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 win 10 days ago in Buffalo at last gave Jets fans some grounds for optimism, but how much can truly be gleaned from a narrow win against a team apparently in disarray? A potentially stiffer test faces the Jets Sunday afternoon as they make the always-tough trip to Arrowhead to face the 1-1 Chiefs. The Chiefs lost 19-12 to the Texans last week after coming from 24-3 down to beat San Diego in overtime in their opener. The home team has won each of the last five games in this series with the Chiefs beating the Jets 24-10 in their most recent meeting in 2014.

After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) to try and highlight what to watch out for.

Quarterbacks

Alex Smith remains the Chiefs' starter at quarterback, having quietly put together a solid season last year. Smith's quarterback rating of 95.4 was the second highest of his career. 



In week one, he came up with some big throws under pressure and then scored the winning touchdown in overtime on a short keeper. He's a player with underrated athleticism and has faced the Jets twice in his career, winning comfortably on each occasion.

Nick Foles, recently released by the Rams, is the current backup.

Offensive Line

The Chiefs offensive line has seen several changes and is beset with injury issues entering this game. It's on the interior where they might struggle most of all. Parker Ehinger, the opening day starter at left guard and Jah Reid, who started last week at right guard, have both been ruled out. Reid started 11 games last year, mostly at right tackle, but struggled badly. Ehinger, on the other hand, was a fourth-round pick in April's draft.

With those two out, Zach Fulton and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will likely be the starting guards. The versatile Fulton started eight games at four different positions last year. Duvernay-Tardif started 14 games at right guard last year and seems to be on the rise, but is dealing with an ankle injury. Center Mitch Morse had a decent year last season, but has struggled so far in 2016.

The Chiefs rely on former first overall pick Eric Fisher to protect the blind side. Fisher is off to a solid start this season, but has had three penalties to lead the team. Former Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz was signed to a five-year, $33 million contract in the offseason and has already given up five sacks - two more than all of last year.

Running Backs

The Chiefs running backs have continued a recent trend of consistent production with both Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West averaging over six yards per carry so far. The pair combined for over 1,000 yards and broke eight runs of at least 20 yards between them in 2015 while filling in for injured pro bowler Jamaal Charles. West led the team in rushing yards, while Ware led the team with six rushing touchdowns.

Earlier this week, head coach Andy Reid implied that Charles might be set to make his long-awaited return against the Jets, but he's been officially listed as doubtful for today.

Ware entered the season with just five career receiving yards, but caught nine passes for 177 yards in the first two games, perhaps adding a new dimension to their offense. He had a costly lost fumble against the Texans, though. West can also do damage in the passing game, as he had 20 receptions last season, including one for an 80-yard touchdown.

Fullback Anthony Sherman is a good blocking back that was a second-team all pro in 2014. He doesn't touch the ball very often, however.

Receivers

The Chiefs had one of the weakest receiving corps in the NFL a few years ago and actually went through the entire 2014 season without a wideout catching a touchdown pass. They've reloaded since then, though, led by Jeremy Maclin, who had a thousand-yard season and scored eight times in 2015.

Their next best target is tight end Travis Kelce, who racked up 875 receiving yards last year and caught five touchdown passes for the second year in a row. The Jets will need to be aware of him running down the seam, especially if they continue to play a lot of cover-3 and quarters coverage as they have been so far. It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs try to exploit Darron Lee's inexperience and bait him into a mistake with play action or a double move.

Young speedster Chris Conley is listed as the other starter and probably the prime candidate to test Darrelle Revis with his deep speed. Albert Wilson is a reliable number three, having caught 35 passes last year. Demetrius Harris will back up Kelce, although he's usually employed as a blocker.

Defensive Line

The Chiefs' starting line from last year is still intact, led by 346-pound pro bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe. Kansas City has smartly reduced his workload after he played almost 1,000 snaps in 2014 and he dominated the point of attack on Sunday.

Ends Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard are also good against the run, with Howard also having contributed 5.5 sacks last year. Howard can be ill-disciplined though, as he was penalized nine times in 2015.

Off the bench, athletic rookie Chris Jones was picked in the second round out of Mississippi State and could develop into a difference maker in short order.

