Michael Nania lists the New York Jets’ best and worst players against the Arizona Cardinals, and stacks up the roster according to each player’s impact on the team’s performance to date.
Studs and duds + season-long roster rankings:
Week 2 vs. San Francisco 49ers
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 get an increasingly good look at each player’s contribution to the team’s success (or lack thereof) up to that point.
Here are my studs and duds from the Jets’ 30-10 loss to the Cardinals. The Jets lost by 20 points, so the scores below add up to -20.
At the end of the piece is a ranking of the season-long scores for each player, showcasing the team’s most valuable and most detrimental players on the year.
Braxton Berrios: -1
Berrios failed to pull in two great throws from Joe Flacco on scramble drills at the end of the fourth quarter, one on a diving attempt and the other with a defender hitting him from behind.
Despite the fact that he did not catch either throw, Berrios deserves credit for creating those opportunities. On both plays, Berrios recognized the scrambling Flacco and broke off his initial route to make himself a target, shaking the defense.
Joe Flacco: -1
While I did grade Flacco as slightly above average in my review of his performance, I do think that his true impact on the game was a tad negative since many of his best plays came when the Jets were already buried. Flacco got off to a rough start that contributed to the Jets entering an early hole they would never dig out of.
Chris Hogan: -1
Hogan caught 3-of-3 targets for 20 yards and one first down over 31 routes run, struggling to separate throughout the afternoon. However, he did contribute a handful of excellent run blocks, bringing this score up a notch.
Alex Lewis: -1
Lewis was not terrible, contributing some great one-on-one reps in protection and a few powerful reps in the run game, but he was a bit too inconsistent with four pressures allowed.
Quinnen Williams: -1
Williams contributed to four tackles against the run, each occurring short of the sticks and three of them for gains of two yards or less, but he recorded no pressures over a team-high 25 pass-rush snaps. He did face a handful of double-teams, but not that many, and when he did get one-on-ones he usually did little with them. There were some plays where Williams might have made something happen if afforded a bit more time by the coverage, though.
This was not a brutal game for Williams, but after playing very well against Denver, it marks another disappointing follow-up to an excellent outing, just as he did in Weeks 2-3 against San Francisco and Indianapolis.
Pierre Desir: -2
Desir allowed 4-of-6 passes thrown his way to be completed for 58 yards (9.7 per target) and four first downs (66.7%) over 43 coverage snaps.
Jordan Jenkins: -2
Jenkins recorded one pressure over 21 pass-rush snaps, missed two tackles, allowed a first down reception on one of just two snaps in coverage, and committed a neutral zone infraction penalty on an extra point attempt that prompted Arizona to go for two (although they failed).
Marcus Maye: -2
Maye appeared to be guilty on two big Arizona completions.
On Kliff Kingsbury’s gutsy 4th & 1 attempt from his own 34-yard line, Maye was lined up as if he was in off-man coverage against tight end Darrell Daniels, but Maye blitzed after he saw Daniels engage John Franklin-Myers to block. Daniels would release late for a 31-yard pickup.
Later, Maye was tasked with covering the curl/flat zone and allowed a 24-yard completion to fly over his head. Maye gave too much respect to the running back in the flat and allowed Christian Kirk to run right by him with no contact, where Bradley McDougald was unable to help as he was carrying a seam route up the field. Murray made a great throw to take advantage of the window vacated by Maye.
Additionally, Maye also played a big part in allowing a 29-yard touchdown run to Chase Edmonds. Maye’s man went into motion pre-snap, and Maye followed him across the field as the ball was snapped, but Maye was extremely late to recognize the intended direction of the play, running straight by the hole that Edmonds eventually ran through.
George Fant: -3
To replace Mekhi Becton, the Jets moved Fant over to the left side and started Edoga in Fant’s place on the right side. That did not work for either player.
Fant struggled on the left side, allowing six pressures (1 sack, 1 hit, 4 hurries), although he did have a handful of lockdown one-on-one reps and made some good plays in the run game. It was a hit-or-miss day for Fant. He definitely seems more comfortable on the right side.
Ryan Griffin: -3
Griffin was not targeted over 20 routes run, struggling mightily to separate. There was not a single play in which I thought Flacco missed him.
While Griffin had a strong day as a run blocker, he allowed a hit and a hurry on Flacco over just six snaps in protection.
Chris Herndon: -3
One of the biggest disappointments on the team thus far, Herndon added another egregious drop to his blooper reel in a fifth consecutive unproductive game, catching 2-of-3 targets for 24 yards and one first down over 19 routes run.
Chuma Edoga: -4
Edoga allowed four pressures, including two sacks to two different players who came into the game with zero NFL sacks since entering the league in 2018 (Dennis Gardeck and Kylie Fitts). He also had some ugly reps in the run game. As of right now, Edoga looks like a decent backup swing tackle at best.
Jeff Smith: -5
After a promising season debut in which he appeared to be much-improved off of 2019, Smith looked incredibly unpolished against Arizona. He caught 3-of-11 targets for 24 yards (2.2 per target) and one first down (9.1%).
Flacco did miss a wide open Smith for 20+ yards on the first play of the game, but other than that, Smith earned his ugly stat-line. He dropped a potential first down about two yards downfield, was locked down a slant in the red zone, inexcusably stopped running on a well-placed deep shot down the sideline, and failed to reach another catchable Flacco deep shot as he was tightly covered and failed to effectively track the ball. Flacco tried to find Smith on another vertical route late in the game, and Smith actually tracked it down, but he let it fall right through his arms.
Lamar Jackson: -5
We should definitely cut the undrafted rookie some slack for taking on an impossible matchup against DeAndre Hopkins. Nevertheless, Jackson allowed 9-of-10 passing in his direction for 165 yards, six first downs, and one touchdown. Of that production, Hopkins was responsible for five catches on six targets for 118 yards, four first downs, and the touchdown.