(Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

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The Jets were crushed by the Colts, 41-10, on Monday night at MetLife Stadium as they fell to 3-9 on the season. Bryce Petty replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick during the game and will be the starter for the remainder of the season. Here's insight and analysis regarding the Jets' awful Monday night performance...

Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick's performance speaks for itself. He only completed one pass beyond the first down marker, had a completion percentage below 50 percent, and punctuated his performance with an interception on the kind of forced throw he's been unable to get away with all season.

He's basically done here now, so there's little sense in breaking down his performance in any more detail. So, let's move on -- in both senses.

Taking over after halftime, Bryce Petty had a few positive moments, but overall was disappointingly bad.

Head coach Todd Bowles and OC Chan Gailey have taken a lot of heat for their assertion that Petty is "not ready" over the past month or so, buy Monday's performance from Petty suggests they had every reason to take this stance. Petty looked out of his depth at times and his inaccuracy even on routine throws was worrisome.

With the Colts not bringing much in the way of pressure and playing soft coverages, it should have been a good opportunity for Petty to build some confidence and develop his credibility with his teammates and the fanbase. Unfortunately, he really struggled on almost everything that wasn't a straightforward dump-off to a receiver underneath or in the flat.

Even so, this was enough to supposedly "earn" him the starting role for the rest of the season, so it's a performance he'll hopefully be able to improve upon over the next month once he's had more preparation time, chemistry with his receivers and a chance to build his comfort level facing live bullets.

His numbers were worse than they could have been because he missed on a few makeable throws and also had his receivers unable to bail him out on some inaccurate but still catchable passes. However, he can't expect defenses to play as soft when he's starting games rather than coming off the bench with a four-score deficit, so it's going to be more difficult to move the ball as the starter.

The approach taken by the Jets was different from when Petty made his previous start in that they actually tried to throw down the field a lot. This seemed counterintuitive because against the prevent defense, Petty probably should have been checking down and taking what the defense gave him more often, whereas when starting games, taking a shot over the top is probably a less risky proposition for him than trying to read the defense from the pocket. Sure enough, they went to the well too many times and eventually the safety came over to intercept one.

Petty finally connected with Robby Anderson on a deep ball for a 40-yard touchdown. However, that only came after several failed attempts, by which time the achievement was rendered totally underwhelming. It was reminiscent of a slam dunk contestant who finally throws one down only after having failed miserably on multiple previous attempts and barely gets a golf clap for their efforts.

As a result, what should have been an important moment -- Anderson's first career touchdown and a connection between two young players trying to establish themselves -- felt completely flat and uninspiring. I guess in that respect it fit perfectly within the context of the rest of the game.

Petty's inaccuracy on deep throws was one thing, but he also misfired on several shorter passes, with one more badly underthrown interception and almost a third as he recklessly flipped the ball into no-man's land on a busted screen play.

Ultimately, the reality is probably closer to Bowles' "Fitzpatrick gives us the best chance to win right now" than the "anyone is better than Fitzpatrick" philosophy subscribed to by much of the fanbase. But since winning is irrelevant now, they might as well give Petty some extended playing time to see if he's capable of making any progress over the next month.

Based on Monday's game, though, it might not be pretty at times.

Running Backs

When you're only completing 43 percent of your passes as a team, it might be a good idea to hand the ball to your running backs more than 12 times over the course of a game. The Jets didn't have much success when they did run, though, averaging a miserable 2.6 yards per carry.

However, despite hardly ever running, they still managed to choose some unusual moments to attempt to run the ball. After going three-and-out on their first two drives, the Jets finally moved the chains on Fitzpatrick's first completion on the first play of the next drive but then ran three straight times and ending up punting.

On their next drive, they ran a draw play on 3rd-and-5 from the eight and had to settle for a field goal. Then, on the drive after that, they opened with two straight runs and immediately put themselves in a 3rd-and-6 situation from which they ended up with another three-and-out.

