Sam Darnold
Jet X Graphic, AP Photo

These brutal numbers are cause for major concern regarding the short and long-term state of the New York Jets.

No breakout pass-rusher

Without any proven pass-rushers on the roster, the Jets defense needed someone to have a breakout season in that phase, but nobody has been up to the challenge.

The Jets are currently led in pressures by Tarell Basham, John Franklin-Myers, and Jordan Jenkins, who have five apiece. That ties them for 84th in the league.

Quinnen Williams broke out with a two-sack game against the 49ers in Week 2, but those two sacks were his only pressures of the game. On the season, he has three pressures over a team-high 64 pass-rush snaps. He ranks 36th among interior defensive linemen in pass-rush snaps but 56th in total pressures. His Buffalo and Indianapolis games were eerily silent, as he picked up a combined one pressure between them, which was a quarterback hit in Buffalo that was flagged for roughing the passer. So, he essentially produced nothing notable as a pass-rusher in either game.

On the positive side, Franklin-Myers has been highly efficient in his first two games as a Jet, with his five pressures coming over just 28 pass-rush snaps. Franklin-Myers’ pressure rate of 17.9% ranks second-best among the 122 interior defensive linemen with at least 20 pass-rush snaps thus far, trailing only former teammate Aaron Donald (18.9%). An extreme small sample size disclaimer is warranted here, but nevertheless, it’s been an intriguing start for the 24-year-old. He deserves an uptick in playing time.

Connor McGovern‘s shaky start

While the Jets offensive line has been decent as a whole thus far – providing a massive upgrade over 2019 and fulfilling its expectations of being a below-average but competent unit – McGovern has not quite been the top-10 center he was for the Broncos last year. He has been credited with allowing eight pressures, second-most among centers. After allowing 15 pressures over 16 starts for Denver in 2019, McGovern is currently on pace to give up 43 in 2020.

Marcus Maye‘s disappointing encore

Maye was making plays all over the field in Week 1, looking like a potential star in his new strong safety role, but he has been poor in the two games since. Against the 49ers, Maye allowed two touchdowns in coverage to Jordan Reed and missed three tackles. This past Sunday against the Colts, Maye was not victimized in coverage, but he was credited with another three missed tackles. He leads safeties with seven misses so far this season.

Jamal Adams was credited with four missed tackles in the entirety of his 2019 season.

It also seems that Maye’s breakout as a blitzer in Week 1 (2 sacks, 1 hurry, 1 batted pass) was an aberration. Gregg Williams has sent Maye after the quarterback only five times over the past two games after sending him seven times in Buffalo, and over those five blitz opportunities, Maye produced no impact.

Sam Darnold‘s eerie company

While it is important to look beyond Darnold’s raw statistical production and evaluate him based on the things he has full control over, his numbers have stooped to such a low point that they have to be considered to some degree. Darnold’s early-career performance puts him in some daunting company.


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