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Friday, September 21, 2018

Jets Loss Jump Starts Another QB’s Career

“Dumb players do dumb things.”
                     -Bill Parcells

Mo Lewis was not on the field in Cleveland Thursday night. Neither was Drew Bledsoe or Tom Brady. But in similar fashion, Tyrod Taylor had to leave the Jets-Browns game with an injury late in the second quarter and the New York Jets squandered a 14-0 lead. We all witnessed why Baker Mayfield was the number one pick of the draft going two spots ahead of Sam Darnold. It was one of those games where I began turning the sound lower and lower in the second half just to drown out the loud loyal Brown fans. I do this a lot when my teams choke a lead away in a game. The Jets should never have lost this game. One has to wonder just how long can Todd Bowles keep his job. With some of the penalties witnessed, the Jets lack of discipline on the field continues to show up week after week.

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Dumb Player #1 
Isaiah Crowell carrying on in the end zone after a touchdown getting a unsportsmanlike penalty was pitiful. The littlest things can change the momentum of a game and he did his teammates, coaches and fans no favors. And this after it looked like the Jets had figured out the best way to handle defensive end Myles Garrett was to run right at him and not away from him.

Dumb Player #2
Trumaine Johnson was hit with a borderline unsportsmanlike penalty after the Jets stopped the Browns cold on third down. Though the Browns didn’t score on the drive, this was inexcusable.

Dumb Player #3
Morris Claiborne holds on the Browns 2-point conversion after the Jets stopped them. I have seen enough of this guy who constantly let’s the man he is covering get ahead of the field.


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And speaking of the Jets secondary, they act like thugs too many times and keep coming within an inch of getting thrown out of the game. Instead of trying to come up with a creative nickname, they should be spending extra time on the field communicating with each other. One of the biggest culprits is rookie cornerback Parry Nickerson who I’ve been touting since they drafted him. This guy reminds me of someone who is hanging around the street corner in South Central LA or East 138th Street in the Bronx and is going to start in with the first person that goes past him. All these things unfortunately reflect the Jets head coach. Fans were told at the beginning of the season that his job will not depend on the record but on the improvement of the team with a rookie quarterback. Does unsportsmanlike penalties count for anything? Does the pre-snap penalties by the offensive line mean nothing? What about blowing a 14-0 lead to a team that has not won a game since the ice age? Jets owner Chris Johnson has to decide on Todd Bowles and is this what he wants to see every week. With the next two games, Jacksonville and Denver providing horrible match-ups for the Jets, well as Yogi Berra said, “It’s getting late early here.”







  • Sam Darnold New York Jets Autographed Riddell Pro-Line Helmet
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  • Jets Offense
    Sam Darnold did not have a good game. Most of the night he never looked set and never seemed comfortable in the pocket. I thought his best drive was in the 4th quarter the one that ended up with only a field goal. Darnold hit three consecutive 3rd down plays with the last one being a great catch by Jermaine Kearse. But as usual, the Jets had to settle for a field goal. It was obvious that the Jets were protecting Darnold having him get rid of the ball quickly in lieu of setting up to throw deep. I understand the philosophy but those constant bubble screens to Quincy Enunwa were too much. When the Jets started to run well to their left side, they should have gone play-action on first down once or twice. Darnold threw only 8 passes longer than 10 yards. He threw 9 passes behind the line of scrimmage which means the play if completed started out in negative territory. This was not a good game for offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. He was not creative. The Jets did have a better running attack this week compared to the Dolphin game. They rushed for 107 yards and at 4.3 yards per play. This is acceptable. If I was Jeremy Bates, I’d keep Terrelle Pryor on the field as much possible. I don’t like his personality but in a small sample size (3 games), he has 8 receptions for 158 yards and an average of 19.8 yards per reception. Until the Jets figure out what’s going on with Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa should be the number 1 receiver and Pryor the number 2 receiver. If the Jets are not going to throw the ball long to Anderson and if he is going to fumble the short and medium range passes to him then get him off the field. What’s the point? I’m hoping Neal Sterling gets back on the field soon from concussion protocol. He seems to be the Jets best receiving tight end. With him in there, things would loosen up a bit for Sam. Kudos to center Spencer Long. In three games he has played the center position better than any three games last year’s Jet center played. To sum up the offense, it all starts with the line and they did not do a good job. Three second half points is not acceptable for this team.



