Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, NY Jets, CB Duo
Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets’ secondary was excellent in Seattle

This past Sunday, most players on the New York Jets‘ roster apparently did not get the memo that they were playing in a must-win game. One unit did, though: the secondary.

Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, Michael Carter II, and the young Tony Adams were among the few standouts for New York in its loss to the Seahawks.

The outside cornerback duo of Gardner and Reed provided shutdown coverage. Combined, Gardner and Reed were targeted 9 times and allowed 3 catches for 17 yards. Only one of those catches went for a first down.

Gardner had a stellar performance. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith challenged Gardner on a frequent basis and continuously failed to beat him. When targeting Gardner, Smith went 3-of-8 for 17 yards with one first down. Gardner recorded a career-high total of four passes defended, bringing his season total to a league-leading 20.

Reed stayed silent in his return to Seattle. He played 36 coverage snaps and did not allow a single reception. Reed was only targeted once, with that pass falling incomplete on a deep shot intended for D.K. Metcalf. The former Seahawk did an excellent job of handling his coverage assignments to prevent any throws from coming his way.

Slot corner Michael Carter II also had a nice game. Over 23 snaps in coverage, he was only targeted once, with that being an 8-yard catch by Tyler Lockett that did not result in a first down.

Overall, the Jets’ cornerback trio shut down Seattle’s star wide receiver duo. Metcalf finished with 1 catch on 5 targets for 3 yards. It is the second-lowest receiving yardage total of his career. Lockett was targeted twice and caught 2 passes for 15 yards. The duo’s combined total of 18 yards is the second-lowest mark they have ever posted as teammates.

The sneaky standout was safety Tony Adams.

Adams, a 23-year-old undrafted rookie out of Illinois, ended up playing 60 snaps after Lamarcus Joyner left the game due to injury. It did not take long for Adams to look like an upgrade over Joyner.

Adams was flying around the field. That phrase gets thrown around a lot, but it actually is an accurate description in this instance. Adams displayed great closing speed and showed a feel for taking accurate angles to the ball. At the tackle point, Adams made some hard-hitting finishes that prevented the runner from gaining any extra yardage after contact. Overall, Adams looked like a very secure last line of defense.

Joyner will miss the season finale against Miami, so Adams will get another shot to audition for a role on the team next season.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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BigJetsFan1
BigJetsFan1
26 days ago

Another Nania special! Only Michael can divine hope from a devastating, season ending loss. Wonderful stats on Metcalf and Lockett. We have such a great secondary. Kudos to the GM and the coaches for turning around that oft-lousy part of our team. Watching Sauce is amazing. Talk about talent meeting hustle! This cat cares!!! DJ Reed is awesome. He also cares. Two great additions. I am optimistic for next year.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
28 days ago

It would be a big boost to my pre-season spirits if Adams can somehow be counted on as a starter.

Even with a perfect game, it can’t happen. Sample size == too small.