Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal. Johnson is a well-known player with whom most NFL fans will be familiar. However, it's still worth looking at recent footage to try and get an insight into what Johnson has left in the tank and what he could bring to the table.

Johnson is a 28-year old former first round pick who has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL (all with the Tennessee Titans). He's a three time pro-bowler and was an all-pro in 2009 when he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has also caught 272 passes and scored a total of 58 touchdowns in his NFL career.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his career so far and looking at footage from last year to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Chris Johnson?

The 5'11" 203-pound Johnson wasn't a highly touted collegiate player as he was better known for his kick returning abilities until his senior year when he broke out with a 1,400 yard season. However, his 4.24 forty yard dash at the 2008 scouting combine definitely turned heads. Still, it was a surprise when the Titans selected him 24th in the draft, but many experts were left eating their words when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie, leading them to the postseason.

In 2009, Johnson had an incredible season, rushing for over 2,000 yards at an average of 5.6 per carry and setting an NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season. While he hasn't approached those kind of numbers since then, Johnson has still rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past four seasons and hasn't missed a game in his entire six-year career. In 2013, he had career lows in yards per carry and yards from scrimmage, but it emerged after the season that he'd played most of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. He still managed to rush for 1,077 yards and scored a total of 10 touchdowns.

Let's look at Johnson's numbers, then review what he brings to the table.

The Numbers

Six seasons

96 games

1,742 carries, 7.965 yards, 50 touchdowns (4.6 ypc)

272 catches, 2,003 yards, eight touchdowns

78% catch rate (including preseason games)

18 career fumbles (13 lost)

240 broken tackles, including 39 as a receiver

11 penalties committed

68 20+ yard runs

18 40+ yard runs

Seven sacks, seven hits and 41 hurries surrendered in 576 pass block snaps

Here are my observations based on watching footage in detail from the 2013 season:

Usage - The first thing to note is that Johnson plays all three downs. The Titans would sometimes spell him for a series here and there, but there were three games where he missed less than 10 snaps overall (including one where he missed just two). In 2012 there had been five games where he missed five or fewer snaps. This, when coupled with the fact that he didn't miss any games yet in his career, and also that he was playing hurt last year, shows some impressive durability.

In terms of how he was used, Johnson was a tailback most of the time, as you'd expect. However, when the Titans would go five wide, he'd stay in the game and usually line up out wide. He had 50 snaps as a receiver out wide and a handful in the slot.

Running Ability - Johnson's track record speaks for itself, but the biggest question mark surrounding his move to the Jets is whether he's losing some of that breakaway ability that made his so productive in his early years. The numbers don't look great, with a yards per carry average of less than four for the first time in his career in 2013 and a long run of just 30 yards.

However, Johnson was still pretty dynamic in the open field; The Titans just struggled to get him into those situations very often. As evidence that he can still be a "home run hitter" I submit this 58-yard touchdown run from preseason:

...and this spectacular 66-yard catch and run from the regular season:

In addition, in 2012, Johnson broke three runs of 80 yards or longer, without which his yards per carry average would have been just 3.6 yards per carry, so in 2013 he was arguably more consistent in terms of picking up yardage.

There were some encouraging performances from midseason onwards that suggest Johnson still has some gas in the tank. Against the Rams, he broke several long runs on his way to 150 yards and two scores and it's also encouraging that he had one of his better games (127 yards and two scores) on the final day of the season. All told, Johnson averaged 4.2 yards per carry over the last 10 games. There was also a game against the Colts on Thursday night football where he ran for 70 yards and two scores in the first quarter (on eight carries) but then only managed 14 more yards on nine carries and a catch the rest of the way.

When at his best, Johnson has tremendous acceleration and makes good reads and sharp cuts. He also isn't afraid to lower his head to fight for tough yardage, especially near the goal line. However, at this stage of his career, it does seem like he needs a few extra inches of daylight to get up to speed.

Pass Protection - Since he plays every down, Johnson is obviously called upon to pass protect quite a lot. It's important that he's comfortable in that role and his pass protection numbers are not too bad. However, I'd definitely stop short of calling him any kind of specialist in that role and would question how much of an upgrade he'd be over the inconsistent Bilal Powell or the improving Chris Ivory in pass protection.

