jamal Adams, how would you feel if I told you the Jets would be making a clone of him and starting them together?
Dropped off list:
David Bass (was 10th): Bass remains the team’s sack leader at 2.0, but failed to impress in extended action with the Jets’ injuries on the edge.
James Carpenter (was 9th): Carpenter is still probably the best and most consistent offensive lineman on the team, but the Jets’ style just doesn’t allow a lineman who isn’t really dominant to make “impact” plays. Carpenter is decent in the run game and solid in pass protection, but anything he does well it sort of mitigated by the Jets’ quick passing attack and offensive line struggles as a whole.
Knocking on the door:
Morris Claiborne: The Browns attacked Claiborne a ton with limited success, but a lot of that was due to the fact the opponent was wearing brown and orange. Despite that, Claiborne had a huge interception and a few nice tackles in the open field. I’d like to see him validate his recent performances by keeping it up against real quarterbacks.
Jeremy Kerley: Kerley has caught all 17 of his targets this season. Though they’ve gone for an average of only 7.8 yards (terribly low), 9 of them have been for a first down. That’s 53%, well above the league average of 39%.
Do you agree with the rankings?