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New York Jets: Week 17 Report Card

By Alan Schechter
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Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) New York Jets running back John Griffin (24)

The Jets finished up 8-8 yesterday with a win over the Dolphins, 20-7. Let’s get right to the report card for the final week:

QUARTERBACK: A- Geno Smith was nearly flawless in this final performance on the season. He didn’t throw for a touchdown pass, but he was efficient with the football. He was 17-27 through the air with 190 passing yards, and the all important stat, NO INTERCEPTIONS. He is finally learning how to get rid of the football and live to play another down, both not tacking any sacks, and not throwing any interceptions.

He also added some moves with his legs, running the ball 10 times for 44 yards and the one score. Great job.

RUNNING BACKS: B- They weren’t bad, as they did get the yards when they were needed. Bilal Powell led the way with 21 carries for 76 yards. Good, but not great, as it is under four yards per carry as were the Jets as a whole. Tommy Bohanon actually had the best YPC average with six, on his two carries for twelve yards. As we mentioned earlier, Geno added 44 yards on 10 carries, and Chris Ivory chipped in with five carries for 19 yards. They did a good job in blitz pickups, helping Geno Smith play a clean game, however. We keep it a “B-” because nobody had a huge game.

WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS: B+ As we do these grades taking the numbers in a vacuum, nobody had a huge game. But, they were getting open for Geno Smith when they had the opportunity. David Nelson and Jeremy Kerley tied for the team lead with five receptions. There was actually a Santonio Holmes sighting, in what may have been his final game with the New York Jets. He posted three catches for 41 yards. Sufeld even got involved with one catch. Kellen Winslow posted a huge 34 yard reception, and Jeff Cumberland brought in a 30 yard halfback pass from Bilal Powell. A larger number for one of these guys would have brought the grade to an “A” for me.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B+ Great job yesterday by the guys up front, paving the way for Geno to have a clean game. An NFL game with zero sacks allowed is nothing to sneeze at. Whether it was on straight drops, or when the pocket was moved, the offensive line did an excellent job keeping their quarterback off of his back.

The grade only comes down because the Jets averaged under four yards rushing per carry at 3.7. That partially has to go on the offensive line, keeping the grade from an “A”.

Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) throws a pass while under pressure from New York Jets defensive lineman Damon Harrison (94) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

DEFENSIVE LINE: B The line was stout against the run, allowing the Dolphins a net of 92 yards on the ground. The average gain per rush was 4.2 yards, but still, allowing a mere 92 yards is nothing to shake your heads at. It’s a terrific performance. Damon Harrison led that group with 4.5 tackles.

The grade comes down to a “B” because there was no pass rush. The dominant, in your face group of the early season wasn’t so much here towards the end. Ryan Tannehill played a clean game, despite only completing 50% of his passes (20-40).

LINEBACKERS: B It is difficult to give any unit on the defense a bad grade on the back of yesterday’s performance. In the NFL, if you have allowed your opponent seven points, you have done something right, no doubt about it. However, again, there was no pass rush. Tannehill did have a great deal of time to do most anything he wanted to do, so I can’t give them higher than a “B”.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: A But, we can give the defensive backs an excellent grade, and they were led by the much maligned Dee Milliner. We all saw his development over the last couple of weeks, and yesterday was no different. Dee picked off two passes yesterday, including one where he jumped a route perfectly to make the play. Ed Reed added a pick of his own, and Dawan Landry with six tackles, five solo.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B Nick Folk did miss a short field goal, but honestly, I thought it was good. Ryan Quigley dropped three punts inside the twenty yard line, helping the Jets win the battle of the field position.

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