Many fans have been calling for Bilal Powell to play a bigger role, but this was one of his least productive games in recent memory. That draw play inside the 10-yard line was his only carry and he dropped his only target in the passing game. While he didn't see as much action, CJ Spiller saw more of the ball with a short catch and two short yardage conversions. In fact, those were the only two first downs on the ground for the Jets all day.

Matt Forté was held to just 25 yards on nine carries, but did turn back the clock with some open field running on a 40-yard screen pass that actually accounted for just under half of Fitzpatrick's passing yardage total. He had two other catches, including one other short reception for a first down. Despite the disappointing output, Forté surpassed 1,000 yards from scrimmage on the season and only needs to average 54 rushing yards per game over the last four to attain another thousand-yard rushing season.

Offensive Line

This is difficult to suggest, but could this have been Nick Mangold's last game as Jet? Mangold re-injured his foot and it therefore seems plausible he won't play again this season. As for next year, the Jets will have a tough choice to make with Mangold's high cap number and his mounting durability issues over the past few years. There's no question in my mind that Mangold is still a superior player to Wesley Johnson who had been starting in his place, but Mangold's return seemed to unsettle the cohesion on the line, at least initially.

On the first snap, Brian Winters was leveraged into Mangold's path allowing Mangold's man to drop off underneath Winters to stuff the run. Then, on the same series, the protection was messed up as Ben Ijalana went to pick up a blitzer off the edge even though the back stayed in and James Carpenter wasn't able to recover in time to prevent the defensive end from getting a clean hit on Fitzpatrick.

Mangold had one good second-level block and wasn't beaten in pass protection, but his rust also manifested itself in a couple of low snaps. Eventually, Johnson was called upon to finish the game in his place.

Carpenter had a solid game as a run-blocker but struggled in pass protection. He was beaten for a sack -- albeit on a play where Petty was indecisive and held the ball for too long -- and fell over in pass protection on another play, leading to a pressure. At right guard, Winters had a few good run blocks, but was inconsistent in space and got beaten for a couple of quarterback hits.

Breno Giacomini had another rough game at right tackle, as he was beaten a couple of times in pass protection, had no impact in the running game and had two penalties. Had Giacomini not injured his back at minicamp, you have to wonder if he would have been a cap casualty.

There's been plenty of focus on the money spent on several underperforming stars this year and you can add Giacomini and his $4 million salary to the list. I'm not sure what Giacomini has done to earn all of the playing time over Brent Qvale, who was at least as good over the first half of the season, for a fraction of the cost.

Having started the year as the right tackle, Ijalana held up quite well, but was beaten a few times in pass protection. There was also a good example of growth as a run blocker, as he made a good initial block at the point of attack, but when the runner was forced to cut back, he managed to readjust his leverage and hand position well to stay on the block and enable the runner to pick up positive yardage.

Ijalana has held his own at left tackle, but is still probably playing at a below replacement level. So was Ryan Clady who was also earning much more money in the process, though. Would Clady also still be starting if he didn't get hurt? Probably.

Receivers

Rookie Robby Anderson led the Jets with 61 yards on four catches and his first career touchdown, but it was a rough game for the most part. Anderson was only targeted once in the first half, but Petty threw to him 11 times in the second half and he had a couple of drops, including a bad one on an underthrown deep pass.

Anderson continues to consistently get downfield separation on go routes and perhaps could have had a much bigger day if Petty had been more accurate, but the mistakes are disappointing, especially after he lost a fumble last week. The production is encouraging though and maybe that first touchdown will accelerate his path towards a more significant breakout performance.

After a fantastic game last week, Quincy Enunwa had just one catch, dropped a pass and missed a couple of blocks. It would be nice to see Enunwa string together a few productive performances over the remainder of the season. The one catch he did have was a simple dump-off to the flat, which saw him break a tackle to pick up the first down. He's so good after the catch I can't understand why they don't run more plays like that to get the ball in his hands.

