Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs the ball against Miami Dolphins corner back Bobby McCain (28) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs the ball against Miami Dolphins corner back Bobby McCain (28) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 15 performances by Bryce Petty, Bilal Powell, the offensive line, Robby Anderson, Darron Lee, and the special teams, among others...


Quarterbacks

Bent: With the Jets overmatched in the trenches, there was always a risk that Bryce Petty would never make it all the way through his "four-game audition." However, ironically, most of the hits he took came not as a result of offensive linemen failing to make their blocks, but rather from unblocked rushers exploiting messed-up protections. 

While we can analyze the reads and throws Petty made, it's difficult to attribute blame when someone comes completely unblocked off the edge. However, it doesn't take much of a leap in logic to assume that Petty was the one at fault, given his reputation as someone who hasn't quite got to grips with pro concepts. That might have been the biggest thing that held him back from the coaching staff considering him to be "ready" to play any meaningful action until the Jets were out of contention.

In terms of how he saw the field and delivered the ball, Petty did once again show some progress this week. More so than any of his previous appearances, Petty had some plays where he surveyed the field and found the open man. He padded his stats with plenty of short passing and a couple of successful downfield shots in the first half, but the passing game started to grind to a halt after half time. 

Statistically, Petty completed 20-of-36 passes for 235 yards and would perhaps have had a chance at a 300-yard game had he been able to stay in the game for the fourth quarter. In fact, he had almost 200 yards at half time, as the Jets had moved the ball pretty consistently. In the third quarter, Petty was just 4-of-10 for 15 yards with an interception. Fourteen of those yards came on the last play.

Petty would then be knocked out on the first play of the fourth quarter on a play where, rather than a failure to set the protection, it seemed like an early snap was the reason for two completely unblocked rushers getting into the backfield.

Petty wasn't always accurate and had two interceptions, one a classic rookie mistake where he didn't spot the defensive end dropping into coverage and another on a deep throw which was basically a jump ball. Despite these, there were moments in the first half where Petty showed some promise, especially throwing on the move and with his touchdown pass where he changed the play at the line, then threw a strike, hitting the receiver in stride. Will he ever get the time to develop to a point where he can iron out those rookie mistakes though?

As for Ryan Fitzpatrick, he entered the game in relief of Petty and completed just five of 10 passes, all on dump-offs, closing the game out with one of his trademark end zone picks. He also threw right at a defensive player on a fourth down play where both Robby Anderson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins seemed to be open near the goal line.

The calls for Christian Hackenberg will now increase, especially if Petty is unable to suit up next weekend. However, I'm not sure Jets fans should want Hackenberg anywhere near this mess.

Running Backs

Bent: Bilal Powell got the start after his excellent display last week and delivered well once again. Not only did he average over five yards per carry on his way to 84 rushing yards, but he also caught 11 passes for another 78 yards, generating several first downs. I believe that's the biggest receiving output by a Jets back since Richie Anderson had two double-digit reception games in 2000.

Powell continues to display his burst and shiftiness and it's good to see that he's been durable so far despite handling a much bigger workload.

Powell wasn't perfect though, missing a couple of blitz pick-ups and getting stuffed on fourth down. That was the first time all season he's carried the ball on third or fourth down with a yard to go and failed to pick up the first down. The Jets offense looks better when he's being featured though and that's been the case for the last two years.

Perhaps more interesting than the way the Jets used Powell was their usage of Matt Forte. Forte is nursing a knee injury, but was healthy enough that he received reps as a situational third-down back throughout and then saw action in garbage time in relief of Powell. 

While it makes sense to limit Forte's reps if he isn't 100 percent, entering him into the game in that situation almost suggests he was relegated to a back-up role rather than only having been kept active as a contingency, so Jets apparently opted to keep Powell as the starter and deservedly so. That's not always the case with veteran players. Should we also expect to see the likes of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall or David Harris benched for younger alternatives down the stretch?

Youngster Brandon Wilds saw action briefly but didn't get any touches. Why not get him some touches late in the game, instead of exposing an injured veteran to more punishment?