Johnson did make several missteps as a pass blocker and was more often than not used as a safety valve instead. On a couple of plays, he seemed a bit tentative when picking up the blitz, although maybe that was connected to him not having complete confidence in his bothersome knee.

Receiving Threat - Johnson has always been a productive receiver, so he does have that ability which is certainly something Marty Mornhinweg offenses have looked to exploit in the past. We know that Mornhinweg strives to get his playmakers the ball in space, so that could be a good way of extra getting production out of Johnson. Johnson was one of the league leaders in yards after the catch last season, but his YAC per catch was higher than his overall yards per catch average which tells you that he was catching a lot of passes behind the line of scrimmage.

Despite his good numbers, Johnson is somewhat limited as a weapon in the passing game. In the past two seasons, he has caught just one pass more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, on this play where he was covered in the flat but broke off downfield on an improvised route as the quarterback bought some time. As you'd imagine, basically all of his production comes from screen passes and underneath dump-offs. However, as LaDainian Tomlinson showed in 2010, you can add an extra dimension to the offense (and help a young quarterback have some easy success to develop rhythm) just by doing that - and this is an area where Powell and Ivory have struggled to contribute.

Hands - With so many dump-off passes, it's not surprising that Johnson has a high catch rate and not too many drops. He dropped four passes last year and three the year before that. It was poor concentration that was to blame for most of these, as he does look comfortable catching these easy passes most of the time. I didn't find any examples of him making tough catches, but then again he wasn't called upon to do so.

Fumbles - Johnson's fumble rate isn't too bad. He had three last season, two as the ball was punched out as he hit the hole and one on a freak play where he got trapped in the backfield and tried to reverse his field and got nailed from behind. There were also one or two fumbled hand-offs which were attributed to the quarterback.

Short Yardage - Johnson isn't a power back, but does still have some success in short yardage situations, usually on the kind of one-cut zone plays that Mornhinweg also uses. As noted, though, he will fight and drive for extra yardage at times.

Special Teams - Johnson does not play on special teams. Despite being a good return man in college, he has had just one kick return for 17 yards and that was in his rookie season.

Instincts - Johnson shows good instincts as a runner and in downfield blocking situations, although there will be times where he has nowhere to go and dances around behind the line looking for a gap to emerge rather than just falling into the line to take what the defense gives him. The touchdown reception linked to above was a good veteran play showing good instincts in the passing game, but we didn't see much more of that kind of thing.

Attitude - There are some questions over Johnson's attitude although he has been saying all the right things since arriving. He held out over money and griped over his touches in the past, which could be an issue considering part of his contract is made up of yardage incentives. Other sources have queried his effort and said that he looks out for the big play, occasionally to the detriment of the overall gameplan, but who knows how accurate these reports are? From the footage, he seems like a popular teammate who gets fired up about making plays to help the team.

Injuries - As noted, Johnson hasn't missed a game yet in his NFL career, but does have major red flags over the condition of his knee. Still, he passed physicals with both the Jets and Titans and finished the 2013 season on a high, so hopefully that's something that won't hold him back come September.

You can't help thinking back to Curtis Martin, who gutted the way through the 2005 season with a knee injury and was on course for 1,000 yards or thereabouts when they shut him down with four games to go. In 2006, Martin wasn't ready in time for camp and was forced to retire. Sometimes, when running backs start to have issues, the downfall is swift and sudden. Martin was five years older than Johnson is now in 2006 though.

Conclusions

Johnson is a big name and while there may be fears over how much longer (if at all) he can perform at an elite level, the Jets are getting him on a reasonable level contract and won't be entirely reliant on him to carry the load.

From the footage, I was encouraged to see that Johnson still has the burst and open-field quickness he has relied upon to become one of the league's better backs. While he didn't break as many long gains, he does still possess the ability to get out to the second level and is dangerous when he does that.

Marty Mornhinweg's offense does require backs who can produce in the passing game and protect the quarterback and while I've said that Johnson might not be all he's advertised to be in those areas, his experience and competence in either role is valuable.