Brandon Marshall caught four passes for 43 yards, including three nice first downs, but his production remains way down on last year. While that's obviously attributable to poor quarterback play, it does call into question whether it would be wise for the Jets to retain him next season. With the likes of Enunwa and Anderson emerging and Eric Decker still under contract, is a veteran number one receiver like Marshall a necessity or would he only serve to block to progress of some youngsters that could potentially match his production at a lower cost?

Charone Peake was back in the lineup due to Jalin Marshall's concussion but his only target was a throw at his feet after Petty failed to adjust to a low snap.

The tight ends are starting to become a more significant feature of the passing game in recent weeks. Brandon Bostick and Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught three first down passes between them. Seferian-Jenkins was targeted five times, including once on a badly-placed fade route in the end zone by Fitzpatrick. Eric Tomlinson's role seems to be gradually increasing too and all three made contributions as blockers.

Defensive Line

Earlier this week, Bowles raised eyebrows when he said that he expects Muhammad Wilkerson to have a strong finish to the season and that he is noticing Wilkerson's explosiveness starting to return in recent games. After yet another listless performance, you have to wonder what he's talking about.

If Bowles thinks Wilkerson is anything like as explosive as the unblockable force that had been the dominant performer on the Jets' defense in every season since 2013 in recent weeks, you have to wonder if he's ever even watched film of his own player. There was concern that Bowles' system - which calls upon the linemen to attack rather than read-and-react -- could neutralize some of the best qualities of his linemen, but Wilkerson continues to drop off into read-and-react type assignments.

Did Bowles change the scheme or is he being less than honest about his levels of satisfaction in Wilkerson's role within it? I get that Bowles was trying to highlight the effect of his injuries, which might be a perfectly valid excuse for Wilkerson's disappointing production, and also might be trying to motivate Wilkerson with some encouraging words.

However, raising expectations for a guy who hasn't been producing doesn't seem like a good idea -- and neither does continuing to play your highest paid players at meaningless moments in meaningless games when they're less than 100 percent. Wilkerson ended up with one quarterback hit and was in on a handful of run stuffs, albeit mostly long after the game had ceased to be a contest.

As disappointing as Wilkerson was, Sheldon Richardson was just as bad, if not worse. He had zero tackles again, for the second time in under a month, and only got close to pressuring Andrew Luck once. He was also flagged for a late hit penalty.

At least Leonard Williams had a productive game. He had a career-high 10 tackles as he was in on several run-stuffs, recorded a half sack and was credited with three quarterback hits. He was moved around on the line in this game, but still saw plenty of reps off the edge.

I was interested to see how the Jets would react to nose tackle Steve McLendon being out. As usual, they gave Williams and Wilkerson some work there, but both were driven off the line a few times, as they obviously aren't naturally suited to playing that role full-time.

Deon Simon played significantly more than he has in any other game over the course of his career with McLendon out and showed some encouraging flashes. Initially, he was struggling to hold up against double teams, but there was a really encouraging sign later in the game when he was initially driven off the line by a double team but fought it off to get back in on a stop near the line. Simon also penetrated well a few times and got some good traction on the bull rush on passing downs. He was also credited with a half-sack. Finally, Anthony Johnson saw brief action off the bench and was in on one tackle.

Linebackers

Darron Lee had a difficult game. He was beaten for two touchdowns and two first downs in coverage and was also involved in a mix-up on the first touchdown, which saw Lee and Rontez Miles both following the same back into the flat while the tight end ran to the opposite side completely uncovered. Lee was in on a couple of plays at or near the line of scrimmage, including a couple in coverage. Also, on both touchdowns, his positioning was actually excellent and he was very unlucky not to break up the pass each time.

Still, Lee continues to be great at being half a step away from making plays. Will he ever find that half-step? If he can, he has a chance to become good. Demario Davis never did, though, so who knows if Lee ever will?

