Last night, we saw something we haven’t seen in a very, very long time.
Well played New York Jets football.
All Three Phases
The Jets thrived in all three phases of the game last night, scoring an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown for the first time ever. That was the best well-rounded football the Jets have played in a very long time.
Sam Darnold looked great after throwing a pick six to start off his NFL career. After throwing that interception, Darnold went 16-20 with 198 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown was a 43-yard bomb to Robby Anderson, who flew past a corner and a safety. The other touchdown was to Quincy Enunwa, who was Darnold’s favorite target all night long. Enunwa was targeted 10 times, and caught six passes for 63 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown.
Running the football was even more phenomenal. The Jets come out of week one with the highest ranked rushing offense in terms of stats. Isaiah Crowell went off for 10 carries, 102 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62-yard run to the house. Bilal Powell looked great as well, putting up 12 carries for 60 yards. In total, the two Jets running backs combined for 22 carries, 162 yards and two touchdowns. That’s 7.4 yards per carry. The offensive line held its own, especially after Lions star Ezekiel Ansah came out of the game with an injury.
The defense played incredible. They only let up 10 points against a solid Lions offense. They held their run game to 15 carries for 39 yards, making Stafford throw the ball a ton. Stafford went 27/46 with 286 yards and a touchdown. Oh, and he threw four interceptions. New Jack City proved its worth last night, racking up 5 total picks. Darron Lee flashed huge potential, picking off two passes and taking one to the house. Jamal Adams caught his first interception as well, and Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne joined in with interceptions. Parry Nickerson nearly reeled in a beautiful interception, but he was ruled out of bounds.
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What Lies Ahead
We all know the Jets played spectacular. The question is, can they keep it up? Their next two games are against the Dolphins and the Browns. No game is easy in the NFL, but Miami and Cleveland are two of the weaker teams in football. Miami is walking into Metlife for the Jets home opener. Allow me to remind you, the Jets won 20-7 against the Dolphins in week three of last year’s season. They shut out Miami for 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Tyrod Taylor struggled heavily in his Browns debut. New Jack City could give him a very hard time.
After that, the road gets a lot tougher. The Jets go up against the Jaguars, Broncos, Vikings, and Bears in a five week span, along with the Colts. If the Jets come out of that stretch with at least three wins, they could very well be in the playoff hunt.
Following that rough patch comes easier roads. They play the Bills and Pats twice, the Dolphins, the Titans, the Texans and the Packers. The Packers and the Pats will be rough, but the other five games seem very winnable for the Jets.
If the Jets stay healthy and keep up this stellar brand of football they showed last night, watch out. The young, hungry Jets seem ready for takeoff, and the league should be put on alert.