After the huge victory the Jets registered on Sunday, let’s hand out Game Balls.
Mike LaFleur: I loved the game LaFleur called against Buffalo. Playing ball control to keep the other team’s offense on the bench is easier said than done. A conservative gameplan typically doesn’t produce enough yardage or points. LaFleur, however, cooked up enough for the Jets to remain productive on offense. He designed a simple gameplan to help Zach Wilson succeed and perhaps regain some confidence after a rough games against New England. The quick hitting passing game also negated New England’s pass rush. I don’t know that this plan can work every week, but I credit LaFleur for the way he managed the game and his team, manufacturing just enough offense to secure the victory.
Garrett Wilson: I think Wilson was the most important player the Jets had on offense in Sunday’s win. Zach Wilson had 18 completions for 154 yards. Garrett had 8 of those receptions and 92 of the yards. One of the best ways to help a young quarterback move forward is get him a reliable target who is always open. It takes a lot of the complexity out of reading a defense if the first option has created separation. That is what Garrett did in this game. The last two weeks with Breece Hall and Corey Davis out, the rookie receiver from Ohio State has stepped back into the spotlight and looked like a go to guy. Garrett quieted down a bit after his monster Week 2 performance against Cleveland, but he seems like he is back in the groove. He has earned the trust of his quarterback and now looks to be the top option in the passing game.
Michael Carter: Michael Carter isn’t Breece Hall. He doesn’t bring the same big play ability. On Sunday we got a reminder he is a pretty good running back, though. Carter ran for 76 yards on 12 carries, and he had to grind out a lot of that yardage on his own, running through tackles and making defenders miss. On the game’s decisive drive, the Jets got their first 78 yards without needing to throw a pass. Carter was half of the backfield tandem who got them into scoring range.
James Robinson: Robinson was the other half. He ignited the drive with consecutive runs of 9, 7, and 16 yards on the first three plays of the possession. The Jets started backed up in the shadow of their own goal post. Robinson got them more than halfway to midfield. Earlier in the game, Robinson scored his first touchdown as a Jet as he made a nice run after a catch in the red zone to find the end zone. This feels like a low cost trade that is already paying dividends for the Jets.
Sauce Gardner: The game began with Sauce getting burned for a big reception, which has been a rare occurrence this season. He bounced back in a big way after that, though. His interception in the second half essentially negated an offensive turnover in scoring range and set up Robinson’s touchdown. Later with the game on the line, Sauce smothered Gabriel Davis on the last offensive play for Buffalo.
John Franklin-Myers: On a day where the Jets sacked Josh Allen five times, their best defensive line performance might have been from Franklin-Myers who was constantly disruptive and ended the game with five pressures. It was a big bounceback from one of the biggest culprits in last week’s loss.
Bryce Huff: It is a bit of a slippery slope to give out a game ball just for one play, but Huff’s strip sack on Josh Allen just about ended the game. It caused a 19 yard loss that didn’t just put Buffalo’s offense behind the sticks. It took an enormous amount of time off the clock since all of the Bills receivers had to come back from down the field. I don’t think you can overstate how important this play was. Josh Allen seemed like he was finding some rhythm after completing two big passes to start the drive (one of which was wiped out by a penalty). Huff has been outstanding all season, and he is starting to receive the attention he deserves.
Greg Zuerlein: The man made two field goals. One was from 53 yards out. The other won the game. That’s a solid day at the office for a kicker.