The Jets lost to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. That makes it our sad duty to hand out some anti-game balls after the loss. We also have a couple of game balls to give for a more positive performance.
CJ Mosley: Perhaps it is unfair to give too much attention to one play, but Mosley’s encroachment penalty prior to a fourth down play late in the second quarter dramatically changed the trajectory of the game. Part of the reason it was so frustrating is how dumb of a penalty it was to take. It seemed very unlikely given the game situation that the Bills were going to snap the ball. Right before halftime of a scoreless defensive struggle is one of the last points at which an offense is going to risk giving its opponent excellent field position. You expect a player who is supposed to be the brains of the defense to understand game situation better.
Even beyond game situation, it is difficult to understand what Mosley was doing. Your job is to attack after the ball is snapped. You aren’t supposed to jump over the line and tackle somebody at some random presnap moment.
Mosley’s mistake was costly. It helped prolong a drive that turned into Buffalo’s first touchdown of the game and breathed life into a Bills offense that had been listless through the opening two quarters.
Michael Carter: The Jets have had a troubling number of skill players in recent years from Jace Amaro to Chris Herndon to Denzel Mims look credible as rookies and then look like they have forgotten how to play football afterwards. Carter is coming troublingly close to making this list.
Aside from a handful of solid games, Carter has been in a sophomore slump. He hasn’t displayed much ability to create yardage. He showed non-existent ability run through contact against the Bills, and a fourth quarter fumble when the Jets were on the move proved very costly.
Braxton Berrios: I am sure the weather played a role in Berrios’ struggles, but his misjudgment of multiple punts left the Jets in bad field position throughout the first half. In a game where yardage was at a premium early, Berrios’ miscues took the offense out of a scoring mindset and put it into survival mode, just trying to get a couple of first downs to get out of a field position hole. Berrios did have a clutch third down catch on the Jets’ sole touchdown drive of the game, but there were two other catches he failed to complete. This was not the bounceback game he needed after his fourth quarter end zone drop against the Vikings.
Joe Flacco: It feels like the Jets squeezed the last bits of productivity from Flacco’s career in their Week 2 win over the Browns. Outside of good moments in that game, Flacco has looked completely finished when he’s been on the field. In a very short time against the Bills, Flacco did a lot of damage missing a potential big gain on an errant pass to Tyler Conklin and fumbling the ball away on a strip sack. It isn’t really clear what attributes Flacco is bringing to the table, and it is tough to watch a distinguished NFL career end this way.
Bam Knight: It is starting to feel like Knight is for real. This was a third straight excellent game by the undrafted rookie. His 17 carry, 71 yard, 1 touchdown stat line looks solid on paper. If you watched the game, it looks even better. This productivity came despite poor run blocking. Knight looks like he can do a bit of everything. He can run with power. He can shake guys in space. He’s got an extra gear. For the first time since Breece Hall went down, the Jets seem like they have figured out the run game, and it is because of Knight’s emergence.
Quinnen Williams: We are running out of superlatives for the star defensive tackle. He didn’t even play half the game but still posted a pair of sacks and wrecked Buffalo’s early offense. There was a clear dropoff in the Jets defensive performance after he left the game. Fortunately the preliminary reports on Williams sound promising, and he has a chance to be in the lineup Week 15 when the Jets host the Lions. They need him.