In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 9 performances by Todd Bowles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, Brandon MarshallBen Ijalana, Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Jalin Marshall and the Wide Receivers, Leonard Willians, Julian Stanford and the Special Teams, among others...


Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty...

Bent: In many ways, Ryan Fitzpatrick's performance encapsulates perfectly what ails this Jets team. Aside from the two terrible interceptions, his performance was mostly okay. However, those interceptions are all that will be remembered from this game, as should be the case because they were more than enough to cancel out any positives he had.

The team as a whole has taken on the personality of its so-called leader, making plenty of good plays, winning matchups on a consistent basis and having small stretches of dominant play, only to see this all undone by the occasional dumb and avoidable mistake. By gifting Miami points, possession or the chance to extend a drive over and over again, the Jets threw away the chance of a third straight win and killed off the momentum of their season.

The first interception was clearly on Fitzpatrick, who failed to identify the defensive tackle dropping into coverage. By contrast, it's likely the second interception wasn't Fitzpatrick's fault. Once again that sums up the Jets perfectly, because it emphasizes how the issues with this team extend further than just him. It looked like he was expecting Brandon Marshall to break to the back pylon on the throw.

The wasteful turnover, on third down in the red zone, was reminiscent of the season finale in Buffalo last year. Just as in that game, if the Jets settled for a field goal, they probably would have had a chance to win the game with another field goal later on. Did you say to yourself "I bet he throws an interception here" as the ball was being snapped? I know I did.

And yet Fitzpatrick bounced back from that to fire a go-ahead touchdown pass with five minutes to go, only for the special teams unit to immediately hand back the lead on the ensuing kickoff. But nobody's going to remember that a few weeks from now.

By the way, I accidentally typed "Sanchez" instead of "Fitzpatrick" while writing that last paragraph. That can't be a good sign.

We've picked (no pun intended) apart enough games like this from Fitzpatrick this season, but a third quarter knee injury provided some intrigue in the form of Bryce Petty's first NFL appearance.

Petty entered the game with the Jets trailing, completed all of his passes, posted a 106.2 quarterback rating and led a scoring drive. I'm sure this will provide adequate ammunition for Petty supporters to call for him to take over for Fitzpatrick -- assuming Fitzpatrick's MRI doesn't leave the team with any choice in the matter.

Let's put his performance into perspective, though. Petty threw a couple of quick drop, single-read dump-offs at the line of scrimmage and the drive stalled inside the red zone. If that's all the Jets trust him to do right now, then they'll struggle to move the ball over a longer sample size.

I'm not averse to the idea of giving Petty his shot, though, especially now that any slim chance of resurrecting the season seems to have permanently slipped from the team's grasp. He came in and handled his assignments efficiently, regardless of the degree of difficulty, and it is an important step to finally have managed to get his feet wet at this level.

I remain concerned that installing him into the starting lineup too early could do more harm than good in terms of his longer term future, though. But perhaps this offensive staff will do a better job of finding creative ways to gradually expand the playbook on the fly once he gets his shot. It seems increasingly likely his day will come soon.

Offensive Line

Bent: When Ryan Clady wasn't included on the inactive list, it was assumed he must be healthy enough to start. However, Clady was obviously only kept active for emergency duties because Ben Ijalana started and played the whole game at left tackle. With Nick Mangold also out, it was apparent the Jets were going to be overmatched on the offensive line and that proved to be the case all day.

Early on, they tried double-teaming Ndamukong Suh, but that was largely ineffective. He simply walked a double-team from Brian Winters and Breno Giacomini into the backfield to blow up one early run. Later on, the Jets had some success by spreading the line out laterally to find some running lanes, which was the same approach they had success with against Miami last season. The Dolphins seemed to adjust well to this, though, and the running game grinded to a halt after halftime.

While there were a couple of well-blocked plays, the run blocking was extremely inconsistent across the board. Everyone made mistakes except from Dakota Dozier, whose excellent lane-opening block at the second level sprung Matt Forté for a first-half touchdown run on his only offensive snap. The starters also combined for four penalties, including two by Giacomini.