While Johnson will compete for a role and most likely end up splitting carries with Chris Ivory, the obvious comparison to look at is Tomlinson, who joined the Jets coming off a career-worst year and rejuvenated his career (improving his yards per carry average from 3.3 in his final season with the Chargers to 4.2 with the Jets). While the offensive line took a lot of the credit for that, this was the year where Matt Slauson was a first year starter and Damien Woody went down injured to be replaced by Wayne Hunter, so they were hardly at their best. I'd instead attribute Tomlinson's success to the fact he had a reduced workload and was able to remain fresh much deeper into the season. That's something that could benefit Johnson too.

In terms of whether Johnson will benefit from the Jets offensive line being better than the Titans were last year, I wouldn't automatically assume that to be the case. The Titans are not a bad run blocking team and I'd put last year's Jets team on about the same level. However, if the Jets can get improved play from the left guard position, their line should improve substantially this year and that will give Johnson a good chance to have some success.

We'll return to looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the season with a look at defensive lineman TJ Barnes in a few days...

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

New York Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (18) gestures after making a first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (18) gestures after making a first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets waived WR ArDarius Stewart on Wednesday, the team announced. 

Stewart just finished serving a two-game suspension for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy. He served the two games without pay. 

The Alabama product played in 15 games last season, catching six passes for 82 yards. He was a third-round draft choice by the Jets back in 2017, and was on a four-year deal. 

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Dylan Donahue, Elijah McGuire, Jordan Leggett
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (1-1) at the Cleveland Browns (0-1-1) at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8:20 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

A wet day is expected to turn into a decent night, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. The wind, though, could be 10-20 miles per hour coming off the lake.

WHAT IT MEANS

This game would be a lot more fun if it were Sam Darnold vs. Baker Mayfield, but the Browns are still rolling with Tyrod Taylor (for now). That makes this more of a test for Darnold and his ability to bounce back from the first disappointment of his young career. It's also his first short week, which is never easy. It'll be very interesting to see how he responds. … As for the Browns, they haven't won since Christmas Eve, 2016 and are 1 for their last 33 games. The Jets certainly want to avoid the embarrassment of being only their second victim in three years.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins.  (AP)
Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins. (AP)

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot), who has missed the first two games of the season, is listed as doubtful for Thursday night's game against the Browns. 

LB Josh Martin (concussion) and TE Neal Sterling (concussion) have both been ruled out.

Martin also missed Week 2 against the Dolphins.

Tags: Marcus Maye, Neal Sterling
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Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

In 2007, Jets fans will never forget the infamous "Spygate" scandal involving New York's season opener against the Patriots. But new details have surfaced regarding the moments that led to the accusation in the first place. 

ESPN's Ian O'Connor has a new book coming out entitled "Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time," and in its bindings is the coach's journey to where he is now with all the struggles and controversies in between. One of the biggest was obviously Spygate, and O'Connor revealed what occurred when a Patriots staffer had his camera confiscated for filming the Jets' coaches from the sideline. 

FBI Agent Bob Bukowski and Meadowlands security officials Jim Crann and Pat Aramini -- who also worked as New Jersey state troopers -- were in the middle of a debate between Patriots security chief Mark Briggs and two Jets officials over the camera. Briggs wanted the camera back, but the Jets weren't giving it up. 

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles enjoys watching a couple of TV shows, but "Hard Knocks" is not one of them.

The HBO show, which follows a different NFL team during training camp each season, last featured the Jets in 2010 under then-head coach Rex Ryan. When asked if he would want the Jets to be on the show, Bowles admitted he would not be the liveliest of stars on the show.

"If I had to do it, we'd do it," Bowles said after initially declining to comment. "I'd probably be the most boring person. I don't think they want to come this way."

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Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (16) in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Robert Deutsch)
Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (16) in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on TwitterOn Thursday night, Jets WR Terrelle Pryor makes his return to Cleveland, where he enjoyed a breakout season in 2016. The former quarterback converted to wide receiver full-time in 2015, but only caught one pass and was even released and re-signed by the Browns at one point. However, in 2016, Pryor was one of the biggest surprise packages around the league.

He ended the season with 77 receptions for over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns, adding another touchdown as a runner. In fact, it could have been an even bigger year than that as his production cooled off somewhat after the bye week.

