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 Bengals by 16 points, so the combined point total of every player listed below will add up to -16.
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 13 victory.
Blessuan Austin - Gold (3 points)
Austin continues to play excellent football. Gregg Williams is doing a nice job of hiding the cornerbacks, but Austin has been executing in his role with near perfection. He yielded 30 yards and one first down over five targets against Oakland. Over four games, here are Austin’s numbers in coverage:
- 21 targets
- 10 completions (48%)
- 77 yards (19.3 per game, 7.7 per completion, 3.7 per target)
- 4 first downs (19% of targets)
- 0 TDs
- 4 passes defended
- over 141 cover snaps (0.55 yds/target: 6th-best / 65 qualified CBs since W10)
If Austin can keep this up over the final quarter of the season, the Jets may have already filled a starting cornerback spot for 2020.
This play was called back, but Austin made an incredible effort to save a touchdown on this Joe Mixon run.
Brian Poole - Gold (3 points)
Poole was only targeted twice, with both passes falling incomplete. He also knocked down Andy Dalton on a blitz off the edge, forcing an incomplete pass. Over the last four weeks, Poole has allowed 0.23 yards per cover snap, the best mark among qualified cornerbacks.
Quinnen Williams - Gold (3 points)
Look at the box score, and you’d be disappointed. Williams picked up two measly tackles with no quarterback hits or sacks.
Turn on the tape, and you’d see just how much of a positive impact Williams made in Cincinnati. One of his tackles was a dominant run stuff for a four-yard loss, essentially the same value as a sack. The other was an athletic diving run stop for three yards that prevented a potential first down, bringing up a third & 4 for the Bengals.
Williams added a pair of pressures that each made a big impact. On one, Williams drove the right guard into the pocket, forcing Andy Dalton to scramble and throw the ball away on third down, leading to a punt. Had Williams not created that pressure, Cincinnati like would have picked up a huge gain, as Alex Erickson was about to break wide open.
On another, Williams absolutely dominated the left guard, immediately driving him into Dalton’s lap. This forced Dalton to launch the ball right into Brian Poole’s hands.
Williams also had a pair of plays against the run in which his penetration led to a stuff at the line by a teammate.
He made all of those contributions in just 58 percent of defensive snaps. These are plays that have a great effect on the game, but are not captured by the statsheet. Stop judging defensive players by the number of tackles or sacks they collect. Look a little further, and you could find some real impact that the box score just isn’t capturing.
Yes, we did go through this with Leonard Williams. And it is fair to be disappointed that, like Leo, Quinnen has not looked like a game-wrecking superstar yet. But he has time to get there. For now, he is playing solid football. There are plenty of ways that players can make a positive impact that just require a little more digging to see.
Sam Darnold - Silver (2 points)
Darnold put up poor box score numbers (239 yards on 48 attempts, 5.0 yards per attempt), but he was royally let down by his teammates in Cincinnati.
The offensive line allowed Darnold to be pressured on 46.3 percent of dropbacks, fourth-highest among starting quarterbacks in Week 13.
Receivers were credited with five drops (and there were plenty more throws that could have been labeled as such), Darnold had to throw the ball away three times, and two throws fell incomplete due to Darnold being hit as he threw.
Darnold’s combined total of 10 attempts that were dropped/thrown away/hit as thrown led all quarterbacks in Week 13. Darnold’s adjusted completion percentage (which accounts for those factors) was 76.7 percent, 13th-best of the 33 quarterbacks to play extended action in Week 13.
There were plenty of positive moments throughout the game for Darnold (I laid them out here). So many of his best plays were cancelled out by receivers blatantly dropping easy catches or failing to haul in anything that was even slightly difficult. He was still able to put a lot of good reps on display despite dealing with a heavy onslaught of pressure, terrible field position (Jets started beyond their own 25 just one time), seven penalties by the offensive line, and no support from the run game (3.5 yards per RB carry, due to 0.7 yards before contact generated by OL).
Most positively, Darnold did not give the ball away a single time over 54 dropbacks. There weren’t any blatant near-turnovers, either. He did a good job avoiding any hasty mistakes under pressure, which was an issue in his last three road games. Since that brutal stretch from Weeks 7-9, Darnold has clearly made a better effort to keep the ball out of harm’s way, and the results have been fruitful as he has turned the ball over just once over 151 dropbacks since Week 10.
In spite of the production, Darnold played his fourth consecutive solid game. He avoided any killer mistakes and and put the ball where it needed to be with good consistency.
