Three on D: Shepherd, Basham, Maye

After each game, we've been highlighting three defensive and three offensive players and looking in detail at their performance. We'll begin today with the defense:

Shep-shape and Bristol fashion

The Jets' defensive line has played a big part in their run defense this year. Ironically, on a day when they gave up 218 yards, the defensive line wasn't really the main culprit in that.

With those numbers as a unit and just one tackle and one quarterback hit to his name, you might think Nathan Shepherd didn't have a very good game. However, he actually did a pretty decent job.

The bull rush that led to his quarterback hit was particularly impressive:


Aside from these plays, Shepherd also had two other pressures and helped bottle up three other runs by standing up his man at the point of attack.

He was controlled at the point of attack once and blocked out of a play on the edge, but Shepherd's consistency and disruptiveness has come a long way since last season.

Bashing our heads against the wall

It may surprise you to learn that Tarell Basham has played more snaps on the edge than any other Jets player in 2019. While most of his contributions have gone unnoticed, Basham actually leads the Jets with 33 total pressures.

He made a couple of impact plays this week though, blocking a punt that was returned for a touchdown, hauling Lamar Jackson down for a coverage sack and recording three run stops close to the line of scrimmage.

The punt block was by far his most impressive play, though:


Basham almost made two other plays in the backfield but couldn't complete the tackle and had two plays where Jackson beat him to the outside to pick up good yardage.

On the whole, he's had a solid but unspectacular season but his production is largely a function of the volume of snaps he has played. He should be considered a solid rotational player, but ideally you'd want someone more impactful to start ahead of him.

The Jets have Basham under contract next year for a salary of less than $800,000 and he should compete for a roster spot, especially now he's shown he can also contribute on special teams with the blocked punt this week and four tackles in kick coverage over the course of the season.

Might Maye maybe not be mighty?

Marcus Maye has had a solid year, but Thursday night was one of his least effective games of the season.

In particular, Maye had a rough time on the drive at the end of the third quarter that saw Baltimore build their lead to 35-7.

First of all the Jets forced a fourth down from the Ravens' 29-yard line and could have been in position to potentially cut the lead to 28-14 if Baltimore failed. Maye tracked Mark Andrews across the field but fell to the ground, enabling him to break open for an easy 36-yard play.


A few plays later, Jackson threw over the top to Seth Roberts, who made a 33-yard touchdown catch with Maye draped all over him.

It's fair to say that Maye was a little unlucky on each of those plays, but you'd expect Jamal Adams to have prevented each of them.

Ultimately, Maye ended up with five tackles, all of which came in the running game. Only one of these was within five yards of the line of scrimmage. The difference between him and Adams in terms of their ability to play in the box was exposed on one play in the first quarter as he lined up as an extra man in the box and got blocked out of a play easily at the second level.

Adams' return should enable Maye to go back into the deeper role where he is more comfortable, not to mention an upgrade over Darryl Roberts who has been filling in there.

We'll be back with the 3-on-O tomorrow.