Nov 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Nov 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

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…

After having blown their chance to get right back into the Wild Card mix last week, the Jets host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, rounding out their pre-bye week schedule. The Rams have lost four straight after a 3-1 start that included low-scoring wins over the Seahawks and Cardinals. The teams last met in 2012 with the Jets, led by Mark Sanchez, winning 27-13. That was the second win in a row in the series for the Jets, following a sequence of seven straight Rams wins that dated back to 1983. 

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

Quarterbacks

Case Keenum remains as the Rams' starter, with the coaching staff sticking by him despite a disappointing season so far. Keenum won the job in preseason and fared reasonably well as a game manager in an early season three-game winning streak. However, it took the Rams until week three to score their first offensive touchdown of the season and he's thrown eight interceptions and been sacked 12 times over the current four-game losing streak.

Looming on the horizon is first overall pick Jared Goff, who has yet to play but will surely get his opportunity soon if the Rams fall out of contention. Earlier this week, Cris Carter called the pick a "colossal mess-up" and suggested that the Rams should admit they had blown it by selecting him. Goff completed less than 45 percent of his passes against backups in the preseason.

Head coach Jeff Fisher has suggested that Keenum's struggles are partly attributable to poor execution elsewhere on the offense, which might explain their reluctance to turn to Goff if that's a concern.

Offensive Line

The Rams' offensive line has been a real weakness, with former second overall pick Greg Robinson in particular continuing to struggle at left tackle. Robinson is only halfway through his third season, but has already been flagged for 35 penalties, including nine this year.

The one thing the Rams' line has going for it is continuity. Robinson, center Tim Barnes, left guard Rodger Saffold and right tackle Rob Havenstein have missed just one snap between them all season, and all four were also opening day starters last year. Havenstein, who was drafted in the second round last season, has been the most reliable lineman on the team in 2016.

At right guard, both Cody Wichmann and Jamon Brown have seen time, but Brown has been injured over the past few weeks so Wichmann is more likely to start. As with Havenstein, both were drafted last season.

Garrett Reynolds has been a big loss on the line, after having been released in September due to a preseason injury. Saffold, Wichmann and Brown started 21 games between them at guard last year though, so there is plenty of familiarity there.

Running Backs

Last year's 10th overall pick Todd Gurley had a disappointing start to the season. His best game saw him rush for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 3 win over the Bucs, but averaged just 3.1 yards per carry. That was his highest yards per carry average in any of the first five weeks. Gurley's average has improved to four yards per carry over the past three games, but the Rams have still lost all three. In addition, he's carried the ball just 14 times per game in those three, as opposed to 21 times per game in the first five.

Gurley has been dealing with a thigh injury but is going to play. His main backup is Benny Cunningham, who has just 12 carries and 11 catches on the year. Gurley has 25 catches himself.

Fullback Cory Harkey is used sparingly but is a solid blocking back.

Receivers

One bright spot from the Rams' season so far has been veteran Kenny Britt, who is well on his way to a career year and has recently started campaigning to make the Pro Bowl. Britt has 37 catches for 584 yards at the halfway point of the season. He's never had 50 catches or 800 yards in a season before and looks certain to surpass both as long as he remains healthy.

2013's eighth overall pick, Tavon Austin, is tied with Britt with 37 receptions but is averaging just 8.5 yards per catch as the Rams throw him a lot of short passes and rely on him to create yards after the catch. The third receiver is Brian Quick, who is tied with Britt with three touchdown catches on the year. He also leads the team with a 16.9 yards-per-catch average.



Lance Kendricks is a productive pass catcher at tight end. He has 32 catches on the year so far. Kendricks is slightly undersized and not much of a blocker though.

Most of the Rams' reserve pass catchers are rookies, with tight ends Temarrick Hemingway and Tyler Higbee and wide receivers Pharaoh Brown and Mike Thomas rounding out the rotation. Those four comprise two-thirds of the Rams' 2016 draft class but have combined for just six catches so far.

Defensive Line

While the Rams are widely considered one of the poorer teams in the league, they're actually ranked as the third-best defense in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. That defense was on show early on in the season, as they beat Seattle 9-3 and Arizona 17-13.

The driving force behind the defense is defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who - with JJ Watt out - can realistically claim to be the most dominant defensive player in the entire NFL. Donald is a relentless pass rusher and he has racked up five sacks in the last five games after surprisingly being held without one for the first three weeks.

Other than Donald, nobody on the Rams has more than two sacks, including Robert Quinn. Quinn had double digit sacks in each of his last three full seasons, including 19 in 2013. However, he missed half of last year and ended up with just five.

Thirty-one-year-old William Hayes plays across from Quinn. He has never had more than seven sacks in a season, but is an excellent run defender.

The fourth starter is Michael Brockers who, at 322 pounds, plays the space-stuffer role on the Rams' defense. He's been a bit banged up in recent weeks though.

The Rams will rotate in their reserves and give them plenty of reps, although Donald plays more than anyone else. Those reserves include former Patriots first-rounder Dominique Easley, who continues to show promise against the run, and experienced veterans Cam Thomas and Eugene Sims.



Linebackers

The Rams have an unusual depth chart which lists four defensive linemen, one linebacker and six defensive backs as their starters. By that measure, Alec Ogletree is their only starting linebacker and he never comes off the field so his reserves don't get to play.

