The Jets put an end to their three game losing streak tonight as they dominated the Buffalo Bills. The final score was 34-21, but it doesn’t do justice to the way the Jets controlled things. This was the type of game the team needed. Things could have gotten very ugly with a loss. The Jets are now 4-5 instead with a few extra days to prepare for their next game. Let’s talk about what went right.
Muhammad Wilkerson: I understand that Wilkerson was not exactly working against a Pro Bowl caliber lineman most of the night when he was going up against Vladimir Ducasse. With that said, Wilkerson has had plenty of bad games against bad offensive linemen in the last two years. Tonight he dominated. He had a sack. He knocked a pass down. He was constantly in the backfield disrupting plays. This is the player we saw earn that big contract for all of those seasons.
Leonard Williams: The Jets did a great job controlling the point of attack against the run and collapsing the pocket against the pass. Williams was in on 5 tackles and had his first half sack of the season.
Steve McLendon: It didn’t seem like Buffalo could generate much of a push against McLendon. When the opponent averages under 3 yards per run, the nose tackle is probably playing well.
Demario Davis: Like the first meeting with Buffalo, Davis put up a big tackle total. Unlike that first meeting, today I think it was indicative of his quality of play. Davis did a great job working through traffic to get to ball carriers, and he was effective as a blitzer. Ironically, the sack wasn’t a particularly effective blitz. Tyrod Taylor gave himself up, and Davis was just the closest guy to the play. He did well on other plays.
Darron Lee: I don’t think it is an accident that we have seen a stretch of strong play from Lee right as the defensive line’s play (particularly Muhammad Wilkerson) has improved. Lee isn’t very good at shedding blocks. He can go get the ball in front of him. Now that the line is eating up defenders and keeping him clean, we are starting to see some playmaking ability. He tied Davis for the team lead in tackles.
Jordan Jenkins: The night started with him making a big play. He didn’t bite on a bootleg and sacked Tyrod Taylor. He kept popping on the screen with big plays from a dominant edge set to a hustle strip sack later.
Matt Forte: Forte doesn’t have much left in the way of speed, but he found ways to be effective in this game, whether by reading blocks or just grinding out yards after contact. He had a pair of touchdowns and 77 yards on 14 carries.
Bilal Powell: Powell ripped off some big runs and was a penalty away from a 100 yard night despite getting limited carries.
Robby Anderson: Anderson didn’t have the monster statistical production of a week ago, but his 25 yard touchdown in the third quarter was an important play. He beat a very talented young corner in Tre’davious White.
Kacy Rodgers: Rodgers doesn’t get much love in these parts, but he dialed up a perfect game plan in this one. We saw plenty of spy packages and blitzes. I don’t think the blitzes were designed to generate pressure, though. I think the Jets sent extra pass rushers to clog up potential running lanes for Tyrod Taylor and force him to make throws into man coverage, which isn’t really his game. It worked like a charm.
I’m going to close the recap with that. There were some less than stellar parts of this game for the Jets. The cornerbacks come to mind. The hands team certainly could have been better. This was just an excellent performance, though.
You couldn’t have dreamed up a better way for this to play out for the Jets.