    Jets Defense
    The one Jet I felt bad for Thursday night was newly acquired linebacker Avery Williamson. I was worried when the Jets let DeMario Davis go after he had a career year last year. Avery Williamson has actually been an upgrade. He was credited with 7 tackles and 7 assists and 1.5 sacks and was a force. Not only does he make tackles but he is one of the surest tacklers I’ve seen on the Jets since the prime years of David Harris. Besides Williamson, the Jet linebackers did a good job. Darron Lee had another solid game and his speed is starting to show more consistency. Jordan Jenkins also played well with a sack. Even rookie Frankie Luvu is showing up each and every game. He may have gotten away with a penalty but Luvu has a motor. The line played well but the Browns still rushed for 133 yards and the Jets seemed to give up big yardage plays when it counted. It’s the Jets secondary that concerns me. The receivers are constantly beating the Jets cornerbacks long and this is an issue. Just by plain luck, the Jets could have given up at least 4 more touchdowns on long passes this year but over throws, under throws, and penalties negated those. This Morris Claiborne looks like a rookie every game. With his ability there really is no excuse for his play.
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    Five Plays We Want Back
    1. Isaiah Crowell-acting like a clown gets a unsportsmanlike penalty after a touchdown. Unfathomable!
    2. Morris Claiborne-getting a holding penalty after the Browns first 2-point conversion failed. Lack of concentration.
    3. Trumaine Johnson-gets a unsportsmanlike penalty after stopping the Browns on third down after play was over. I’d bench him.
    4. Doug Middleton-safety should have had an INT after pass from Mayfield bounced off his chest in the end zone. Typical!
    5. Robby Anderson-fumbling pass completion giving the Browns field position they should have never had. Disappointment so far this season.

    Green Tidbits
    …..Safety Marcus Maye foot injury is a mystery. No one in the Jet organization is saying what it is…..Only 3 games in if I had to pick a Jet MVP, it would be either linebacker Avery Williamson or punter Lachlan Edwards who is doing an incredible job thus far…..Three games, Sam Darnold’s Stats: 56-91 701 yards, 3 TDs, 5 INTs, QB rating of 72. Shouldn’t surprise anyone. Only stat I’m concerned about is 7.54 yards per reception. Should be higher…..Jets are doing a good job breaking in rookie linebacker Frankie Luvu…..I want to know more about Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Todd Monken. He was a college QB, turned around So. Missippi football team as head coach and has Ryan Fitzpatrick playing the best football of his life. Someone has to tell me if he is NFL head coaching material….I watch all the Jet and Giant games and in only 5 games have never seen the defense penetrate both teams offensive lines so much to make contact with the running back behind the line of scrimmage…..DE Henry Anderson is one player Mike Maccagnan has got to get credit for. He is playing solid football…..Before you compare every pass, remember that Sam Darnold is 21 and Baker Mayfield is 23…..Kevin Pierre-Louis punt block was awesome…..

                                                




    What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
    Rich Cimini, ESPN
    Everybody knows the New York Jets aren't a finished product. They're a young team in the middle of a rebuilding cycle, yet there's enough talent to dominate at times. We've seen the Promising Jets in six of 12 quarters. In the other six, well, now you're talking about the Maddening Jets. There's a wide gap between the two personas, and it's on coach Todd Bowles to narrow it before the season gets away…..A work-in-progress team such as the Jets should be a smart, overachieving bunch that shows on a weekly basis that its whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You know that kind of team: It'll fight for 60 minutes, then maybe come up a little short in the end because it lacks talent. The fans can embrace a team like that. These Jets are not that team. That kind of team doesn't blow a 14-0 lead to a team that had gone 19 games without a win. That kind of team doesn't commit bad penalties at critical junctures. That kind of team doesn't let a rookie quarterback, in his debut, look like Aaron Rodgers. The Jets did all that in a shameful loss to Baker Mayfield & Co. that won't soon be forgotten.

    …..Jets had ultra-aggressive game plan against Tyrod Taylor — 12 blitzes in 18 dropbacks. Worked like a charm. They remained aggressive vs Baker Mayfield (11 blitzes/24 dropbacks), but not at the same level. Mayfield’s quick release offset the blitz.

    Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
    Overreaction Friday was sprinkled with predictable calls for the head coach’s head, armchair play-callers and a bunch of Al Bundy’s who surely could run circles around the players they watch every week just because they once scored four touchdowns in a homecoming game. The geniuses were out in full force the day after the Jets’ 21-17 loss to the Browns. Venting might be a part of a fan’s DNA, but let’s find some perspective. You mean Gang Green, a Vegas underdog, lost a Thursday night road game with a 21-year-old quarterback making his third career start in 11 days? The horror! The shame! It’s a wonder that the rest of the NFL owners haven’t already called an emergency meeting to contract the league to 31 teams. Memo to the lazy Same Old Jets crowd: This wasn’t one of the worst losses in recent Jets history. I’ve been to 138 consecutive Jets games in the past decade and covered the team in some form for 15 years. This isn’t in the Top 10 worst losses in that window. This one stings because the Jets squandered an 11-point halftime lead, not because they lost the game. They were projected to lose the game by people with no dog in the fight…..It’s not too difficult to understand what happened Thursday night. Bowles, an old-school coach, wanted to make it clear to Bates that running the ball was paramount after last week’s pass-happy approach against an aggressive Miami front didn’t exactly work out.
    “I thought we were well-balanced on offense,” Bowles said. “I thought we had some plays dialed up off what they did. They changed some things around in the second half that negated some of the things we had dialed up. But I thought offensively we had a good game-plan ... and it was balanced.”
    The Jets, frankly, didn’t make tangible second-half adjustments. That’s absolutely a coaching issue that must be rectified to help cultivate Darnold’s talent.
    “I know we got good character,” Bowles said. “I know we'll fight and I know we have a decent team. We just got to cut down and fix some things.” That sounds great, but Bowles knows better than anyone that words are meaningless if not proven with actions.

    Brian Costello, NY Post
    The Jets had an epic collapse on Thursday night against the Browns, blowing a 14-point lead to lose 21-17. Here are some thoughts and observations from the game:
    1. This was a game that felt ripped from 2017 — the bad penalties, the blown lead, the fourth-quarter collapse. These Jets were supposed to be beyond this. Thursday night showed they are not and that reflects poorly on coach Todd Bowles.
    Bowles seems like a stern coach. He acts like it when he talks to the media. Players I respect who have played for him with the Jets have talked about how he emphasizes discipline. But then you watch his team play, and they completely lack any poise or composure in so many bad losses. Does Isaiah Crowell do that disgusting celebration if he fears his coach’s reaction? No way. He clearly does not care what Bowles thinks.orris Claiborne committed an inexcusable holding penalty in a huge spot for the second straight week. Bowles’ specialty is coaching defensive backs. Yet he has not figured out how to get Claiborne or Buster Skrine (who left the game with a knee injury) to stop grabbing receivers.
    I don’t get to see practice every day. Reporters only see a small window during the season. I am not in the meetings. I am not in the locker room when he addresses the team. So I don’t completely know how Bowles handles situations. I have been told by players that he fines them frequently, but things have to get egregious for them to lose playing time. I think that is where Bowles makes his mistake. If a guy commits a terrible penalty, bench him for the next series. Players want to play. Make them feel it by sitting on the bench for a little while. Bowles never benches players. Other than a quarterback change in Arizona in 2016, I can’t remember Bowles taking a player out of a game for poor play or discipline. Bowles is now 21-30 as the Jets coach. He has to figure out how to get his team more disciplined before he runs out of time to do it….. The way the Jets offense opened this game and operated for much of the night screamed that the coaches did not trust the offensive line. The quick passes were all designed to get the ball out of Darnold’s hand quickly before the pass rush got to him. I thought it was a smart way to open the game, but they needed to move away from it once they established the run. Why not try some play-action shots downfield once you had the running game rolling? Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said a few weeks ago that the Jets were going to take their swings. On Thursday night, they barely took the bat off their shoulder.

    Sunday, September 16, 2018

    Jets Lay An Egg In Home Opener

       What a difference a week makes. Did Jet fans expect anything different than what we have seen so far in the first two games? We are seeing a rookie quarterback that has tons of talent going through some growing pains. This game is one where the Jets were outplayed at the point of attack but the Dolphins kept handing opportunities that the Jets could not capitalize on. The difference between a Todd Bowles coached team and say a team like the Patriots, is when a stupid turnover occurs, the Pats make you pay for it. The Jets don’t.

