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:
Jordan Jenkins ended the game with just two tackles and one quarterback hit. However, his contributions went beyond that and he didn't really have any negative plays in the running game or in coverage.
This is the kind of solid play we're used to seeing from Jenkins, as he beats the tight end to blow up a run:
Jenkins had one other run stuff, on a stretch run that he pursued to the outside. He was also in on a tackle in the backfield and penetrated to blow up a run that led to Jamal Adams making a tackle for loss.
As a pass rusher, Jenkins recorded one quarterback hit where he was left unblocked as Cousins rolled out following a playfake. However, he beat his man off the edge a couple of times to get close to Cousins.
For the season as a whole, Jenkins' playing time is down slightly on last year and his production as a tackler is down as well. While his grades and production in terms of generating pressure have been about the same as ever, he is well on the road to way to surpassing his career-high of three sacks in a season. He had 2.5 in the first five games, although he has come up empty in each of the last two weeks. He also already has two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Ultimately, though, it seems like Jenkins is what he is - a solid, starter-level player - but doesn't seem to show any signs of breaking out into being anything more than that.
This looked like being a rough game for Darryl Roberts after he got burned for a touchdown over the top by Adam Thielen on the opening drive.
However, with the Jets giving plenty of help to Parry Nickerson, especially in the first half, Roberts held up well to the challenge of Cousins repeatedly going after him.
In all, Roberts was targeted 15 more times, giving up just 10 catches for 54 yards. He broke up two passes and displayed some excellent tackling, stopping his man short of the marker on a handful of occasions and coming up with two tackles for loss, including this one:
On the play, Roberts makes a great read to avoid Thielen's block and a solid tackle to stop the receiver in his tracks.
It's good to see Roberts tackling so much more effectively after a game a few weeks ago where he missed multiple tackles. However, he did lapse on Latavius Murray's first half touchdown, as he went low on Murray who easily skipped over his attempt.
Roberts gave up a couple more first downs in coverage in the second half, but held up really well overall considering he was basically on an island. It's uncertain how comfortable the team will feel about having to rely on him as a starter for much longer, though.
Leonard Williams had yet another quiet game in terms of statistical production, as he was credited with just one assist on a tackle.
However, this was once again a disruptive display from Williams, who was also credited with two passes defensed on batted throws at the line and a quarterback hit. He also pressured Cousins on at least three other plays.
Here's an example of that, as he beats the left guard with a textbook straight-arm/arm-over move, drawing a holding penalty on the play and forcing Cousins to dirt the ball:
If anyone was expecting big numbers for Williams in terms of tackles and sacks, they were always likely to be disappointed, especially with the line no longer filled with elite players. However, Williams is continuing to be disruptive despite the extra attention and this enables other front seven players to have an impact.
This is all setting up an interesting situation in terms of his value in terms of a prospective contract extension. The Jets have to be pleased with how Williams is playing, but what kind of money does he warrant on a long-term deal without the kind of statistical production of the other elite players at his position?
We'll be back with the 3-on-O tomorrow.