Offensive Line

Bent: This was billed as a really tough test for the Jets' offensive line but they actually handled themselves surprisingly well. As noted above, much of the pressure surrendered was due to blown protections rather than missed blocks and there weren't many examples of individual blockers being overmatched in a one-on-one situation.

After a fine performance last week, pending restricted free agent Wesley Johnson continues to make a case for himself as the starting center for next season. In this game, he did an excellent job of carving out the middle by taking his man and driving him laterally on a number of plays. It was nowhere near as consistent as his performance last week though, as he had a couple of bad snaps, let his man into the backfield a few times and whiffed on a couple of blocks in space.  

In the past, the Jets have approached the Ndamukong Suh challenge by relying on Nick Mangold to neutralize him and exploiting mismatches elsewhere. They shied away from this approach this time, instead opted to spread the line out, run away from him and using combination blocks to slow him down as much as possible. Between them, the Jets' line did a decent job of limiting his effectiveness, although he did blow up a few plays.

Brian Winters was usually matched up with Suh, who tends to line up on the left side of the formation. As a result, Winters had one of his least effective games of the year, albeit still a far cry from recent years where he was even worse than this on a regular basis, even when faced with easier match-ups. Winters allowed a couple of pressures and was called for a hold, but did make a few positive contributions in the running game.

By contrast, James Carpenter was fortunate enough not to have to deal with Suh very often, although he did have a couple of effective blocks pulling to that side. Carpenter let his man get off his block for one pressure, but otherwise made solid contributions in the running and screen game.

The two inexperienced tackles, Ben Ijalana and rookie Brandon Shell both held up better than you might expect, on the assumption that most of the unblocked pressure coming off the edge was not on them. 

Ijalana got beaten outside a couple of times in the first half, although even on these he pushed the pass rusher upfield and that would have enabled the quarterback to step up had there not been unblocked pressure coming from the other side. He had one play where he was driven back in the pocket and ended up being flagged for illegal hands to the face, but otherwise had one of his cleanest games so far, especially since the move to left tackle.

Shell was primarily matched up with Cameron Wake, who had two hits, an interception, a sack and a forced fumble. None of this seemed to be Shell's fault though, unless he was the one who blew the protection when he double-teamed down on Suh and left Wake unblocked off the edge for the strip sack.

Shell was beaten outside and lost leverage a few times, flushing the quarterback from the pocket, but never surrendered any clean pressure. He also had a few encouraging moments in the running game, making a couple of good downhill blocks and working well in combination with the right guard. Hopefully Shell can get more chances to show how much progress he has made in these last couple of games.

Dakota Dozier saw plenty of action as a sixth lineman and then relieved Winters at right guard down the stretch. All told, he played more snaps in this game than he had the rest of the season put together. Dozier had one missed block on a running play that was stuffed and also reacted late to a blitz and was unable to prevent the rusher from getting into the backfield. However, he had a good downhill block and an effective combo block in the running game.

Finally, Craig Watts made his NFL debut and was in on two plays as an extra tight end.

Receivers

Bent: The most eye-popping statistic from this game was that Marshall had just one catch on 11 targets. Take that out of the equation and Petty and Fitzpatrick completed a reasonable 24-of-35 passes between them. In fact, Jets quarterbacks have a quarterback rating of just 49.4 when targeting Marshall this year, which makes you wonder if the Jets' passing numbers would have been better without him.

It began quite well, as Petty found him over the middle for a first down and then hit him for another first down. However, Petty looked for him unsuccessfully nine times in a row after that, with one of them being the interception caused by him staring Marshall down and failing to see the defensive end dropping into the passing lane. Fitzpatrick looked for him twice, drawing a flag on one.

Marshall, supposedly on a "pitch count" missed just three snaps, but his output was disappointing in a week where he'd continued his war of words with Byron Maxwell, even though Petty tried to take full responsibility after the game. Petty notably missed him on a play where he had a step deep. 

