Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The Jets were competitive again, as they have been in every home game this year, but struggled to generate enough offense or any impact plays on defense in Sunday's 14-7 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Meanwhile, the Chargers managed to keep their playoff hopes alive in a sloppy game that saw the teams combine for 18 punts. For New York, there's the sense that the conclusion of the season next week will predominantly be a relief to players and coaches alike.
Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the defensive side of the ball:
Once again, Jets played without Muhammad Wilkerson, and for the second game in a row, also lost Leonard Williams during the game; this time to a back injury. Before departing, Williams had one quarterback hit on a nice inside move, but no tackles.
Xavier Cooper was in the game for over 50 snaps despite not starting. He only had two tackles and batted down one pass, but his effort was notable. Although he only beat his man cleanly once or twice, Cooper kept battling to eventually create pressure late in the play on a few occasions. However, he jumped offside once and had mixed results at the point of attack.
Steve McLendon and Mike Pennel started and split nose tackle duties, as each also saw plenty of work as a 3-4 end or conventional defensive tackle. They combined for a few pressures and nine tackles, including several run stops at or near the line of scrimmage. Overall, the Chargers were held to fewer than three yards per carry on the ground.
Kony Ealy continued to disappoint. He only got close to Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers once, late in a play where he had initially been stonewalled. He was also driven off the line on a running play.
Jordan Jenkins and Josh Martin were active off the edge this week, combining for several pressures and also forcing runners back inside on a few plays. Martin was credited with two quarterback hits and two tackles for loss, including one where he flattened the tight end before blowing up the runner, while Jenkins finished up with six tackles -- one for a loss -- and a batted pass.
Darron Lee struggled in coverage, as he allowed nine catches on nine targets for over 130 yards. However, he led the team in tackles, blew up a few plays for a short gain and generated pressure with a couple of good blitzes.
Demario Davis was in on a few stops near the line, but also was blocked out of a few plays. He did a solid job in coverage, though, and had one quarterback hit.
Off the bench, David Bass had a quiet game, but made a nice play to stretch out an end around for a loss. Obum Gwacham was just in for a few plays.
Morris Claiborne's struggles continued. While he played well in the first half of the season, on Sunday, he was beaten a few times in coverage, lost contain on the outside on two big plays and had a bad missed tackle in the flat that led to another first down. He was also lucky not to get flagged for taunting when he foolishly clapped in a Charger receiver's face following a dropped pass on third down.
Buster Skrine had his first penalty in over a month although it seemed to be a harsh decision, as he was flagged for pass interference in the end zone. Skrine had a nice pass break-up with a well-timed hit underneath, but gave up a few plays in coverage, including one in which he reacted late to Antonio Gates leaking out down the field.
Rookie Jamal Adams had some tough moments this week, giving up a touchdown catch to Gates and another pass down to the goal line that set up the Chargers' other score. However, he also mixed in some good plays against the run and had two pressures as a blitzer. Adams was also the closest defender on three other downfield completions, but each of these appeared to be blown coverages that may not have been his fault. He continues to get close to his first career interception, but couldn't come up with a chance to snag one down the field.
Marcus Maye had a quiet game with all six of his tackles coming at least nine yards down the field. He had one missed tackle on a play where he came up into the box.
Juston Burris retained his role as the third corner with Darryl Roberts not receiving any defensive reps and Rashard Robinson inactive behind rookie Derrick Jones. Burris wasn't tested much, although he got beat for a long play only for the receiver to be ruled to have come down out of bounds. Otherwise, he only gave up one first down and made a couple of nice tackles, one on third down and one in the backfield.
Finally, backup safeties Rontez Miles and Terrence Brooks saw brief action, but didn't make much of an impact.