The Jets had more success through the air, but really struggled in pass protection. Early on, the plan seemed to be for one of the guards to help Wesley Johnson engage Suh cleanly, then peel off to try and help out one of the tackles. They both needed the help, as each was beaten several times off the edge. Giacomini's lateral footspeed was no match for Cameron Wake, who beat him easily around the outside for two strip sacks, while Ijalana got beaten for several pressures.

There was plenty of interior pressure too, though. James Carpenter gave up more pressure than he has all season because he was struggling to cope with bull rushes. Johnson got beaten for the hit that knocked Fitzpatrick out of the game and Suh burned Winters for a big sack to force the Jets to punt with four minutes to go. That proved to be their last chance.

There's worse news next week, as the Rams' defensive line is even better than Miami's. For all the talk over the quarterback position, if Clady and Mangold are both out again, whoever is at quarterback will be defying the odds if he lasts the whole game.

Quarterbacks

Bent: Forté had a solid statline with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, 63 of those yards came on two runs where he broke into the open field untouched and he otherwise didn't have a run longer than six yards. He also didn't catch a pass.

While he showed good burst on his touchdown run and made a nice cut at the second level on his other long run, Forté and the running game carried no kind of threat into the second half. After carrying the ball twice on the first two plays of the third quarter, Forté carried the ball just three more times the rest of the way, for 10 yards.

With the Jets playing from behind and moving the ball with modest success through the air, Bilal Powell saw more of the workload and touches in the second half. His 10 touches accounted for 51 yards but just two first downs -- both on short passes. He also fielded a downfield lateral from Fitzpatrick on a fun play reminiscent of Vinny Testaverde and Curtis Martin on the game-winning drive in a memorable 2001 win over the Colts.

In his Jets debut, CJ Spiller saw some action on offense but did not get any touches. Interestingly, they only used him as a wide receiver.

Receivers

Bent: Brandon Marshall zigged when Fitzpatrick expected him to zag on the second of his two interceptions. If Marshall ran the wrong route there, it's at least the third time this year that's happened, with an interception being the inevitable outcome each time.

Marshall led the Jets with six catches - including a spectacular one-handed snag -- and also drew three defensive penalties. However, he was shut out in the fourth quarter when the Jets needed him most.

Once again, the youngsters continue to show flashes, perhaps representing the main bright spot to be taken from this destined-to-be-lost season. This week, Jalin Marshall stepped into a bigger role from the start, leading the Jets in receiving yards and scoring what - for about 20 seconds - looked like it was going to be the winning touchdown. Marshall also made a nice falling grab, broke a couple of tackles on a nice catch-and-run and made a great block at the second level.

Charone Peake got the start, but saw his playing time and opportunities reduced this week after having been limited in practice during the week. He contributed one first down by drawing a hold on third down, though.

Robby Anderson still seems the closest of the three to becoming a breakout star. Only the slightest contact on his shoulder saw him ruled down by contact, denying him a 40-yard touchdown after a spectacular leaping grab on third down. He could have had another touchdown had Fitzpatrick not overthrown him deep when he had a step on his man. Anderson had one other first down catch and has four games in a row with at least three catches.

Disappointingly, Quincy Enunwa hasn't shown the same kind of consistent production over the last month. His 25-yard catch over the middle in the fourth quarter was his only reception of the game and actually the only time he was thrown to after halftime. In the first half he was shut out, although he drew one penalty flag and almost came up with one catch down the seam.

The Jets ran 12 plays inside the red zone before they finally scored a touchdown. There's no question they miss Eric Decker there more than anywhere, especially since it makes Marshall being the primary target all the more obvious. However, on two third down incompletions inside the 10, it looked like Austin Seferian-Jenkins was wide open.