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      The Jets were outplayed in every aspect of the game. Everything can be summed up at the end of the first half. The very first time the Jets get the ball over mid-field, they can’t even score as the drive ends at the Dolphins 2 yard line. This answers one of my 5 questions going into the season. Todd Bowles cannot manage the clock or his time outs. This is inexcusable for a fourth year head coach! The second glaring issue is the offensive line, especially in the first half. Except for one or two runs the Jets running game was awful. And think about it, the Jets are putting a rookie quarterback in a position to try and win an NFL game with virtually no running game and a weak offensive line. The Dolphins defensive line and linebackers were teeing off on every play. And except for a good tight end screen to Eric Tomlinson (24 yards) to offset the rush, the Jets had no answer. Speaking of Eric Tomlinson, the New York Jets tight ends cannot block. Unless this is addressed by the coaching staff, Darnold will get hurt. The Jets rushed for a measly 42 yards while the Dolphins rushed for 135 yards. More stunning is the Dolphins averaged 4.4 yards per carry while the Jets averaged 2.2 yards per carry. Both Sam Darnold’s interceptions were on him. At the time I couldn’t agree with what color commentator Rich Gannon said about Pryor not extending himself. However, I looked at that play about 6 times and there is no doubt that Pryor could have given a better effort to watch the ball, extend himself and at least deflect the ball. I’ll have more on Pryor later. Despite his 2 interceptions, Darnold put up some impressive numbers passing 25-41 for 334 yards and a QB rating of 74.6. For the record Ryan Tannehill’s QB rating was 123.1 and his bootlegs killed us! If Sam could have one play back it would probably be when he threw the ball out of the end zone a tad too early with Quincy Enunwa wide open for a sure six.

      Despite how the game looked, give kudos to the Jets defense. They were playing uphill all game. The Jets field position was awful all day. Brandon Copeland played a great game. He was active and credited with one sack and had a sack called back after a penalty on Buster Skrine. Buster Skrine and Morris Claiborne seem to be the weak links on the Jets defense. Skrine has to have the record for the most untimely penalties. Buster Skrine is great for the opposition’s offense. Since the day he signed with the Jets he has had an uncanny knack for keeping the opposition’s drive and momentum going. Can’t we take him off the field on every third down play? Put in Parry Nickerson or Justin Burris? Just tell Skrine the Doctor wants to see him in the tent and keep him in there till the Jets get the ball back. Morris Claiborne is soft. Sometimes there is so much space between the receiver and Claiborne that he is off the TV screen. I’ve seen enough of him. He signed another one-year contract so let’s go out and draft another DB. Or the Jets would show some guts and start Parry Nickerson who is probably the quickest player on the team.

      Give credit to Ryan Tannehill. Coming off lat year’s knee injury he was impressive. Besides that sack fumble, he played solid. His running killed the Jets. He led a very balanced attack and when the Dolphins needed a big play, he either made it with a pass or with his own feet. I was never a Tannehill fan and couldn’t understand why the Miami Dolphins did not trade up to draft a quarterback but the Dolphin hierarchy seems to have evaluated his ability well.

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      There were a ton of plays that cost the Jets but I came up with these 6 in no particular order that I thought were key in the Jets loss.
    1) Chris Herndon Drop
    2) Darnold interception after fumble recovery
    3) End of first half clock and time out management
    4) Buster Skrine holding on 3rd down sack by Copeland
    5) Darnold throwing ball away out of end zone with Enunwa wide open
    6) Dolphins 3rd and 19 pass for a first down to keep drive going in 4th quarter

    From The Stat Corner

    Jets
    Third Down Efficiency 3/10 - 30%

    Dolphins
    Third Down Efficiency 6/13 - 46%

    Jets                                     
    Penalties (Number-Yards) 7 - 50

    Dolphins
    Penalties (Number-Yards) 2 - 10

    Time of Possession
    Jets         31:35     
    Dolphins 28:25



    Green Tidbits:
    ….Just heard Pryor take blame on Darnold end zone INT. He made himself accountable. But he has got to make more of an effort on those 2 other catches. Richard Pryor could have made a better effort….Dolphins DE Robert Quinn was un-blockable today. He is a winner….The one time Sam was over center not in shotgun, I yelled out “screen or draw.” It was a screen for -5….Jets are 90-100 million under the cap. First priorities: offensive line, edge pass rusher, wide receiver, defensive back and running back…..Is there any doubt that Quincy Enunwa is the Jets best offensive threat…..DE Henry Anderson who had a sack is only going to get better…..Dolphin DB Minkah Fitzpatrick who is from NJ has greatness in him…..Where did Darron Lee go today?…..OL Brandon Shell and center Spencer Long were solid…..Hey Jets, kick the tires with Josh Gordon. Josh McCown knows him. And he is a talent…. What is it with the body language of both Todd Bowles and Robby Anderson that bothers me?…..How about there being a more sense of urgency for the Jets under 9 minutes down by 2 scores. Another Todd Bowles coaching faux pas….I can’t take that commercial with the girl in the Steelers jersey screaming. Please, enough already……




