Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The Jets put together their most complete performance of the season in an impressive 34-21 win over the Bills on Thursday night, rushing for almost 200 yards and racking up seven sacks and three fumble recoveries in the process.
Let's review the defensive performance from Thursday night's win:
The Jets dominated up front, racking up seven sacks and holding the Bills to less than three yards per carry -- or less than two, if you include Tyrod Taylor's contributions.
Muhammad Wilkerson continued to look rejuvenated, despite the short week. He made several plays against the run, recorded another sack, batted down a pass and generated some good pressure. During the week, Wilkerson indicated to reporters that even when his production was down, he was still doing his job because he was constantly in his lane. However, watching him closely, this was also his most consistent performance so far in terms of that aspect. It's obvious he's moving better and that's what has sparked his jump in production.
Leonard Williams finally got on the board this week with half a sack, also adding some good pressure. He also stuffed consecutive runs on the first series and blew up a run in the backfield for a loss. He jumped offside once, though.
Steve McLendon had a nice game as he seems to be benefiting from Wilkerson and Williams' improvements. McLendon was strong at the point of attack and got in on two run stuffs. He also collapsed the pocket well, sharing the sack with Williams.
Kony Ealy continued to create some good pressure off the edge, especially in the second half, adding a sack this week, surprisingly his first of the season. He was badly fooled on a read-option keeper and driven off the line on the quarterback sneak touchdown, though.
Mike Pennel and new addition Xavier Cooper saw action off the bench, with most of Cooper's reps coming in garbage time.
Jordan Jenkins made an impact this week with two sacks and a forced fumble. One of these came as he was unblocked and the other saw him chase down Taylor after he stepped up to extend a play. He otherwise didn't generate much direct pressure off the edge and was blocked out of the play on a screen pass and beaten for what should have been a touchdown only for LeSean McCoy to drop it. Perhaps his most impressive play saw him get excellent penetration on the edge so that Darron Lee could blow up a run in the backfield.
Lee has been making a lot more plays over the past few weeks and that was the case again here as he had a sack and a hit as a pass rusher. He also had two tackles for loss against the run. Perhaps more importantly, though, he didn't have as many negatives as usual, giving up just two catches for 19 yards in coverage and only being blocked out of one play at the second level.
The steady play of Demario Davis has definitely contributed to Lee's apparent advances. Davis tied with Lee for the team lead with eight tackles, adding a sack, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery that he returned inside the 10. However, he missed a couple of tackles and gave up a few first downs in coverage.
On the outside, Josh Martin, David Bass, and Freddie Bishop all got reps and, although they only combined for one tackle, they each pressured Taylor at least once. Bruce Carter also got a few reps in the dime package.
The Jets missed Morris Claiborne in coverage as Taylor put up pretty nice numbers despite being under so much pressure. The four starting defensive backs also had seven penalties between them, including three for the returning Buster Skrine.
At cornerback, Skrine, Darryl Roberts, and Juston Burris were all picked on several times with Roberts and Burris giving up touchdown passes. However, other than the late 26-yard touchdown given up by Roberts they didn't give up any 20-yard plays between them.
Roberts made positive contributions, too, with two pass break-ups and a nice play against the run. He also broke up a third pass, although that ultimately didn't count due to a Skrine penalty.
Other than his touchdown, Burris gave up a couple of late first downs, missing a tackle on one. However, he made a great ankle tackle short of the marker on third down, a play made even better when Jordan Matthews fumbled and Burris recovered.
Skrine almost gave up a touchdown, too, but the replay booth overturned it because the receiver was down at the one. He made a couple of good tackles, but was called twice for illegal contact and inexplicably lined up in the neutral zone on a goalline play.
At safety, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye combined for a huge play when Adams gave up a downfield completion but then realized the receiver hadn't been touched, and held him up so Maye could pry the ball loose for Adams to recover.
Adams also had a couple of nice plays against the run, with a tackle for loss and a third down stop at the line. Maye seemed to be out of position a couple of times and had a penalty to negate an Adams sack, though. Adams also had one penalty.
New Jet Rashard Robinson didn't get any reps, but Robert Nelson was in for a couple of plays. Rontez Miles also saw action, briefly.