Maxwell hurt his ankle early on and maybe this was a demotivating factor for Marshall, who had a couple of drops and seemed to miss a signal on a play where Petty looked to throw a quick pass to him and was sacked because Marshall never looked back for the ball. There was also one play where Marshall ran a stop route and then literally just stood still in that same spot for several seconds when Petty looked the other way. Is this the first sign that we can start to expect some demonstrative body language from Marshall if they are unable to feature him more over the next two weeks?

Quincy Enunwa had a decent game, with five catches for 60 yards, including a juggling catch and a sideline grab. He also made some good yardage after the catch on a couple of plays. Enunwa is closing fast on Marshall for the team lead in terms of receiving yards. He's now just 14 yards behind, although Powell's big game pushes Enunwa into third place in terms of receptions, five behind Marshall on 52. 

For Enunwa, that was only the second time since week four he's caught five passes, so he needs to continue to improve his consistency in anticipation of an even bigger role next year. There were a couple of passes he got his hands to but couldn't bring in

Anderson is also closing on Marshall and, at the rate he's been producing, he might be able to make up the 116 yard gap over the next two games. Whoever would have imagined that could be possible without Marshall missing significant time? Anderson scored another long touchdown, again showcasing his big play speed, and had three other catches, including two first downs. 

There's a question of whether Anderson could have done a better job of contesting the deep interception and he was unable to come up with what seemed to be a catchable pass in traffic, but overall his consistent production has been impressive and if he can bulk up between now and next season without sacrificing too much speed, he should be a focal point of the offense.

Charone Peake has been totally overshadowed by Anderson this year, but hasn't had a bad rookie season. He caught a couple of short passes, giving him 16 on the season, but was the intended recipient on Fitzpatrick's game-ending interception.

At tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught just one short pass and struggled as a blocker. He also dropped another pass, although Petty fired it at him with no touch from close quarters. Eric Tomlinson was motionless still in his stance as Petty was sandwiched and knocked out of the game by Suh and Wake. That may not have been his fault though and he made some good blocks in the running game this week.

Coming off an injury, Brandon Bostick barely played and it was his missed lead block that led to Powell being stuffed on an otherwise well-blocked fourth down play.

Defensive Line

Bent: The defensive line didn't seem to have much of an impact this week, but it's difficult to fault them too much. In the running game, the Jets allowed just 67 yards on 27 carries and stuffed several short yardage plays. Sheldon Richardson was credited with a quarterback hit but otherwise the linemen didn't record a hit or sack. However, Matt Moore only threw 18 passes, many of them on quick releases, so it's not like they had many opportunities to produce in terms of pass rush numbers.

Leonard Williams got off to a great start, blowing up two runs in a row but only had modest production thereafter. He ended up with six tackles, all of which came on plays that gained one yard or less. In fact, Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson were in on two tackles each and all four of those went for one yard or less too.

As a group, the Jets held up better at the point of attack than they have done over the past few games, with fewer examples of players being driven off the line. While the statistical production from Wilkerson and Richardson was poor, they each helped to bottle up runs or redirect runners with penetration. However, I was hoping for more from Wilkerson after he showed some flashes down the stretch last week. He was OK, but they don't pay him over $1 million per game to be OK.

Williams again saw some time off the edge, but had just two pressures. One of those saw him lining up at nose and blowing past the center with his trademark arm-over swim move. That this remains his go-to move is perhaps an indictment on defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, who reportedly discourages his players from using swim moves. Wilkerson also had his only pressure on the interior, leveraging his way past his man to pressure Moore up the middle.

Backup nose tackle Deon Simon has been a bright spot over the last few weeks and that continued in this game. The Jets stuffed all four run attempts from the goal line and Simon was a key factor in each of those plays. On one of them, he drove the center back into the backfield and onto his back. He was also in on one run stuff on a non-goal line play, but didn't play that much in non-short yardage situations.

Finally, Anthony Johnson saw action briefly. He flushed the quarterback from the pocket on a goal line roll-out but lost contain on one outside run, although that play was negated by a penalty.