    What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
    Rich Cimini, ESPN
    Welcome to the NFL, Sam Darnold -- the real NFL. Six days after his storybook debut, the New York Jets' quarterback faced a legitimate defense for the first time and turned into a mistake-prone rookie in a 20-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. What a buzzkill. This was the Jets' most anticipated home opener in years -- the place was electric at kickoff -- but the masses received a sobering reminder that rookie quarterbacks are prone to growing pains. Darnold wound up throwing for 334 yards and a touchdown, but there were too many hiccups and too many missed opportunities. He made it look easy in Week 1 against the soft Detroit Lions (well, except for his pick-six on his first pass), but it was clear from the outset that the Dolphins had no intention of serving as the foil in another Darnold lovefest. The 21-year-old threw two interceptions (one in the red zone) and mismanaged the clock at the end of the first half, costing the Jets at least a field goal. Every mistake was damaging. The first interception -- a misread -- set up the Dolphins on a short field, gifting them a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Detect a trend? For the second straight week, a Darnold interception put the Jets in a 7-0 hole. Good teams don't do that. In the closing seconds of the first half, Darnold -- with no timeouts left -- made the mistake of throwing to Chris Herndon short of the end zone. He got tackled at the 1 and time ran out, with the Jets unable to line up for a field goal. It was a brain cramp. Darnold should've thrown it away or fired it into the end zone. He made a similar mistake last season in USC's victory over UCLA.
    ………This was a bitterly disappointing day for the Jets, but it was a good learning experience for their promising young quarterback. Let's be clear: This wasn't his fault; there were breakdowns everywhere. These were tough conditions for any quarterback, let alone a newbie.Darnold battled bad field position, shaky pass protection and a large deficit for the entire day. He got banged around pretty good by the Miami front, which dominated with a four-man rush. The Dolphins didn't do anything exotic to confuse Darnold; they just won their individual matchups and whipped the Jets' offensive line. Continuing a two-year trend, the Jets proved they can't handle prosperity. They've been searching since 2016 for week-to-week consistency. Get used to the roller-coaster because such is life with a rookie quarterback.

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    Brian Costello, NY Post
    The Jets were able to move the ball against Miami through the air, but a lack of a running game and three turnovers killed them. They gained a total of 362 yards, but only 42 on the ground. QB Sam Darnold (25-of-41, 334 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) did not play poorly, but one interception led to points for the Dolphins and the other came in the end zone, preventing the Jets from scoring. The offensive line had a rough game, allowing three sacks and failing to open up holes in the running game…..The defense did some really good things. It got after Ryan Tannehill, sacking him four times, and held the Dolphins scoreless in the second half. But the unit committed two critical penalties on third down that kept Miami drives alive, was unable to pick the offense up after turnovers and allowed a third-and-19 conversion in the fourth quarter…..It was a nondescript game for the special teams unit after last week’s big game. Kicker Jason Myers missed an extra point, but did hit field goals of 55 and 41 yards. Myers also had three more touchbacks on kickoffs. Andre Roberts (one return, 4 yards) was a non-factor this week…..The Jets coaches had no answers when things were not going their way. The offense could not figure out a way to get the running game going. The team made critical errors that reflect poorly on Todd Bowles and his staff. The Jets had two huge penalties on third down defensively, and how do they give up a third-and-19 in the fourth quarter?

    Tuesday, September 11, 2018

    Jet Got Their Man!