David Harris had two tackles for loss, but otherwise had a pretty quiet game and was blocked out of a few plays at the second level. He's another highly paid player who can't be considered a certainty to return next season.

With Lorenzo Mauldin out, this presented an opportunity for a more extended look at Jordan Jenkins and Mike Catapano in the outside linebacker roles. Jenkins did a pretty good job of generating pressure off the edge and redirected a few runs well in the running game. He lost contain on one play though. Catapano had just two tackles and a pressure, although that basically matches his tackle total for the rest of the season.

I thought we'd probably seen the last of Julian Stanford on defense. However, he got into the game just before halftime and immediately gave up a big pass interference penalty by failing to get his head turned around in time on a badly thrown pass. He would later badly miss a third down tackle to extend a drive.

Defensive Backs

I could tell almost immediately that Darrelle Revis wasn't going to have a good game. On the first pass of the game, Revis was playing off and the Jets tried to run a trap with Buster Skrine dropping from the slot to cover the quick out. Skrine didn't get there in time and the third down conversion was completed. Immediately you could see the shoulders slump on a dejected Revis. He's a broken man and things didn't get much better thereafter as he gave up three more first downs before breaking up a pass and making a play in run support long after the game was decided.

Later on, the Jets embarrassingly flubbed two coverages to lead to easy touchdowns for Dwayne Allen. On one of those touchdowns, Revis was probably saved from being beaten for a touchdown himself by the fact there was a blown coverage. He was badly beaten off the line for what would have been an easy touchdown pass if not for the fact that an even easier one presented itself to Luck.

The players involved -- Miles, Darryl Roberts and Marcus Gilchrist -- were seemingly discussing the matter with a coach on the sidelines. Where was the revered mentor and great teammate Revis? He was right there, but at the same time a million miles away, staring off into space, distancing himself from these teammates and his involvement in any screw-up or any responsibility in resolving it. It's not surprising to see that Revis can mentally retire to his happy place, which is no doubt a luxurious desert island somewhere, at the drop of a hat. It's too late now though. He's had his moment in the sun.



It's pretty evident Revis doesn't want to be here and you wonder if he ever really did. Yes, the Jets are going to be on the hook for some dead money when he leaves and will potentially be paying Revis to play for someone else, where he'll no doubt perform much better purely from the fact that he'll be giving some semblance of an effort. It seems increasingly unlikely that the Jets have much to gain from retaining him, though.

The Jets only used five defensive backs, which is rare in this day and age. The Colts -- despite having two starters out -- used eight, for example.

Apparently the Jets trust the likes of Juston Burris, Nick Marshall, Dexter McDougle and Antonio Allen so little that they won't even give them a single rep in the fourth quarter of a game where the team is 38 points down. What's the risk anyway? They'd have been facing a back-up quarterback who only threw two passes, so even if they were overmatched the outcome wouldn't have been rendered any more embarrassing that it already was.

Instead, they leave Revis out there and he extends a drive with a pass interference penalty on third down anyway.

Roberts continues to fail to impress me. He was asleep at the wheel as the ball was snapped quickly on one play, leading to a wide open catch as his man ran across the field. He was also beaten three times on third down, although one was dropped, and gave up a first down on a pass that Luck was trying to throw away.

Buster Skrine made a couple of plays, but was beaten for two first downs and called for a late hit penalty. Gilchrist also made a couple of plays but gave up a first down in coverage.

With Calvin Pryor out, Rontez Miles made a series of good plays, but - while I would hesitate to try and attribute blame - was involved in a few mix-ups in coverage, including both of the first two touchdowns, and also gave up a third down conversion. He made a great play to force a fumble at the goal line just before half time; otherwise the winning margin could have been even bigger than 41-10.

Special teams

Punter Lac Edwards has simply had a bad rookie season. There's no way around it. None of his five punts had a net of over 40 yards and one was a horrible shank that got a lucky bounce. His best contribution was that he helped prevent one of his punts from being returned for a touchdown by forcing the return man back inside. If you use a draft pick on a punter, you're hoping he'll be your punter for years, but the Jets would be doing themselves a disservice if they don't bring in some competition next year.