Last season, Darnold finished the year with a strong four-game stretch after his return from injury. Let’s see if Darnold can take advantage of a home matchup against a brutal Miami defense and extend this run to a career-best five consecutive solid outings.
Steve McLendon - Silver (2 points)
McLendon picked up a rare sack, and it was a good one, as he beat the center with ease. He added a stuff behind the line and multiple quality reps against the run.
Robby Anderson - Silver (2 points)
Although it was underthrown a bit by Darnold, Anderson failed to haul in a would-be touchdown on the opening drive that landed in his hands. That play turned out to be a killer, but Anderson rebounded with a second consecutive strong game. He grabbed seven of 10 targets for 101 yards, moving the chains six times as he went to work in the intermediate range.
Braxton Berrios - Level 1
Berrios had a killer drop on the opening drive. He let a completely uncontested 15-yard first down slip through his hands, costing the Jets a red zone trip (which they would never get in this game) and leading to a field goal two plays later.
James Burgess - Level 1
Burgess made some nice run stops, but he was picked on in coverage. He was partially responsible for the game’s lone touchdown pass, failing to make a play on an Andy Dalton rifle to Tyler Boyd. In addition to that play, Burgess was tagged with six catches for 66 yards and two first downs.
Ryan Griffin - Level 1
Griffin had a holding call on a kickoff return that backed the Jets up to their own 10-yard line. He also dropped one of Darnold’s best throws, a beautifully placed ball on a deep corner route while under pressure.
Marcus Canady - Level 2
The reserve corner was tagged with allowing four catches for 47 yards and three first downs, including a couple of back-breaking conversions on third & long.
Neville Hewitt - Level 2
Hewitt struggled in run defense early, allowing Mixon to carve out some healthy first down gains. He was also called for a 39-yard pass interference that set up Mixon’s touchdown, which put Cincinnati up by 14.
Arthur Maulet - Level 2
Maulet’s hot streak came to an end, as he was tagged with allowing three first downs over just 20 coverage snaps. To be fair, he left the game due to injury twice.
Marcus Maye - Level 2
Maye has been a mysterious player this season. He has had some of his best games as a Jet, showcasing the last line of defense skills that have put him in the conversation as one of the better free safeties in the league.
At other times, such as in Cincinnati, he has looked like a sieve. Maye took an awful angle on Mixon’s touchdown run, was victimized in coverage on Boyd’s touchdown reception, and allowed a first down grab to Auden Tate on the play just before Boyd’s score. He also had a brutal missed tackle on a would-be 31-yard Mixon run that was called back.
Jamison Crowder - Level 3
Crowder had one horrendous game, catching just two passes for eight yards on nine targets. His average of 0.89 yards per target is the worst ever posted by a Jet with at least nine targets in a game (since targets were first tracked in 1992). He had a few blatant drops and failed to pull in some other catchable balls. We have seen Crowder make much tougher grabs than the ones below.
Jonotthan Harrison- Level 3
Harrison allowed four pressures against the Bengals, two of which were knockdowns on Darnold. Four pressures is an awful number for a center. On the season, Harrison ranks 33rd out of 35 qualified centers in pass-blocking efficiency (pre-snap pressures allowed with a greater weight to sacks). He also gave up a sack that was negated by his own holding penalty.
Alex Lewis - Level 3
Lewis gave up three pressures and struggled mightily in the run game, consistently forcing the backs to redirect into traffic.
Brandon Shell - Level 3
Shell allowed a team-high seven pressures, including two clean sacks to Carlos Dunlap, who entered the game with 2.5 sacks on the season.
Kelvin Beachum - Level 4
Beachum came crashing down to Earth after a quality four-game stretch. He allowed six pressures, including a couple that resulted in some contact on Darnold that had him coming up gimpy.
Penalties were Beachum’s worst offense. He had three of them. One resulted in a safety. Another was an unnecessary shove in the back that wiped out a long Bilal Powell screen play that would have put the Jets in the red zone. Beachum added another holding penalty in the fourth quarter that put the Jets into a first & 20 as they were trying to get back into the game.
Tom Compton - Level 4
Compton gave up four pressures, two of those being sacks. His pass protection was atrocious throughout the game, forcing Darnold into some immediate scrambles.
It goes without saying that all four linemen struggled immensely in the run game as well — against a Bengals team ranked 27th in run defense DVOA.
Here is a look at the Week 13 scorecard.
Here is a look at the scorecard on the season to date.