Here are all of the New York Jets’ significant positive and negative contributors in Week 1
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.
Here are my studs and duds from the Jets’ Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Since the Jets lost by a score of 24-9, the scores below will add up to -15.
Tyler Conklin: -1
After a summer of praise, Tyler Conklin ends up as the first dud of the season. Conklin finished with four catches on seven targets for 16 yards and one touchdown. However, he also had one drop, one fumble, and only one yard after the catch.
Conklin’s touchdown was a nice contested catch, but it was with only one minute left in a game that was long over. Meanwhile, Conklin’s fumble wiped away a first down that
As a blocker, Conklin didn’t fare much better. In the run game, Conklin didn’t generate much push, and in pass protection, he allowed one pressure.
Nathan Shepherd, Sheldon Rankins, Soloman Thomas: -1 each
All three of the Jets’ defensive tackles not named Quinnen Williams failed to make a significant impact on the game. Across 69 total snaps, they totaled only one pressure and two tackles. None were particularly terrible, but none made any sort of noticeable impact.
Braden Mann: -2
After a disappointing 2021, punter Braden Mann did little to discourage concerns in Week 1 of 2022. Against the Ravens, Mann averaged only 42.2 yards per attempt, the fourth-lowest mark in the NFL.
The biggest reason Mann is on this list is a shanked punt in the third quarter. With the score at 10-3, Mann punted the ball out of bounds for only 20 yards. Starting at the Jets’ 44-yard line, the Ravens proceeded to score a touchdown in six plays.
Jordan Whitehead: -2
In his first game with the Jets, safety Jordan Whitehead left some to be desired. He did well against the run but struggled in coverage. Across 33 coverage snaps, Whitehead was targeted four times and allowed four receptions for 37 yards and one touchdown.
Whitehead’s most egregious mistake came on Devin Duvernay’s second touchdown of the day to put the Ravens up 17-3. On 3rd and 10, Duvernay crossed Whitehead’s zone and Lamar Jackson hit him for a touchdown before Whitehead could close the distance.
Greg Zuerlein: -3
The Jets were hoping to find a solution at kicker by signing Greg the Leg but it’s off to a rough start. With the opportunity to tie the game in the second quarter, Zuerlein missed a 45-yard field goal. While a missed field goal wasn’t the deciding factor, it did kill any positive momentum and allowed the Jets to fall further behind.
Later in the quarter, he did hit another 45-yard attempt but at that point, the score was 10-3 and the Ravens received the ball at halftime. Zuerlein did not have another attempt until the final minute of the game when he missed an extra point. It was a very discouraging start for the Jets, who are on their eighth kicker since 2019.
Joe Flacco: -4
Joe Flacco‘s revenge game did not go as hoped as he struggled to get the offense moving and was routinely pummeled behind a struggling offensive line. Flacco dropped back to pass 62 times, second-most in the NFL in Week 1. On those dropbacks, he completed 37 of 59 attempts for 309 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while being sacked three times.
Flacco’s biggest issue was his complete lack of mobility. If one Ravens rusher beat their guy, there was little Flacco could do to avoid the pressure. He was among the worst quarterbacks under pressure in Week 1, posting a 39.6 passer rating when pressured. This issue was exacerbated by Flacco being under pressure on 35.5% of his dropbacks.
Laken Tomlinson: -5
Left guard Laken Tomlinson was arguably the most disappointing player on the Jets this past Sunday. After two quality years in San Francisco, Tomlinson signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Jets. The expectation was the Jets would be getting a top 10 left guard in the NFL.
However, Tomlinson couldn’t have been further from that level this past Sunday. In both phases of the game, Tomlinson was dominated by Baltimore’s defensive tackles. His total of eight pressures allowed was the second-worst of his career and his 38.6 overall Pro Football Focus grade was the third-lowest of his career. Even in the run game, his strength, Tomlinson failed to generate any push.
It’s only one game on a new team, but the Jets need to see much better play from Tomlinson.
George Fant: -5
Left tackle George Fant was the only player that may have been more disappointing than Tomlinson. After switching back to left tackle following a month at right tackle, Fant struggled to settle in against the Ravens’ pass rush.
Fant allowed four pressures including one sack. In the second quarter, after two Jets first downs, Justin Houston easily pushed Fant back before disengaging and sacking Flacco. On the very next play, Houston beat Fant again but Flacco was able to avoid the 10-yard loss before being pushed out of bounds for a one-yard loss.
After only one game, Fant has allowed the same number of sacks and 22% of the pressures that he did in all of 2021. He seemed to play better in the second half of this game so we will see if he can back to form in Week 2.
Lamarcus Joyner: -5
The well-known weakest link of the Jets roster was exactly that on Sunday. Safety Larmarcus Joyner routinely appeared lost on the field. In coverage, PFF only attributed one target to Joyner. Unfortunately, it was the 55-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Bateman which sealed the game.
Outside of that one play, Joyner only added one tackle and wasn’t a major factor against the run. There is a possibility his struggles were due to rust as he’s only played 60 snaps at free safety since 2018. However, as a soon-to-be 32-year-old veteran, it was very concerning that Joyner was out of position and struggled to communicate.
