Michael Nania lists the New York Jets’ best and worst players against the New England Patriots and ranks every Jets player’s total impact in the 2020 season.
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
- Week 15 at Los Angeles Rams
- Week 16 vs. Cleveland Browns
Each week this season, I have been 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.
Now that the season has concluded, we have a solid cumulative look at each player’s contribution to the team’s performance in 2020. At the end of this piece is a ranking of the total scores of every Jets player who has been listed as a stud or dud in this series at least once throughout the season.
Before getting to the season-long ranking, here are my studs and duds from the Jets’ 28-14 loss to the New England Patriots. The Jets lost by 14 points, so the scores below will add up to -14.
Even the best of us have our off days. John Franklin-Myers makes the dud list for the first and only time this season with a quiet finale in Foxborough, picking up no pressures over 22 pass-rush snaps against New England’s tremendous offensive line.
Regardless, this game does not diminish Franklin-Myers’ accomplishments this season at all. He created pressure on 15.6% of his pass-rush snaps, via Pro Football Focus, second-best among all qualified interior defensive linemen behind only Aaron Donald (18.1%). Still only 24 years old (25 next September) and under contract for a cap hit of only $920,000 next season, Franklin-Myers is one of the strongest building blocks on the roster.
Denzel Mims: -1
Denzel Mims drew only one target against New England, a 15-yard first-down grab. In most of his quiet games this season, Mims was open quite frequently and simply did not have the ball come his way often enough, but in New England, he rarely separated enough to present himself as a high-quality option.
Sam Darnold: -2
Despite a season-best 266 passing yards and a handful of excellent throws, Sam Darnold still did more harm than good, tossing two costly interceptions and nearly a third that was luckily saved by Jamison Crowder. His 29.7 QBR ranked 26th among qualifiers in Week 17, while his 60.1 overall PFF grade ranked 27th.
Neville Hewitt: -2
Neville Hewitt was a common target in the passing game, allowing six catches on eight targets for 51 yards and three first downs.
Pat Elflein: -2
Pat Elflein has had worse games, as he was only credited with two pressures allowed in this one, but he once again was actually involved in even more damage than his pressure total suggests. In particular, Elflein failed to recognize a stunt on a play that resulted in a Chase Winovich sack on Darnold, never realizing that Connor McGovern was attempting to pass the inside defender off to him and thus getting caught in traffic as he allowed Winovich to easily get home. Elflein makes a lot of subtle-but-destructive mistakes like that in both phases.
Greg Van Roten: -4
Greg Van Roten struggled mightily in his first game back, putting a stain on the improved stretch of play he had built over his final few games until being sidelined from Weeks 14-16. He allowed three pressures over 38 protection snaps, and like Elflein, had a hand in more damage than that. There were also a few plays in which Van Roten was quickly smoked but was lucky to have the ball come out fast enough to save him from pressure credit.
We can cut Van Roten a little bit of slack for this one considering it was his first-and-only game back after dealing with a toe injury, but this outing certainly did not help his case to retain his starting spot in 2021.
Matthias Farley: -4
Matthias Farley was not victimized in coverage, but his tackling was a monstrosity. Farley was credited with four missed tackles, the most by a Jets defender in a game this season.
Frankie Luvu: -4
While Frankie Luvu picked up a sack and a pass deflection, he was eaten up in coverage. Over just nine snaps in coverage, Luvu allowed two touchdowns and a first down over three targets in his direction. He bit on a pump fake in his hook/curl zone to allow a 7-yard score to James White, bit on a play fake to turn Devin Asiasi loose for an easy 26-yard score, and also allowed Jakobi Meyers to sit down right in front of him in the hook/curl zone for a 13-yard first down.
Bryce Hager: -5
Bryce Hager was brutal in his second Jets start. He allowed all seven passes in his direction to be completed for 98 yards, two touchdowns, and four first downs. He also missed two tackles for the second consecutive game.
The Jets close out the season with seven players in the studs section.