Linebackers

Bent: Darron Lee probably had one of his most consistent games of the year. However, he was unable to altogether avoid any negatives, as he gave up a big catch down to the goal line on a lofted jump ball to Dion Sims that saw Lee lose his balance and stumble over in coverage. He was also perhaps partially at fault for leaving Sims open for an easy touchdown, although with Lee having lined up on the opposite side, I think that was more likely on Rontez Miles.

There were some good moments from Lee though. He closed quickly on a pass in the flat to stop the receiver in his tracks near the line early on to get off to a good start. Even more impressively, he anticipated a run, got ahead of the lineman and was able to leverage off his block to plug a running lane. That was a good example of a play where if he hesitated for even a split second, he'd have been caught on the block and unable to make the play so perhaps it's a sign he's advancing in that crucial area.

David Harris had a couple of pressures as a blitzer and was in on a few run stops, but he was beaten for big gain and a touchdown in coverage and had a missed tackle in a quiet performance. Does he have any more than two games left as a Jet?

Bruce Carter saw some action off the bench when Lee suffered an eye injury. He had a tackle for loss, a third down tackle to force a punt and one other good hit.

With both Mike Catapano and Lorenzo Mauldin out, CFL import Freddie Bishop got plenty of work at outside linebacker. He was about as good as his predecessors had been, but that's probably more of an indictment on them than anything else. 

On the other side, rookie Jordan Jenkins was credited with his first full sack after having a half-sack last week. It was a cheap one though; an open field tackle as Moore tried to scramble with nobody open. Bishop and Jenkins otherwise failed to generate any other pressure between them.

Both made plays against the run, although Bishop had a missed tackle and was blocked out of one run on the edge. As for Jenkins, he had one other tackle for loss but was absolutely pancaked by a pulling lineman on one play.

Defensive Backs

Bent: With Marcus Gilchrist out for the rest of the year, it was always going to be interesting to see how Calvin Pryor and Rontez Miles would cope at safety. Each had six tackles, tied with Leonard Williams for the team lead, but there were also some mishaps, including one each that led to a score.

Pryor took a bad angle on the play where Jarvis Landry broke away for a long touchdown while Miles passed his man off in coverage leaving him wide open in the end zone for an easy score.

There weren't many other obvious coverage breakdowns, but Pryor over pursued on one other play and was beaten for a first down in coverage. Each came up to make a few plays in the box though and Miles added a pressure on the blitz.

At cornerback, Juston Burris got his first career start and did well to intercept an underthrown pass. However, he was burned for a long touchdown and botched the chance to recover a fumble. Burris was in good position on two other incompletions, though. There was a barely perceptible hesitation from Burris just before the receiver made his break on the post pattern for that long touchdown which makes me wonder if maybe he thought they were playing zone on that particular play.

Marcus Williams' inability to tackle continues to blight his efforts to establish himself as a starter-level player. He overran one play, leading to a big gain as the receiver cut back, and then missed the tackle that led to Landry's 66-yard score.

Darrelle Revis gave up a couple of first downs, although it seemed like he was trying to blame Pryor for one of them. He had good coverage on one third down incompletion early on, but did a poor job of getting off a downfield block in the second half.

Off the bench, Dexter McDougle and Ronald Martin each saw their first action of the year. McDougle whiffed on one tackle in run support. Doug Middleton also saw action, mostly as a deep safety, having played as an extra linebacker last week. Middleton dropped a chance at an interception and was called for pass interference down the field as he came over to try and break up a pass.

Special teams

Bent: Another major special teams breakdown cost the Jets dearly this week, as the blocked punt for a score just after half time turned a competitive game into one where the Jets crumbled. Wilds did a lousy job of blocking the rush on the play. Wilds has been forced into that role having not been on the roster for very long, which is an issue special teams coach Brant Boyer had been discussing just a few days ago.

You can add Nick Folk to the list of Jets veterans who might only have a few games left in his Jets career. Folk has had a pretty good year and nailed both his field goals here - although kicking one on 4th-and-short in a 24-point game was a frustratingly pointless exercise. Although he's only missed three field goals all year - each of them blocked - Folk simply isn't enough of an upgrade over replacement level to warrant the additional salary on a rebuilding team.

