The Jets have really surpassed expectations thus far. I never would have thought the Jets would be .500 at the quarter mark, but here we are. After two lousy games, the Jets have given me several players to consider in back to back weeks. There are quite a few players I’d like to spotlight here, but I had to narrow it down to three.
Bronze Star: DL Leonard Williams (7 tackles)
Leonard Williams didn’t light up the scoreboard and didn’t have a lot of flashy plays like Elijah McGuire and Bilal Powell, but he was devastating play in and play out against the Jaguars. He was constantly in the backfield and forced a lot of errant throws and redirected runs. While this comparison isn’t as palatable as it might have once been, Leonard Williams looks a lot like Wilkerson in his prime to me. He doesn’t tally a lot of sacks or even tackles, but he is constantly interrupting plays and causing problems for the offense. Williams has a higher ceiling and has plenty of time to keep developing as he entered the league young and missed a lot of time playing when he was younger essentially because he was too big and athletic.
Silver Star: DL Kony Ealy (1 tackle, 4 PDs, 1 INT)
Ealy only had 1 tackle, but he made his presence felt throughout the game. Despite playing under half the snaps on defense, Ealy probably had the best statline any DB will post this season with 4 PDs and an INT. His interception was an athletic play that should have put the game on ice for the Jets if they hadn’t collapsed with a failed lateral pass by McCown. Ealy has really shown up in his limited snaps and probably deserves additional playing time this season.
Gold Star: RB Bilal Powell (21 rushes for 163 yards, 4 receptions for 27 yards, 1 TD)
It’s hard to only give a star to one running back after Elijah McGuire tore it up, but Powell had the bigger impact. McGuire’s 10 rushes for 93 yards and a TD (not to mention [though I am mentioning] the 38 receiving yards he added) deserve attention, so I’m giving it. Powell had the play of the game, however, after the Jets stalled on offense and gave up an easy touchdown. His effort and awareness on that one play resonated with the team. He followed that play up by totaling 190 yards from scrimmage. Powell deserves to be the lead back with McGuire spelling him. Keep Forte on the bench.
So there you go. After four weeks, the point totals are as follows:
Jamal Adams 5 points (1 gold, 1 silver)
Kony Ealy 4 points points (2 silver)
Jermaine Kearse 4 points (1 gold, 1 bronze)
Brandon Shell 3 points (1 gold)
Bilal Powell 3 points (1 gold)
Demario Davis 2 points (1 silver)
Chandler Catanzaro 1 point (1 bronze)
Terrence Brooks 1 point (1 bronze)
Leonard Williams 1 point (1 bronze)