After each game, we've been highlighting three defensive and three offensive players and looking in detail at their performance. We'll conclude today with the offense:
Crowd and Proud
Jamison Crowder scored for the second straight week and posted five catches for 81 yards, including gains of 18, 25 and 23 yards.
He actually did almost all of the damage early with only one of his five catches coming after the first quarter. That could have gone for a bigger gain if he didn't step just out of bounds, as you can see:
In that first quarter, he had a short first down conversion on 2nd-and-2, an 18-yard gain on a back-shoulder throw down the seam and a 23-yard touchdown on a deep crosser that saw him cut back against the grain to get into the end zone. His other first quarter catch was stopped just shy of the marker.
In six games with Sam Darnold as his quarterback, Crowder has 40 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns. He was considerably less productive in the three games without him, totaling just 75 yards on eight catches.
If Crowder can replicate that production over the next six games, that will put him on 88 catches, 897 yards and four touchdowns with one game to go in the season. Could 100 catches and/or a thousand yards be in play for Crowder? And, if so, could he end up in the pro bowl?
Beach out and touch faith
Kelvin Beachum's return settled things down. He only got beaten a few times in pass protection, didn't have any penalties and enabled Chuma Edoga to move back to the right, where he looked more comfortable.
It seemed like Sam Darnold played with more confidence too and that could have been in part due to Beachum's presence. If he trusts his protection, Darnold will show patience and poise, enabling plays to develop. That's when he's at his best.
With both Beachum and Darnold in the line-up, the Jets would be 3-0 if they didn't blow the Bills game late. That might not be a coincidence. Darnold's PFF grade in those three games is 73.6, as opposed to 33.3 for the rest of the season. Hopefully the decision makers weighing up the importance of shoring up the offensive line are paying attention to this trend.
While he didn't make a massive difference in the running game, Beachum didn't have any negative run blocking plays after the first quarter and had a few good blocks. In particular, he did a great job on Le'Veon Bell's decisive fourth quarter touchdown run:
The team will have yet another change to the starting line-up this week due to Brian Winters' injury. We'll probably be reviewing Tom Compton's performance in his place here next week.
After having shown some flashes in limited work over the past few weeks, reserve tight end Trevon Wesco saw his workload more than double this week and responded well.
Wesco got his first two NFL touches, picking up a first down on a fullback dive and then catching his first NFL pass as Darnold rolled out on 3rd-and-short and hit him going upfield for 15 on a sail concept.
The rookie also had a couple of good blocks, including this play where he did a good job of working in tandem with Edoga:
Now that Chris Herndon is out for the season, there's every reason to keep using Wesco and if he continues to develop at this rate, he could be a very useful piece next season.
Previously: 3-on-O: Adams, Austin, Shepherd