Rookie punter Lac Edwards is cheap, but he might not be on next year's team either because based on his performance this year, he simply isn't good enough. While the blocked punt wasn't his fault, his three other punts netted 31, 42 and 29 yards further extending his streak of not having had a single punt with a 45-yard net over the last few months. When punting from opposing territory, failing to at least land the ball inside the 15, which he has done multiple times over the past few weeks, is inexcusable. 

Nick Marshall had a couple of good punt returns, but was routinely stopped short of the 25 on kick-offs. One of his punt returns came after the ball once again hit an oblivious blocker for a possible turnover. That's about the third or fourth time that's happened in the last month. The ball seemed to deflect off either McDougle or Ronald Martin and then Darryl Roberts failed to recover it before Marshall scooped it up and ran it up field.

Marshall didn't just contribute in the return game, as he was in on two tackles in coverage and his pressure off the edge contributed to Miami missing a game-tying extra point. Richardson also had good penetration on that kick.

Also in coverage, Josh Martin had a special teams tackle on a great play where he drove his blocker back and then disengaged. He did also miss a tackle though. Devin Smith also had a good tackle in kick coverage, but overpursued on a punt.

Some of the blocking left a lot to be desired though. Wilds and Bishop were among those who seemingly missed assignments.

Final thoughts

Bent: Looking back on this game, it will be remembered as an ugly blow-out loss. The second half spiralled out of control in a fashion we've seen all too often in recent years as Jets fans - even when the team was good!

However, for much of the first half, the Jets were doing quite well and I was actually enjoying the game. I even felt the Jets were outplaying Miami for the most part. Things got ugly after half time, with the demoralizing punt block and then the long touchdown out of nothing that suddenly had the Dolphins way out in front with the Jets ill-equipped to counter and with little impetus to motivate themselves to do so.

With just two games to go, we're now at the point where I can't wait for the season to be over, although there are some individual performances I'll be interested to monitor. Perhaps more so than the previous regime, at least they are giving some reserve players a chance to get on the field and show what they're capable of.

The New England game next week could get ugly, unless the Patriots decide that resting players is a higher priority than postseason seeding. However, having said that, the Jets played New England pretty tough a few weeks ago and arguably deserved to win, so who knows?

It certainly looks likely that the Jets will end up with no more than five wins and their third top ten pick since the end of the 2013 season. Let's see if anyone else can establish themselves as someone to build around over the next few years.

Tags: BGA

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (4-9) against the Houston Texans (9-4) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

The Jets and Texans will be just a few degrees away from a snow game … but it doesn't look like they're going to make it. Temperatures should be above 40 at kickoff but will drop through the mid-30s as the game goes on. There is also plenty of rain sprinkled into the forecast throughout the night.

WHAT IT MEANS

They showed a little pride earlier this week against the Bills, but in the process they blew a chance to gain control of their destiny in the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They're only one game behind the Cardinals, Raiders and 49ers in that race, though. So a loss to the Texans here and they're right back in it.

Tags: Houston Texans, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell is escorted off the field after being injured against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets ruled running back Isaiah Crowell and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa out for Saturday's game against the Texans, while outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins will be a game-time decision.

Crowell left Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills in the first half with a foot injury and did not return. Elijah McGuire recorded 60 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards in Crowell's absence, scoring the game-winning 1-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Enunwa did not practice on Tuesday or Wednesday with an ankle injury. He missed two games in October with a sprained ankle.

Tags: Houston Texans, Jordan Jenkins, Quincy Enunwa
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'Cope's Chronicles' 00:01:28
New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland interviews some of his teammates about their Alma maters.

Jets LB Brandon Copeland took the microphone from SNY's Jeane Coakley to make his rounds in the locker room for "Cope's Chronicles," his new segment on Jets Game Plan.

