Brandon Marshall got off to a disappointing start to the year, as he had one of his quietest games as a Jet. Marshall had two first down catches over the middle, but his only other reception saw him unable to beat two defenders to get to the goal line after catching a short pass in the red zone.
He also made a poor attempt at a downfield block and his drop at midfield -- even though the pass was thrown slightly behind him -- cost the Jets a chance at getting into range for a potential game-winning field goal.
Marshall was also called for offensive pass interference, negating a fourth catch for a would-be first down. In addition, the Bengals' defenders wanted pass interference called on him on one of his other first down catches and again as he ran a rub route on the play where Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa.
Speaking of offensive pass interference, Eric Decker deserves credit for a well-disguised push-off at the goal line on his touchdown catch, as you can see below. With three rookie receivers on the roster, it's exciting to ponder how quickly they'll be able to develop as they learn these tricks of the trade from their veteran teammates.
Marshall and Decker's production was disappointing, though, as they combined for just 69 yards and a touchdown on five completions. Last year, they averaged over 150 yards per game as a duo and combined for over 100 yards in every game except the first one, where they "only" had eight catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
It's difficult not to be concerned about Marshall's ailing hip. He's a player who has played through injuries in the past and seen it dramatically reduce his production. Not to mention the Jets have experienced with Antonio Cromartie the impact a hip injury can have on a top player.
Enunwa led the Jets with seven receptions as he scored his first NFL touchdown and caught more than five passes for the first time in his career. While these only accounted for 54 yards, this was only the second time he's surpassed the 50-yard mark.
He played a career-high 63 snaps, mostly in the slot, but also with plenty of snaps outside or motioning to the edge. Using him on jet sweeps was a new development and I wonder if we can expect Jalin Marshall to be used in that manner, reprising his role from his days at Ohio State.
Of the three rookies, Robbie Anderson only played three snaps and Charone Peake was only used on special teams. However, the recent pattern of Marshall getting into the game sooner was continued. While he didn't catch a pass, Marshall was able to draw two first downs via penalty, setting up a touchdown on the first one and almost coming up with an amazing one-handed catch on the second one.
As usual, the tight ends were not used as options in the passing game, but Kellen Davis got plenty of work as a blocker. He made some good contributions early on, but was inconsistent over the rest of the game. He got beaten for a pressure, missed a block on a play that was blown up in the backfield, and struggled to sustain blocks and control the point of attack.
Brandon Bostick got some work as a blocker, too, always as a second tight end with Davis still in the game. He had one good driving block and set the edge well on one play where he did well not to get called for holding. But his man threw him into the hole to bottle up the goal line run which ended up being one of the biggest plays of the game.
Next up … The defensive line looks as good as ever, even without Sheldon Richardson.