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 beat the Steelers by 6 points so the combined point total of every player listed below will add up to 6.
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 16 victory.
Jamal Adams - Platinum (4 points)
The Steelers offense was held completely stagnant, mustering up just 10 points and 260 yards, but it did not really feel like the Jets defense was dominating them at every level.
Two individuals in particular put forth tremendous efforts that powered the Jets to their excellent defensive performance — the safety duo, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.
In his return, Adams was everywhere. He recorded two run stuffs (one for a gain of 1, another for a loss of 1), halted Mason Rudolph short of the sticks on a third down scramble, held two receptions to short gains shy of the marker, sniffed out a Vance McDonald screen for a five-yard loss, and created three pressures, one of which led to a Tarell Basham interception.
It is extremely difficult to find another safety capable of impacting the game in as many ways as Adams can.
Marcus Maye - Platinum (4 points)
Back in Week 6 against the Cowboys, Adams and Maye combined for a signature performance that showcased why they are one of the best safety tandems in the league. Week 16 was another one of those games.
Maye was superb, showing great range to pick off a Devlin Hodges pass that was nearly a touchdown, breaking up a potential touchdown intended for James Washington on Pittsburgh’s final drive of the game, and making four solid tackles in the open field that halted potentially big plays.
Maye has been a bit erratic this season, particularly having some rough tackling moments, but on the whole he has provided the big play prevention that you want out of a deep safety. He rarely busts a coverage and has had a good number of touchdown-saving moments throughout the year.
The Adams/Maye duo is one of the few things that the Jets can be truly excited about going forward.
Tarell Basham - Silver (2 points)
Taking advantage of Adams’ pressure, Basham made an athletic leaping grab for the first interception of his career, coming off of Hodges. The Jets desperately need to find a quality pass rusher on the edge, but Basham has established himself as a solid backup/rotational piece going into 2020, putting up decent pass rushing numbers throughout the year.
Robby Anderson - Bronze (1 point)
Anderson put the Jets up for good on the opening drive of the game as he hauled in an incredible contested grab in the back of the end zone, off of a wonderful throw from Sam Darnold.
Otherwise, Anderson caught just one pass for 9 yards, but a rough game from the offensive line and Darnold against an elite defense made it tough for the receivers to produce much of anything.
Joe Douglas needs to make it a priority to keep Anderson in green for a long time.
Jamison Crowder - Bronze (1 point)
Crowder grabbed four passes for 60 yards and three first downs, each of which helped to set up a Sam Ficken field goal.
Folorunso Fatukasi - Bronze (1 point)
Fatukasi was strong against the run, contributing to a few stops and creating some penetration. He threw in his first career sack, cleaning up Hodges following good coverage and pressure from the rest of the defense.
Sam Ficken - Bronze (1 point)
Ficken made his lone extra point and went a perfect 3 for 3 with makes from 37, 42, and a season-long 54.
Quinnen Williams - Bronze (1 point)
Williams took advantage of an unblocked opportunity for a sack, flashing his athleticism as he brought down Hodges with ease. He was also strong against the run, contributing to a pair of stuffs at the line and another stop short of the sticks on second down.
Sam Darnold - Level 2
Darnold was shaky, misfiring on some underneath throws and taking some curious shots into highly contested windows down the field. I would argue it was his first unequivocally below average performance since Week 9 in Miami, snapping a streak of six straight games that ranged from decent to great (I think each of his games from Weeks 10-15 were above average save for the home game vs. Miami, which I saw as average).
A good performance on the road against a resting Buffalo team would wrap up a solid and promising second half of the season for Darnold.
Brandon Shell - Level 3
Shell was tagged with a team-high five pressures allowed, including a clean loss to T.J. Watt that resulted in a strip-sack of Darnold.
Darnold was pressured on 48.3% of his dropbacks, second-highest of Week 16. On the season, Darnold’s 42.7% pressure rate is the highest in the league.
Blessuan Austin - Level 4
Austin allowed all five targets in his direction to be caught for 83 yards and four first downs. One of those conversions was a 29-yard touchdown deep down the left sideline to Diontae Johnson with under 10 seconds to go in the half. Austin handled the situation awfully, playing with heavy inside leverage that gave Johnson a free lane to get open down the sideline.
The Jets benched Austin in the second half following the egregious blunder. I’m not sure I agree with that decision. While he had a brutal first half that was capped off with an inexplicable error, Austin had easily been the team’s best outside corner since he stepped onto the field for the first time in Week 10. He is a sixth-round rookie. Why not let him play through the adversity and learn from it? Was there an undisclosed injury issue? Perhaps Gregg Williams was simply looking to send a message and is fully intending to get Austin back out there next week?
Regardless, it was a brutal first half from Austin, who was almost entirely responsible for all 10 Pittsburgh points. Hopefully the Jets give him a shot to start the game in Buffalo and record a strong finish to a mostly promising rookie season.
Here is a look at the scorecard for Week 16.
Here is a look at the scorecard on the season to date.