Copeland naturally assumed the role of interviewer, asking his teammates about their alma maters and how much they regret not going to his own, the University of Pennsylvania.

"How mad are you on a scale of 1 to 10 that you did not go to the University of Pennsylvania," he asked WR Andre Roberts.

Tags: Brandon Copeland
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire celebrates his game-winning touchdown with offensive guard Brian Winters and offensive guard Dakota Dozier against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire celebrates his game-winning touchdown with offensive guard Brian Winters and offensive guard Dakota Dozier against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

When Jets running back Isaiah Crowell went down, Elijah McGuire stepped up.

And he hopes to keep the momentum going in the future.

McGuire totaled 83 yards from scrimmage, the most he's had since Week 4 in 2017, and scored the game-winning 1-yard touchdown in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills after Crowell left the game with a foot injury.

"You can't take it for granted," McGuire said, according to the New York Post's Brian Costello.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire
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Nothing to lose 00:01:24
Avery Williamson and Todd Bowles say they aren't taking the last three games for granted. Players must make the most and try and win out.

As the Jets continue to hope for a winning future, New York's three remaining games of the season are important to assess how the franchise's top players will establish themselves. 

New York is feeling confident after defeating Buffalo 27-23 on Sunday with a solid return from quarterback Sam Darnold. The 21-year-old went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to snap the Jets' six-game losing streak.

Linebacker Avery Williamson is not taking the Jets' final three games for granted and hopes the team's latest victory will stretch into Week 15 against the Titans. Williamson said it's not just about winning games, but he wants to end the season on a positive note -- by playing the best he can.

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Sam Darnold optimistic after win 00:01:01
Sam Darnold is feeling better physically after the Jets win. Darnold looks to build on his start for the last three games of the season.

Sam Darnold gave Jets fans a scare in the first half of Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills when he exited the game after re-aggravating his sprained right foot. 

The rookie quarterback eventually re-entered the game and gutted it out as he led the Jets to a comeback victory, but there was still concern over his health, especially when he was splitting first-team reps with Josh McCown at the start of Tuesday's practice that was open to media. 

But Darnold was listed as a full participant and insists he "feels great."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

Another NFL coaching whiz became available on Thursday when the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo -- and the Jets likely already have their eyes on him.

DeFilippo is expected to be on the Jets' shortlist to replace head coach Todd Bowles, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The 40-year-old DeFilippo was the Jets' quarterbacks coach in 2009, and the team even tried to interview him for its offensive coordinator job in 2017 before the Eagles blocked him. DeFilippo helped develop QB Carson Wentz over two seasons in Philly, but his 2018 season with Minnesota was cut short due to a struggling, Kirk Cousins-led offense. 

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Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon rehash the Jets win over the Bills. Was the signature win for the rookie QB better than a potentially higher draft spot? The duo also examine the coaching carousel in the NFL and preview the game against the Texans.

Subscribe to the show here: https://on.sny.tv/2Od2Qzt

 

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

If Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins was happy about his team's first win in six weeks, he didn't show it. Instead, Jenkins had sharp words for young Bills quarterback Josh Allen and outside left tackler Dion Dawkins after New York edged Buffalo 27-23 on Sunday.

Allen pulled away from Jenkins, who was charging at the quarterback at the 15-yard line, for a 6-yard touchdown on Buffalo's first drive of the game. But Jenkins' emotional response during his postgame press conference was driven by Dawkins' chop block on the first play from scrimmage. 

The play caused Jenkins to retreat to the locker room with an ankle injury. Moments later, SNYtv's Ralph Vacchiano reported Jenkins was returning to the field, despite being doubtful to return. Jenkins finished with two tackles, including one tackle for loss.

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Until the final drive, Sam Darnold's performance in his return to the starting lineup would be defined by his best and worst play. However, Darnold's composure in leading the team downfield for the late game-winning score in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills was exactly the kind of thing the Jets and their fans had been hoping to see from him this year.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions:

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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What to make of Sam Darnold 00:00:51
Sam Darnold returned to action against the Bills. What should Jets fans takeaway from the young QB?s season so far?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Fourteen years ago there was a young quarterback in New York who had struggled through an up-and-down rookie season. He showed flashes of his potential, but not nearly enough to convince everyone he would someday be the man to lead his franchise.