While he might conceivably provide a decent red zone threat, Seferian-Jenkins had a really poor game as a run blocker. With the much-maligned Kellen Davis out, some fans were hopeful the running game wouldn't suffer too much. But the downgrade was immediately apparent. On 2nd-and-short at the five yard line on the opening drive, he was driven into the backfield and the run was blown up for a loss. He also had two bad whiffs at the second level, including one in another key short yardage situation.

Brandon Bostick made a good block on Forté's touchdown run, but allowed another run to be bottled up and wasn't targeted all day. In fact, the only pass to a tight end all day was Fitzpatrick's first interception.

Defensive Line

Bent: I was immediately concerned when the Jets' starting defense took the field without Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson and continued to leave them on the bench throughout the first quarter. Richardson's previous off-field transgressions are well-publicized, but we shouldn't forget Wilkerson was suspended for the first quarter of the Giants game last year for missing a team meeting. I expect an explanation for their absence will present itself in due course, so I won't dwell on it too much for the time being. But it's a worrisome sign.

The Dolphins scored a touchdown on their only full drive of the first quarter, with the Jets' offense mitigating the potential damage by controlling most of the clock with two scoring drives of their own. The defensive line wasn't really to blame for any of the yardage on that drive anyway - and when Wilkerson and Richardson re-entered the game, the next drive also ended in a touchdown for the Dolphins.

You'd hope two things would've happened that would have led to these apparent team-imposed suspensions actually working out well for the team. First, once entering the game, you'd have expected each player to be particularly hungry and motivated to perform well to make up for the fact they let the team down. Second, you'd have expected them to play better down the stretch due to being fresher than usual. However, neither of these things happened.

As noted, Miami marched down and scored on their first drive with the pair back in the game, although that was the last touchdown they'd score on offense all day. The defense certainly improved once Richardson and Wilkerson hit their stride, generating as much pressure as they have all year and stifling Miami's red-hot running game for most of the day with contributions from both.

Down the stretch, however, the pressures and run stuffs dried up and the Dolphins were able to ice the game. Wilkerson in particular found himself sealed off on the edge of the line three or four times down the stretch, although it happened to Richardson once too. That would usually never happen to either of them. Richardson was in on a lot of plays but let himself down with two costly penalties.

Leonard Williams has been relatively quiet over the last few weeks, but this might have been his best game of the year. Officially, he had two quarterback hits and two tackles for loss but that doesn't tell the whole story. Williams was disruptive all day as a pass rusher, generating pressure on several other plays. He also blew up several running plays with penetration and was in on a handful of run stuffs.

Steve McLendon and Jarvis Jenkins were in the starting lineup, but Jenkins didn't play much after the first quarter. McLendon was credited with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble on the first defensive snap of the game, but otherwise didn't contribute much.

Despite Wilkerson and Richardson being absent in the first quarter, Deon Simon saw action on just one short yardage snap.

Linebackers

Bent: With Darron Lee and Bruce Carter still out, Julian Stanford continues to be forced into a full time role. For the second straight week, the opposition was able to exploit him and he made a series of mistakes to extend drives.

If you watched the game, you'll be acutely aware of his four missed tackles and two penalties, many of which came on third down. However, just as costly were the plays where he was caught out of position. Twice in coverage, a receiver that would have been his responsibility was left wide open and twice in the running game, he seemed to vacate his lane, leading to a big run.

Stanford was on the practice squad until a couple of weeks ago, so he's being forced into a role which appears beyond him. When 10 defensive players do their job but one makes a mistake that leads to the play being successful anyway, that can be demoralizing for a defense.

Either Lee or Carter returning would make a difference, but with Lee being a rookie and Carter also being prone to missed assignments at times, that's unlikely to completely resolve matters. Until that time, teams are going to continue to look to isolate Stanford and take advantage of his inexperience.

David Harris had a quiet game, with none of his five tackles made within four yards of the line of scrimmage. That perhaps emphasizes how it was Stanford they were running at or targeting in coverage. Harris was blocked out at the second level on one big run, which looked like an obvious hold. Miami also seemed to get away with a series of holds at the point of attack during the game.

