Sep 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at LP Field. Tennessee won 38-13. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
One quarter of the season is in the books. The Jets are 2-2. The Road to MetLife Stadium continues on Monday night, again away from MetLife Stadium as the Jets take on the Atlanta Falcons.
Let’s take a few minutes to look back on the quarter of the season gone by. Certainly the Jets have surprised many, as they were not expected to win too many games all year, much less two of the first four. The Jets have had some surprisingly good performers, as well as some performers that have underperformed. Let’s look at the biggest surprises and busts from quarter number one:
FIRST QUARTER SURPRISES:
Bilal Powell- We all saw signs at the end of 2012 to show us that Bilal Powell was a capable running back. Did anyone have him tied for third in the AFC in rushing yards after the first four games? He is currently tied with 292 yards alongside Arian Foster, only 17 yards behind conference leader Fred Jackson. Bilal is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and had his coming out party against Buffalo with 27 rushes for 149 yards. Great signs as we move forward.
Damon Harrison- Who doesn’t love Damon Harrison? He is one of the hardest working guys going, as evidenced by his ascension up the depth chart. He is also one of the nicest players on the team, which is why we all root for him. But, did anyone expect him to be this good? We hoped so, but he has been just wonderful.
According to Pro Football Focus, Damon is the top ranked 3-4 defensive tackle/nose tackle against the run, with a grade of 11.8. Overall, he is sixth in the league with a grade of 10.5.
Kellen Winslow, Jr- This was a signing I called for during 2012, and it has paid dividends in 2013. He has become a favorite target of young Geno Smith, recording 16 receptions over the first four games for 168 yards and one touchdown. This places him in the top ten of AFC tight ends.
He needs to be open more consistently, but that will come as the wide receiver production improves. All in all, he has been a nice surprise opening up the 2013 season.
FIRST QUARTER BUSTS
Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) carries the ball during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Ivory- Chris was brought here with a lot of excitement. The Jets’ fan base loves this player, and the coaching staff was quite excited for him, as were we here at the Jet Press. But, Ivory has had an injury plagued career, and that has continued with the Jets. He had hamstring problems in the preseason, and they have recurred in the regular season limiting him to under three yards per carry. Not good.
Clyde Gates- There isn’t much to say about this guy that hasn’t already been said, is there? He reminds older fans of “Lam” Jones. Good fast runner, but couldn’t catch a pass. Hands of stone. And, thanks to injuries, he has to be counted on to make plays. He doesn’t. He has posted a whopping six receptions, and in the kick return game, averages less than 20 yards per return. Useless.
Vladimir Ducasse- Most of us are not surprised that Ducasse has underperformed, but he did give us hope during week two against the New England Patriots. He manhandled Vince Wilfork, so we thought it might be a new Vlad.
But then Vlad returned. He came back to the Vlad we all know, the one that can’t block, and that commits penalties as easily as you and I breathe air. Oh well, it was a hope.
There you have it, my surprises and busts for quarter number one. Who are some of yours?