The Jets' return game continues to be underwhelming too, although Jeremy Ross got out past the 30 on one kick-off.

The blocking out in front of Ross was pretty bad, with Bostick in particular putting in a couple of lazy efforts. Although he's a starter now, it doesn't bode well for this roster that Bostick is secure enough in his spot that he feels he can put in a half-hearted effort on special teams. It's only Brandon Bostick! He should not be taking his spot for granted.

It's worth noting that Leonard Williams almost blocked a punt in the fourth quarter. That begs the question of why on earth Williams would be in the game on special teams trying to block a punt in the fourth quarter of a meaningless 30+ point game. There's no justification for that, surely.

At least Nick Folk had a drama-free game with a 38-yard field goal and a successful extra point. Two of his three kick-offs were touchbacks.

Finally, in coverage, the Jets gave up a big punt return on a play where Lee and Allen both got lit up and Burris had a couple of mistakes including a missed tackle.

Final thoughts

You only had to look out into the parking lot to see that nobody in green and white bothered to show up for yesterday's game. That includes the players of course. However, the question of whether Jets fans get the team they deserve or the Jets team gets the fans it deserves is the makings of an ongoing chicken-egg debate I don't even want to attempt to answer. The season has spiraled downhill into a vicious cycle where the team couldn't muster up the pride to put forward a competitive effort against a good-but-not-great team in front of a national audience.

I think Todd Bowles has slowly-but-surely arrived at the realization that this season was over a long time ago and things aren't likely to get any better. There are some veterans on this team that don't deserve to be playing as many reps as they are while younger and hungrier players sit on the bench. While many of those players might struggle when they finally get the chance, if just one shines then that's a more productive outcome than anything they'd be likely to get from a disgruntled veteran that might be on his way out anyway.

The game was not entirely without positive signs as players like Simon and Jenkins showed some potential. Finding similar positive contributions to build upon over the next month should be the focus if they don't want to completely waste the rest of this season.

Coming up next is a game against the 49ers which is probably the Jets' best chance if they're going to win at least one more game this year. The 49ers have lost 11 in a row and are coming off a game where they benched their starting quarterback despite some competitive games over the last month or so.

Once that game is out of the way, the Jets have to weigh up the chance to play spoiler versus each of their AFC East rivals in turn against the importance of draft positioning. Play like they did yesterday, though, and they probably won't win another game anyway, regardless of whether or not they are trying to tank for a higher pick.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brent Qvale, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, Leonard Williams, Marcus Gilchrist, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon

Kirk Cousins (8) Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Kirk Cousins (8) Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sam Darnold was not the Jets' first choice to be their new franchise quarterback, even if he turns out to be the right choice. Kirk Cousins was always Plan A.

Of course, their pursuit of the 30-year-old Cousins turned out exactly how they feared it would. They offered him a fully guaranteed, three-year, $90 million contract, and he still took less to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

But what if Cousins had said yes?

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets get set for Minnesota 00:01:11
Todd Bowles discusses the Minnesota Vikings offense, Jeremy Bates talks red zone efficiency and Kacy Rodgers returns from health scare.

Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers returned to the podium for his weekly press conference on Thursday after being away from the team to address a serious undisclosed medical issue.

The 49-year-old did not provide specifics of the health scare, but said he's "feeling a lot better" after undergoing a procedure, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. The results came back negative, and he has been cleared to return to the sidelines as early as Sunday against the Vikings.

This past Sunday, Rodgers surprised the players before the Jets' win over the Colts at MetLife Stadium. Head coach Todd Bowles said Rodgers' visit gave the team a "big lift," especially for the defense.

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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

DL Leonard Williams (back) and WR Robby Anderson (hamstring) returned as full participants in Thursday's Jets practice after missing practice the previous day.

