New York Jets: Week 16 Report Card
By Alan Schechter
Dec 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan argues a call with referee Pete Morelli (135) during the first half against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
In what could potentially have been Rex Ryan’s final home game as the New York Jets’ coach, the Jets topped the Browns, 24-13. Time for the report card:
QUARTERBACK: A Geno Smith showed his potential yesterday, performing as well as he has all season long, in all phases of his game. He did not take any sacks, nor did he turn the ball over. He was smart with the football, and used his legs when he had to. He completed 20 out of 36 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. He also scrambled 10 times for 48 yards and the touchdown that iced the football game.
RUNNING BACKS: A The ground game was in a word, “excellent”. Overall the Jets ran the ball at a 5.3 yards per carry clip. Chris Ivory led the way with 20 carries for 109 yards. Bilal Powell posted seven carries of his own for 54 yards. Powell added 26 receiving yards as well.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS: B- Jeremy Kerley looked extremely good, leading the team with five receptions for 70 yards. David Nelson added four catches for 33 yards, with two of those receptions going for touchdowns. Nelson has become quite the go-to guy for Smith, and one that should definitely be back next year.
Kellen Winslow caught the three passes thrown his way as well, going for 35 yards. The only stumbling block for this group was Santonio Holmes. He was targeted several times, with only two receptions for 20 yards to show for it. Oh, he had his chances, but he had the dropsies. I didn’t keep the running total, but it seemed that every time you looked up, Holmes was dropping a pass. when he finally caught one, he received a “Bronx Cheer” from the MetLife faithful.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A The line brought us back to days of old with their performance yesterday. It was as if it was 2009 or 2010 watching them perform. The running game posted a net of 208 yards, and ran the ball at a clip of 5.3 yards per carry. Just like the beginning of the Rex era. The passing game? Geno Smith was not sacked one time. You cannot ask for a better performance from the offensive line.
Dec 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Leger Douzable (78) celebrates his sack of Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell (not shown) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Browns 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
DEFENSIVE LINE: B The grade comes down a little bit because of the play against the run. Taking the numbers in a vacuum like we always say, the Browns did rush for 5.5 yards per carry. So, it wasn’t a “perfect” day for the defensive line. But it was a good day. They were in Jason Campbell’s face for most of the game. They applied pressure, and were responsible for 1.5 of the team’s three sacks. Leger Douzable registered one, while Mo Wilkerson registered one half. It was a good game by the line.
LINEBACKERS: B The other 1.5 sacks were posted by the linebacking corp, Calvin Pace with one, and Quinton Coples with one half. Demario Davis led this group with five solo tackles. The group moves down just a peg, because of the success the Browns had running the football. Other than that, they played well too.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A Ed Reed posted an interception. Nice job for a guy that received a great deal of criticism this week. A younger Ed might have taken the run back a bit farther, but that takes nothing away from the pick itself. But the reason the grade goes up this high is because of Dee Milliner. Josh Gordon may have posted 97 yards, but it was a quiet total. Dee Milliner was breaking up passes left and right, to the tune of six total. He also posted an interception, and was finally the object of praise after the game. It was great to see, and I am sure the MetLife faithful were proud of him.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C The only group that didn’t perform well was the special teams. We had a rare miss for Nick Folk. The coverage team was not good as well, as the Browns averaged 30 yards per kickoff return, and 19 per punt return.