Linebackers

The Jets caught a break when it was announced that star outside linebacker Justin Houston would be starting the year on the PUP list. Disappointing former first-round pick Dee Ford is starting in his place, although he did record a sack in week one. 

32-year old Tambi Hali is still dangerous and has made a strong start against the run and as a pass rusher. He had 6.5 sacks last season. Hali actually came off the bench in each of the first two games, although he is listed as a starter. Former Packer Frank Zombo has been starting ahead of him so far and has been getting more reps, mainly because Hali has been banged up throughout camp and preseason.

Veteran Derrick Johnson, who is a year older than Hali, anchors the group. He remains solid against the run and in coverage. The other starter on the inside with former Jet Josh Mauga out for the year is Justin March-Lillard, who was an undrafted rookie last year but spent the entire season on injured reserve. He usually comes out of the game in nickel and dime situations. Former Packer Sam Barrington is the primary reserve.

Defensive Backs

The Chiefs secondary got a serious upgrade last year when first round pick Marcus Peters exploded onto the scene with a defensive rookie of the year award, a pro bowl invitation and a second-team all pro selection. He intercepted eight passes and then added another in the postseason and already has two interceptions this year. However, he's not without flaws. He had nine penalties last year and has four already this year. He also got badly burned on two key plays last week, for a touchdown by Nuk Hopkins and a long catch down inside the five by Will Fuller.

Peters isn't even the crown jewel of the Chiefs secondary though. Eric Berry was voted the NFL's comeback player of the year after making an inspirational recovery from a Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis in 2014 to go to the pro bowl for the fourth time in his career. The versatile Ron Parker, a player the Jets showed interest in before signing Marcus Gilchrist, is the other starter at safety.

The other starting cornerback is youngster Phillip Gaines, who is in his third season and has 10 career starts but is a full-time starter for the first time in his career. Gaines was picked on by the Texans and gave up over 100 receiving yards. However, he's developing nicely and is regarded as one of Kansas City's best cover corners.

Steven Nelson, a third round pick from last year, is getting more reps as the number three corner, but he's more comfortable on the outside, so look for Gaines to move inside when the Chiefs operate out of their sub-package personnel groupings. Parker can also match up in the slot.

Daniel Sorenson is the third safety and rookie DJ White provides some depth at the cornerback position.

Special Teams

The Jets will be wary of rookie Tyreek Hill, who is averaging 15.6 yards per punt return and looks like a threat to break one at any time. He also returns kicks for them. The Chiefs already had a dynamic return man in De'Anthony Thomas, but he's been inactive for the first two games due to Hill's emergence.

Kicker Cairo Santos is off to a good start, having made a career-long 54-yard field goal last week. He's not automatic though, having missed seven field goals last year, which tied for the league lead. Veteran punter Dustin Colquitt, a 34-year old, is as reliable as they come though.

Finally, in coverage, back-up linebacker DJ Alexander was the Chiefs' leading tackler last year. Hill has started making contributions here too.

>>> 

I'll be back Monday to recap the game.

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

Tags: BGA, Kansas City Chiefs

Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: In Sunday's frustrating loss to the Vikings, the Jets struggled to adapt to the windy conditions, especially in the second half. The Vikings were able to exploit some costly mistakes to win by a flattering 20-point margin. Let's take a look at three of the best and three of the worst performances...

Winners

TE Chris Herndon

Tags: Andre Roberts
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SNY's Week 7 Jets Report Cards 00:03:10
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon, and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets loss to the Vikings on Sunday, 37-17

Facing cool and windy conditions, the Jets were handed a loss in a 37-17 battle with the Vikings on Sunday. With the Jets falling to 3-4 on the season, the Jets Post Game Live crew breaks down their grades for the loss....

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Vikings pull away from Jets 00:01:25
Todd Bowles, Sam Darnold, Jermaine Kearse and Jamal Adams comment on the Jets' mistake-riddled, 37-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Jets could have made a huge statement by beating the Minnesota Vikings, a true NFC contender, in what would've been their biggest victory of the season. And the Jets' defense did all it could to make it happen.