Harris was close to a major game-changing play when he recovered an apparent lateral pass and took it down inside the Miami five-yard line. It's probably correct that the play was too close to overturn but it looked like a lateral to me and perhaps wouldn't have been overturned if called that way on the field either, so the Dolphins caught a break. Timeouts are important, but perhaps a challenge was worth it there. As it turns out, the Jets got the ball back and scored anyway, so that decision didn't cost them the game.

Another positive is that Lorenzo Mauldin has emerged nicely over the past three weeks. The Jets are definitely better off since Richardson has moved back onto the line, freeing up reps for their outside linebackers. Mauldin was officially credited with half a sack and two other quarterback hits but also created pressure on a couple more plays. After having just seven total pressures in the first six games, Mauldin has 15 in the last three.

Even more encouraging than his ability to create pressure was that Mauldin made some nice plays against the run, shooting gaps to get in on a couple of run stuffs and driving his man upfield on the outside to force another run back inside, shedding the block to get in on the stop. However, the Jets used the same defensive scheme as last week on a couple of plays where Mauldin crashed inside and Stanford peeled outside to contain the edge. Miami anticipated this and had some success cutting back and running directly into the teeth of this stunt.

Mike Catapano and Jordan Jenkins were each exploited in coverage, with Catapano giving up a 20-yard gain on a wheel route and Jenkins beaten outside for a short touchdown pass. Jenkins had a chance to redeem himself but dropped an easy interception with Miami in the red zone, which easily could have been a pick six. He had a couple of pressures and was in on a couple of stops in the backfield, though.

Josh Martin was also credited with a half sack, making a good inside move. He and Catapano only played eight snaps combined.

Defensive Backs

Bent: Despite losing Marcus Williams early in the game, the secondary actually had one of their best games, holding Ryan Tannehill to less than 150 yards passing. In fact, over 100 of those yards came against the linebackers.

Despite his recent struggles, Darrelle Revis wasn't targeted all day. I wonder if Miami suspected that his comments during the week - where he essentially admitted he isn't very good anymore - were an effort to dupe them into challenging him. Then again, perhaps Revis anticipated this response and it was an audacious triple-bluff that prevented him from being isolated in coverage.

Considering the mostly-manufactured conflab about his lack of effort on a few plays over the past few weeks, I was surprised to see Revis approaching a couple of tackle attempts tentatively and conservatively in the first half, but that's probably a good thing. When people started saying the same things about Kerry Rhodes, he started going for big hits and gambling for impact plays and it did not end well.

Buster Skrine returned to the lineup and did well in coverage. The only first down catch he gave up was negated by off-setting penalties. However, he did make a couple of mistakes in the open field.

Darryl Roberts stepped in for Williams and gave up a couple of first downs -- one on an easy quick slant where he was playing too far off and another as he badly missed an open field tackle in the flat. On another play, he made a good tackle in the flat and he also did well to force a run back inside on the edge. However, he got lucky on one overthrow where the receiver had a step on him deep.

Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor held up quite well at safety. Gilchrist broke up one pass, as all three targets thrown his way were incomplete. Pryor was also in good position on three third down incompletions, breaking up the last one with a hit on the receiver. Pryor also made a couple of plays in run support, including one where he knifed into the backfield to make a tackle for loss.

Rontez Miles and Antonio Allen saw brief action at safety, with Miles making a good open field tackle on one play in coverage. Juston Burris didn't play again, though, and his reps have dried up, as he's played just three snaps in the last four games.

While it was a solid performance overall by the secondary, it was infuriating early on when the Jets handed the Dolphins two first downs with personal fouls. I have some sympathy for Skrine because Jarvis Landry was clearly the instigator of the incident that led to his penalty, but you still can't afford to lose your cool like that. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Pryor, who cancelled out a nice play by dancing around unnecessarily and drawing a taunting flag.

You want the team to be fired up and playing with energy, but when they're struggling, the approach has to be more business-like, mature and disciplined. Act like you've done it before because incidents like that are pathetic, embarrassing, selfish and, frankly, can sometimes make you hard to root for.

