Three on D: Williams, Luvu, Lee

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:

Frankie, my dear, I don't give a damn

Rookie Frankie Luvu continues to get a starter's workload off the edge and delivered almost immediately this week with an early sack. On the play, the Jets ran a package with a three man front and Luvu operating as an inside linebacker in the "B" gap. He stunted around the left side and was untouched to the quarterback.

Luvu's solid first quarter continued as he was in on a tackle on a third down dump off pass to force a punt and also made this tackle for loss, although it didn't count because the Jets accepted a holding penalty on the play:


However, Luvu didn't have any statistical production after the first quarter, although he registered a couple of pressures. The Jets also gave up a first down on a screen pass where he missed a tackle.

So, there have been some flashes from Luvu, although he has had some ups and downs. The Jets will presumably keep feeding him reps and hope he develops into a future contributor. Meanwhile, Jerry Attaochu was inactive again and Tarell Basham played just two snaps.

Darron to dream

Darron Lee had his best game for a while. He was credited with eight tackles including two for loss. Seven of those eight tackles - two passes and five runs - were within four yards of the line of scrimmage.

Here was what was probably his best play, as he diagnosed the quarterback keeper quickly to avoid the center's block and then made a diving touchdown-saving tackle:


Lee held up well in coverage, giving up just 20 yards on four targets. The longest play he gave up was a nine yard pass on 2nd-and-14. However, he did have two missed tackles.

One area where Lee has failed to produce this year has been as a pass rusher. Despite having more pass rush attempts than last season already, he has just three total pressures. Last year, he had 14, including three sacks.

On the whole, Lee - who has the 8th best coverage grade in the NFL for linebackers per PFF - has been much more consistent than in his first two seasons, but he still has room to continue to grow.

Roar like Sushi

One memorable image from Sunday's game saw Leonard Williams seething on the bench following the Titans' game-winning drive. With the Jets leading and Tennessee forced into a passing situation, Williams had a rare opportunity to pin his ears back and attack. On that final drive, he was as disruptive as he's been all season, although it wasn't enough to prevent the Titans from scoring. He did blow up this play though:


Statistically, it was again a not very productive performance by Williams, who had just one tackle - on a five yard run on the second play of the game - and one quarterback hit. However, he had a sack negated by a questionable penalty and a handful of pressures.

Williams, who averaged 59 tackles per season over his first three years, currently has just 28 tackles on the year and the sacks have dried up again, as it's seven games since he last had one.

As that final sequence shows though, Williams is still as disruptive as ever when he gets a chance to attack and his current role which seems to require him to occupy blocks doesn't seem to be elevating the defense much. Perhaps the Jets should think about using him differently. Then again, suppressing his value and production might be one way to save themselves money when the time comes to extend him.

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