While that's good news for the Jets ahead of Sunday's Week 7 game against the Vikings, there were plenty of players who remained on the "did not participate" list.

RB Isaiah Crowell (foot), WR Terrelle Pryor (groin), DB Buster Skrine (concussion), DB Trumaine Johnson (quad), WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and DB Marcus Maye did not practice for the second straight day.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson (54) and linebacker Darron Lee (58) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson (54) and linebacker Darron Lee (58) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets linebackers Darron Lee and Avery Williamson have cemented their status as "Best Football Friends."

In a video posted Thursday, the NFL buddies took on Bleacher Report's Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe in a friendly game of "BFF Challenge."

Since the showdown was held on the network's turf, Lee and Williamson played as the away team, but they threw any home-field advantage out the window despite hilariously struggling through parts of the challenge.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Darron Lee
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Jets prep for Vikes 00:01:24
Sam Darnold and Todd Bowles talk about the Vikings defense, the team's progress so far and home crowd support.

Jets QB Sam Darnold has felt the energy at MetLife Stadium this season and he hopes the home-field advantage gives his team yet another boost when they face the Vikings on Sunday.

"It's safe to say we want to win every single game, but definitely on a homestand [we want to] win every single game," Darnold said. "Because our fans are amazing ... It's awesome to be able to play in front of them. Whenever we make a big play or score a touchdown, we feel the momentum in the whole arena really shift. It's awesome to be able to feel that and continue to grow off of that as a team."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

QB Sam Darnold (elbow) appeared on Wednesday's Jets injury report, but said the issue is "nothing crazy," per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Darnold said he banged his right elbow while making a tackle following his interception during Sunday's win over the Colts. He added that it didn't affect him at all in practice, which he participated in fully on Wednesday.

Head coach Todd Bowles also told reporters he isn't worried about the rookie.

However, DL Leonard Williams (back), WR Robby Anderson (hamstring) and RB Isaiah Crowell (foot) highlighted a long list of Jets who did not practice.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Joe Namath talks Sam Darnold 00:02:45
Jets legend Joe Namath talks about Super Bowl III, advice from Bear Bryant, and his thoughts on Sam Darnold's chances with the current team

Ahead of the Jets honoring the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory, Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath sat down with SNY's Jeane Coakley to reflect on that upset win, how he prayed "run clock," and what he thinks of today's QB Sam Darnold...

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) celebrates with cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) in front of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) 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 cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) celebrates with cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) in front of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

 

Click below to listen...

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Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) looks to catch a pass for a first down against Houston Texans defensive back Robert Nelson (32) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)
Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) looks to catch a pass for a first down against Houston Texans defensive back Robert Nelson (32) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)

The Jets are bringing in free agent WR Rishard Matthews for a workout Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 29-year-old veteran was cut by the Titans last month after he requested a release due to his unhappiness with his playing time. He registered just three catches and 11 receiving yards over the first three weeks of the season.

But with Quincy Enunwa out between three and four weeks with a high-ankle sprain, the Jets are looking for a stopgap at wide receiver.

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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa fumbles the ball in the second quarter after a hit by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa fumbles the ball in the second quarter after a hit by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Quincy Enunwa had developed into Sam Darnold's most reliable receiver early in the season. He was the player Darnold threw to the most and turned to when he needed a third-down catch.

So what is Darnold going to do without Enunwa, who suffered a high-ankle sprain and will probably be out for about a month?

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Sam Darnold wasn't just twiddling his thumbs while waiting to get drafted this past spring. Like all fans of his future NFL team, the Jets quarterback was keeping a close eye on the Kirk Cousins free agency saga before the Redskins QB signed with the Vikings.

