Three on D: Williamson, Basham, Copeland

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:

Avery costly mistake

As he himself admitted after the game, the back-breaking 70-yard touchdown catch for Tarik Cohen was Avery Williamson's fault. They sent a seven-man rush but Williamson was only supposed to rush if Cohen stayed in to block. When he leaked out, three of the other four defensive players were over on the other side of the field and Morris Claiborne was already caught on a block, so the speedy Cohen had an easy run to the end zone.

Williamson gave up a couple more first downs in coverage, but they seem to have more to do with confusion over assignments rather than an inability to cover. Here was one of the other first downs he gave up. As you can see, he's unsure about which receiver to pass off and which one to stay with, leaving Josh Bellamy open for the first down underneath:


Even more concerning is that Mitchell Trubisky made the wrong read there because the other crossing receiver was even more wide open and a pass out to the left would have gone for a much bigger gain.

Compounding matters, Williamson landed on Jamal Adams when he made the tackle, taking Adams out of the game for the next play, where they ran right at his replacement for a big gain to set up a key touchdown.

As a run defender, Williamson has been solid this year and his seven tackles tied for the team lead. However, only one of them came within three yards of the line of scrimmage. He also didn't register any pressure on four blitzes.

Last year, Williamson had a fine season with the Titans, but he came out of the game sometimes in passing situations. Whether or not that was the plan for the Jets has been rendered moot by the fact that Kevin Pierre-Louis - the most likely player to get coverage linebacker reps - can't stay healthy. However, it will be something to watch over the second half.

I'm just gonna Bash your brains in

Tarell Basham got the start this week ahead on Jordan Jenkins, who had started 32 of his first 37 career games. He performed well, with a couple of run stuffs and two pressures.

On each of his run stops, Basham - who is known more for his pass rush abilities - crashed downhill to blow up a run between the tackles. He shows good physically here to blow up the tight end's wham block and leverage his way into the ball carrier's path:


As a pass rusher, Basham - who primarily lined up on the left - chased the quarterback from the pocket once and also beat his man for a pressure off the edge that led to a sack.

It's going to be interesting to see how the reps are shared out between the five edge defenders currently on the roster over the next few weeks.

Chicago Cope

Brandon Copeland is now tied for the team lead in sacks after his first quarter sack (after pressure from Basham) on third down got the Jets defense off the field and led to a missed field goal:


This was an impressive play by Copeland with a well-executed tap-tackle, but he was also somewhat fortunate on the play. Copeland's assignment having lined up as an inside linebacker was to key Trubisky but he stepped up too early and gave up outside contain. Had Trubisky high-stepped through that tackle or stumbled but stayed on his feet, the Bears would have been set up in the red zone with a chance for an early 7-0 lead.

Aside from this play, Copeland was somewhat quiet. He had the most reps out of the five outside linebackers but his only other tackle was after a four yard run by Jordan Howard. He also downed a punt on special teams.

Copeland didn't have many negative plays but he only got close to Trubisky one other time as a pass rusher and he was fooled on one of his first down keepers.

Entering the offseason, Copeland was regarded as a long shot to make the roster and seemed like he had more chance of making the team as a reserve on the inside. However, he's done a decent job as a starter and is usually good for a couple of nice plays each week. The rotations over the second half will give clues as to whether the team sees him as in their long term plans.

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