In the past, I made the decision to only award stickers when the Jets won. After one week, I think it’s already safe to say that I won’t have many opportunities if I stick (sorry) with that decision. The Jets were dominated in a game in which a two score loss looked better than it was on tape. Against a quality opponent, you could just say on to Cincinnati, and put the miserable effort in the past. The Bills are far from a quality opponent this year. If I want to write more than a couple of these, I better look deep and try to find some bright spots in some tepid performances. With that in mind, here are the stars of the game:
Bronze Star: K Candler Catanzaro (1/1 XP, 2/2 FG)
It’s not usually a good sign if one of the top performers was a kicker. Nevertheless, CC was flawless, kicking two long field goals and showing plenty of leg on kickoffs. The field goals, from 48 and 52 yards, were no gimmes in a game in which the Bill’s kicker Steven Hauschka missed his only attempt. This wasn’t a startling performance, but Catanzaro did everything he needed to do perfectly.
Silver Star: DE Kony Ealy (4 tackles)
Ealy didn’t put up gaudy numbers in his limited play, but he looked good considering his limited time with the team. Ealy was far from the unstoppable force he was in the Super Bowl, but with very few players in competition for the star, he really didn’t have to do much. If this could be something he builds on, maybe the once-touted lineman can live up to his potential.
Gold Star: Jermaine Kearse (7 catches, 59 receiving yards)
It says a lot that the top performer had a statline that tied him for 29th in yardage with 2 games yet to begin this week. Still, Kearse looked comfortable in the new offense and played a solid game. Kearse really looked like the only legitimate receiving option in the game, though Robby Anderson showed plenty of heart. There’s not much to say about Kearse’s performance other than that he is probably worth what the Jets are paying him and makes for a solid second receiver in this league. Now if the Jets can just find a first.
So there you have it. This game was a pretty miserable performance from every player at every level, but a few players put together a quality game. Unfortunately, most of them were Bills, but at least three Jets played above the rest.