"I was definitely following it," Darnold said Monday ahead of his Week 7 matchup with Minnesota Sunday at MetLife Stadium, per the New York Daily News. "During the draft process, there's nothing really else to pay attention to. Because I'm not on a team. We're not trying to dial up anything. I'm not at USC trying to figure out what we're going to do the next year. And I'm not on an NFL team trying to figure it out."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Six weeks into the season, all four of the rookie quarterbacks taken in the Top 10 of the NFL draft have at least three starts on their resume. They've had a chance to get rid of their first-game jitters, or to catch the NFL by surprise, and they're starting to settle in to their rookie seasons.

It will take years, of course, to determine which of the four is the best. It might even take that long for one of them to lead a team to the playoffs. But now that they've all settled down, it's easy to determine which ones are off to the best start.

Here's a look -- and a ranking -- at how the Fab Four are faring so far...

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On the heels of a strong performance in Week 5, Sam Darnold was tremendous in the Jets' Week 6 win over the Colts. And his Pro Football Focus grades bear that out.

According to PFF, Darnold has the second-best passing grade (89.8) in the NFL over the last two weeks. Over that same span, his 71.4 deep accuracy percentage is third and his accuracy percentage with a clean pocket (87.2) is fourth.

Things opened up for Darnold in Week 5 due in part to the record-breaking game running back Isaiah Crowell had. But in the win over the Colts, he picked apart the Indianapolis defense without the benefit of being able to fall back on a red-hot ground game. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

The Raiders are awful again, and are reportedly ready to trade some of their most valuable assets -- including WR Amari Cooper. Should the Jets have interest?

Cooper -- the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 Draft -- left the Raiders' Week 6 loss due to a concussion and has had a down 2018 so far after having just 48 receptions for 680 yards in 2017. But he was highly productive during his first two years in the league when the Raiders were actually competitive. 

He had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns during his rookie season in 2015 as the Raiders went 7-9. During Oakland's 12-4 season in 2016, Cooper reeled in 83 catches for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) makes a catch against the New York Giants during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) makes a catch against the New York Giants during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa will miss around three to four weeks with a high-ankle sprain in Sunday's win over the Colts, SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano has confirmed.

Head coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Enunwa, who did not play in the second half on Sunday, suffered a sprained ankle but did not reveal its severity.

The three-to-four-week timeframe is typical for high-ankle sprains, although it could vary.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Jets S Marcus Maye suffered a broken thumb during Sunday's win over the Colts, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

According to Vacchiano, the team is still evaluating the extent of the injury. Maye missing three-to-four weeks is a reasonable estimate, adds Vacchiano, but is far from a certainty. 

Vacchiano adds that there is some hope that if Maye heals quickly and can tolerate the pain, he may be able to play with a cast on (Maye was wearing a cast after Sunday's game)...

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers received some good news on Monday.

Rodgers, who has been battling a serious undisclosed medical condition the last two weeks, was cleared to slowly return to his coaching duties and will be the defensive play-caller again this Sunday.

Head coach Todd Bowles, who had taken over the defensive play-calling responsibilities in Rodgers' absence, revealed the good news in a conference call on Monday calling it a "big relief."

Tags: Morris Claiborne
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

In Sunday's 42-34 win over the Colts, Jets QB Sam Darnold put together his most complete performance as a pro, completing 24 of 30 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

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

Tags: Brian Winters, Jordan Leggett, Neal Sterling, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The presence of all those Super Bowl III heroes on Sunday wasn't just a celebration of the Jets' greatest achievement, it was a painful reminder of why it's so hard to believe in this year's team. There have been too many years of heartache, too many seasons of disappointment, too many times the rug was pulled out from under everyone's feet.

So when these Jets beat the Indianapolis Colts 42-34 on Sunday, barely hanging on in the end, there were surely a few skeptics who saw the team's obvious flaws. And when Todd Bowles stepped to the podium and said "We're right back in the thick of these things," it's understandable if everyone rolled his or her eyes.

