New York Jets Week Five Report Card
Oct 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan shown on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s get right to the grades for Rex Ryan and company, on the back of last night’s 30-28 road win:
QUARTERBACK:A Anyone who reads this knows that I am not quick to give out A’s, but Geno Smith deserves one for last night. He was mature, he was smart, he was accurate with the football, and he took care of the football. Furthermore, he showed excellent poise, far beyond his years. There were times last night when veteran quarterbacks would have folded up, but Geno didn’t, making plays when they had to be made, including that game winning drive. His final tally, 16-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
RUNNING BACKS:B Nobody made a huge statement on their own, but make no mistake, the running backs helped out a great deal. Having the three-headed monster of Powell, Ivory, and Goodson was huge, and each of them contributed a bit. As a group they averaged over five yards per carry, and Mike Goodson posted a 26 yard run en-route to three carries for 32 yards. Chris Ivory was clearly healthy as well with over six yards per carry on his own. This group has a lot of potential moving forward.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS:A- Geno Smith spread the ball around, and all eight guys that were called upon responded with catches. Clyde Gates even made a catch without a drop, although he would have scored a touchdown if he had not tripped over his own feet. Well, he’s still Clyde Gates. Nobody is mistaking him for Megatron.
Jeff Cumberland was the breakout star with his three catches. Kellen Winslow made a beautiful touchdown cash along the sideline, and Jeremy Kerley made a an excellent play at the pylon for his touchdown. Great job all around.
OFFENSIVE LINE:B+ The offensive line had a good performance, with Brian Winters taking over for Vladimir Ducasse. Winters had one sack directly attributable to him that I saw, but other than that he played pretty well. The group gave Geno Smith time to make his throws for most of the night, and helped the running backs get to five plus yards per carry.
Geno wasn’t kept clean all game with four sacks, otherwise the grade would have been an “A”.
Aug 1, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (91) and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) stretch during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
DEFENSIVE LINE:A The two guys pictured to our left, along with the rest of this group up front played a wonderful game. Mo Wilkerson led the group with six tackles, five solo, along with a sack and a forced fumble. They were challenged all game long to stop the run, and other than just a few plays here and there, they did just that. The Falcons ran for less than three yards per carry, which gives us what we need to know.
LINEBACKERS:B+ The linebacking crew looked good as well, led by the ageless David Harris, with 11.5 tackles, nine of them solo. Demario Davis flew all over the field as well with five solo tackles and 6.5 overall. The only blemish against the linebackers was Tony Gonzalez. Although he did not reach the end zone, he did put up ten more receptions for nearly 100 yards. Other than that, they looked quite good.
DEFENSIVE BACKS:B+ For most of the game, this group kept Matt Ryan and crew from pushing the ball down the field. Other than the 46 yarder to Julio Jones late, the longest completion they allowed was 18 yards. They did, however, allow Matt Ryan to throw for a rating of over 100, so the grade is kept down a bit. Bottom line is they didn’t let Matt Ryan beat them with his arm.
SPECIAL TEAMS:A+ Great night for the special teams crew. Jeremy Kerley had a huge punt return to set up a score. Nick Folk was money, like he always is, and they added a blocked punt. They can’t play much better than that.
What do you all think?