Three on D: Skrine, Lee, Williams

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:

Makes me wanna Skrine

After one of his best games as a Jet last week, Buster Skrine followed that up with a rough game. He was targeted eight times and all eight led to completions, including three of the touchdowns. Furthermore, he had three defensive penalties, one of which came on a third down desperation heave that had no realistic shot of being completed.

Skrine was unlucky on his first target of the day as he disrupted a downfield pass but Kenny Stills somehow still came down with it on the ricochet and things went downhill from there.

First, a touchdown to Jarvis Landry saw him and Marcus Maye both chase a player into the flat, leaving Landry alone at the back of the endzone. That was almost certainly Skrine's responsibility. Then came his bad pass interference call and another first down in zone coverage.

However, it was after half time that he really fell apart. Two more penalties, two more first downs and two more touchdowns followed, including this one:


Skrine made a couple of positive plays - a tackle for a short gain in the flat and a pressure off the edge. He also continued his good play against the run by getting in on a run stuff and drew an offensive pass interference penalty to negate a touchdown (only to then give up another penalty to set up a first down and then get beaten for the third touchdown on the next play).

Todd Bowles said today that they don't plan to make a line-up change and that's not really surprising because Juston Burris has also struggled this year and Xavier Coleman is untested to this point. Hopefully Skrine can bring some more consistency over the next few weeks.

Leo: The Star Sign

Having already written in depth about Muhammad Wilkerson's improved play in Sunday's game, it would be remiss of us not to feature Leonard Williams too.

Williams was back to something like his best as he was in on three run stuffs and blew up a few runs with penetration. As a pass rusher, he was as disruptive as he's been all year and, even though he still didn't manage to get his first sack, he got really close on the play where Jamal Adams got one cleaning up.

He had three hits and a pressure in total, including on this play where he quickly got past his blocker and closed up the middle:


Williams also had fewer negatives than he has in recent games. He was only driven out of the middle one time in the running game.

Whether Williams' sudden improvement is a by-product of Wilkerson playing better, a sign that his troublesome wrist is improving or just a beneficial gameplan and match-up this week, hopefully he'll get going now.

Ready to make the Leep?

Darron Lee's progress this year has been interesting to watch and Sunday was yet another uneven game, but one of his most productive from a statistical standpoint.

Lee had a team-leading 11 tackles, one quarterback hit, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble. He also would have had a sack if not for a roughing the passer call and had another run stop taken away due to a facemask penalty.

As already discussed, Lee had some issues with slipping on the field on Sunday so he was a little unlucky on a couple of the plays he gave up in coverage.

However, his awareness still let him down a few times. On one play, he and Jordan Jenkins both followed the back into the flat and a wide open tight end dropped a pass and on one of the touchdowns that Skrine gave up, he failed to anticipate the receiver sneaking behind him to get open:


Lee's awareness and understanding of run fit seems to be improving, though. He was only blocked out of a play at the second level once, as Miami barely averaged two yards per carry and he was in position to make some good tackles. One of his better plays saw him beat the blocker to the outside to get upfield, ensuring the runner couldn't get to the edge and then closing to make the tackle at for a short gain after he cut back inside.

That area was a big issue for Lee earlier in the season but having improved that - and, arguably, his tackling - the next thing he needs to improve is his positional sense and awareness in coverage, especially in zone.

On balance, this was an improvement on what we've seen so far, even if you don't give him a pass on those plays where he lost his footing. Let's see if he can string together a few games like this though.

PREVIOUSLY: Three on O: Powell, Tomlinson, McCown