The first matchup between Rex Ryan and his “brother” Mike Pettine was won by Rex, as the Jets took down their divisional rival Bills, 27-20. Without further adieu, let’s get right to the report card grades for this week.
Geno Smith performed quite well yesterday. Not only did he complete over 50% of his passes (55%), he threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns. The best thing about his performance was his ability to have a short memory, as we talked about earlier today. He kept his head up, and responded from the two interceptions that he threw with two touchdowns, one to Stephen Hill and one to Santonio Holmes. Geno made a big step forward.
It only becomes a “B+” because of the two bad interceptions. They were both on Geno, as the defense had him totally fooled. That will improve as he plays, but it brings down the grade to a B+ for now, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that he played quite well.
That may seem generous, but Bilal Powell earned the grade all by himself. After Ivory tweaked his hamstring, Bilal took over and ran the rock like he had something to prove. 27 carries for 149 yards is one heck of a day. The Jets needed him to step up, to take the pressure off of Geno Smith, and that is exactly what he did.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS:B
Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes were huge for the Jets. They held onto the football and put up huge numbers. Hill caught three passes for 108 yards, Holmes five for 154. They both recorded scores that were longer than 50 yards. When does that happen with a Jets’ offense? A quarter to never, that’s when. How exciting was that to watch?
It was great to watch them actually catch the football as well. Isn’t it nice when the guys actually help out their quarterback? Then, he doesn’t feel the need to force the football, and make plays that he can’t make on his own. Good work.
Jeremy Kerley added two receptions for 25 yards early, including a long third down conversion. However, we didn’t hear anything from him after those two catches. The tight ends weren’t open much either. Jeff Cumberland recorded 3 catches for 26 yards, and Kellen Winslow was invisible.
Better tight end performances, and a couple of more catches for Kerley would have brought this up to an “A”, rather than a solid “B”.
Vladimir Ducasse did record four penalties, which reminded us of the old Vlad, rather than the new Vlad that began to emerge last week. However, when the group renders Mario Williams useless, allows no sacks, and opened up room for 182 yards rushing, there is no way not to give the line an “A-“.
Dump the penalties, and this grade would have been even higher.
Sep 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) is sacked by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) in the 4th quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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?