    Yes! We got one! We got a franchise quarterback. Quarantine him Monday through Saturday when he is not practicing. Notify local police departments in NYC, Bergen County, Westchester County, Nassau County and all the airports. Sam Darnold is to be treated as a diplomat. What a first game! There was actually something positive that came out of his first pass. If the interception did not go all the way for a TD and say Lion Quandre Diggs stepped out at the 12-yard line, it would have been a tough wait for Darnold and the Jets trying to get back on the field. The pick six got Sam and Co. right back on the horse. Of course no fans were happy with that first pass. But that first play, the drive by the Lions opening the second half and the third down reverse called by Jeremy Bates that went backwards were the only bad things to happen to the Jets all night. Otherwise it was all J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS. Darron Lee, Isaiah Crowell, Andre Roberts, Jamal Adams and even more all deserved game balls but it was the 21-year old rookie that stole the show. Darnold was everything we saw in pre-season and more. He rolled left, rolled right, threw long, threw short, ran with the ball. In fact take away that first pass and Darnold was an amazing 16-20. On the Jets second possession after great field position that was set up by return man Andre Roberts, Darnold completed a 3rd down bullet to Quincy Enunwa that did away with the ghosts of Browning Nagle. In the second quarter, just after the two-minute warning, Darnold hit Robby Anderson for a 41-yard touchdown pass that was a great catch by Anderson. That pass did away with the ghosts of Christian Hackenberg. In the third quarter Darnold hit Quincy Enunwa again and this time for a 21-yard touchdown. That pass did away with the ghosts of Geno Smith. Sam Darnold will make the players around him play better. There will more great plays by Sam Darnold and there will be more to come as the season goes on. Sam Darnold showed everyone in the league why the Jets started the 21-year old USC quarterback. Sit back and let’s have some fun. We got our man!

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    Jets Offense
    With Sam Darnold on target, everything else was clicking for the Jets offense. It was a balanced attack that was highlighted by some big plays. Isaiah Crowell who rushed for 102 yards broke one for a 62-yard touchdown. Reliable Bilal Powell added 60 more yards. Quincy Enunwa caught 6 passes for 63 yards and Terrelle Pryor and Tight end Neal Sterling each had 3 catches. As mentioned Anderson had 1 reception for a 41-yard touchdown. The Jet third down efficiency was 42% 6-14. The balance was reflected in the passing/rushing yards which was 180/169. The Jets offensive line which was of great concern going into the game more than held their own. They did get a stroke of luck when the Lions’ Ezekiel Ansah went of the game in the first half with an injury. Nevertheless, the line handled the point of attack well and this unit should get better as the season goes on. 

                                       



    Jets Defense
    Besides Sam Darnold looking great, the defense and special teams kept giving the Jets great field position. To me this was the key to the game. Forcing the Lions quarterbacks to throw 5 interceptions (Stafford/4, Cassel/1) showed how aggressive the defense was throughout the game. Darron Lee finally had a game to remember. With two interceptions, one returned for a TD, the third year linebacker played like the player we heard about when he was at Ohio State. Time had been running out for Lee and he came up big time. Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne and Jamal Adams also had interceptions. Besides Lee, the other Jet linebackers played excellent and so did the secondary. A couple of unsung heroes were linebacker Frankie Luvu and defensive lineman Henry Anderson who seemed to be in the backfield most of the time he was in the game. An observation was that the defense as a whole looked incredibly quick compared to the last couple of years. 

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    Jet Special Teams
    In my last Green Rewind article I mentioned punter Lac Edwards and how he improved. Not only is he kicking longer than last year but his placement of his punts in the Lion game were excellent. Of his three punts the Lions had to start one drive at their own 10-yard line and one drive at their own 6-yard line. Field position can make or break seasons. Edwards is a good one.
    On the punt returns, what can you say about Andre Roberts? This veteran entering his ninth year in the NFL was just outstanding. He averaged 45 yards per return on three punts including one that went for a 78-yard touchdown. Roberts is listed as a wide receiver but make no mistake, he made the roster as a return man. The Jets are the fifth NFL team he is on and he goes back with Todd Bowles when he coached the Arizona Cardinals defense.  