Tags: Darron Lee, Indianapolis Colts, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets talk 42-34 victory 00:01:09
Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Herndon and Todd Bowles talk about the positives after a huge win over the Colts, 42-34.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the Jets celebrated the 50th anniversary of their last Super Bowl championship team, Sam Darnold gave them even more reason to believe that the next one won't be too far off.

The 21-year-old Darnold, in his first real shootout against a top tier NFL quarterback, out-played Andrew Luck on Sunday afternoon. He completed 24 of 30 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and one interception to lead the Jets to a 42-27 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Luck was pretty good too (23 of 43, 301 yards and 4 touchdowns), except for the fact that he threw three interceptions. He also even nearly engineered a second-half comeback but fell an onside kickoff recovery short. But overall, Darnold was the more impressive quarterback for most of the game, after he shook off a shaky start. He did get help from a Jets defense that forced four turnovers, but the running game wasn't nearly as good as it has been...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Buster Skrine, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) rushes for yards after a catch as Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) pursues 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 wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) rushes for yards after a catch as Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets held off the banged-up Colts for a 42-34 win on Sunday to improve to 3-3 on the season. Let's highlight three of the best performances, along with three players who were disappointments.

Winners

QB Sam Darnold 

Tags: Marcus Maye, Sam Darnold, Terrence Brooks
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SNY's Week 6 Jets Report Cards 00:02:46
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon, and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets beat the Colts on Sunday, 42-34.

The Jets have moved to 3-3 on the season after defeating the Colts 42-34 on Sunday. The Jets Post Game Live crew handed out their grades for each unit, and what they ultimately thought of the Jets' latest performance. 

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Sam Darnold has seemed comfortable as the Jets put together back-to-back wins to move to 3-3 on the season.

During Sunday's victory over the Colts, the rookie quarterback was 24 of 30 for 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. 

So what's the area where Darnold has improved the most?

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath during pre game warm up before game 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 former quarterback Joe Namath during pre game warm up before game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath is a fan of rookie Sam Darnold, but stressed that how high Darnold reaches will be about his surrounding cast.

"I do see a physical ability and I understand a mental ability," Namath said Sunday before the Jets honored the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory. "But I can't emphasize enough -- it's about the front line of both sides of the ball, it's about the kicking game, it's about the entire team, man."

Namath then started talking about Archie Manning, who he said would have been the first Manning Hall-of-Famer if the Saints (the team Namath referred to as the 'Aints') had put a quality team around him.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets RB Isaiah Crowell (ankle) will play in Sunday's game against the Colts.

Crowell, who was a game-time decision, was limited in practice earlier in the week. 

The 25-year-old Crowell is coming off a record-breaking game in Week 5 when he had a Jets-record 219 rushing yards and added a 12-yard reception in the Jets' win over the Broncos. 

Tags: Buster Skrine, Charone Peake
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How Namath became Broadway Joe 00:01:25
Jets legend Joe Namath reveals the origin of the name "Broadway Joe," see the full interview on Jets Pre Game Live, Sunday at 12pm on SNY!

How exactly did Joe Namath become known as "Broadway Joe" during his career?

In an interview with SNY, Namath said the nickname was coined by offensive lineman Sherman Plunkett

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Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bruce Arians has always been a big believer of Todd Bowles, which is why the former Cardinals head coach is also a big believer in the future of the Jets. 

Arians, who will call the Jets' game against the Colts for CBS on Sunday, told the New York Post on Friday that Gang Green is headed in the right direction and that they have the right man to get them there. 

"I think (Bowles) is doing a great job there, especially now that he's got a quarterback," Arians said.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

DL Leonard Williams missed Thursday's Jets practice due to a "sore back," according to Todd Bowles. (NY Daily News)

"He just woke up like that," the head coach said, per the Daily News. Bowles did not say how the sudden issue impacts Williams' availability on Sunday against the Colts.

Williams, a vital piece to the Jets' defense, enjoyed his best game of the year in Week 5 against the Broncos with two sacks. 

Tags: Leonard Williams
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