The Jets were finally competitive! That may be the closest we get to a win for a long time, and this game even gave the Jets their first lead of the season. Of course the Jets still lost to an 0-3 team decimated by injuries starting its third string quarterback, but at least they lost be single digits. I didn’t even feel the urge to regurgitate while rewatching this one, though finding star performances was still challenging.
Darnold played much better and had a bizarre and impressive touchdown run, but still missed open receivers regularly, stared down his targets, and tossed several inaccurate balls on crucial downs. Jeff Smith caught 7 of 9 targets for 81 yards, but rarely had any separation and benefitted from all of Darnold’s best throws of the night. Nevertheless, there were actually some performances that deserve praise this week:
Bronze Star: Mekhi Becton
Becton only played a handful of snaps and should never have been on the field, but he sure made an impact. Despite having to basically play with one arm, he dominated his assignment on every play. This guy is a future stud and the fact that he was even dressed this week is a fireable offense. Credit to the rookie for playing through the pain, and so well at that, but get your body right. We want to see you healthy for the next decade.
Silver Star: Sam Ficken (1/1 on XP, 5/5 on FG, long of 53 yards)
As per usual in lost games for the talent-depleted Jets, the kicker makes the list. Ficken was arguably the offensive MVP for the Jets, hitting all of his kicks, including a crucial 53 yarder and a 36 yarder that could have been a game winner if the Jets defense wasn’t an undisciplined mess. Ficken is no Justin Tucker, but he is 8/8 on the year on field goals and 5/5 on extra points. Not bad for a guy picked up off the scrap heap when the Jets were desperate for competence.
Gold Star: Jamison Crowder (7 catches for 104 yards)
This wasn’t even close for me. Crowder is significantly better than any of the Jets other receiving options and was constantly wide open in this game. He gets open, fights for extra yards, and finds the sticks. Crowder is probably never going to put up 1,500 yards and get a $15M+ contract, but he is extremely reliable an excellent complementary piece. The difference with Crowder back in the game was glaringly obvious, and he played with energy you’d expect from the backups looking to prove themselves.
So there you have it, Four weeks in and the table stands:
Jamison Crowder 5 points (1 gold, 1 silver)
Mekhi Becton 3 points (1 silver, 1 bronze)
Sam Ficken 3 point (1 silver, 1 bronze)
No One (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Quinnen Williams 3 points (1 gold)
Marcus Maye 3 points (1 gold)
Bless Austin 1 point (1 bronze)