The Jets have finally won a game and it wouldn’t have been a Jets win without at least one attempt to give their fans a heart attack. Nevertheless, the Jets look like they might be back in business after the return of Sam Darnold also saw the return of a competent offense. On top of that, the improved quarterback play really seemed to galvanize the team, leading to excellent performances from some of the Jets top young players. Marcus Maye had a great game and we finally got to see the potential impact of our first round pick in a crucial stop on fourth down. There were three who stood out in a game with a lot of quality performances, however:
Bronze Star: Robby Anderson (5 catches for 125 yards, 1 TD)
Anderson must be happy to have his quarterback on the field again. In four games, Anderson had averaged under 35 yards per game. In the last two games, that figure is 13.5 yards. Then he got a quarterback who can throw it further than the sticks and he put up 125 yards, mostly on a game-changing, record-tying 92 yard strike that allowed the Jets to run away with the first half. Robby is seriously lacking in consistency, but when he hits on the deep ball, the Jets will have a real shot against anyone (well, almost anyone.) Robby earned his first sticker this week.
Silver Star: Jamal Adams (8 tackles, 1 PD)
Adams had himself a night. This is what you hope for when you invest a 6th overall pick in a safety. Adams was heavily involved in several crucial third or fourth down stops that ended drives and turned the ball over to the offense. To seal the deal, he read the offensive line (a darn good one, at that) perfectly to split interior linemen and cruise towards the quarterback and force an incompletion on a potentially game-tying two point attempt. If Adams doesn’t play this game, the Jets don’t walk away with a win.
Gold Star: Sam Darnold (23 of 32 for 338 yards, 5 rushes for 1 yard, 2 TDs, 1 INT)
If we’re talking about the Jets losing this game without Adams, the Jets would have been humiliated with Darnold. The Jets had more offensive touchdowns in this game than the rest of the season combined and that had everything to do with the return of Sam Darnold. He was sharp, decisive, accurate, and a whole lot of other things you want to see in a young quarterback. His pocket presence and movement were simply outstanding and made the offensive line actually look respectable. Sam Darnold was darn near perfect outside of one boneheaded interception, putting the entire team on his back in a way that was truly delightful for any Jets fan to watch. If this game is representative of what the Jets have in Darnold, Jets fans should have a lot to look forward to over the next decade.
So there you have it, five weeks in and the table stands:
Jamal Adams 8 points (2 gold, 1 silver)
Le’Veon Bell 7 points (1 gold, 2 silver)
Sam Darnold 3 points (1 gold)
C.J. Mosley 3 points (1 gold)
Brian Poole 2 points (1 silver)
Darryl Roberts 2 points (1 silver)
Tarell Basham 1 point (1 bronze)
Jamison Crowder 1 point (1 bronze)
Arthur Maulet 1 point (1 bronze)
Trenton Cannon 1 point (1 bronze)
Robby Anderson 1 point (1 bronze)