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After the win against Buffalo, there was a lot of hype about the "resurgent" Jets and some talk of Todd Bowles as a coach of the year candidate. However, after yesterday's dispiriting loss, the reality is that the Jets have lost four of five with their only win coming over a Bills team whose 37-point loss to the Saints yesterday suggests they have been overrated. Heading to the bye, it's probably time to reset our expectations.
Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the defensive side of the ball:
After their dominance last Thursday, the defensive line was solid again on Sunday, but failed to make many impact plays.
Leonard Williams stepped up with what was perhaps his most disruptive game of the season, especially as a pass rusher. He had a sack and three other quarterback hits and was in on three run stuffs. He was only handled at the point of attack a couple of times and looks to be getting back to something like his best.
Muhammad Wilkerson had a quieter game this week, but made good contributions to a run defense that held Doug Martin to just 51 yards on 20 carries. He was only credited with one tackle - stopping Ryan Fitzpatrick for a short gain on a third down scramble - but was in on a couple of other run stuffs and only driven off the line a couple of times by double teams. He didn't do much as a pass rusher but pushed his man back into the quarterback once and chased Fitzpatrick from the pocket once.
Steve McLendon was in on four run stuffs, including one that went for a loss, and also got some good penetration, although he was blocked out of a couple of plays. He created pressure with a bull rush once.
Kony Ealy was disruptive this week, but missed his tackle on two potential sacks and was sealed off on Charles Sims' big third-and-long run. He didn't record any tackles but drew a holding penalty and batted down a pass
Mike Pennel and Xavier Cooper saw action off the bench but didn't make much of an impact.
Coming off his AFC Defensive Player of the Week award, Jordan Jenkins had a quieter game this week, but still played well. In fact, he arguably played a more consistent game than he did when he won the award.
Jenkins blew up a run with penetration and was in on three more run stuffs, including one in the backfield. As a pass rusher, he flushed Fitzpatrick from the pocket once and almost intercepted a tipped pass.
Darron Lee had a slight setback this week after a run of good performances. He recorded four tackles, all close to the line of scrimmage, but also had a missed tackle, got blocked out at the second level twice and overran a play, although most of those mistakes weren't particularly costly. He also gave up a first down in coverage.
By contrast, Demario Davis had a productive day with two tackles for loss and two passes defensed, but his big mistake was extremely costly as he got caught peeking into the backfield on third down, leading to the decisive touchdown. He missed a couple of tackles, including a potential sack, and had one hit on Fitzpatrick.
Josh Martin and Freddie Bishop also got reps on the outside. Martin flashed a couple of times with a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit, but also made some mistakes against the run. Bishop was productive, with six tackles and a hit, albeit mostly cleaning up on the backside.
Morris Claiborne made his return to the lineup, but didn't last very long. He was beaten across the field by DeSean Jackson for a 22-yard gain in the first quarter, and then was removed and didn't return. He had already given up a first down to Jackson on a play where he was too far off and was half-beaten deep by him, but let off the hook by an inaccurate throw. He obviously tried to play through his injuries, but couldn't handle it and will hope to have recovered better coming off the bye.
Juston Burris replaced Claiborne and was mostly untested in coverage, but had an extremely costly missed tackle in the fourth quarter, setting the Bucs up with a third-and-short on their touchdown drive when they could have been forced into a third-and-long.
Buster Skrine and Darryl Roberts both had ups and downs. Each was called for a penalty and gave up a few first downs, but Roberts had an interception and led the team with eight tackles. Skrine had a missed tackle in the flat, and also whiffed on Fitzpatrick coming off the edge but made one nice play against the run.
At safety, Jamal Adams had a really good game against the run, but missed a tackle in the flat and gave up a first down in coverage. On one play he anticipated his receiver's route perfectly in coverage and jumped in front but Fitzpatrick's throw was wide, otherwise that could have been his first interception.
Marcus Maye was able to come down with an interception, but that was negated by his own penalty for illegal contact. Each of his four tackles came down the field, but his positioning in coverage was good.
Terrence Brooks and Rontez Miles saw action in the dime package, but - crucially - both got pancaked on the third-and-15 run that set up the decisive touchdown.