The NY Jets had a few notable standouts, both good and bad, from Week 2.
Another disappointing week of NY Jets football is in the books. Adam Gase and company came out in their home opener and got absolutely outplayed and outcoached by the San Francisco 49ers.
Granted this game did look better than last week’s loss to the Bills if you can believe it. But that doesn’t mean that it was necessarily a strong showing — because it wasn’t.
While the Jets did lose this one 31-13 with their only touchdown coming in garbage time, there were very specific moments when the team didn’t look awful.
Now those moments were a bit rare, but the team did show something that can give fans hope. And once again, there were some guys that shined and others that didn’t.
In the midst of what will likely be a depressing season, fans need to search for any sort of optimism they could get. So while there were certainly plenty of duds from Sunday’s matchup, we were also witness to a few standout performances.
That doesn’t make the team any more competent, but at least it makes the games somewhat more watchable.
Without further adieu, here are your Week 2 studs and duds for the Jets after yet another embarrassing loss, this time to the 49ers.
Next: 1. A former top draft pick and a not so brilliant mind
Stud: Quinnen Williams, DL, NY Jets
Starting off with the first stud of this trainwreck of a game is none other than Quinnen Williams. The former No. 3 overall pick finally showed Jets fans a glimpse of why the team drafted him so early and why many were saying that he was the best player in that draft class.
Williams was everywhere on Sunday, making multiple big-impact plays, finally living up to his draft status. The second-year defensive tackle got it started early in the game with a sack of Jimmy Garrapollo and didn’t stop.
He recorded another sack and many more tackles to put up a stat line of seven total tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. In just one game, Williams recorded almost as many sacks as he had last year (he had a very underwhelming 2.5).
Williams was quick off the line, using speed and power to get into the backfield. He showed the Jets what he could be when he is on his game. Let’s hope we see more of the same from Williams next week against the strong offensive line of the Indianapolis Colts.
Dud: Adam Gase, HC, NY Jets
Moving from the biggest stud to the biggest dud we have the leader of the team himself, Adam Gase.
Last week I wrote this very same article about the Bills game and said that normally I would pick three players. But at this point, Gase has been horrible and a lot of the blame should go on him for the team’s poor performance.
I understand that the team has many injuries right now, but so did the 49ers. They had more impactful injuries and it did not affect their game.
Gase’s play-calling was once again uninspiring, just showing a lack of creativity. For a guy who was called a “brilliant offensive mind” by the team’s owner, he has not shown it.
The biggest example is having 4rd-and-1 and trying a halfback dive right up the middle with Josh Adams instead of Frank Gore that unsurprisingly didn’t get the first down.
That by itself isn’t terrible, but running the same exact play in a different formation (a formation that made it obvious they were running it up the middle) is unacceptable.
Especially when the team had found success spreading out the defense on third-and-short and throwing for the first down.
Not only his play-calling, but the team just looked depleted. Giving up a first down on a 3rd-and-31, are you kidding me. I know Gase is an offensive-minded coach but the team as a whole has to be better than that.
Ultimately, if these types of performances continue, the Jets may have a new head coach by Week 5.
Next: 2. Studs and duds from last week flip spots
Stud: Sam Darnold, QB, NY Jets
Last week in this article I came out and criticized Sam Darnold for how bad he played in the Bills game, but give him credit because he bounced back this week. Obviously he didn’t play amazing, but there really weren’t many players who did in this game.
For now, I’ll call him a stud because he looked more confident, didn’t turn the ball over, made the most of a bad gameplan, and made some plays when Gase finally started letting him air the ball out.
He threw for 179 yards and one touchdown (should’ve been two if it weren’t for a drop) with a passer rating of 90.5. A very big improvement over his Week 1 performance.
Granted his touchdown pass was in garbage time, but he avoided a sack, rolled to his left, and made a great throw on target to an open receiver for a 30-yard touchdown.
I don’t care who you are, that’s impressive. If we continue to see plays like this from Darnold and he doesn’t turn the ball over, he may just stick around for a while.
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Dud: Blessuan Austin, CB, NY Jets
On the other side of things, Blessuan Austin took a bit of a step back with his Week 2 performance. He made this article last week as a stud after playing a very good game up in Buffalo, but he could not follow it up with another one.
He didn’t look strong in coverage and he also missed a few key tackles, especially on third down.
Most notably he missed a tackle on the 3rd-and-31 and also gave up contain on that play which led to the big gain. Brandon Aiyuk made him miss and turned it into a big gain.
Overall, even though he didn’t get burned in coverage down the field, Austin just couldn’t keep the ball out of the receivers’ hands and then couldn’t bring them down.
This is something that is going to have to change for Austin. He is a starting cornerback on this team and he deserves to start.
Hopefully this week was just a blip, but he is going to need to improve his play in order to help keep the Jets in football games.
Next: 3. Offensive Weapons: The good and the bad
Stud: Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios, WR, NY Jets
The final studs and dud come from the offensive weapons that Sam Darnold had to work with this week. Starting with the good, it’s Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios. I’m combining these two into one category because they both played good games and had very similar roles this week.
With Jamison Crowder out with an injury, Darnold didn’t have his reliable check-down option, but Hogan and Berrios stepped up. Hogan went for 75 yards on six receptions and Berrios racked up 59 yards on six receptions, including the lone touchdown.
Gase’s gameplan, which overall was pretty bad, focused on getting the ball out quickly to the receivers (while this may sound like a good idea, it’s not when that’s the only thing you let the quarterback do).
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So naturally, Hogan and Berrios got plenty of opportunities and they didn’t disappoint making tons of plays on third down and providing Darnold with reliable targets to throw to.
While the Jets need to start airing it out a little bit more in order for Darnold to reach his full potential, having Hogan and Berrios provides a safety blanket for the time being.
Dud: Chris Herndon, TE, NY Jets
While Hogan and Berrios were brilliant, Chris Herndon was not. The tight end who was supposed to play a big role in the offense this year has been nonexistent for the first two weeks of the season, especially this week.
With the starting running back and top three receivers all out due to injury, you would think Herndon’s role would increase, but that wouldn’t be the case. While part of the problem is Gase not using him enough, part of it is also Herndon not being open and not making plays.
When you’re one of the better options on your team you have to find a way to make a play — something Herndon didn’t do on Sunday, grabbing just one reception for five yards.
That’s just bad.
In order for this offense as a whole to succeed, Herndon needs to turn himself around from a dud and become a stud very quickly.