Then in Week 17, Eli Manning got the ball with 1:41 remaining and drove the Giants down the field for a game-winning drive capped by a 3-yard Tiki Barber touchdown run. The Giants beat the Cowboys 28-24 that day and it seemed like the moment that Manning arrived.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Eli Manning, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Report Cards from the Jets win 00:02:37
Willie Colon and Bart Scott give their grades for the Jets 27-23 win over Buffalo. It's all A's for special teams but what about the rest?

The Jets crew hands out grades after Sam Darnold led the Jets to a last-minute comeback drive in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.

Tags: Buffalo Bills
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Jets beat Bills 27-23 00:01:17
The Jets got their much-wanted revenge on the Buffalo Bills, winning 27-23. After the game it was all smiles in the locker room.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Sam Darnold limped off to the locker room after the Jets' first series, it looked like this season was going to go from bad to much worse. This season had always been about him. But he had already missed three games with a foot injury after three terrible performances.

And now he was going to be out again?

Well, though it wasn't exactly a Willis Reed performance, Darnold returned quickly enough to give some life and hope to what's left of this Jets season. He went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to give the Jets a 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Isaiah Crowell left Week 14 against Buffalo with a foot injury. The Jets announced he is questionable to return. 

The 25-year-old was sidelined at Jets practice with a toe issue all week, and it could be related to Sunday's injury. Crowell had three touches for seven yards before exiting. Elijah McGuire took over for Crowell as the New York's lead back.

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Jets QB Sam Darnold left Sunday's game against the Bills after just three plays, heading to the locker room with team doctors before being replaced by Josh McCown.

Darnold missed one drive before jogging back on the field and coming back in the game. 

He is playing in his first game since Week 9, when he suffered a right foot strain.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After missing the last three games due to a foot injury, Sam Darnold will return as the Jets' QB on Sunday against the Bills, the team announced. 

Darnold practiced in full on Friday, but head coach Todd Bowles said a final decision on his availability wouldn't be made until right before the game. 

"We'll decide that on Sunday," Bowles said. "Both he and Josh (McCown) had good weeks."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (3-9) at the Buffalo Bills (4-8) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As the Jets enter the final quarter of their schedule in the 2018-2019 season, the reality that there will be no postseason football for Gang Green has set in. But that does not mean players are packing it in on the whole.

That's certainly not how Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams sees it.

"You can tell guys are tired of it - they want to win, no more losing," Williams told the New York Post on Friday. "I think it shows a lot."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The last time Sam Darnold was under center for the Jets, his rookie season was in a freefall.

In his last three games, he had completed just 47.3 percent of his passes for 588 yards, with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had a dismal passer rating of 43.2.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manish Mehta responds to Bowles 00:02:56
Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta responds to Todd Bowles' denial of his story about tension between and GM Mike Maccagnan and himself.

Even though Todd Bowles claims there was "never any tension" between him and anyone else on the Jets staff, New York Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta isn't buying it. 

Mehta doubled down on his Daily News report Friday, saying the head coach's denial of friction between him and GM Mike Maccagnan were "predictable" and he wouldn't expect the two to publicly say otherwise.

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New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets season still manages to reach a new low. 

Linebacker Darron Lee was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the team announced on Friday. 

Lee will begin his suspension immediately and will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Dec. 31, the day after their final game. 

Tags: Darron Lee
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz is joined by Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager to discuss why a younger, offensive-minded head coach would be a lot better than hiring Mike McCarthy and could get the most out of Sam Darnold. Lastly, The Athletic's Jets beat writer Connor Hughes goes in-depth on the Jets roster and how the losing is impacting the locker room.

