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The Jets got in the win column with a surprisingly easy 20-6 victory over the Dolphins in their home opener, riding a disciplined and efficient defensive performance.
We'll therefore start this week by focusing on the defense:
After last week's game saw the Jets fail to generate any pressure on Derek Carr, they were much more disruptive up front this time. Jay Cutler is a quarterback that will hold onto the ball whereas Carr was getting rid of it almost immediately every time. This week the Jets stopped the run effectively, which meant switching to a quick-passing game was a less viable tactic for Miami.
Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Kony Ealy all spent plenty of time in the backfield. Wilkerson got off to a slow start but became more and more disruptive as the game went on, although he still only had one tackle. Williams, dealing with a sore wrist, was also much more disruptive than last week and Ealy is impressing with his ability to beat his man off the edge. He had two nice inside moves this week.
Nose tackles Steve McLendon and Mike Pennel again didn't play very much, although McLendon blew up a run in the backfield on one play.
New signing David Bass also saw some reps on the edge. He had a tackle for loss and a pressure off the edge and was also credited with a sack after Wilkerson's pressure forced the quarterback into him.
After last week, Darron Lee and Demario Davis had to show improvement against the run. This week saw a dramatic change of fortunes as the Jets held Miami's running backs to just 21 yards and 1.5 yards per carry.
The biggest difference was in the linebacking corps rather than upfront. Last week, Lee and Davis were running themselves out of lanes and getting caught up on blocks, but this week Davis was everywhere. His team-high 12 tackles included three for a loss and one for no gain. He also made the tackle on six other pass plays which only netted 26 yards.
Lee's role in all this was important too, as although he only recorded two tackles, he avoided making any mistakes in terms of his positioning against the run, which was integral to the success of the defensive unit. He still made one mental error when his late hit on Cutler extended a late drive, but otherwise his mistakes were minor things that didn't lead to much yardage.
Jordan Jenkins and Josh Martin both played less this week as the Jets employed more four man fronts and dime packages than in the previous two games. Each had a missed tackle, with Jenkins missing out on a potential sack.
Rookie Dylan Donahue continues to get reps situationally and in garbage time. He was unlikely not to get credit for half a sack on the play where Bass recorded his sack but his pressure off the edge did lead to another sack for a teammate.
Rookie Jamal Adams had his best game so far, with an early tackle for loss and a couple of spectacular plays back-to-back in the second quarter, ranging over for a pass break-up and then blitzing for a third down sack. He was quieter in the second half and let himself down with a late hit and taunting penalty. Adams is starting to show signs of being a difference-maker, but the most important thing is that he remains disciplined.
On one play, Buster Skrine passed Jarvis Landry off to Adams but Adams stayed out in the flat. Somehow, Jay Cutler didn't see the wide-open Landry open for an easy touchdown and threw an incompletion to another receiver. Maybe that was Skrine's fault and not Adams, but a breakdown like that can undo a great performance by offering up an easy route back into the game for the opponents.
Skrine otherwise had a pretty good game, giving up just one first down and making some contributions in the running game for the second straight week. He also added a sack, unblocked off the edge.
While Adams was having an impressive day, Marcus Maye didn't record any tackles and wasn't targeted in coverage. However, he was operating primarily as a deep safety, so his primary role was being in position for downfield coverage support that wasn't often needed.
The Jets operated some dime packages this week, with three safeties. Terrence Brooks -- who didn't get any snaps last week -- saw plenty of action, responding with two interceptions, including one on a fake punt. Brooks played primarily as a deep safety in week one, but was used in the box more yesterday.
Morris Claiborne had an up-and-down day. He gave up a couple of first downs, was called for pass interference and missed a tackle. However, he had good coverage on a deep incompletion and made a great play to break up a fourth down throw to the end zone.
After a rough game last week, Juston Burris was basically benched for Darryl Roberts as the Jets employed three cornerbacks virtually all the time. Roberts had some good plays, highlighted by a diving pass break-up, although he had slipped on the play and only got a chance to recover because Cutler threw late. As the Jets went into more of a prevent-style defense in the second half, Roberts gave up three first downs and a touchdown, losing his man at the back of the end zone on the last play of the game to deny the Jets their first shutout since 2009.
Burris saw some time on that last drive too, giving up three consecutive catches - two first downs and one just shy of the marker - on back shoulder throws as he was playing off. He also had a holding penalty on that last play. I doubt this performance will do anything to convince the staff he deserves to get reps ahead of Roberts.