Michael Nania lists the New York Jets’ best and worst players against the Los Angeles Rams, 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 1 at Buffalo Bills
- Week 2 vs. San Francisco 49ers
- Week 3 at Indianapolis Colts
- Week 4 vs. Denver Broncos
- Week 5 vs. Arizona Cardinals
- Week 6 at Miami Dolphins
- Week 7 vs. Buffalo Bills
- Week 8 at Kansas City Chiefs
- Week 9 vs. New England Patriots
- Week 11 at Los Angeles Chargers
- Week 12 vs. Miami Dolphins
- Week 13 vs. Las Vegas Raiders
- Week 14 at Seattle Seahawks
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’ 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. The Jets lost. Wait a minute … I mean they won (my apologies, it became a habit after writing it 13 times in a row) by 3 points, so the scores below will add up to +3.
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.
Henry Anderson: -1
The Jets’ defensive line was visibly active throughout the afternoon, but Henry Anderson was not a part of that onslaught. He played 39 snaps (66.1%) to lead the defensive line, but you would be forgiven for not knowing he was actually out there. Anderson had one pressure over 23 pass-rush snaps and made zero tackles.
Connor McGovern: -1
While Connor McGovern was credited with three pressures allowed by PFF, I don’t think he was actually that bad in protection. The plays he was credited on were all more so the fault of one of the two guards. He handled his one-on-one matchups well and did not have any egregious mental errors.
However, McGovern struggled in the run game. He had a rough time with Rams nose tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, who managed to rack up seven tackles on Frank Gore over just 21 snaps against the run, most of them coming against the block of McGovern. Five of those tackles held Gore to a gain of three yards or less.
Frank Gore: -2
Frank Gore is just not good anymore. He has been limiting the offense all season. With depleted athleticism, Gore cannot afford to spend too much time meandering around, so all he really does is take the handoff and rumble in one direction, making one cut at the most. The vision isn’t there. He leaves a lot of open lanes on the field.
Gore carried the ball 23 times against the Rams and managed only 59 yards (2.6 average) with a long of eight yards. The run blocking was certainly not good in this one – we already went over McGovern and there are a few more players to discuss – but Gore did little to add value beyond what was blocked for him. He ranked last out of 34 qualified running backs with 1.7 yards after contact per carry in Week 15.
Blessuan Austin: -3
Blessuan Austin had a very rough game. In coverage, he allowed 5-of-5 passing for 35 yards and two conversions – an 11-yard first down to Robert Woods and a 15-yard touchdown to Woods. On an end-around handoff to Woods, Austin was the last line of defense and failed to make a play, allowing Woods to pick up 40 yards. Austin was called for three penalties – a declined hold, an 11-yard pass interference, and a 15-yard facemask. The facemask eliminated a third-down incompletion that would have gotten the Jets the ball back up 13-0 with over two minutes left in the first half. Instead, the Rams kept driving and scored a field goal.
Austin also missed a tackle on a Cooper Kupp screen to bring his season total to 11, tied for 13th-most among cornerbacks. His missed tackle rate of 15.5% (60 made, 11 missed) ranks at the 32nd percentile among qualified corners.
Josh Andrews and Pat Elflein: -5
Aaron Donald was just practicing whatever fancy pass-rush moves he wanted against these two, and they all worked. Rips, stutters, swipes, swims – you name it, Donald beat Andrews or Elflein with it on Sunday.
Over the Jets’ 36 passing plays, Elflein allowed five pressures (13.9% rate) while Andrews allowed seven (19.4%). It was a complete manhandling. Donald would beat these two within a second, penetrating the A and B-gaps almost instantly. And, it was the same deal in the run game, whether it was Donald, Joseph-Day, Michael Brockers, A’Shawn Robinson. No push whatsoever.
The depth at guard certainly needs to be improved immensely in 2021.
Alongside a season-low five duds come a season-high 12 studs.