Subscribe to the show here: https://on.sny.tv/2Od2Qzt

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

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Todd Bowles denies rift with GM 00:00:36
Jets head coach Todd Bowles denies a published report that there's a rift between himself and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Todd Bowles insists everything is just fine between him and GM Mike Maccagnan

The Jets head coach denied a report form Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that said there was "friction and passive aggressive petulance" between Bowles and Maccagnan. 

"I'm not big on responding to articles, but there's never been any tension between me or anybody else in this building," Bowles told SNY's Jeane Coakley on Friday.

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

After a 30-9 Titans beatdown on the Jaguars Thursday night, the Jets were officially eliminated from playoff contention this season. 

A 3-9 Jets team had extremely slim chances of staying afloat, but Tennessee put the nail in the coffin to send New York packing after Week 17 for the eighth straight season. This playoff drought is the second-longest in franchise history. 

In turn, head coach Todd Bowles' job could be in some serious jeopardy. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano says it "seems like a given at this point" considering the lackluster performance the team has had all season long. So, while fans will be focused on the Jets' high draft pick, finding a new head coach will also be on their radar. 

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Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)
Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There doesn't seem to be any way for Todd Bowles to save his job now, which means the Jets are probably already thinking about what comes next. Most good executives always have a list of future potential coaches. Surely GM Mike Maccagnan and CEO Christopher Johnson have lists, too.

It's hard to say for sure who is on it with four games to go in the regular season. It's not even absolutely certain who will lead the search, though one team source indicated Maccagnan will have "strong influence" if not total control. Regardless, the Jets will have several strong candidates from which to choose.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darnold looks good, could start 00:00:53
New York Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is encouraged by what he's seen from Sam Darnold in practice, but will he play on Sunday?

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold was back with the first team at practice on Thursday, which means the first-year signal-caller could see action for the first time in nearly a month when the Jets hit the road Sunday to take on the Buffalo Bills.

Talking on "Good Morning Football" this morning, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Darnold is "expected to exit the injury report pretty soon." Darnold took part in full practice drills, and seems to be back on track after a foot injury that sidelined him in Week 9.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles hasn't said whether or not Darnold will start across from fellow rookie QB Josh Allen. Darnold noted feeling great after practice Wednesday, as he continues to practice hard...

Tags: Josh Allen, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are looking to avenge their embarrassing 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills last month, and in Jamal Adams' eyes, "It's personal.

"They came in and they whupped us," Adams continued, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. "They don't like us, we don't like them, so it's going to be a tough battle."

So much went wrong for the Jets on Nov. 11 that it was fair to question of the players quit. The heat under head coach Todd Bowles' hot seat was scorching; owner Christopher Johnson did comment on Bowles' job status after the game. 

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold
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Get to know Jonotthan Harrison 00:02:19
Jonotthan Harrison would be a homicide detective if he wasn't playing football. He shared a lot of interesting facts with Jeane Coakley.

Jets C Jonotthan Harrison is something of a Renaissance man.

The 27-year-old University of Florida product revealed to SNY's Jeane Coakley some of his varied interests.

Harrison said football came later in his life because he was simply too big to play in his youth. That put the sport on the back burner until around halfway through college, he said.

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mark Sanchez seems to be taking his "Butt Fumble" saga in stride, but Plaxico Burress is still firing his shots.

The former Giants receiver caught Sanchez in his crosshairs Wednesday, two days after the quarterback added another butt-centric fumble play to his repertoire in his debut with the Redskins.

"I can't wait to see this QB play for the Washington Redskins for the rest of the season," Burress tweeted. "@mark_sanchez Let me grab my popcorn. #comedyfor3hours #checkdowning Yup I said it!!"

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
		
		 (John Minchillo/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (John Minchillo/AP)

It has been six years since that infamous day at MetLife Stadium. The Jets and Patriots were pitted against each other in a division matchup on Thanksgiving, and New England was the obvious favorite. 

But it was one play in particular during this blowout loss for Gang Green that would be cemented in history -- and it wasn't good. Jets QB Mark Sanchez wanted to hand the ball off for a fullback dive, but miscommunication forced him to run himself.

Well, Jets fans know what happened next...

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