Following each Jets game this season, I’ll be participating in the post-game tradition of listing out the studs and duds of the Jets’ previous game — but with a new twist.
Each player listed, whether they were a stud or a dud, is capable of earning up to five points positively or negatively, depending on how good or bad their performance was. In total, the scores of each player listed will add up to match the Jets’ scoring margin from their game that week. This past Sunday, the Jets lost to the Jaguars by 14 points, so the combined point total of every player listed below will add up to -14.
At the end of the season, I’m hoping this scorecard system will help us get a good look at which players had the biggest impacts on the team, both positive and negative.
As an added note, no coaches (or general managers) will be involved in these lists.
The studs earn the privileges of having some nice colors attached to their name, while the duds merely get tagged with various levels of badness.
- Studs: Gotham Green (5 points), Platinum (4), Gold (3), Silver (2), Bronze (1)
- Duds: Level 5 (-5 points), Level 4 (-4), etc.
Here are my studs and duds from the Jets’ Week 8 loss.
Folorunso Fatukasi - Gold ( 3 points)
The Jets run defense was phenomenal against Jacksonville, which is a hard compliment to earn after giving up a 66-yard run on the second play of the game.
Following that play, however, the Jets allowed Leonard Fournette to pick up just 10 yards on his next 18 carries — 0.6 (!!!) per attempt. He didn’t pick up a first down on a single one of those rushes.
Fatukasi, who has quietly been one of the team’s best players this season, was a driving force. His ability to time the snap and create instant penetration with power is impressive.
Kyle Phillips - Silver (2 points)
Phillips has a great motor that has allowed him to make some huge run stops. He made three run tackles against the Jaguars. The results of those plays: -3 yards, -4 yards, and -7 yards. He now leads the NFL with a total of five run tackles for a loss of three yards or more. He most likely will not sustain that in future seasons, but for now it is nice to note.
Phillips and Fatukasi exemplify why making the Leonard Williams trade was such an easy decision for the Jets. Despite Williams’ strong, borderline elite production over 4.5 years, it is highly unlikely the Jets defense suffers a significant drop-off without him. Fatukasi was a sixth round pick. Phillips is an undrafted rookie. And yet, here they are driving one of the league’s best run defenses.
Defensive line is the deepest position in the NFL. Few teams have a serious problem on the defensive front, while many teams have a drastic problem on the offensive front. Right now, the talent scale is tipped heavily in favor of the defensive line.
It’s an easy position to replace. Joe Douglas got two picks for Williams and the defense will most likely be just as good without him as they were with him. The great play of Fatukasi and Phillips is a primary reason the Jets can be confident in that notion.
Ryan Griffin - Silver (2 points)
Griffin had a great receiving game, hauling in four of four targets for 66 yards, two touchdowns, and two additional first downs. He also grabbed a two-point conversion.
I would score Griffin higher, but I can’t get around his poor blocking. He is just as much a part of the rushing problem as any offensive lineman is.
Darryl Roberts - Silver (2 points)
It was not a perfect outing for Roberts, but his high points were really high. He made two crucial pass deflections in nearly identical situations.
Both were on third down against slant routes from D.J. Chark on the left side, and on both plays Roberts did a good job getting physical in press coverage and sticking his hand in to knock the football out. The first stop forced a Jaguars field goal attempt, and the second forced a Jaguars punt to get the Jets the ball back with a chance to tie the game early in the fourth quarter (right after they scored on the previous drive).
Jordan Willis - Bronze (1 point)
Willis notched a strip-sack on Gardner Minshew, which was capped off by a Blake Cashman recovery.
Brandon Copeland - Bronze (1 point)
Copeland was another Jet that defended the run excellently, contributing to four run stuffs.
Over the past two weeks, Copeland and Phillips each have seven run tackles short of the sticks for two yards or less, tying them for third in the NFL. Fatukasi and Leonard Williams come in right behind with six apiece over that span.
Nate Hairston - Bronze (1 point)
Hairston replaced the injured Trumaine Johnson and shockingly was an upgrade! He was credited with allowing three catches on six targets for 29 yards and two first downs. Hairston made a crucial stop on a third and goal from the six-yard line, forcing an incompletion against D.J. Chark with a nice play on the ball.
Leonard Williams - Bronze (1 point)
Williams’ last game in green encapsulated his Jets career. He was solid against the run and generated some nice pressure. However, the biggest play he made, a dominant 14-yard sack on Gardner Minshew, was wiped out by a James Burgess holding call.
As previously mentioned, the Jets probably will not miss Williams much, thanks to the great amount of depth they have salvaged along the defensive line. Still, he deserves credit for what he accomplished with the team. He never missed a game and consistently ranked as one of the most productive interior linemen both against the run and the pass.
Unfortunately for the Jets, he was just never able to harness all of his talent at once and become a truly dominant force.
Quinnen Williams - Bronze (1 point)
Q contributed to the first half-sack of his career and was a strong presence against the run.