Kwon Alexander: +1
Linebacker Kwon Alexander made his presence felt in his first game with the Jets. Across 37 snaps, he made three tackles (including a pair of key stops) while allowing only two catches for nine yards. Alexander brought much-needed energy to the Jets’ defense.
My two biggest plays for Alexander both came in the first quarter. On the Ravens’ first drive of the game, Alexander leveled Kenyan Drake on a 3rd and 2 just short of the sticks to force a punt. Later in the first quarter, Jackson dumped it off to Justin Hill, who Alexander hit for a 2-yard gain as he received it. After allowing a field goal the previous drive, this play prevented a big gain and stopped the Ravens from building momentum.
Michael Carter: +1
Many people wrote off running back Michael Carter after the Jets selected Breece Hall but he quickly reminded people what he brings to the table. On the day, Carter rushed 10 times for 60 yards while also adding seven receptions for 40 yards.
Despite only having 10 carries, Carter is second in the NFL in broken tackles with four (per Pro Football Reference), behind only Jonathan Taylor, who had five on 31 carries.
The only knock comes on a dropped touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. While the game was already lost, it was an inexcusable drop by Carter on what would’ve been a walk-in touchdown. Carter also allowed one hurry and one sack on 10 pass-blocking snaps.
Corey Davis: +1
Wide receiver Corey Davis bounced back in a big way after a disappointing 2021 season.
Davis got off to a concerning start as he dropped a pass that was slightly behind him on what would’ve been a first down and big gain. After that, however, Davis was targeted nine more times and caught six of them for 77 yards and five first downs. Davis’ two most notable plays were a contested catch in the third quarter and a fourth down conversion in the fourth.
Garrett Wilson: +2
Wide receiver Garrett Wilson looked the part of the 10th overall pick as he caught four of eight targets for 52 yards. Wilson was second on the team in receiving yards and targets despite being fifth in passing snaps. Wilson also showed good hustle recovering Tyler Conklin’s fumble and keeping the Jets in field goal range.
Wilson’s most impressive play of the game came at the end of the first quarter on 3rd and 10. Wilson came back upon seeing Flacco under pressure and caught the pass at the line of scrimmage. Wilson then proceeded to make two players miss before being spun down inches short of the first down. This play showed everything that makes him special and why he will thrive with Zach Wilson.
Quinnen Williams: +3
Before watching the film, I was disappointed by Quinnen Williams only recording a pass defended in the box score. After watching the film I saw Williams dominate the Ravens’ offensive line, demanding double and occasionally triple teams.
Despite not recording a single tackle, Williams collapsed the pocket and plugged rushing lanes. Overall, Williams finished with three hurries and one pass defended. His pass defended was his most impressive play. In a one-on-one with rookie center Tyler Linderbaum, Williams easily threw him to the side and would’ve sacked Lamar Jackson if he didn’t throw it.
If Quinnen can keep this level of play up (13.6% pressure rate and a 92.1 PFF grade), then he can finally fulfill the expectations that come with being the third overall pick.
Sauce Gardner: +3
After only one week, captain C.J. Mosley already believes Sauce has earned his nickname. In his first start, Gardner was routinely matched up against star tight end Mark Andrews yet didn’t allow a catch on two targets. Gardner’s only allowed completion was against Demarcus Robinson who caught a quick out for eight yards while Gardner was 15 yards downfield.
Sauce’s most impressive play came late in the second quarter on a pass break-up intended for Andrews. Andrews runs across the field into space but Sauce sees him and immediately closes the gap before breaking up what would’ve been a touchdown.
D.J. Reed: +4
After being questionable to play, cornerback D.J. Reed had a dominant outing. It wasn’t until Monday that the world learned that Reed’s father had passed shortly before kickoff.
Reed would be targeted six times and allow zero receptions while adding a pass breakup and an interception. Against the run, Reed also added a forced fumble although the Ravens recovered it.
It was an incredibly promising debut for Reed. He made big plays in both phases of the game and didn’t make a single mistake. His efforts made him the NFL’s highest-graded corner at PFF with a 90.3 overall grade.
Despite losing by 24-9, the Jets didn’t play nearly as bad as the scoreboard showed. Fumbling in the red zone, a dropped touchdown on fourth down, failing to recover a Ravens fumble, missing a field goal and extra point, and two dropped passes on third down were a handful of plays that beat the Jets. The Jets had the talent to keep up with the Ravens, but until they can consistently execute, they will keep losing.
Here is a look at the leaderboard from the Ravens game.
- D.J. Reed: +4
- Sauce Gardner: +3
- Quinnen Williams: +3
- Garrett Wilson: +2
- Corey Davis: +1
- Michael Carter: +1
- Kwon Alexander: +1
- Tyler Conklin: -1
- Soloman Thomas: -1
- Nathan Shepherd: -1
- Sheldon Rankins: -1
- Braden Mann: -2
- Jordan Whitehead: -2
- Greg Zuerlein: -3
- Joe Flacco: -4
- Laken Tomlinson: -5
- George Fant: -5
- Lamarcus Joyner: -5
- Team total: -15