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The Jets surprisingly hung around for the better part of three quarters, but eventually the game slipped away from them and the Raiders came away with the anticipated blowout win. Aside from a couple of ill-timed turnovers, the run defense was the biggest issue in yesterday's game.
Let's break down the performances on the defensive side of the ball from the Jets' 45-20 loss to the Raiders in Week 2:
Shockingly, after having surrendered 190 yards in week one and vowed to make it a priority to stop Marshawn Lynch this week, the Jets still gave up 180 yards, including a handful of big plays. They actually managed to hold Lynch to 45 yards on 12 carries, but everyone else did consistent damage against them.
With Steve McLendon missing significant time in the middle of the game while apparently being assessed for a concussion, the line struggled to hold up. Leonard Williams had one of the least-effective games of his career, with no solo tackles and a series of plays where he was blocked to the ground or driven off the line. Muhammad Wilkerson was much better than Williams in terms of holding up at the point of attack and contributed five tackles, including one for a loss on the very first play, but he still missed a tackle on Cordarrelle Patterson's touchdown run and was easily blocked off the line on Lynch's short touchdown.
With McLendon out, Mike Pennel saw action as the backup nose and had a missed tackle on a Lynch run up the middle. However, the backup end, Lawrence Thomas, was badly driven off the line four times as he obviously lacks the strength to hold up against a double-team.
The Jets' pass rush will no doubt come under criticism for not generating any pressure, but there weren't many chances to, as Derek Carr got rid of the ball immediately on almost every throw. Wilkerson almost got to Carr a couple of times, including once when he was unblocked, and Williams beat his blocker once with a jerk move but again couldn't get to Carr before he threw a quick pass. That limited the effectiveness of Kony Ealy, although he made one play against the run. Ealy had one play where he missed a tackle in the hole.
Once again, Darron Lee and Demario Davis seemed to be the main problem in terms of the running game. On each of the long runs, one of them (or usually both) was blocked out of the play, creating the lane. Lee was pancaked twice. This pairing doesn't seem physical enough to handle the demands of run defense at this level, especially when facing one of the league's best offensive lines.
Lee made a few plays, including a nice third down hit, but he was constantly blocked out in the running game and blew a few coverages. Davis also only made a couple of plays and had a couple of missed tackles as well as giving up a costly first down in coverage on the Raiders' first touchdown drive.
Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, and Freddie Bishop split most of the outside linebacker reps but didn't have much of an impact. Jenkins had a good run-stuff on the outside, but Martin had a bad missed tackle in the flat. And Bishop was easily sealed to the inside on one running play.
Rookie Dylan Donahue once again saw action late and had a tackle for loss, showing quickness to explode off a block. However, he was blocked out of a few other plays.
While the run defense was a big issue, the Jets also gave up three touchdowns through the air. Juston Burris in particular had a really rough game this week, giving up five catches on five targets, including two of the touchdowns. He also missed three tackles.
Buster Skrine gave up a touchdown on a fade route and had a bad missed tackle in the flat, but otherwise did well in coverage. He also made a few contributions in the running game.
Morris Claiborne broke up a pass and made a tackle for loss in the flat, but he also gave up a couple of first downs and committed a pass interference penalty in the end zone.
On a more optimistic front, Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams stood out this week. Each of them displayed some good tackling and run support, and they gave up hardly anything in coverage. There didn't seem to be as many blown coverages this week, although Michael Crabtree was wide open on an early flea-flicker.