However, one of those six listed defensive backs is Mark Barron, who despite still being listed as a safety by the team - and wearing a defensive back's number - plays almost exclusively in the box as a second linebacker. He's listed at just 213 pounds, but has tremendous athleticism.

Another safety who has actually been playing mostly in the box is rookie Josh Forrest, who was the only draft pick the Rams made in 2016 that wasn't a quarterback or a pass catcher.

Defensive Backs

The Rams operate their secondary with nickel personnel and have been performing well, no doubt helped by the amount of pressure being created up front.

Trumaine Johnson is actually the elder statesman of this group at 26. The other four starters are all 25, as they have some real potential as a unit, despite the departure of Janoris Jenkins. Johnson led the Rams with seven interceptions last season, although they have just four as a team so far this year.

Safety Maurice Alexander and slot corner LaMarcus Joyner are transitioning into a full-time role and each has responded well and shown improvement since last year.

The other safety TJ McDonald started as a rookie in 2013 and has been in the line-up ever since. He's the son of former Jets defensive backs coach Tim McDonald.

Troy Hill barely played last year as an undrafted rookie, but began the year as a starter and is still listed as one on the official depth chart. However, E.J. Gaines - who is only 24 - has been starting for the last few weeks. Gaines started as a rookie in 2014, but missed all of last year with a Lisfranc injury.

Special Teams

Punter Johnny Hekker is having an excellent year. He's allowed just 73 yards on returns all season long and has the third-best net average in the league. Placekicker Greg "Legatron" Zuerlein has been perfect from inside 50 yards so far this year, but missed two of his four attempts from beyond 50.

Cunningham and Austin have been handling return duties for the Rams for the fourth straight year. While neither has broken a 50-yard return yet so far this year, they've had some success in the past. Cunningham's 102-yard kick-off return last year was just two yards off being the longest non-scoring return in NFL history and Austin had four punt return touchdowns in his first three seasons.

Finally, on kick coverage, back-up receiver Bradley Marquez and rookie defensive back Marqui Christian are players to watch.


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

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

Tags: BGA

Aldrick Robinson (17) Morris Claiborne (21) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aldrick Robinson (17) Morris Claiborne (21) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On the latest episode of The Jet Stream podcast, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look at what went wrong for Sam Darnold and Todd Bowles against the Vikings, translate Sheldon Richardson's smack talk, and upgrade the Fear of the Week to Fear of the Year...wondering whether this season's "3-4" will turn differently than 2017's.

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

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 23, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson (21) looks on against the Chicago Bears during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Sep 23, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson (21) looks on against the Chicago Bears during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

The Jets have reached out to the Arizona Cardinals about star CB Patrick Peterson but are unlikely to land him in a trade, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Peterson, a three-time All-Pro corner, is unhappy with the state of his 1-6 team and has requested a trade. But the Cardinals have said they do not plan on trading the 28-year-old talent before the Oct. 30 deadline.

In his eighth NFL season -- all with Arizona -- Peterson has two interceptions and one fumble recovery. In 2014, he inked a five-year, $70 million extension that will keep him under contract until after the 2020 season.

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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 signing veteran WR Rishard Matthews on Tuesday, a source confirmed to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

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

Matthews worked out with the Jets last week along with receivers Corey Coleman (who signed to the Giants' practice squad) and J.J. Jones (who signed to the Jets' practice squad on Monday).

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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

The Jets are in desperate need for another wide receiver, and one potential option has officially been taken off the market.

The Raiders traded Amari Cooper to the Cowboys in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick on Monday. 

The Jets, who lost WR Quincy Enunwa for an extended amount of time with a foot injury and waived WR Terrelle Pryor -- who has a groin injury -- would have made sense from a needs standpoint to make a play for Cooper. 

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

‪The injuries continue to pile up for the Jets. 

Jets S Doug Middleton suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Sunday's 37-17 loss to the Vikings and is undergoing more tests, head coach Todd Bowles said in a conference call on Monday. 

A source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano that it is not as severe as the one that kept him out all of last year but will still likely end his season. 

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) runs the ball against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the third quarter 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) runs the ball against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

In the Jets' Week 7 loss to Minnesota, Sam Darnold ended up with an unforgiving statline, completing 17-of-42 passes for 206 yards and three interceptions. However, there were extenuating circumstances -- notably the blustery conditions, the decimated receiving corps and the pressure from Minnesota's formidable defense.

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

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 23, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (93) during a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Sep 23, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (93) during a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Former Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson added insult to injury following Gang Green's 37-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. 

Richardson, who had two tackles for the Vikings in the victory, took a shot at Jets fans after noticing a fair amount of purple jerseys in the seats at MetLife Stadium. 

"We travel well...I noticed that," Richardson said, per the New York Post. "The Jets never really filled up stadiums anyway."

Tags: Sam Darnold, Sheldon Richardson
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Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 21, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Jets keep insisting they're not the same, old Jets, and that they're not going to fall apart like they did last season. Even on Sunday, when they were clearly out-classed on the field, they swore they were ready to be a playoff contender now.

"I think we're there," Jets safety Jamal Adams said. "I think we're close. This team is a great team. We have a 53-man roster full of a lot of talent. There's no waiting for next year, or rebuilding. There's none of that. This team can be special."

It's a nice thought, but it might not be the Jets' reality. And their 37-17 loss to the Vikings made that crystal clear. These Jets are headed in the right direction. They've got some terrific building blocks in place...

Tags: Andre Roberts, Charone Peake, Jamal Adams, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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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 cold 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)

 

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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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