But in the end, the Jets learned what should have been obvious:

Sam Darnold isn't ready to be a contender just yet...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brandon Copeland, Buster Skrine, Lachlan Edwards, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After the Vikings handed the Jets' their fourth loss of the season, quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Sam Darnold met after the game. And, thanks to the Jets, video caught what Cousins said to the 21-year-old rookie. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

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Bilal Powell (29) Jason McCourty (30) Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Bilal Powell (29) Jason McCourty (30) Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

Jets RB Bilal Powell won't return to Sunday's contest against the Vikings after suffering a neck injury. 

Powell recorded 21 yards on five rushes as well as one catch for five yards before exiting. 

Coming into this game, the veteran back totaled 323 yards on 75 carries, while hauling in 10 catchesd for 105 yards and a touchdown. 

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Sep 9, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) looks for a touchdown call by the officials in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Sep 9, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) looks for a touchdown call by the officials in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

With the Broncos making star WR Demaryius Thomas available via trade and the Jets weaker at the position than they have been at any point all season, should New York inquire?

A "handful of teams" have already reached out about trading for the 30-year-old Thomas, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN, who says the emergence of younger WR Courtland Smith has made Thomas more expendable.

Thomas is in the fourth year of a five-year, $70 million deal he signed prior to the 2015 season. He is making $8.5 million this season ($12 million cap hit, $15,5 million in dead cap money) and set to earn $14 million in 2019 ($17.5 million cap hit, $3.5 million dead cap money)...

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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 Sunday against the Vikings. Crowell had 13 carries in Week 6 while dealing with an ankle injury. He missed multiple practices during the week but returned in a limited capacity on Friday.

Crowell racked up 219 rushing yards in the Jets' win over the Broncos in Week 5 and has totaled 430 yards on the ground in six games this season.

While Crowell is in, the Jets will be without CB Trumaine Johnson, CB Buster Skrine, CB Derrick Jones, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, and DL Foley Fatukasi...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Marcus Maye, Quincy Enunwa
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Morris Claiborne (21) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Morris Claiborne (21) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

CB Morris Claiborne is playing a key role on the Jets this season and tallied his first career pick six earlier this month, but it was not very long ago that he was not even sure whether he wanted to play another game in the NFL.

The former Cowboy said in an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post that he was dealing a number of personal issues in the time leading up to the season, but he decided to stay after a conversation with his family.

"I sat down and thought about it with my kids," he said. "I talked about it with my wife. She was with me 100 percent, but I don't think she really felt like I was ready to let it go. 'Cause at that time, I feel like I was just reacting off emotions and what I was going through."

Tags: Morris Claiborne
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New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is tackled after a catch by Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is tackled after a catch by Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Terrelle Pryor's time with the Jets looks to be coming to an end. At least, for now.

The wide receiver is expected to be released on Saturday due to a groin injury, which will keep him out at least two weeks, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The Jets are interested in bringing Pryor back when healthy if he does not sign elsewhere. 

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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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)

For the second straight season, the Jets are 3-3 heading into Week 7, but this feels different. 

Just ask backup quarterback Josh McCown.  

McCown, who was the Jets starting quarterback last season, had the team off to a surprising 3-2 start heading into Week 6 before they sputtered and finished the season 2-9 to close with a 5-11 record. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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Bowles welcomes back Robinson 00:00:36
Todd Bowles welcomes back Rashard Robinson to a banged up secondary and likes the development of his young tight ends.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles discussed the return of Rashard Robinson and shed light on the tight end situation as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Vikings. "The energy [Robinson] brings out on the practice field has been great," Bowles said.

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Sep 20, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine (41) warms up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports (David Dermer)
Sep 20, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine (41) warms up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports (David Dermer)

As the Jets released their final injury report on Friday, CB Buster Skrine was added to the list of players that are deemed inactive for their Sunday afternoon game against the Vikings. 

Skrine, who is dealing with a concussion, joined WR Quincy Enunwa and S Marcus Maye among those sidelined for the Week 7 matchup. 

Even worse is the fact that CB Trumaine Johnson (quad) and WR Terrelle Pryor (groin) were listed as doubtful for Sunday. Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis joins them on that list as well...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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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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