Special teams

Bent: For a change, special teams were a big story this week, with the Dolphins scoring the winning touchdown on a kickoff return, not long after they had a special teams blunder that almost gifted the game to the Jets. There was also a punt return touchdown negated by a penalty and a return game muff.

The Dolphins looked dangerous on kick returns all day so it was pretty risky to lay the ball up and play contain rather than trying to boot a touchback each time. However, after Allen was flagged for offside, Nick Folk had to kick from five yards deeper, leading to the long touchdown return.

That penalty - which was unequivocally a bad call - negated a kickoff that the Jets had managed to blow up inside the 20 yard line despite Jakeem Grant breaking six tackles. Would Miami have won the game if the original kickoff had stood? After the first two touchdown drives, only one of their seven drives covered more than 30 yards, so the above perhaps seems unlikely.

What happened to the coverage units that looked much better earlier in the year than those of last year? Personnel-wise, I believe Carter, Lee, Davis and Marcus Williams were the only core special teamers missing. That shouldn't make a massive difference, especially since Carter is the only one of those I'd regard as especially good on special teams. However, it was his replacement - Taiwan Jones - who got drawn slightly out of his lane and missed the key tackle. Behind him, Skrine - deputizing for Williams - picked the wrong lane to fill and was unable to make a saving tackle.



Part of the issue, which becomes particularly apparent when forced to introduce a couple of new players due to injury, is a lack of live game reps because returns are so rare these days. That's the case on the punt unit too, which means there's a downside to having a punter who specializes in getting good hangtime to limit the chance of a return.

When such a punter kicks it too far, the coverage units are less organized and perhaps less prepared to actually cover than they ideally would be. That's what happened on Lac Edwards' second quarter punt that was returned for a long touchdown by Grant. Ironically, that was negated by a penalty which Allen himself drew by being blocked in the back.

Overall, the Jets missed nine tackles on just five returns, with Catapano and Peake guilty on the negated punt return and Pryor managing to miss two on one kick return. More damage could have been done if not for good open field plays by Miles and Nick Marshall. Peake also had a penalty on special teams, as did Ijalana.

Edwards is really struggling right now. Perhaps nervous about kicking the ball too far, he had two other punts that were too high and short, netting just 35 and 33 yards. Compounding matters, long- snapper Tanner Purdum still seems to be firing bullseyes with a lot less accuracy than he has in the past.

Jalin Marshall continues to have his own issues in the return game, as he muffed an easy fair catch and was lucky to recover the ball deep in Jets territory. He made 10 yards on his only punt return of the day, but was replaced on kickoffs by Spiller, who looked pretty slow and didn't get past the 25 on either of his return attempts.

Spiller made one big play on special teams, blowing up the punter after his fumble to set the Jets up for the go-ahead score. Somehow it seems fitting that the special teams threw that lead away, though.

Tags: Antonio Allen, BGA, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Dakota Dozier, Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, James Carpenter, Jordan Jenkins, Kellen Davis, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Marcus Gilchrist, Marcus Williams, Matt Forte, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Nick Mangold, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Wesley Johnson

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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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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Bowles, Bates prep for Indy 00:00:55
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates discuss the Jets' mindset heading into Sunday's match-up with the Colts.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates discuss the team's mindset heading into Sunday's matchup with the Colts.

The Jets (2-3) kick off against Indianapolis (1-4) Sunday at 1 p.m. at MetLife Stadium.

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Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Jets WR Jermaine Kearse and rookie QB Sam Darnold are locker room buddies. They sit right next to each other in the room, and Kearse takes advantage of that by preaching his veteran wisdom whenever he can on the 21-year-old signal caller. 

One way he does that is recalling the time he was a rookie in Seattle back in 2012, and a fellow rookie in QB Russell Wilson was in the same boat as Darnold this season. He was a young gun coming off a solid Wisconsin career, and was looking to make an immediate impact in the NFL. 

