Quinton Coples: Coples registered his 5th sack of the 2012 effort and while that’s not overly impressive when compared to other players and teams, it’s a gift on the Jets of this year. QC has come into his own thanks to extensive play time against mediocre teams. It’s helped him to gain his footing and learn his strengths while curbing whatever weakness he may have had because he came into the season as a green rookie. What he needs to be more aware of in the offseason is those long arms with hands attached to them that either purposely or accidentally end up hitting the opposing quarterback in the head. It’s happened several times this season and in today’s game it was another soon-to-be fine moment against Rivers in the 2nd quarter, although Mo Wilkerson initially got the roughing the passer penalty. It will be interesting to see if he gets a half sack credit later on in the week for Garrett McIntyre’s third quarter sack on Rivers. He is involved in almost every positive play and that alone speaks volumes to his future.
Muhammad Wilkerson: Wilkerson was solid again with pressures and hits to the quarterback. If the quarterback has a face, Mo Wilk is going to be all up in it. That’s one of the few guarantees the Jets have had all season. This guy’s only 23. How can you look at him and not expect great things to come of his time in green and white. Building around the youth on the defensive side of the ball will be an extremely smart thing for the Jets to do in the offseason. It seems as if that’s the strongest suit for the talent evaluators, which doesn’t make it right but it gives some hope that these picks weren’t a bust and they can be strong and scary contenders for opposing offenses to line up against. There’s still many issues when it comes to the defense being as good as Rex claims they are, but Wilkerson and Coples are nowhere in that conversation. They’re the lighthouses of that defense and need to be treated as such, not just buoys floating freely in the open seas.
Braylon Edwards: Many fans cried that Braylon Edwards was a huge missing piece of the Jets puzzle in the last two years. Some disagreed and said the ship had sailed but these last two games have shown that maybe, just maybe, some Jets fans had it right. Not only has Braylon re-energized the field when he’s on it, he does so even when he’s off. On twitter he’s engaging, he’s enthusiastic and most importantly, you can tell he’s where he always wanted to be. In today’s game he had just 3 receptions but netted 36 yards in that trifecta. Add to that what could’ve been a touchdown and instead drew an offensive PI call that eventually did lead to a rushing TD by Shonn Greene and you’d say Braylon had a pretty good game. But wait, I’m not finished. Let’s talk about the fact that he single handedly saved the Chargers from scoring a touchdown on a McElroy interception by throwing a nice shoulder block after giving chase. If Braylon is not signed to a deal to keep him in green and white for 2013, it’s not only a slap in the face to him but it’s a slap in the face to this fanbase and whomever the quarterback is. Braylon’s still got it; heart and soul as well as ability.
Jeremy Kerley: In just one play, Kerley gained more passing yards than Tebow had all season thanks to a bomb thrown down the field out of the wildcat that went for 42 yards beautifully into Clyde Gates’ hands. Jeremy was a quarterback in his younger days and has stated he wants no part in the quarterback conundrum that has enveloped the 2012 season but it was nice to see the wildcat option carried out successfully. I won’t touch on what kind of message this sent to everyone in regards to who should have been running that kind of play all season long, but you know.
Bart Scott: There’s a few reasons I’m including him. He got a sack. He possibly pulled his sac (or at least that’s what I’m led to believe after seeing the other players on the sideline laughing before he went back into the game). And I just love his fire on the field and off. Yes, he’s aging and he could certainly stand to be a little more speedy, but he’s shown in recent games that there’s still something left in the tank.
Find me on Twitter at @SydneyKira1; email: [email protected]