Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik reacts during the game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Let’s put down the grades for a week one win by John Idzik’s bunch, the New York Jets:
QUARTERBACK: B- Geno Smith could not get a terrible grade for this one. When a quarterback completes 23-28 of his passes, and runs it for 38 more yards, he didn’t exactly fail. Smith gets a solid grade here. But, he still made a couple of mistakes that could have been quite costly. Smith cannot take a sack, deep in the opponent’s territory, that costs the Jets points. He has to have more sense than that. Smith also has to be more careful with the ball, although I partially blame Eric Decker for the interception. So that is what keeps the grade from an “A”.
RUNNING BACKS: A Solid performance by the running backs yesterday. Chris Ivory led the way with his 102 yards and a seventy-one yard touchdown scamper. Chris Johnson had an excellent debut with the Jets, with 68 yards rushing and adding 23 yards through the air. Even Bilal Powell‘s one carry was a success, running for four yards. They ran with a purpose, and that purpose served the Jets quite well.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS: A- It was a solid game for these guys. Eric Decker, other than being a bit soft on the interception, had a solid game, with five receptions for 74 yards. Jeff Cumberland added a solid four catches for 50 yards. Seven receivers were involved all told, and they all looked very sharp. Clearly, the New York Jets have weapons, and they know how to use them.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B- The offensive line didn’t have a bad game. Allowing one sack, and 6.2 yards per carry on the ground is never going to be a bad performance. But they took too many penalties. That is how you kill drives, and games, so the grade comes down.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A The line may not have generated a great deal of sacks, but that takes nothing away from the performance. They did put pressure on the rookie quarterback, and the Jets did an excellent job keeping him unsettled. The “Sons of Anarchy” were getting the job done, and if it carries on through the season, they are going to be tough to beat.
LINEBACKERS: A Same reasoning as it was for the defensive line.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A- Antonio Allen came through with an excellent debut at cornerback. He posted five solo tackles for the Jets yesterday, and proved himself as an excellent tackler. Calvin Pryor nearly picked a pass off in his debut, broke up two passes, and posted 2.5 tackles. Darrin Walls performed excellently in coverage as well. The only play that breaks up a great day for these guys is the late, long touchdown pass to James Jones. Otherwise, this secondary is not going to be nearly as bad as people thought.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A There was nothing at all to complain about with this unit. Ryan Quigley dropped two punts inside the Raiders’ 20. Nick Folk was perfect, and both Saalim Hakim and Jalen Saunders showed themselves as effective return men. This unit has come a long way from the poor performances of 2013.