Reviewing the footage from his 2016 season reveals that Pryor is a much more natural receiver than you'd expect for someone who was only in his second year at the position. He runs smooth routes, has natural hands and his size and athletic ability are assets in terms of getting downfield separation and being a threat after the catch.

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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Jets D preps for Browns 00:00:55
Todd Bowles and Leonard Williams talk about the elusive Tyrod Taylor and the Cleveland Browns rushing attack

LB Josh Martin (concussion) and TE Neal Sterling (concussion) have both been ruled out of Thursday night's game against the Browns, head coach Todd Bowles said on Tuesday.

Martin also missed Week 2 against the Dolphins.

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot), who has missed the first two games of the season, has not yet been ruled out for Thursday night.

Tags: Marcus Maye, Neal Sterling
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Curtis Martin Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Curtis Martin Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a blessing, but some of those enshrined want more than their bust, ring, and gold jacket. 

In a letter addressed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, and Pro Football Hall of Fame President C. David Baker, Eric Dickerson -- the chairman of the newly-assembled Hall of Fame Board -- sent out demands that includes "health insurance and an annual salary for all Hall of Famers that includes a share of league revenue."

"They see us honored and mythologized before games and at halftime, and it would be reasonable if they thought life was good for us," Dickerson wrote. "But on balance, it's not. As a group we are struggling with sever health and financial problems. To build this game, we sacrificed our bodies. In many cases, and despite the fact that we were led to believe otherwise, we sacrificed our minds."

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Josh Gordon (12) Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Josh Gordon (12) Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveJosh Gordon is a tantalizing prospect. He's a 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver who once had an incredible, 87-catch, 1,646-yard, nine-touchdown performance in a season in which he played only 14 games. That was supposed to be only a scratch in the surface of his great talent. And he's still only 27 years old.

Now he's headed to the New England Patriots, after the Cleveland Browns struck a deal to send Gordon for a 2019 fifth-round pick. If Gordon is not active for 10 games, a 2019 seventh-round pick will be returned to the Patriots. The Jets, meanwhile, still don't have a true No. 1 receiver to gift-wrap to their young quarterback, Sam Darnold.

They need a player like Gordon. It's just that acquiring Gordon would've been a terrible idea.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets tight end Neal Sterling fights for yards as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Tyson Graham tackles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Neal Sterling fights for yards as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Tyson Graham tackles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets tight end Neal Sterling likely won't play in Thursday's game against the Cleveland Browns after he suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after practice on Monday.

Sterling, safety Marcus Maye and linebacker Josh Martin all did not practice on Monday with a short week, while offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum and offensive guard James Carpenter were limited with respective foot injuries.

Wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor, who are dealing with thumb and ankle injuries, respectively, practiced in full.

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On the latest episode of The Jet Stream podcast, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon deliver their weekly over analysis of Sam Darnold, check in with the New York Post's Brian Costello at Florham Park, and do a deep dive into the Fear of the Week for Jonas (and Jets fans).

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets get ready for Browns 00:00:57
Todd Bowles and Sam Darnold discuss the Jets' short turnaround for Thursday's prime time game against the Cleveland Browns

The Jets are 1-1 to start their 2018 campaign, and they have a short week after their Week 2 loss to the Dolphins as they play Thursday night football. They will travel to Cleveland to face off against the 0-1-1 Browns, where they are considered the underdogs. 

Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the Browns not having a win, they are favored by three points, according to Bleacher Report. It is the first time Cleveland is being favored on their home field since December 2015. 

The Browns have been noticeably better to start this season, but they still don't have the results. They had the chance to win both of their first two matchups, but couldn't seal the deal.

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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

Josh Gordon's days as a member of the Cleveland Browns are over, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reporting the embattled WR is expected to get dealt before 4 p.m. ET on Monday. And it appears they've found a suitor in the AFC East. 

No, it isn't the Jets, but rather the Patriots that are reportedly close to a deal to land Gordon, Rapoport said. There has been no official word yet from either team. 

Rapoport notes that a mid-round pick could get it done for Gordon, with Josina Anderson of ESPN listing the Jets and 49ers among the teams who have expressed interest in trading for him. 

