Playing red-hot football, do young Jets defensive tackles Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers have the potential to form an elite pass-rushing duo?
Home, sweet home for Marcus Maye
Maye moved back to his natural free safety position in Week 6 and stayed in that role against the Bills this past Sunday. The switch rejuvenated Maye, who has the top overall grade at Pro Football Focus among safeties over the past two weeks (91.7).
Against Buffalo, Maye was a secure last line of defense, which is what Jets fans grew accustomed to seeing from him throughout 2019. Maye made nine tackles without missing one, most of them stopping big plays from turning into enormous ones. In coverage, Maye allowed 2-of-4 passing in his direction for 10 yards and zero first downs.
If Maye keeps playing this well at his position of strength, it is going to be tough for Joe Douglas to trade him unless a highly enticing offer comes in. He is one of the few players on the roster who could be a core piece of a championship-caliber team.
It’s time for Ashtyn Davis to replace Bradley McDougald
McDougald had a brutal game against Buffalo. He allowed 3-of-4 passing in his direction for 63 yards and three first downs and was also tagged with two missed tackles while making only one tackle.
Through seven games, McDougald has been abysmal in both phases.
In coverage, McDougald allowed 13-of-16 passing in his direction for 206 yards (12.9 per target) and 10 first downs (62.5% rate). His average of 12.9 yards per target allowed is fourth-highest among 60 safeties to see at least 10 targets (5th percentile). The passing game has typically been McDougald’s strong suit throughout his career, especially man coverage, but that has been far from the case in 2020.
Against the run, McDougald has been knocked with five missed tackles against only nine tackles for a miss rate of 35.7% that ranks second-worst out of 80 safeties with at least 50 snaps against the run (the only player worse is former Mike Maccagnan selection Juston Burris). McDougald has usually been a poor run defender, and that has not changed.
The time has come to have Ashtyn Davis replace McDougald. You can hardly get any worse than McDougald with the way he is playing right now.
Davis did get a season-high 24 defensive snaps against Buffalo, splitting his time between the box and deep. He and McDougald never shared the field, splitting the team’s 74 defensive snaps, with McDougald taking the other 50. Maye played every snap, as per usual.
Nothing too eventful happened for Davis over his stint on the field, but he did make three solid tackles against the pass while allowing no first downs over 11 snaps in coverage. The only pass thrown his way was completed for eight yards on 3rd & 15, with Davis covering man-to-man and making a good tackle on tight end Tyler Kroft. That is the only pass that Davis has been credited with allowing into his coverage over 37 cover snaps this season. It’s a small sample size that equals about one full game, but it is still a nice indicator that Davis has been executing his responsibilities in coverage rather well.
Show McDougald a comfortable seat on the bench and begin evaluating whether Davis and Maye can coexist.
Who knows? Perhaps Douglas will force Gregg Williams‘ hand by dumping McDougald for whatever a team would be willing to cough up.