Mekhi Becton
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Michael Nania lists the New York Jets’ best and worst players against the Indianapolis Colts, and stacks up the roster according to each player’s impact on the team’s performance to date.

Each week this season, I will be laying out my picks for the Jets’ best and worst-performing players from their previous game – but with a twist. Each player listed as a “stud” will receive a positive score ranging from 1 (solid) to 5 (dominant) based on their impact level, while each player listed as a “dud” will receive a negative score ranging from -1 (below average) to -5 (horrendous). The sum of all players’ scores will be equal to the Jets’ scoring margin from the game.

As the season progresses, we will have a solid look at each player’s contribution to the team’s overall scoring margin up to that point.

Here are my studs and duds from the Jets’ 36-7 loss to the Colts. The Jets lost by 29 points, so the scores below add up to -29. At the end of the piece is a ranking of the season-long scores for each player.


Marcus Maye: -1

Maye held up well in coverage, allowing no catches downfield (he was only tagged with a four-yard screen pass), but he missed three tackles for the second consecutive week and is now tied for the most among safeties this season with seven.

However, he was very active against the run, contributing to seven tackles on runs for three yards or less that were halted short of the first down marker.

Quinnen Williams: -1

Williams could not follow up his breakout performance against the 49ers, picking up zero pressures over 13 pass-rush snaps. He was decent against the run, picking up two solid stops (one for a 1-yard gain and one for a 3-yard gain) over 18 run defense snaps.

Henry Anderson: -2

Anderson had a couple of nice stuff in the run game, but he continues to be dead-silent as a pass-rusher. He collected no pressures over 11 pass-rush snaps. There was also a play where Gregg Williams got creative and dropped Anderson (and Quinnen Williams) into coverage, but that experiment went awfully as Anderson let a 45-yard completion to Mo Alie-Cox sail over his head.

Tarell Basham: -2

Basham had no pressures over 12 pass-rush snaps. In coverage, he allowed a one-yard touchdown pass to Alie-Cox as he was caught staring at the backfield.

Lawrence Cager: -2

Jets fans quickly got a glimpse of why Cager was an undrafted free agent and then a practice squad player on the league’s most depleted wide receiver depth chart. On Sam Darnold‘s first pass of the game, Cager got an incredibly slow jump off the ball and then ran a brutal curl route that gave Xavier Rhodes a window to make the interception. It was still a bad throw and decision by Darnold, but Cager was largely at fault as well.

Cager finished with two catches on four targets for 35 yards over 29 total offensive snaps and 19 receiving snaps.

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Ryan Griffin: -2

With the Jets down only 10 points early in the third quarter, Griffin dropped an incredibly easy pass into the flat that would have moved the chains on 3rd & 3. Instead, the Jets punted and never got back into the game.

Chris Hogan: -2

Hogan picked up zero catches on three targets over 32 receiving snaps (although Darnold misfired to an open Hogan on one throw that would have been for 20-plus yards). He had a miscommunication with Darnold that led to a pick-six and also failed to track down a deep shot from Darnold as he was unable to create enough separation on a go route along the sideline.

Bradley McDougald: -2

McDougald allowed both targets in his direction to be completed for 32 yards and two first downs, and he also missed two tackles.

Blessuan Austin: -3

Austin continues to be a missed tackle machine. After whiffing on three in each of his first two games, he added two against the Colts and is now ranked second among cornerbacks with eight on the season. He also allowed a team-high four first downs in coverage, yielding 4-of-6 passing for 58 yards and four firsts.

Jordan Jenkins: -3

Jenkins collected zero pressures on a team-high 17 pass-rush snaps, and also made some mistakes against the run.

Conor McDermott: -3

McDermott was a massive downgrade at left tackle following Mekhi Becton‘s exit, allowing three pressures over just 19 snaps in protection and tossing in a penalty, struggling in the run game as well.

Connor McGovern: -3

McGovern has been slightly disappointing so far, allowing three pressures against the Colts to bring his season total to eight, which ranks as the second-most among centers. He is not picking up blitzes or providing help to his guards as quickly and instinctively as he was in Denver last year.

Avery Williamson: -3

Williamson missed a pair of tackles and was tagged with allowing 4-of-4 passing for 45 yards and three first downs. He certainly has not looked like the Williamson of old so far. Perhaps there is a reason that the Jets decided to restructure his contract and were then hesitant to put him in the starting lineup. Post-ACL injury Williamson might not be the same player.

Sam Darnold: -5

Adam Gase is doing his part to make Darnold’s job as tough as possible, but for the second time in three weeks, Darnold made a bad situation worse. He misfired on easy throws from a clean pocket. He attempted throws he should not have, three of which resulted in picks. In a new development, he was alarmingly quick to scramble and left numerous open receivers un-targeted, taking short scrambles over potential big gains downfield.

Darnold has never been the type of quarterback to airmail easy throws or favor using his legs over his arm after leaving the pocket. He is beginning to develop some awful habits.


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