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Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against New York Jets defensive back Morris Claiborne (21) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Robert Deutsch)
Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against New York Jets defensive back Morris Claiborne (21) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets suffered a disheartening 20-12 defeat to the Dolphins in their home opener on Sunday afternoon. Let's break down how each unit performed.

Quarterbacks

While Sam Darnold passed for over 330 yards and a touchdown, the Jets missed several opportunities to get back into the game. There is cause for concern over Darnold's ability to see the field as he didn't anticipate a safety sitting on the route on his first interception and failed to see a couple of wide-open receivers that were open for potential big plays...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brandon Shell, Brian Winters, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, James Carpenter, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Neal Sterling, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Steve McLendon, Terrelle Pryor
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Miami Dolphins only led by eight points when they got the ball back with 5:56 left in the game. One stop, like maybe on the third-and-19 with 3:36 remaining, and Sam Darnold would've gotten the ball back in his hands with a chance to tie the game.

Everyone in the Meadowlands wanted to see that. And everyone felt confident that the way Darnold was playing, if it actually happened, the Jets would've had a pretty decent shot.

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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SNY's Week 2 Jets Report Cards 00:09:05
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon, and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets lost to the Dolphins in their Week 2 home opener, 20-12.

Ray Lucas, Willie Colon and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets lost to the Dolphins in their Week 2 home opener, 20-12.

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Sam Darnold
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold made his home debut on Sunday, but couldn't come away with a win against the Dolphins. 

Darnold went 25-for-41 for 334 yards through the air with one touchdown and two interceptions. 

The 21-year-old now has three interceptions in his first two games, and these two this afternoon were crucial ones. His first came in the first quarter when TJ McDonald anticipated a slant route by Quincy Enunwa, and jumped the route. It led the Dolphins to their first touchdown of the game with Kenyan Drake scoring three plays later. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets fall to Dolphins, 20-12 00:01:00
Todd Bowles, Sam Darnold, and Jamal Adams look back at mistakes, and look ahead to what's next after the Jets fell to the Dolphins, 20-12

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets fans filled the Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon, hoping to see for themselves what all the Sam Darnold excitement was about. Instead, they got reminder of the truth about rookie quarterbacks: No matter how good they are, they all struggle and make inexcusable mistakes.

In other words, The Darnold Era hit its first bump in the road.

It's not that Darnold was bad. He wasn't. He 25 of 41 for 334 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, and he had some really terrific throws and moments in the Jets' 20-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins. It's just that he did what he mostly avoided doing in the opener last Monday night. He made some big mistakes in some big spots.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Miami Dolphins, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (1-0) vs. the Miami Dolphins (1-0) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

Sunny and 80 degrees. ... See, even Mother Nature would dare rain on the Jets' parade.

WHAT IT MEANS

It might just be the happiest home opener in years for the Jets. It might even be a sellout. And why not? Who wouldn't want to see Sam Darnold, the future, after what he and the rest of the Jets did to the Lions last Monday night. Darnold playing well wasn't a surprise. The Jets pounding Detroit 48-17 was a pretty big shock, though. Maybe it was a fluke, but don't tell that to the players. If they can do anything close to that again, their bandwagon may be full.

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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DraftKings Sportsbook Minute 00:00:56
Pat Mayo takes a look at the Jets/Dolphins Week 2 matchup in the latest DraftKings Sportsbook Minute

Coming off a short week after playing Monday and heading into another short week with playing the Browns next Thursday, Pat Mayo says that Jets/Dolphins "screams close game coming down to the wire" and that it may be best to take the points and Dolphins +3.

What do you think?

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Kearse and Bowles on next steps 00:00:42
Jets coach Todd Bowles and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse talk about the WR crew as Gang Green gets ready for their home opener on Sunday.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles and WR Jermaine Kearse discussed the wide receivers crew ahead of their Week 2 matchup against the Dolphins.

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Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins.  (AP)
Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins. (AP)

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot) remained out of practice on Friday and is doubtful for Sunday afternoon's game against the Dolphins. 

LB Josh Martin (concussion) has been ruled out. 

