After each game, we're going to highlight three defensive and three offensive players and look in detail at their performance. We'll wrap up today with the defense:
After a quiet first game, Jamal Adams has really started to come on over the past two weeks. He's already starting to flash signs of being a difference maker and that was never more apparent than on the second quarter sequence that saw him range across the field to break up a deep pass and then sack Jay Cutler on consecutive plays.
Earlier on in the game, he made a tackle for loss on Jay Ajayi's first carry. On the play he was on the edge of the tackle box, 4-5 yards off the line on the right side and he diagnosed the play early, got his pads under Julius Thomas and rocked him back into the backfield so he could come off his block to make the play.
Adams actually didn't record another tackle other than the plays noted above. However, as we've been discussing, a key feature of the Jets' run defense was their discipline in terms of players staying in their lanes and trusting their teammates to make plays.
Here's an example of that as Adams resists the temptation to try and get into the backfield and gets upfield to ensure Ajayi has nowhere to go. Had Adams tried to shoot inside to get the glory of a tackle in the backfield, Ajayi would have bounced that outside, probably for a big gain:
There was one worrying coverage breakdown between Adams and Buster Skrine, which left Jarvis Landry wide open for what should have been an easy touchdown. Somehow, Cutler didn't see him and threw elsewhere. It's unclear as to whether Adams should have picked up Landry when Skrine passed him off, but you'd at least hope he'd recognize the situation immediately in future and try to get back into the play.
In a quiet second half, Adams had no tackles and was flagged for taunting. He probably should have been flagged for a late hit on the play anyway. Adams' on-field enthusiasm seems to be contagious but he needs to keep a lid on that sometimes.
All about that Bass
In his first game as a Jet, Davis Bass made some useful contributions off the bench. He was always on the left, mostly employed in pass rush situations and primarily with his hand in the dirt, although he was standing up a few times.
Although he was mostly rushing the passer, Bass made the third down stop in the backfield shown in the above gif, using a quick move to beat his man at the point of attack. However, on a later running play he made the tackle in the hole but allowed himself to be dragged for about five extra yards.
He made contributions as a pass rusher too with a pressure off the edge and this sack, cleaning up after interior pressure from Muhammad Wilkerson:
Bass ended his day with a bizarre play where he was about to tackle Jay Cutler as he stepped up but then let up as Cutler pump-faked, allowing him to run for nine yards. Otherwise, he seemed to fit in well, impressing with his athleticism and ability to get off blocks.
Put it in the Brooks
Terrence Brooks made headlines this week with his two interceptions, albeit that one of them was on special teams (and the Jets would have had better field position if he just knocked that down).
The second one came on a great play. In downfield coverage, he latched on perfectly and was blanketing the receiver tightly as the ball was thrown. You often hear about defensive backs "running the receiver's route for them" and this was a good example of that:
Brooks' contributions didn't end there. He had a quarterback hit coming off the edge and was credited with another pass break-up when he jarred the ball loose with a hit on the receiver on third down.
He only had one tackle on defense, but it was a good open field stop after Devante Parker made a catch shy of the marker. He added another stop on special teams, too.
All of Brooks' reps in the first three quarters came in dime packages but the team used him in place of Adams in their nickel package early in the fourth quarter before reverting to the dime package to close out the game, including on the final touchdown drive. If Brooks is going to play as well as he has so far, then the more packages they can use to get him on the field, the better.
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