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The Jets overcame a shaky start to break out of their slump with their finest offensive performance of the season so far against the Chiefs. A late touchdown by Josh McCown gave the Jets the lead and the defense held on to preserve a 38-31 shootout win.
Let's review the defensive performance from Sunday's win:
The Jets opened up without Muhammad Wilkerson, who was reportedly benched for the first quarter after showing up late to a meeting. Without him, the Jets looked bad on defense, giving up two touchdown drives, albeit mostly due to breakdowns in the secondary.
Once he got in, Wilkerson was productive, leading the team with six tackles and a half sack, but the transgression is disappointing. He also chased Alex Smith from the pocket once.
Leonard Williams was only in on one run stuff, but had a productive performance as a pass rusher, generating more pressure than he has all season, including half a sack and another four quarterback hits.
The Jets gave up 112 yards on the ground, but that's misleading. Chiefs basically abandoned the run, picking up 42 yards on 10 carries by their backs, with 14 of those yards coming on a meaningless draw play on the last play of the first half. However, the Chiefs got 70 yards on a remarkable 70-yard scramble by Smith. They ran the ball just three times for 11 yards after half time.
Steve McLendon and Mike Pennel each stuffed one run as Pennel took Wilkerson's place in the first quarter. They played just 12 snaps between them after the first quarter though.
Kony Ealy started, but had another quiet game with no tackles and just one pressure off the edge and was driven off the line once.
Reserve Xavier Cooper was on the field for just one snap, although it was a crucial third down on the final series as the Jets curiously sent Wilkerson and Williams to the bench and collapsed the pocket with a front four of Cooper and McLendon inside and David Bass and Josh Martin as the ends.
With Darron Lee a surprising healthy scratch as a result of being late for Saturday's practice, Julian Stanford played every snap, having last seen action on defense seven weeks ago. While he only had three tackles, Stanford did a creditable job of avoiding any costly mistakes.
Demario Davis was in on a couple of run stuffs, but had a quiet game overall. He got caught out of position a couple of times in coverage, but otherwise didn't have many negatives.
Jordan Jenkins created some good pressure off the edge. He was credited with one sack, one play after his pressure had led to another one. He also hit Smith's arm on one throw, leading to a wobbly throw that could easily have been intercepted.
Martin had a couple of pressures, but he missed a chance at a sack on Smith, leading to the aforementioned long scramble.
The only other linebacker to get any defensive reps was Bass, who was only on the field for a few plays, but drove his man back to create pressure on Smith on the last series.
Recent addition Rashard Robinson saw his first action on defense, starting in the nickel package. However, he didn't have much success and was benched after Tyreek Hill torched him for a long touchdown on the Chiefs' first play of the second half. In the first half, Robinson was too far off on two first down completions, and also gave up nine yards on a quick slant.
Darryl Roberts replaced Robinson and had two tackles. He wasn't tested in coverage as the only time he was targeted was an incompletion.
Morris Claiborne was also beaten deep for a touchdown by Hill, although it looked like he might have been expecting safety support on the play. That was the first touchdown Claiborne has given up all year. He also gave up a first down because he was too far off his man.
Buster Skrine gave up three short catches, all for first downs, including one where he inexplicably dropped off at the snap, leaving the receiver alone at the first down marker. He broke up a long pass to Hill, although he might have been slightly fortunate because it seemed to be slightly underthrown.
At safety, Marcus Maye had a rough day in coverage. Travis Kelce burned him for a touchdown, and he looked to have been out of position on two of Smith's other touchdown passes. In addition, he was blocked out of the play downfield on Smith's long scramble. Maye also made a few positive plays, including a run stop.
While Maye struggled, Jamal Adams came up big, especially on the final drive. He made some good plays in coverage, jumping a route for the third week in a row and coming the closest he's been yet to making his first interception. Adams also read and diagnosed a pass to the flat, and beat his blocker to blow it up. He, then, made an impressive open field tackle after Stanford overpursued on a short pass. He had a bad missed tackle on that long run by Smith, but otherwise didn't make any significant mistakes.
Finally, Rontez Miles saw some action this week in a three-safety nickel package that the Jets haven't used much, if at all, this season. He seemed to be out of position on one of Kelce's touchdown catches.