LB Neville Hewitt (knee) and WR Jermaine Kearse (abdomen) both practiced in full on Friday and are expected to play. 

Tags: Marcus Maye
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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa celebrates a first down during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa celebrates a first down during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets may not have a player who's regarded as a true No. 1 wide receiver or running back, so they're embracing the depth they have on offense.

"You can't win with one player,'' Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said, according to the New York Post's Mark Cannizzaro. "We need every man that's dressed to contribute. If everyone shows their talent -- and it's our job as coaches to showcase what they do best -- then it takes a team effort and you get a team win.''

New York entered the season without a receiver who was regarded in the same tier of stardom as players like Antonio Brown or Julio Jones, but it did boast its depth. After all, the Jets, thanks to a receiving corps of Quincy EnunwaRobby AndersonJermaine Kearse and Terrelle Pryor, are the only team with four players with an 800-yard season.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Sep 10, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Andre Roberts celebrates after returning a punt for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Sep 10, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Andre Roberts celebrates after returning a punt for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

On Monday night against the Lions, Sam Darnold's fantastic NFL debut rightfully dominated conversations. But the Jets did something they haven't done in a long time: a touchdown on a punt or kickoff return.

Andre Roberts returned a punt 72-yards for a touchdown in the third-quarter, as the Jets scored 31 unanswered points to run away with the game. It was their first return touchdown since 2012. Special teams coach Brant Boyer was able to find the humor.

"All right, you can all say it: It's about damn time," Boyer said Thursday.

Tags: Andre Roberts
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Jets prep for Fish 00:01:04
Jeremy Bates, Avery Williamson and Todd Bowles talk about the challenges presented by the Dolphins in Sunday's home opener

Here are the key takeaways from Jets head coach Todd Bowles' Thursday press conference...

On how Quincy Enunwa would play after missing a year:

"Well, you see him in the spring, first thing you want him to be healthy, once we got him healthy you see him in practice and doing everything the right way, your confident out there and then when you see him in pads for the first time, you're wondering if he could take the hits and everything else. Once he shows he fine you kind of let it go. He's worked his tale off to get to where he is right now and we're happy with it."

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Steve McLendon
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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 (foot) remained out at practice on Thursday after missing Monday's season-opener.

LB Josh Martin (concussion) and LB Neville Hewitt (knee) also remained out as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

For the Dolphins, RB Frank Gore (not injury related) and G Josh Sitton (shoulder) were out. LS John Denney (shoulder) was limited.

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Vacchiano reports on Jets CEO 00:01:24
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano shares some insight on Jets CEO Christopher Johnson's comments about the team and the National Anthem controversy.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Christopher Johnson is trying his best to be "Ice Man" in the wake of the Jets' rousing Opening Night win. He believes the Jets can be "a team to be reckoned with" this season. He doesn't think the playoffs are out of reach.

And the truth is he's setting his goals a little higher than that.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets get set for Miami 00:00:59
Sam Darnold, Todd Bowles and Darron Lee talk about this Sunday's Jets home opener against the Miami Dolphins

The Jets were indoors for practice on Friday as they continue to prep for their Monday Night Football game against the Lions.

And after the session, head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates preach team goals for the game with question about rookie QB Sam Darnold's confidence coming their way...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets' Marcus Maye kneels during NFL football practice, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets' Marcus Maye kneels during NFL football practice, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot) remained out at practice Wednesday after missing Monday's season-opener.

LB Josh Martin (concussion) and LB Neville Hewitt (knee) were also out as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

For the Dolphins, WR Danny Amendola (not injury related) and G Josh Sitton (shoulder) were out. LS John Denney (shoulder) and WR DeVante Parker (finger) were limited. 

Tags: Marcus Maye
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New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Christopher Johnson can talk all he wants about his "team to be reckoned with" and missing Sam Darnold's pick-six while in the elevator ("my heart sank"), but the Jets CEO is barred from discussing the national anthem.

"I wish I could talk about this," Johnson told reporters Wednesday afternoon, "but the league, even though they suspended the implementation of the rule, they have still asked us to not comment on anything about the anthem."

Here are the highlights of Johnson's discussion with the media, two days after Gang Green kicked off its season with a win over the Lions.

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