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 defeated the Dolphins by 1 point, so the combined point total of every player listed below will add up to 1.
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 14 victory.
James Burgess - Gold (3 points)
Burgess has had a mostly rough stint starting at inside linebacker for the Jets, but he was excellent against the Dolphins. He allowed just 24 yards on five targets in coverage, yielding no first downs. Burgess nearly recorded a pick-six, but it was called back by a dubious holding penalty (and probably would have been reversed to an incomplete pass anyway). He was called for an unnecessary roughness call on a bang-bang coverage play over the middle that was also somewhat dubious.
In the run game, the Jets defensive line created a lot of room for the back end to fly through, and Burgess took full advantage, contributing to five run stuffs for two yards or less.
Robby Anderson - Gold (3 points)
Anderson hauled in seven of 11 targets for 116 yards and six first downs, one of those a 26-yard touchdown. Over the past three weeks, he ranks fourth in the NFL in receiving yards (303.) Just about all of that production has come in the intermediate range. Anderson has been making some tremendous contested catches with incredible consistency recently.
Nate Hairston - Silver (2 points)
Hairston made an incredible interception, and allowed just two catches for 21 yards and two first downs over 38 cover snaps. Hairston was decent over his first three extended appearances with the Jets, until he fell apart in Weeks 9-10 against the Dolphins and Giants, sending him to the doghouse. Finally getting another shot, Hairston took full advantage. The Jets have an interesting battle for playing time brewing at cornerback, featuring a bunch of young players who have each flashed some high peaks and low valleys throughout the year.
Jordan Jenkins - Silver (2 points)
Jenkins led the Jets with five pressures, racking those up over just 22 pass rush opportunities.
He did collect two sacks, but they were of the “fluky” variety. On one, the Dolphins tried a double flea-flicker, and Jenkins cleaned up the mess after the back end covered it up well (Darryl Roberts was actually beat by quite a few yards deep down the field, but it would have been a 50-plus yard attempt through the air, so Fitzpatrick elected not to go for it). Jenkins showed great hustle to come from 15 yards behind to make the sack.
On his next sack, Jenkins was a spy on Fitzpatrick, and made a nice play to come up and drop him for a two-yard loss on 2nd & 12.
Despite missing two games, Jenkins has tied his career-high with seven sacks, and has a chance to set a new career-best for the third consecutive season. He is also averaging a career-high in pressures per game (2.7) and needs six to surpass the career-high of 35 that he set a season ago — which would also be his third consecutive new career-best.
Currently ranked 32nd out of 62 qualified edge defenders in pass rush productivity, Jenkins has developed into an average pass rusher, a nice compliment to his strong run defense. The Jets desperately need an elite outside pass rusher, but Jenkins has grown into a solid player that can be a part of the defensive core going forward.
Steve McLendon - Silver (2 points)
McLendon had a tremendous game, making some dominant plays in just 22 snaps action. He forced an incompletion with a nasty rush for a hit on Fitzpatrick, and added three key run stuffs. He has shown no signs of slowing down at 33 years old. The Jets should look to bring him back on another one-year pact.
Quinnen Williams - Bronze (1 point)
Williams’ day was cut short after just 19 snaps, but he had been making a lot of noise prior to his exit. His most glaring play was a 15-yard facemask call that wiped out a 3rd & 2 stop, which was obviously a dumb penalty (although it was just the first of Williams’ career), but it should not be overlooked just how beastly of a rep that was for Williams. This is pure dominance, creating a four-yard loss on a short third down play. These flashes have been increasingly plentiful for Williams in recent weeks.
In addition to that play, Williams laid a hit on Fitzpatrick that resulted in Burgess’ near-interception, and another one that resulted in a 2nd & goal incompletion. On the next play, Williams created a pressure that resulted in a 3rd & goal stop. He whiffed on the sack, but the pressure itself was dominant, leading to the red zone victory .
Williams added this highly impressive run stop his reel.
All of that came in just 19 snaps of action. Williams has played very well recently, taking advantage of favorable matchups against poor offensive fronts. Three solid offensive lines await the Jets over the final three weeks. Hopefully, Williams can get healthy enough to face those challenges, which would be great measuring sticks for him. He has built some momentum, but can he carry it through the final stretch of the season against good competition?
Nathan Shepherd - Bronze (1 point)
Shepherd made a lot of noise as a pass rusher, laying four hits (one was wiped out by a Burgess penalty, and another by a questionable roughing call on Shepherd). He has improved greatly after a dead-silent rookie season.
The Jets have a stacked defensive line. Save for re-signing/replacing McLendon, there is no need for them to pay attention to this group in the offseason.
Vyncint Smith - Bronze (1 point)
Smith was the hero of the Jets’ game-winning drive. On the drive’s first play, he rumbled upfield for a 37-yard gain that put the Jets in business, making a nice adjustment for a short grab and then hitting second gear. A couple plays later, Smith drew a pass interference call that saved the Jets from a near-impossible fourth down situation and instead put them in position for Sam Ficken’s game-winner.
Daniel Brown - Level 1
Brown had some bad run blocking moments, and also allowed a sack on the Jets’ final drive that nearly cost them the game.
Demaryius Thomas - Level 1
Thomas hauled in a strong touchdown grab on a fade, but prior to that, he let a couple of key third down throws slip through his hands, one leading to a punt and another to a field goal.
Tom Compton - Level 2
Compton was tagged with a team-high four pressures allowed, and had a poor run blocking game.
However, I do want to mention that this was a decent performance by the offensive line overall. The performance in the run game was lackluster (especially considering the opponent), but the pass protection was good.
A road game in Baltimore is a lot different than a home game against the Dolphins, though.
Jamison Crowder - Level 2
Crowder pulled in a pair of first downs, but caught just three of seven targets for 30 yards. He let a crucial third down throw in the red zone bounce off his hands.
Crowder has been extremely inefficient over the last three weeks, catching seven of 20 (35%) targets for 56 yards (2.8 per target). Prior to this, he had a touchdown and over 75 yards in three consecutive games. This is nothing new, as Crowder was a highly volatile boom-or-bust player in Washington as well.
Jonotthan Harrison - Level 2
Harrison yielded a pair of hits on Darnold and created little push in the run game against a terrible defensive front.
Blessuan Austin - Level 3
A fall down to Earth for Austin, who was tagged with five catches on seven targets for 69 yards and four first downs, after yielding four firsts over his first four games. He also was called for a 38-yard pass interference, although that was a questionable one (Yes, I’ve said a few calls were questionable, but I think my claims are legitimate! Come on, I rarely complain about penalty calls).
Austin was close on a few plays, however. He was inches away from a leaping pass deflection while playing in an underneath zone. He also had good coverage on a throw to DeVante Parker, but was simply victimized by a phenomenal catch via one of the NFL’s hottest receivers. Now, we see if he can bounce back against the league’s best offense.
Kyron Brown - Level 3
Brown was hit with four catches on six targets for 44 yards and three first downs, with one of those incomplete targets a dropped potential first down by Albert Wilson. Brown also had a brutal missed tackle that turned a potential stuff into a 14-yard Patrick Laird gain.
Here is a look at the scorecard for Week 14.
Here is a look at the scorecard on the season to date.