Nov 27, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly walks the sideline during the second half against Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins won 31-24. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 27, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly walks the sideline during the second half against Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins won 31-24. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a breakdown of what to watch out for on gameday…

The 49ers season got off to a great start when they shut out the Rams 28-0 in their opener. Unfortunately, they've failed to win since then, with all but three of their losses being by double digits. While, on paper, this looks like the Jets' best remaining chance to get another win this year, the 49ers will be viewing the game in similar fashion. History is against the Jets, as they've only beaten the 49ers twice in their history and just once since 1983. It's also been six years since the Jets won a game in the Pacific Time Zone. 

Let's break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) for the 49ers to try and highlight what to watch out for.

Quarterbacks

Last time these teams met, the 49ers blew the Jets away 34-0 in a game perhaps best remembered for Santonio Holmes' Lisfranc injury. However, it was also a breakout game of sorts for Colin Kaepernick, who was used in special packages off the bench and picked up three first downs and the go-ahead touchdown. A few months later, he took over as the starting quarterback and ending up taking San Francisco all the way to the Super Bowl.

Since that spectacular start to his career, Kaepernick has seen his fortunes change. His numbers got worse and worse to the point where he was benched for Blaine Gabbert toward the end of last season. He reassumed the starting role in October, but was once again benched for Gabbert on Sunday after a remarkable performance in Chicago where he managed to complete just one pass for four yards in snowy conditions.

For now, Kaepernick is still the number one, but it's obvious he has a short leash. His running skills are still a threat but he's been too erratic as a passer. As for Gabbert, he didn't fare much better on Sunday (4-for-10) but he was the starter for their opening day win.

Offensive Line

The 49ers have had excellent continuity on the offensive line this year, with four of their five starters playing virtually every snap. The only position where that hasn't been the case has been at right guard where their first-round rookie Joshua Garnett took over from Andrew Tiller several weeks ago and has been the starter ever since.

That continuity is threatened this weekend, with Joe Staley's status up in the air due to a hamstring injury. Staley is the 49ers' best lineman and a force in the running game, so that could be a big loss at left tackle.

Daniel Kilgore has resumed his role as the starting center after returning at the end of last season following a serious leg injury. The massive Trenton Brown is the right tackle. He was a seventh-round pick in last year's draft. Former Bronco Zane Beadles is in his first year with the 49ers at left guard after two years in Jacksonville. All three, along with Garnett, have struggled, especially Brown, who leads the team with seven penalties and five sacks surrendered.

Tiller is an option off the bench, as are Marcus Martin and John Theus. Theus, who is listed as the backup tackle, was a fifth-round pick in this year's draft, but hasn't played yet. Therefore, if Staley can't play, the 49ers are expected to move Beadles out to tackle and re-insert Tiller into the lineup at left guard.

Running Backs

The 49ers' running game is led by Carlos Hyde, who is having a career year with almost 700 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the season, despite missing a couple of games. He came within eight yards of his second 100-yard game of the season last week and has also caught 22 passes. 

With reserves Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis both averaging fewer than three yards per carry, DuJuan Harris has moved up to second string on the depth chart. He showed his playmaking ability on a 47-yard touchdown reception against the Saints last month. Draughn has contributed 18 pass receptions.

Receivers

The strength of the 49ers' receiving corps is underlined by the fact that their leading receiver is a player who was a Jet castoff. Jeremy Kerley has 43 receptions and will surpass his career high if he can make 15 more between now and the end of the season. His three touchdown receptions also tie his career best. He should find himself matched up with Buster Skrine in the slot.

Torrey Smith is perhaps the team's highest profile receiver but he's more of a complementary player than a number one and has just 20 catches on the season. He's been less of a deep threat than last year too, with his average dropping from over 20 to 13 yards per catch.

The team perhaps expected more out of Quinton Patton but he's yet to emerge as a difference maker although he's already surpassed his career best with 31 catches. Bruce Ellington, another player they were perhaps counting on to step up, has spent the year on injured reserve.

Rod Streater provides veteran depth off the bench at receiver, with rookie Aaron Burbridge someone they might also want to start featuring more.

At tight end, Vance McDonald and Garrett Celek will split duties. They have combined for 45 catches and five touchdowns, with four of those scores by McDonald.

Defensive Line

The 49ers have been retooling their front three with consecutive first-round picks being spent on defensive linemen. They selected DeForest Buckner seventh overall in April, having picked Arik Armstead last season. Buckner has shown some promise in his rookie year, but Armstead is now on injured reserve.

Glenn Dorsey, himself a former top-five pick, is the starter at nose tackle with the other starter currently listed as Chris Jones. Jones faced the Jets a few weeks ago as a Miami Dolphin, but has played well over the last couple of weeks since signing with San Francisco.

The 320-pounder Quinton Dial is another player who usually gets starter reps, but he's banged up at the moment and listed as questionable. Other rotational options include promising rookie Ronald Blair.

Linebackers

The 49ers' season went from bad to worse when Navorro Bowman suffered a season-ending injury in the fourth game. Since that time, the 49ers have really struggled against the run and currently rank dead last in the league, giving up almost 170 yards per game.

A familiar face is currently starting at inside linebacker, and he's been extremely productive. Former Jets' special teams ace Nick Bellore is seeing his first extended run of playing time on defense and is already in second place on the team in tackles, despite only having been inserted into the lineup since October. He had his best game of the year so far against the Bears, leading the team with seven stops.

Gerald Hodges and Michael Wilhoite have been rotating in alongside Bellore. Wilhoite has been a liability against the run, while Hodges has performed better overall. He is leading the team with two interceptions.

On the outside, 2015 draft pick Eli Harold and veteran Ahmad Brooks get the majority of the reps. Brooks leads the team with five sacks. 

Aaron Lynch has been dealing with an injury, so Tank Carradine might be the first guy off the bench on the outside. The 40th overall pick from 2013 has been disappointing following an injury-plagued start to his career.

Defensive Backs

The 49ers' secondary is anchored by two veterans - cornerback Tramaine Brock and safety Antoine Bethea. However, they lost Eric Reid to injury a couple of weeks ago.

With Reid out, last year's second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt, who had been serving as the third safety, has been moved back into a full-time role. He struggled in coverage when starting full-time as a rookie.

The other starting cornerback is former first-round pick Jimmie Ward. Rookie Rashard Robinson, the only cornerback in the regular rotation standing over 6 feet tall, is also likely to see a lot of time. Ward will typically revert to the slot in nickel situations.

Backup cornerback Keith Reaser is the only other defensive back to play more than a couple of snaps in any game over the past few weeks.

Special Teams

Phil Dawson is a solid kicker and has been perfect from inside 50 yards, but has attempted just two kicks from beyond 50, making one. Punter Bradley Pinion, a fifth-round pick last year, has not fared as well as he did in his rookie year, surrendering almost 300 return yards.

Kerley has been handling punt return duties all year and is averaging just over eight yards per return. Reserve defensive back JaCorey Shepherd is the kickoff returner but hasn't had a 40-yard run back yet this year.

In coverage, Tartt is leading the team in special teams tackles, but now that he's starting he might have a reduced role. Burbridge has also been productive as a gunner.


I'll be back on Monday to recap the game.

Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Tags: BGA, San Francisco 49ers

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. 

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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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