He had one really impressive rep where he single-handedly stuffed Leonard Fournette while taking on the full body of the right guard and battling help from the right tackle at the same time. Williams has had a few extremely bright flashes like that one. The level of consistency at which he can string those plays together will determine whether he becomes a really solid player (like Leo) or a dominant one.
Demaryius Thomas - Bronze (1 point)
Thomas grabbed all five of his targets for 63 yards and four first downs. Four of his grabs came on the Jets’ second touchdown drive.
Le’Veon Bell - Level 1
On the plus side, Bell helped create Ryan Griffin’s first touchdown by attracting two defenders on a wheel route.
However, Bell blew a protection on one play that led to the pressure that caused Sam Darnold’s first interception.
He also dropped an easy pass on a short throw. It probably would have been just a one yard gain on second and 8, but there may have been YAC potential available. And a dropped pass always could result in an interception. You’d just rather not have them, even if not many yards were lost.
I also think this was the first game of the season in which Bell did not run all that well. The offensive line was horrendous once again, but there were a couple plays where I thought Bell left some yards on the field.
I might be nitpicking here. It is probably becoming very taxing for Bell to continuously have to make someone miss as soon as he touches the ball each week. He has done about all he could each week.
Alex Lewis - Level 1
Lewis has cooled down a bit after a hot start. He struggled in pass protection against the Jaguars, allowing an unblocked sack and in total getting credited with four pressures.
He did look solid in the run game, but he was knocked with a facemask penalty.
Ryan Kalil - Level 2
Not Kalil’s worst game in pass protection, but bad as usual on the ground, getting tossed with ease. No push whatsoever.
Jonotthan Harrison - Level 2
Over just 22 protection snaps in relief of Kalil, I counted two sacks that Harrison was a primary part of allowing to happen.
Jamal Adams - Level 3
Adams picked the wrong time to compare himself to Aaron Donald and Tom Brady.
He made some big mistakes against Jacksonville. Keelan Cole beat Adams with ease for a six-yard touchdown on the game’s first drive. It may have been a breakdown, but that would not have been any good either.
Later, Adams missed an easy chance to stuff Fournette short of the line on a screen play deep in Jacksonville territory, which would have forced a third and 11 from the Jaguars’ four-yard line. Instead, Adams whiffed and Fournette gained six yards. The Jaguars converted the next play and on third and short, then went on to put together an 84-yard field goal drive.
Adams was also in the area when Minshew scrambled to hit Chark for what became the game-sealing touchdown, although Burgess might have been most at fault for that one. It seemed Burgess dropped off Chark as he entered into Adams’ zone, but Adams failed to recognize it and Chark scored right in front of him.
Blake Cashman - Level 3
Cashman was in on some run stuffs and recovered a fumble that seemingly half the players on the field failed to pick up.
However, he was a part of some huge blunders. On Fournette’s 66-yard run, Cashman whiffed badly on a chance to stop the play for a short gain. Any sort of contact probably would have given somebody else a good chance to keep the run from breaking loose, but Cashman let Fournette slip by completely untouched.
It’s hard to tell exactly who was at fault, but both Cashman and Burgess seemed to be a part of the breakdown that led to Chris Conley’s 70-yard touchdown catch.
Brian Winters - Level 3
As is often the case, Winters had some bright spots that made his overall performance less atrocious than other members of the line, but he still gets driven into the quarterback’s lap far too often and frequently has some major slip-ups in the run game.
Brandon Shell - Level 4
Shell had some nice reps against Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen in pass protection, but he was beaten cleanly by Josh Allen on an inside spin move for a sack. It’s in the run game where Shell really struggles, though. He does a poor job getting to the second level, frequently leading to Bell having to face a second defender immediately after evading the first. Shell’s losses are often the primary reason that Bell does not have the room to get beyond 3-5 yards downfield.
Chuma Edoga - Level 5
The offensive line struggles for the Jets all start on the edges.
Edoga has been brutal at left tackle. I counted five sacks in which he was a contributing factor. He was also terrible in the run game.
Edoga has some potential at right tackle, but the early returns at left tackle have been bad.
James Burgess - Level 5
Burgess was called for two key penalties. One was a hold that wiped out a 14-yard Leonard Williams sack. The other was a personal foul for lowering the helmet that turned what would have been a third and goal for Jacksonville into first and goal from the one.
In addition, Burgess may have been responsible for the 70-yard Conley breakdown, as he got caught staring at the scrambling Minshew while Conley ran free behind. He also may have been primarily responsible for the late Chark touchdown. Burgess stuck with him as he ran towards the front right pylon, but dropped off as Chark approached traffic, perhaps expecting Adams to pick him up.
Not surprisingly, the Jets have run into some major issues with their stud starters at inside linebacker missing nearly all of this season’s defensive snaps.
Here is a look at the Week 8 scorecard.
Here is a look at the scorecard throughout the season to date.