Sam Darnold
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Michael Nania lists the New York Jets’ best and worst players against the Seattle Seahawks, 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:

Each week this season, I will be laying out my picks for the New York 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’ 40-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Jets lost by 37 points, so the scores below add up to -37.

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.


Blessuan Austin: -1

While Blessuan Austin only gave up 24 yards over seven targets in his direction, he still allowed three first down catches. He also took some poor angles as a tackler that resulted in more yards, including a 19-yard end-around by Penny Hart in which tight end Will Dissly plowed him to clear the way.

Frank Gore: -1

Early in the second quarter, Frank Gore lost a fumble that was punched out by Jamal Adams. Gore rushed eight times for only 29 yards, a measly 2.9 average. He has posted a yards-per-carry rate below the league average (4.3) in 12 of his 13 games this year, with the only exception being his 5.5 average against the Bills in Week 7.

Jabari Zuniga: -1

Jabari Zuniga continues to produce nothing for the Jets defense with his limited dosages of playing time. Over 16 snaps against the Seahawks (8 vs. run, 7 as pass-rusher, 1 in coverage), Zuniga recorded no pressures and no tackles while failing to record any valuable penetration or off-the-stat-sheet plays, either.

On Seattle’s best run of the game, a 28-yarder by Chris Carson, Zuniga crashed down too hard and compromised the edge, allowing Carson to break free.

Jamison Crowder: -2

Jamison Crowder was extremely quiet with only two catches on four targets for seven yards and no first downs. Typically, Crowder’s lack of production this season has had to do with bad quarterbacking, but this time, it seemed to be mostly on himself. He was not creating separation as frequently as he usually does.

Crowder’s most notable moment: on a wheel route against Shaquill Griffin, Sam Darnold gave Crowder a potentially catchable ball in the end zone, but Crowder was blanketed by Griffin and could not get to the spot in time.

Tarell Basham: -3

With Jordan Jenkins sidelined, Tarell Basham had to shoulder the load on the edge with a season-high 62 defensive snaps (season-high 84.9% of the team’s defensive plays), and he was not up to it in this game. Basham logged just one pressure over 26 pass-rush snaps (3.8% rate). He also allowed 2-of-2 passing for 23 yards and two first downs over just four snaps in coverage.

George Fant: -3

The Seahawks were more than ready for George Fant‘s return to Seattle, roughing him up all game in both phases. Fant allowed three pressures over 31 protection snaps (9.7% rate) and was called for a false start penalty. In the run game, I found him to be at least partially responsible on four failed plays – although he played a key role in creating all three of the Jets’ rushes of nine-plus yards.

Neville Hewitt: -3

Neville Hewitt made some nice plays in this one, but he was quietly responsible for a large chunk of Seattle’s strong rushing output, allowing quite a few positive plays in the run game through his poor pursuit angles and lack of speed. In coverage, he allowed 3-of-3 passing for 43 yards and two first downs.

Jeff Smith: -3

Jeff Smith ran 21 routes and could only muster up one catch for 14 yards on two targets. He struggles mightily with route-running, rarely creating enough separation to present himself as a viable option.

Breshad Perriman: -3

Breshad Perriman had his roughest game. He ran a route on all 31 of the Jets’ passing plays but could only snag 3-of-6 targets for 26 yards and one first down.

Sam Darnold: -4

Sam Darnold was lucky to escape this game without an embarrassing lowlight reel, tossing a pair of awful passes that were dropped by Seahawks defenders and should have easily been returned for pick-sixes. The first of those two fell right into the belly of Jamal Adams, but the former Jet once again failed to hang on.

Darnold completed 14-of-26 passes for 132 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per attempt, his second-worst mark of the season and his seventh game out of nine in which he posted a Y/A average under 7.2 (the 2020 league average). He failed to throw a touchdown pass for the fifth time in his past six games.

On the plus side, Darnold did have a handful of strong throws in the intermediate range, some of which were dropped. I broke down a few of those here.

Bryce Hall: -4

The young rookie was mostly promising throughout his first three starts, but this Seahawks game was the first one in which he was legitimately ripped apart. Hall allowed 5-of-6 passing for 47 yards, three first downs, and a touchdown. The one incompletion should have been a 40-yard catch by David Moore after beating Hall on a go route, but Moore dropped a ball that landed right in his hands. In addition, Hall had a holding penalty to move the chains on a third-and-8 play.

Harvey Langi: -4

Harvey Langi allowed four catches on five targets (the one incompletion was a drop by Chris Carson on a screen that likely would have been a big gain) for 35 yards and a couple of first downs. In the run game, he was abysmal, allowing quite a few big gains as he consistently got stuck on blocks downfield and showed poor recognition as he often chose the wrong gap to defend.

Sergio Castillo: -5

Promptly cut after the game (and re-signed to the practice squad), Sergio Castillo had a brutal trip to the Northwest, making just 1-of-4 field goal attempts. He connected on his first attempt from 45 yards, his longest of the day, before proceeding to miss from 37, 41, and 43 yards. The winds in Seattle were only at 8 mph, so the conditions were hardly difficult.

Pat Elflein: -5

A liability in both phases once again, Pat Elflein struggled against a Seahawks defense he is very familiar with from his NFC days, having played in Seattle for the Vikings in both 2019 and 2018. Elflein allowed four pressures over 31 protection snaps (12.9% rate), and by my tracking, was a culprit on five unsuccessful running plays.

Matthias Farley: -5

Replacing the injured Ashtyn Davis, Matthias Farley was brutal, coughing up a touchdown on each of the two targets in his direction – a 10-yarder to Will Dissly and a 3-yarder to David Moore. On the Dissly touchdown, Farley bit hard on the play fake and allowed Dissly to leak into the flat for an easy score. On the Moore touchdown, Farley vacated his deep-half responsibility in Cover-2 to play a route in the flat, not noticing Moore entering his zone on a dig route from the outside.

When you compare him against the other two players who have worn his shoes this season, Davis’ stock looks promising. Farley and Bradley McDougald, a pair of veterans who have a combined 13 seasons of NFL experience, have each performed far worse in Davis’ role than he did.


To my own surprise, I managed to find seven players who were worthy of being labeled a “stud” in this game.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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