Before a half-empty NRG stadium crowd, the NY Jets defeated the Houston Texans by a score of 21-14. The game featured two of the weakest teams in the AFC and could easily be classified as an ugly game. However, an ugly win is always better than no win at all.
One thing about these types of games is that they can reveal the fortitude and true character of a team. With nothing more to play for than pride and draft status, the Jets left the field victorious.
Both teams played hard despite the circumstances but in the end, it was the Jets' previously much-maligned defensive unit that made the difference in the victory.
Unlike previous games where only one player stood out as a potential "Beast," this game featured several players who performed at a high level.
Honorable mention for exceptional performance has to go out to the Williams brothers, Quinnen and Quincy on defense as well as the running back trio of Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, and Austin Walter on the offensive side of the ball.
For as well as those guys played, their performance still falls short of that of defensive end John Franklin-Myers who may have played the best game of his NFL career.
John Franklin-Myers was the best player on the field for the NY Jets
Since signing his four-year, $55 million contract extension, Franklin-Myers' play had been marginal at best and had many so-called experts beginning to speculate on whether or not he had decided to take the money and run. Those speculations were put to rest against the Texans.
On Houston's opening drive, the Texans moved the ball well and it appeared the Jets' defense was in for another long day. After moving the ball 62 yards on 12 plays, Franklin-Myers came up big and turned a tipped pass into an interception and a long return of 32 yards.
The interception was the first of his career. The Jets were set up with great field position which eventually would lead to a Matt Ammedola 31-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
Though the Jets would fall behind by a score of 14-3, Franklin-Myers would sack Houston quarterback Tyrod Taylor twice before the end of the first half. He along with a very stingy Jets defense would shut out the Texans for the remainder of the game.
What initially looked like the beginning of another Jets defensive debacle turned into a redemption of sorts for the defense. After allowing 147 yards of total offense on Houston's first four possessions, the defense clamped down and allowed only 55 yards on the Texans' final seven drives.
In front of a large contingent of Franklin-Myers' friends and family, the young defensive end did not disappoint. For the day, he compiled two sacks, three solo tackles, two tackles for a loss, two QB hits, one pass deflection, and of course the spectacular interception and return.
For the season, Franklin-Myers now has six sacks and 28 combined tackles. With six games yet to be played he has already surpassed career highs in both categories.
As the Jets go forward, it will be imperative for Franklin-Myers to continue to grow and to put up these types of performances against higher-level competition.
General manager Joe Douglas has been criticized in the past for some of his personnel decisions, but when he claimed John Franklin-Myers off waivers on September 1, 2019, from the Los Angeles Rams, he found himself a keeper and a mainstay on the Jets' defensive line for years to come.
Franklin-Myers will be counted on to be one of the leaders of this young team and with over $30 million dollars in guaranteed money still to come his way, he will have many more opportunities to stand out and be the Jets' "Beast of the Week."