EDGE John Franklin-Myers
New York Jets defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers is set to make the full-time transition from defensive tackle to defensive end – and his debut performance was a good one.
Franklin-Myers played 35 of his 44 defensive snaps (80%) at outside defensive end. He went after the quarterback on 26 snaps and recorded four pressures, an excellent rate of 15.6%. The 2020 league average for edge rushers was 9.7%.
The Stephen F. Austin alum also recorded the Jets’ only sack of the game – although that one came when he was lined up inside at 4i-technique over the inside shoulder of the right tackle, and his rush was against the right guard. It was a display of the inside-outside versatility that he is set to provide in his new role with the Jets.
CB Bryce Hall
The Jets’ cornerback room was not the atrocity that many feared it would be against the Carolina Panthers’ intriguing wide receiver unit. New York’s corners combined to allow 9-of-15 passing for 77 yards and four first downs on throws into their coverage. That’s just 5.1 yards per attempt and a conversion rate of 27% against a unit that features D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Terrace Marshall.
Bryce Hall was the leader of that outstanding effort. He tied with Marcus Maye for the team lead with 64 defensive snaps, and he dropped into coverage on a team-high 37 snaps. Over those 37 snaps, Hall allowed one catch on two targets for nine yards (a first down by Christian McCaffrey).
With nine yards allowed over 37 coverage snaps, that is a lockdown average of 0.24 yards per cover snap for the Jets’ CB1 (the 2020 CB average was 1.15).
CB Michael Carter II
Michael Carter II was the second-largest contributor to the cornerback group’s surprisingly good performance.
As the Jets’ slot cornerback, Carter II played 35 defensive snaps and dropped into coverage on 20 of those. He was targeted five times and allowed three catches for only 17 yards (3.4 per target) and one first down. In the first quarter, he made an excellent pass breakup on a deep pass intended for Terrace Marshall.
Carter II also made a huge tackle for loss in the run game against McCaffrey in the fourth quarter, resulting in a six-yard loss. His tackling was excellent – he made five tackles without missing any, tied with Brandin Echols for the most tackles without a miss on the team.
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WR Corey Davis
Corey Davis had one drop on an underneath pass but otherwise made the absolute most of his seven targets. He grabbed five receptions for 97 yards, two touchdowns, and two first downs in a performance that clearly established him as the Jets’ top weapon in the passing game by an enormous margin.
Davis was a force in the intermediate range (10 to 19 yards downfield), catching all three of his targets for 63 yards, one touchdown, and two first downs.
QB Zach Wilson
It would have been understandable if Zach Wilson had a disastrous performance in his NFL debut that completely eliminated the Jets’ chances of winning the game. He was set up to fail miserably as the Jets gave him brutal pass protection, a nonexistent run game, and dropped passes galore.
But Wilson didn’t fold. While he made plenty of rookie mistakes that he can learn from, he stayed mostly poised under the pressure and put together a strong second half to lead the Jets back into the game. Wilson’s performance in this game would warrant praise even if it were forged by a veteran quarterback. He single-handedly gave the team a chance to win even though nothing around him was clicking.
Wilson was pressured on 51% of his dropbacks, had 20% of his catchable passes dropped, was supported by a run game that gained 45 yards on 2.6 yards per carry, and received no manufactured help as he completed one screen pass for negative-3 yards.
Yet, Wilson still managed to throw for 254 yards and two scores on 37 pass attempts with only one interception. He consistently made plays after evading initial pressure and was sharp on low-percentage throws into tight windows.
Wilson posted an adjusted completion percentage of 73%, which accounts for his five drops, two batted passes, and one throwaway.
This was a good debut for Wilson when you apply the rookie grading curve, but even without it, this was an objectively decent-to-solid quarterbacking performance.
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