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Grades for every New York Jets position unit in Week 3

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets blew a 14-0 lead and lost 21-17 to the Browns on Thursday night. Let’s break down how each unit performed.

Quarterbacks

Rookie Sam Darnold had his worst game so far, although he was arguably somewhat hamstrung by an overly conservative game plan. He completed 15 of 31 passes for 169 yards and threw two interceptions.

Compounding matters was the fact that fellow rookie Baker Mayfield replaced the injured Tyrod Taylor off the bench to lead the Browns’ comeback, as the No. 1 pick went 17-for-23 for 201 yards and a two-point conversion..

We’ll have a more in-depth look at Darnold’s performance later on.

Grade: D+
(Last week: B-)

Running Backs

The Jets leaned heavily on their running game this week. and their backs ran hard, although they were held to 3.6 yards per carry. They had success running over the left side, but Bilal Powell had the longest run of the day on a cutback up the middle for 21. Powell ended with 73 yards on 14 carries, while Isaiah Crowell averaged 2.1 yards per carry and he scored both Jets’ touchdowns.

In the passing game, Powell was a non-factor. Crowell caught 7- and 10-yard passes in the third quarter.

Grade: B-
(Last week: C)

Receivers/Tight Ends

The Jets didn’t throw the ball downfield much in this game, with over 100 of Darnold’s 169 passing yards coming after the catch. Quincy Enunwa was once again effective, as all four of his receptions came on wide receiver screens, generating 57 yards.

Jermaine Kearse was a factor in those plays with some good blocking. He also made a clutch diving catch on fourth-and-10 but ended up with just three catches. Terrelle Pryor was quiet too, although he had the longest play of the game with a late 25-yard catch down the middle.

The Jets are still struggling to get Robby Anderson involved, and it’s clear the youngster is becoming increasingly frustrated. He caught two passes but fumbled one of those away to set up a third quarter field goal. This was his second game in a row with a lost fumble.

The tight ends failed to produce much with starter Neal Sterling out, but Eric Tomlinson had a nice gain on a screen pass. Rookie Chris Herndon caught two passes in the flat, one of which went for a big loss.

Grade: C-
(Last week: C)

Offensive Line

The Jets’ game plan to run at Myles Garrett was effective in neutralizing him to an extent. However, they still allowed him to record two sacks and surrendered plenty of pressure despite their quick-passing game. Specifically, they had issues in dealing with some of the Browns’ stunts and blitz packages.

Although the Jets had some success running the ball, they didn’t handle the Browns defensive front with any kind of consistency. Five of Crowell’s carries were bottled up for a loss, as were three of Powell’s. Kelvin Beachum was solid though, leading the way effectively on a few toss plays over the left side and handling Garrett on the edge a few times.

Brian Winters had a poor game, missing several blocks in the running game and giving up too much interior pressure. Spencer Long also gave up some pressure up the middle, including a sack, but contributed well on screen passes. James Carpenter and Brandon Shell were more of a mixed bag; each was called for a false start.

Grade: C-
(Last week: C-)

Defensive Line

Leonard Williams didn’t record any stats this week but did get into the backfield to disrupt a few plays. He was frequently double-teamed, which obviously took its toll on him as he was driven off the line three times in the fourth quarter.

Henry Anderson and Steve McLendon each had a half-sack as Anderson’s workload was increased this week. Each was blocked out of a few plays in the running game.

Nathan Shepherd and Mike Pennel were quiet again, as Shepherd was badly manhandled on Carlos Hyde‘s game-winning touchdown.

Grade: C-
(Last week: C+)

Linebackers

Avery Williamson had a huge game, racking up 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks and several stops near the line. Darron Lee also contributed with seven tackles, including two for a loss and one quarterback hit. Each gave up some plays in zone coverage and got taken out of some running plays at the second level though.

The outside linebackers had issues with setting the edge and maintaining contain on Sunday, but thanks to Brandon Copeland, Jordan Jenkins and Frankie Luvu, that wasn’t an issue on Thursday. Jenkins had a strip-sack and Luvu showed some good flashes, but they each gave up a first down in coverage.

Grade: C+
(Last week: C-)

Secondary

The Jets lost Buster Skrine to an early knee injury and that was probably a factor in their decision to play so much zone in the second half. His replacement, rookie Parry Nickerson, had some struggles.

Morris Claiborne had a poor game too, which didn’t help. He had two penalties and got lucky on a couple of deep balls, although he was able to break up a third down pass. Trumaine Johnson held up well in coverage and added a forced fumble, but also had two penalties of his own.

Jamal Adams was everywhere in the first half, but for the second week in a row was quieter after halftime. Adams played a key role in ensuring the Jets maintained outside contain while Taylor was in the game. Doug Middleton had a career-high 11 tackles but dropped a potential interception and was beaten for a big play down the seam.

Grade: C-
(Last week: C)

Special Teams

The special teams made a positive impact this week with Kevin Pierre-Louis blocking a punt to set up a touchdown. The return game didn’t generate much though, as Herndon had a costly penalty.

Jason Myers kicked the go-ahead field goal with nine minutes to go and had three touchbacks, while punter Lachlan Edwards had solid numbers as the Jets performed well in coverage.

Grade: C+
(Last week: C-)



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