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:
Right on, Q
Having been out since opening day, Quinnen Williams didn't really burst back onto the scene with a dominant performance, but he made some decent contributions with five tackles and a couple of pressures.
It took him a while to get going, as the Eagles were able to drive him off the line on a couple of early running plays. However, he held up better against double teams as the game progressed.
All five of Williams' tackles came within five yards of the line of scrimmage, including one run stuff on third down to force a punt.
Williams shows some good power at the line of scrimmage, but he's going to really start disrupting as he starts figuring out how to shed blocks at this level. He's starting to do this, as shown on this play, where the Eagles ran right at him, hoping to open up a running lane off tackle, but he tossed his blocker aside to make the stuff in the hole:
As a pass rusher, Williams had two pressures, including one where he penetrated on a bull rush to flush Carson Wentz from the pocket.
He also should have had a sack as he got skinny to stunt between two blockers. Wentz ducked under the tackle attempt but what wasn't initially apparent from the TV broadcast was that the running back just got enough of Williams at the last moment to prevent him from squaring Wentz up cleanly.
As a first step, this wasn't bad from Williams against a very good offensive line, but he'll hopefully be able to start making more impact plays as the season progresses.
One thing people were looking forward to from Williams' return was for Leonard Williams to ramp up his production. That hasn't happened so far though, as he had another quiet game on Sunday.
Willis of the People
Recent signing Jordan Willis was active for the first time on Sunday and saw plenty of playing time. The Jets were in a nickel for basically the entire game, but this week, they operated basically out of a 5-1-5 formation about 20 percent of the time with two outside linebackers on the edges, three interior linemen and Neville Hewitt off the ball. Whether Henry Anderson's absence after an early injury factored into this is uncertain.
Willis did jump offside once - although it got attributed to Blake Cashman who also jumped on the same play. He registered three pressures as a pass rusher though, including two quarterback hits.
We've already raved about one play Willis made on Sunday, as he exploded off the line to drive Jason Peters back and then used an arm-over move to get a hit on Wentz.
This play shows some different skills as he is left unblocked off the edge and picked up by the running back. Willis anticipates the block and shows athleticism and hustle to get back to his feet and hit Wentz cleanly. However, unlike on the play against Peters, this did not prevent the completion this time:
Willis wasn't in much against the run but did make one nice play as he took on the left guard on a stretch zone run to the outside. He was able to extend his arms, move laterally and get off the block to make the stop for a short gain.
After what he showed in this game, it would be extremely disappointing if he ends up getting buried on the bench when Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland return.
You and me are Tru
Trumaine Johnson has worked his way back into the starting line-up and his performance on Sunday was a triumph as he gave up just one catch for 12 yards.
Of course, this doesn't really tell the whole story as Johnson also had two penalties and got away with a potential third. In addition, he gave up two other catches that didn't count due to penalties and was beaten on two plays where a better throw could have led to a big play.
Johnson was called for holding on a play where he gave up a nine-yard catch, gave up an 11-yard catch that was negated by an offensive penalty and was called for illegal contact on a downfield overthrow, although this looked a bit harsh.
That evens out the fact that he didn't get a penalty on a deep incompletion where he initially tried to pass off the receiver to Marcus Maye, then hooked him to slow him down as he realized Maye wasn't there. This might not have been Johnson's fault and was actually a pretty smart play to take the penalty as it otherwise could have been a touchdown. He got away with that one and the Eagles' challenge couldn't overturn the flag because the grab came before the throw so could not constitute a pass interference (with holding/illegal contact not reviewable).
In terms of positives, Johnson wasn't far off getting an interception as he got one hand on a tipped pass. He also made this play against the run:
It will be interesting to see if Johnson retains the starting role for next week's game. If he does, he'll need to be better than he was on Sunday.
We'll be back with the 3-on-O tomorrow.