The Jets are finally back in the win column, running away with the Snoopy Bowl trophy after a 34-27 win at home (technically.) For a game in which the Jets scored 30+ points and gave up 27, you’d expect the offense to fill this list, but strangely enough, there were some truly elite performances on this defense, while the offense was mostly serviceable. This may be the first game in which all three players truly earned a spot on this list, so let’s get straight to praising some good Jets play for a change.
Bronze Star: Nathan Shepherd (3 tackles, 1 sack)
I had assumed that Shepherd was on his way out this season, but boy did he reward the Jets patience in this game. Despite playing in around one third of the Jets snaps, Shepherd was everywhere, blowing up plays left and right. He tallied three TFLs and a sack, but if not for a penalty in the secondary, he would have had a two sack game after manhandling the Giants OL. If he had been in for the whole game, he easily could be looking at a silver or gold this week. Under the assumption that this game is somewhat indicative of what the Jets have in Shepherd, it’s no surprise that the Jets have kept him around despite his age, suspensions, and slow development. I hope to see more of this from the 2018 third round pick.
Silver Star: Jordan Jenkins (2 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 PD)
Jordan Jenkins has been a rare draft success story for the Jets, a player who was drafted in the third round and has played at a decent starter level. He’s not as consistent as I had expected coming out of college, but that also means that he does occasionally have one of these games in which he tallies a couple big sacks against a lesser opponent. He wrecked a lot of Giants drives in this game. He’s playing at a high enough level to avoid replacement and his rare dominant game often propels the Jets to a win. He was the second most dominant player on the field this week and deserves his silver star.
Gold Star: Jamal Adams (9 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 PD, 2 FF, 1 FR, 1 TD)
My word, Adams was good in this game. This is Adams’ best game as a pro in my opinion and he absolutely blew up the stat sheet. He tied or led the Jets for most tackles, sacks, QB hits, forced fumbles, and fumble recoveries. He also tallied a pass defensed and a touchdown in which he literally just ran up to the quarterback, took the ball from him, and ran it back into the end zone. Adams needed a big game after a bit of a stinker last week after getting lambasted by critics for his treatment of the Jets in regard to the trade rumors surrounding him. He reminded critics why you want him back in your secondary, carrying the Jets to a win in a game in which there were a lot of weak performances holding the team back. Adams came as close to singlehandedly winning a game as a safety possibly can in today’s NFL. Gold star for you, Mr. Adams.
So there you have it, ten weeks in and the table stands:
Jamal Adams 12 points (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Le’Veon Bell 10 points (2 gold, 2 silver)
Ryan Griffin 4 points (1 gold, 1 bronze)
Folorunso Fatukasi 4 points (1 gold, 1 bronze)
Sam Darnold 3 points (1 gold)
C.J. Mosley 3 points (1 gold)
Jamison Crowder 3 points (1 silver, 1 bronze)
Jordan Jenkins 2 points (1 silver)
Brian Poole 2 points (1 silver)
Leonard Williams 2 points (1 silver)
Darryl Roberts 2 points (1 silver)
Kyle Phillips 2 points (1 silver)
Nathan Shepherd 1 point (1 bronze)
Tarell Basham 1 point (1 bronze)
Arthur Maulet 1 point (1 bronze)
Trenton Cannon 1 point (1 bronze)
Robby Anderson 1 point (1 bronze)