After each game, we're going to highlight three defensive and three offensive players and look in detail at their performance. We'll start today with the defense:
Although he isn't a starter, Henry Anderson played more snaps than Nathan Shepherd and definitely had more of an impact as he was the Jets' most disruptive pass rusher.
Much as he did throughout preseason, Anderson constantly drove his man back on the bull rush to help collapse the pocket, but also showed a rare ability to beat his man and get a clean run at the quarterback.
On one play he fought through a double team, chased Matthew Stafford out of the pocket and came within a whisker of getting his hand on the football as Stafford threw an incompletion. He also played as much of a part in Darron Lee's touchdown as Lee himself by getting a clean hit on Stafford on this move:
Anderson didn't do much against the run, but that's mainly because the Lions only ran the ball six times with him in the game. Those six plays ultimately netted just 14 yards.
If Anderson keeps playing like this, he's going to be a difference maker this year and is already establishing himself as a bargain having been acquired for a seventh round pick back on the final day of the draft. He's out of contract at the end of the season, but if he keeps this up, the team will be keen to extend him.
Major Lee Impressive
In terms of impact plays, this was easily the biggest game of Lee's career. He intercepted two passes, returning one for his first career touchdown, and also broke up another pass.
Most of the other good plays he made also came in coverage as he made a few open field tackles including one underneath and one in the flat. He also made this terrific read to blow up this screen pass. Had he been caught on a block here, that could have gone for big yardage:
Before his first interception, Lee had some negative plays. He was blocked out at the second level on a couple of plays and in space on a screen pass on another. He also gave up a first down on a pass underneath where he missed the tackle and had another play which could have gone for a first down but was dropped. It's also unclear who was at fault on the blown coverage that led to Golden Tate's touchdown.
However, after his touchdown, he seemed galvanized. From then on, he was flying around making plays, with no mistakes, so it obviously gave him a big confidence boost.
It's important that Lee plays with more consistency this year, but if he can mix in some impact plays like this, the defense will give teams a lot of problems.
Girl you know it's Tru
Although he had his first interception as a Jet, Trumaine Johnson didn't get off to a great start. He ended up with three tackles and the interception, after which he fumbled the ball back to the Lions and was knocked out of the game for a while.
Ultimately, Johnson's coverage numbers don't look too bad, as he just gave up three catches on seven targets. However, two of those plays went for 26 and 25 yards as Kenny Golladay beat him across the field on two crossing routes, starting off in motion on one of them to avoid being pressed.
He also got kicked out on one outside run and got called for pass interference on this play:
As you can see, Johnson was up at the line but did not attempt to get a jam on the receiver. The call was made because of a slight tug on the receiver's shoulder before the ball arrived and appears to be the correct call. He was actually in pretty good position and could probably have prevented the completion without grabbing.
Later on in the game, Johnson made one good play in coverage on an third down incompletion and stopped Marvin Jones for a short gain in the flat. The Jets will be setting high standards for Johnson this year but it remains to be seen if he can be consistent enough to live up to that.
We'll be back with the 3-on-O tomorrow.