    What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
    Rich Cimini, ESPN
    (Sam) Darnold had just won his first professional start, overcoming a pick-six on his first pass attempt to beat the Detroit Lions, 48-17. No one wants to start his career with a blooper moment, but it showed he can take a punch. That will serve him well as he navigates an early schedule that will test his mettle. Working on a short week, Darnold will face the Miami Dolphins in the Jets' home opener. Then it'll be an even shorter week -- a dreaded Thursday night road game against the Cleveland Browns, who may start blitzing the rookie before the national anthem is finished. From there, it's a road trip to the Jacksonville Jaguars, best defensive team in the NFL. The point is, not every week will be fun for Darnold. Not every opponent will be as clueless as the Lions, who looked utterly unprepared under first-year coach Matt Patricia. Every young quarterback falls into a funk at some point. The mentally fragile get swallowed up by the adversity and the pressure. The tough-minded players fight their way out of it. On Monday night, Darnold showed fight. After the interception, he went 16-for-20, 198 yards and two touchdowns, rallying the Jets to one of their most impressive season-opening wins. Instead of imploding on prime-time TV, he laughed off his rookie blunder.

    Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
    Just outside the winning locker room Monday night, Chris Darnold had tears in her eyes, Michael Darnold had a smile as wide as the ocean… and their son had the same steady demeanor that he has had for as long as they can remember. Sam Darnold had just won his first NFL game in the most unusual way, turning a glaring mistake into a footnote, but it was nearly impossible to tell any of that by the look on his face. The Jets rookie quarterback flashed an easy smile while hugging his folks before disappearing into the night. Darnold is the sketch of cool, but he’s not too cool for school. He’s calm, but he’s not detached. He’s reserved, but he’s not aloof.

    “He’s the same guy every day,” Todd Bowles said the day after the Jets’ epic season-opening 48-17 rout over the Lions. “I think that’s important at the quarterback position. You need to be the same guy every day whether it’s good or bad. Everybody needs to see that…. You know what you’re getting out of that guy. You trust that type of person when you’re the same guy every day. That’s really been the most impressive thing.” Time will tell, but the Jets’ decision to trade up from No. 6 to No. 3 in this year’s draft might ultimately go down as the single greatest decision in franchise history………

    …….“It’s great to see,” Bowles said about his young signal caller’s poise. “It’s rare more nowadays…. It’s exciting to see because he’s got an old soul, but he’s young in age. He understands the game very well. He works at it the right way…. It’s a bit more comforting knowing that he’s going to go study.”

    Think about it this way: How would you have responded if you made a huge blunder in the first few seconds on your first day of work? Would you have sought shelter? Or would you have been emboldened by the moment? Darnold’s pick-six on his first career snap actually calmed him down.

    “Oh my God…” cornerback Mo Claiborne said. “I’ve been seeing this from this guy since he arrived here.

    “He’s just fearless. It seems like nothing really gets to him. He keeps the same attitude, the same look on his face.”

    Darnold couldn’t be a more respectful person, but, man, he’s an assassin on the field. Maybe the pick-six was meant to be, because if you didn’t believe in Darnold’s mental toughness before Monday night, you certainly do now.

    “I practice with him every day. He has that ‘It’ factor,” cornerback Trumaine Johnson said. “He’s a gamer. Coming from a pick-six first ball, you don’t see rookie quarterbacks do what he did… I’m proud of him.”

    Brian Costello, NY Post
    They have been teased by young quarterbacks who look like they could be the one. They have been fooled by one-game wonders who made them dream of finding that elusive franchise quarterback. They have been burned by the career flameouts of Browning Nagle, Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. The scars are still there. You can feel that this week, as the biggest question going around Jets fans’ heads is: To Believe or Not To Believe? That is the question with Sam Darnold, the Jets’ rookie quarterback who showed resiliency Monday night when he bounced back from throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown on the first play of his career. He put that play behind him and threw two touchdowns and played a big role in the Jets’ 48-17 win over the Lions. It is OK, Jets fans. You can buy in. This kid is for real. Now that is not to say, off of one game, we should compare him to Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. There will be plenty of hiccups to come this season. As for the future, so much else has to go right for Darnold to realize his potential. But the foundation is there. Darnold is different. That is not just based off Monday’s game, but off what he has shown since the draft in April. He is more mature than Sanchez, Smith or Nagle were. He is a more instinctive player than any of them. His poise is something that is rarely found in someone who only reached the legal drinking age three months ago…..

    …..One game is not enough to put Darnold in Canton. There are so many things that could go wrong. The Jets must still build around Darnold. The Jets’ failure to do that around Sanchez doomed him. Darnold must stay healthy, of course. Chad Pennington looked like he was the answer before the injuries piled up. But Darnold has traits that can’t be coached. He has talent that should make Jets fans excited about the future. If he stays healthy and the Jets do this right, they have their guy.