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:
Say hello to my little McLend
Somehow we almost made it through the entire season without including Steve McLendon in the three-on-D so we're righting that wrong today. For McLendon this was another solid performance from a guy who has been one of the most consistent Jets this year, as evidenced by him having the best defensive grade on the team according to Pro Football Focus, just ahead of Leonard Williams and Demario Davis.
McLendon, as usual, was in on a few run stuffs but also was disruptive as a pass rusher in this game. He bull rushed for a pressure here:
McLendon also had a couple more plays where he got close to Brady and he had a clean-up sack negated by a Jordan Jenkins penalty. He also almost intercepted a tipped pass.
In terms of negatives McLendon was driven off the line by a double-team once and had a missed tackle, but otherwise had his usual steady performance and has provided the team with some good veteran leadership this year.
Ol' Dirty Bass Stud
One name that will probably be overlooked when discussing the top free agent priorities for the Jets is David Bass. However, Bass provided the team with a spark with his pass rushing off the bench this year.
He ended up tied for second on the team with 3.5 sacks after this play:
That was Bass's only pressure and his only other tackle came on a downfield stop after a nine-yard run. However, he helped bottle up another run with penetration.
On the season as a whole, Bass graded out well against the run and as a pass rusher. He also only had one missed tackle. While you wouldn't expect his spot on next year's roster to be handed to him as the Jets are sure to try and upgrade their edge defender group, it would still be smart to bring him back for camp and see if he can build on a nice year.
Just not good enough
A few players had rough games on Sunday, including Darron Lee and Xavier Cooper. However, Juston Burris probably had the roughest day, which was a shame after he had been holding up well since making his return to the line-up.
Burris was once again the nickel cornerback, although he was moved up to the first unit temporarily when Morris Claiborne got hurt on the first defensive snap of the game. On that drive Burris was too far off on two easy completions, one of which was a fourth down conversion.
The Patriots would score on a short touchdown run to lead 7-0 and never trailed thereafter. Burris gave up contain on the play.
Later on, Burris gave up a few other first downs, including one where he displayed bad footwork on a play where the receiver broke to the outside as he turned the wrong way. He also gave up this play over the middle:
In addition, he was called for two defensive holding penalties - both on third down - and overpursued on a running play. He also got lucky on a couple of incompletions where he was half-beaten.
Burris had two really bad games this year but otherwise did okay. However, his performance did little to provide encouragement that he had improved much since last year.
PREVIOUSLY: Three on O: Ijalana, Sterling, Beachum