For the second consecutive week, Mekhi Becton put out a great performance in real-game action to ease concern about his struggles on the practice field.
Becton thrived against the Packers, earning an 80.8 overall grade at Pro Football Focus that led all offensive linemen on the Jets. He played great football in both phases, earning an 81.5 run-blocking grade and a 73.2 pass-blocking grade.
Green Bay was not playing its first-team defense, just like the Giants last week, but Becton is doing what he is supposed to do – beating up on the inferior competition.
Becton’s practice struggles this offseason have come against accomplished rushers like Carl Lawson and Preston Smith. We’ll have to wait and see if those issues translate to the regular season when he lines up against studs such as Brian Burns and Bradley Chubb.
For now, Becton is checking every box.
Pass protection of Dan Feeney, Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, and George Fant
The first-team offensive line was absolutely phenomenal in pass protection. Becton (LT), Dan Feeney (LG), Connor McGovern (C), Greg Van Roten (RG), and George Fant (RT) combined to allow one pressure. That one was allowed by Becton – none of the other four players were credited with allowing any pressures.
With Morgan Moses sidelined due to personal reasons, Fant got the start and took full advantage. He got more reps than the rest of the first-team offensive line, leading the Jets with 53 offensive snaps and giving up zero pressures over a team-high 24 snaps in pass protection.
Through two games, the Jets have witnessed good starts in pass protection from Becton, McGovern, and Fant. Becton has allowed one pressure on 22 protection snaps (4.5% rate) while Fant has allowed one pressure on 34 protection snaps (2.9% rate). The 2020 NFL average for tackles was 5.3%.
McGovern has allowed zero pressures on 22 protection snaps.
After giving up three pressures in his Jets debut, Feeney bounced back with no pressures allowed on 13 protection snaps. He also had a team-high 82.7 pass-blocking grade.
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Zach Wilson shredded the Packers, completing 9 of 11 passes for 128 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Wilson was efficient both when pressured and when kept clean. When under pressure, Wilson went 3-of-3 for 40 yards and two first downs. When kept clean, he went 6-of-8 for 88 yards, two touchdowns, and three first downs.
The Jets’ offense is known for its quick-hitting nature, but Wilson did his best work against the Packers when he took more time to scan the field.
When he released the ball less than 2.5 seconds after the snap, Wilson completed 2 of 3 passes for 11 yards and one first down.
On passes that were released at least 2.5 seconds after the snap, Wilson completed 7 of 8 passes for 117 yards, four first downs, and two touchdowns.
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Davis was targeted on all four of the plays in which he ran a route against the Giants last week. In Green Bay, Davis received six targets over 10 routes run.
That’s 10 targets over 14 routes run – a 71.4% rate. For perspective, the NFL’s leader in that category among wide receivers last season was Davante Adams at 31.5%.
Davis will certainly not maintain such a monstrous rate in the regular season. Still, it’s impressive how efficient he has been in his high-volume role thus far.
Wilson and Davis hooked up four times for 70 yards and three first downs against the Packers. Davis did damage in all sorts of ways, grabbing one first down in the deep range (20+ yards downfield), one in the intermediate range (10-19 yards downfield), and one in the short range (0-9 yards downfield).
Davis even made a slick juke move on a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage to turn a potential two-yard loss into a five-yard gain.
Tyler Kroft was targeted twice. Both passes resulted in an 18-yard touchdown.
On the first touchdown, Kroft caught a pass up the seam and was shellacked by a safety near the goal line. He survived the hit and spun up the field to cross the goal line.
On the second, Kroft secured a well-placed pass in the flat and continued downfield in stride. He utilized a great block from Chris Herndon and then side-stepped one defender on his way to the house.
Michael Carter II
It was not a great day for the Jets defense, hence why we are left with only two spots for defensive players on this list.
Lamar Jackson and Brandin Echols each snagged a pick to highlight the afternoon for the defense. While both played well, there is another defensive back who I thought deserved some spotlight despite not making a splashy play.
That would be Michael Carter II. The Duke product was given the starting nod at slot cornerback after Javelin Guidry was given the role last week. Carter II seized the opportunity as he dropped into coverage on 15 snaps and was not targeted a single time, providing sticky coverage in the slot.
Carter II has yet to allow a catch through two preseason games. He has dropped into coverage on 26 snaps and seen just one target, which fell incomplete.
Guidry played well with the second-team defense. He was targeted twice over nine coverage snaps and allowed one catch for three yards, a play in which he made a great tackle on Amari Rodgers to prevent a first down.
J.T. Hassell has been making noise in training camp and translated that hype to the preseason spotlight on Saturday.
Hassell forced a fumble on Packers running back Patrick Taylor, getting his helmet down and striking the ball. He also stuffed a pair of runs and took advantage of a wide-open sack opportunity with a good finish on Kurt Benkert for the eight-yard loss.
In coverage, Hassell was not targeted over nine snaps.
Honorable mention: Matt Ammendola
We’re going over 10 players here, but who cares? The legendary Matt Ammendola has to be mentioned.
Ammendola went into Green Bay as the only kicker on the Jets’ roster following the release of Chris Naggar. He took advantage of the opportunity, making all three of his field goals (from 54, 46, and 30 yards) and both of his extra points.
The raw power that Ammendola has is obvious, but that power would be useless if he did not couple it with accuracy. Ammendola’s blend of power and accuracy is what gives him intriguing potential. He consistently boots the ball with both good lift and sharp precision, rarely launching a stinker that completely misses the uprights.
Even Ammendola’s work on kickoffs was impressive. He averaged a hang time of 4.08 seconds over six kickoffs, well above the 2020 NFL average of 3.98 seconds. Good hang time on kickoffs goes a long way towards both preventing big returns and baiting returners into taking the ball out and getting stopped well short of the 25-yard line.
Ammendola is 3-for-3 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points in the preseason. As of the latest report out of Florham Park, he had made 88% of his attempts in training camp sessions.
With one more perfect preseason outing, Ammendola can convince the Jets that they do not need to look elsewhere for an answer at the kicker position.