Led by Mo Wilkerson with two sacks, this group was in the backfield all day, making E.J. Manuel run for his life. As we said earlier today, the defense recorded 16 hits on Manuel to go along with eight sacks. Karl Dunbar is rapidly turning this group to as dominant of a line as there is in football.
Aside from a couple of long runs from Fred Jackson, the defense stopped the run as always. CJ Spiller rushed the ball 10 times for nine yards before leaving the game with an injury. Coach Ryan, no matter what names are on the roster, will always have a dominant defense.
These guys were active all day as well, with their three main cogs, Calvin Pace, Demario Davis, and David Harris recording over four tackles and one sack. They held the edges, and other than a couple of scrambles by Manuel and runs by Fred Jackson, stopped the Bills all day.
The only problem that brought the grade down was all of the open space afforded to Bills’ tight end Scott Chandler. Mostly in the second half, Chandler recorded five catches for 79 yards and the game-tying touchdown. It’s far from the first time that a tight end has given the Jets fits, and the linebacking corp needs to do a better job at keeping that position out of the stats.
There was the good and the bad with this group. The good was keeping E.J Manuel at below a 50% completion percentage, throwing 19-42 yesterday. He accumulated 243 yards through the air, but much of that was late. Manuel had barely passed for over 100 yards for much of the game.
Steve Johnson, as he has done for many years now, brings the grade down. He is a tough guy for this group to handle, and he proved it again yesterday, leading his team with 86 receiving yards on 6 catches. For some reason, he is one of the toughest guys for this Rex Ryan defense to stop.
The other major bad was the penalties. The culprit? A favorite player of this website, Kyle “Captain PI” Wilson. He himself was called for six penalties, and several of them on one drive, the game tying drive. He will remain on the field, unfortunately, while Dee Milliner learns and improves. The penalties have to stop at some point.
The special teams unit was solid, but nothing special to earn an “A”. Ryan Quigley was fine in his debut, Nick Folk didn’t miss a kick, nor did he miss a touchback on his kickoffs. Any returns that occurred were short, no major plays to speak of.
How would you guys grade the team?