During a break in game action in the Seahawks' second preseason game, Wilson returned to the huddle and heard Kearse talking as he began to speak. What he did next immediately caught the attention of Kearse. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Pennington talks Darnold 00:02:36
Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington looks back on his time in New York, and shares his thoughts on the development of rookie Sam Darnold

Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington looks back on his time in New York and shares his thoughts on the development of rookie Sam Darnold.

Pennington also spoke about his ongoing work with the Mayo Clinic.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Darnold and Bowles on Indy 00:00:37
Sam Darnold and Todd Bowles talk about building on last week's big win, and finding a way to beat the Colts on Sunday.

Jets QB Sam Darnold and coach Todd Bowles look ahead to the team's matchup against the Colts on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Jets are hoping to build from their week 5 win over the Broncos, which ended a three-game skid.

 

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)

As Colts head coach Frank Reich started preparing to face Jets QB Sam Darnold, he couldn't help but notice some similarities between the Jets' QB and Carson Wentz, who he coached during his time as offensive coordinator of the Eagles.

"It feels like a little bit of the same personality; it's not too big from the standpoint of intellectually, but also emotionally, the game's not too big," Reich said, per the NY Post. "Physically, just being able to make the throws, and some of the athleticism."

 Wentz, who suffered a torn ACL in the final weeks of the regular season last year, finally returned under center for the Eagles in Week 3 and has totaled five touchdowns and one interception.

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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 running back and reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week Isiah Crowell did not participate in Wednesday's practice due to an ankle injury.

CB Trumaine Johnson (quad), CB Buster Skrine (concussion), WR Charone Peake (hamstring), WR Andre Roberts (elbow/foot), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (foot) and C Spencer Long (knee/finger) also missed practice.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said Crowell hurt himself during Sunday's win over the Broncos. Crowell set a franchise record with a career-high 219 rushing yards in the victory.

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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 head coach Todd Bowles said Wednesday there's a "small chance" that defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers will return to the sideline against the Colts Sunday at MetLife Stadium. (Connor Hughes)

The 49-year-old Rodgers missed the Week 5 victory over the Broncos with what Bowles called a "serious illness." The head coach previously said Rodgers could be absent for several weeks.

But Bowles said Rodgers was at Jets practice on Wednesday after ungoing medical tests, the results of which Rodgers expects to have next week.

 

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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell (20) carries the ball in the second half against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell (20) carries the ball in the second half against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

RB Isaiah Crowell was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his record-setting performance in the Jets' 34-16 win over the Broncos on Sunday.

Crowell broke the Jets' single-game rushing record with a career-high 219 rushing yards on 15 carries. The running back also set a new NFL record for yards per carry in a game with 14.6, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini

Tags: Isaiah Crowell
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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)

The first five weeks of Sam Darnold's NFL career have not been easy, but the way the Jets rookie quarterback is handling it all has not gone unnoticed. 

The 21-year-old rookie, fresh off a three touchdown game in a 34-16 win over the Broncos, is receiving praise from his coaches and teammates for how he's handled the ups and downs of his season thus far. 

"He's been very positive," coach Todd Bowles said, per Newsday. "He understands that he's close and we're close as a team and they keep grinding at it. That's what you like about him, he keeps working."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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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 latest episode of The Jet Stream podcast, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon rate the head coach in a new segment called Bowled Over/Under, sing Sam's praises on the big plays, talk all things Jets with Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media, and look ahead to Week 6 wondering if the Jonas Jinx is real -- or if the Jets can mount a winning streak.

Click below to listen...

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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) celebrates a touchdown against the Denver Broncos with New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) during the second 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) celebrates a touchdown against the Denver Broncos with New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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In Sunday's win over the Broncos, the Jets controlled the game on the ground. As the running game racked up well over 300 yards, it opened up more things for Sam Darnold, and he was able to take advantage with a career-high three touchdown passes. Most importantly, the Jets won the game, putting a stop to a potential downward spiral that could have doomed their season.

Let's break down how Darnold performed...

Tags: Brian Winters, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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