Three Up, Three Down From Jets' Loss To Eagles

The highs and lows for the Jets, after falling to 0-4
Michael Nania
Tue, October 8, 7:16 AM EDT

Three Up

 

Le’Veon Bell

 

After a rough game against the Patriots, Bell got himself back on track in Philadelphia. His numbers were once again unimpressive (43 rush yards on 15 carries, 45 receiving yards on six catches), but as per usual, that was due to the offensive line’s ineptitude. Bell was doing the best he could with each touch, making defenders miss with ease like he did over the first two weeks of the season. Be it with power, speed, elusiveness, or great vision, Bell was consistently making defenders miss, looking to be back in peak form.

It is going to be hard for Bell to put up fantasy stats this year with the horrendous offensive line in front of him. However, the future is looking bright for him. With Sam Darnold returning to the lineup soon, the Jets offense should move the football much, much more efficiently. That should open up the box for Bell, clearing him some lanes to get that YPC average up. In addition, having a quarterback that can actually lead long drives should give Bell some opportunities near the goal line, something he hasn’t had since Week 2.

 

Jamal Adams

 

Adams had arguably his best game of the season against the Eagles. He was quick to the ball in coverage, making numerous stops just shy of the first down marker. In run defense, he was a ball of energy, picking up a few stops of his own and creating some opportunities for teammates to make plays.

One of the traits I am constantly impressed by with Adams is his knowledge of where the sticks are. He consistently does a good job bringing ball-carriers down shy of the line to gain, be it in run or pass defense. This is an extremely valuable skill for any defender to have, and Adams has mastered it. Against the Eagles, that ability was on full display.

 

Steve McLendon

 

Run defense continues to be one of the few positives for the Jets. They held the Eagles to 86 rushing yards on 27 attempts (excluding two kneeldowns), a measly average of 3.2 yards per attempt.

McLendon is at the core of that. Using his tremendous power and size, McLendon consistently creates penetration up front, opening up lanes for the linebackers to clean up run plays. His great performance is usually not rewarded with box score flare, but McLendon did get his first sack of the season against the Eagles.

 

Three Down

 

Leonard Williams

 

Williams has been a major disappointment for the Jets this season. After entering 2019 with huge expectations, Williams not only fallen short of those lofty hopes, but he has turned into a bad football player.

Against the Eagles, Williams had an opportunity to break out of his funk. He matched up with Eagles left guard Isaac Seumalo, who entered Week 5 having allowed the second-most total pressures among guards. It looked like a favorable matchup that Williams could win easily.

Instead, Seumalo dominated Williams, consistently removing him from the play regardless of whether it was in the run or pass game. It was Williams’ second straight game with no quarterback hits or tackles for loss, the first time he has done that since 2017. He also had two penalties.

Williams has hit rock bottom.

 

Trumaine Johnson

 

Johnson is an embarrassment, plain and simple.

For some reason (there has not been anything disclosed by the coaching staff yet), Nate Hairston did not play against the Eagles after doing a good job replacing Johnson over the past couple of games.

After being benched in back-to-back games, Johnson played most of the game against the Eagles, and Philadelphia made him look silly. Johnson was called for two penalties (one preventing a likely deep touchdown) and was beaten for numerous first downs.

Johnson is one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL, yet he owns the fourth-largest contract at the position in terms of guaranteed money ($45M).

Joe Douglas probably cannot wait until he can get rid of the awful stench left by Mike Maccagnan.

 

Luke Falk

 

Given that he is making his first starts in the NFL and is playing with a horrid offensive line, Falk should be given a tiny bit of a pass right now. However, we also need to be fair and recognize that Falk was the worst player on the field for the Jets in Week 5.

Falk finished 15 of 26 for 120 yards (4.6 per attempt), zero touchdowns, and two interceptions, earning a 37.3 passer rating and a miserable 1.8 QBR. He took nine sacks for 52 yards, all-in-all generating 68 yards of offense on 35 pass plays (1.9 net yards per pass attempt). As a team, the Jets averaged 1.7 net yards per pass attempt, their second-worst mark over the past 40 years.

Falk does not look capable of playing quarterback in the NFL right now. He has no pocket presence, poor vision, terrible accuracy, and no above-average physical tools.

He hangs in the pocket far too long, taking way too much time moving from read-to-read and getting the football out. In turn, many of the nine sacks he took were his own fault.

His accuracy has also looked brutal, specifically due to a lack of arm strength. He underthrew a ton of balls, including one that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

Falk also had the ball stripped from him and returned for a touchdown, the second score he yielded to the Eagles defense in the game. His turnovers in Week 5 alone produced more points for the Eagles (14) than his Jets offense was able to produce over three games (9).

 

By Michael Nania

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