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 offense:
Naughty or Bryce?
After he got into a bit of a rhythm at the end of last week's game, it was hoped Bryce Petty would carry that over into yesterday's Chargers game. Despite the promise of Petty airing it out more this week, that didn't materialize.
Petty still had a chance for some late game heroics, as the team drove down into the red zone, down by seven, with three minutes to go. Unfortunately, he misfired on these two passes:
Those misfires were emblematic of his performance in the first half, as he overthrew four receivers, including two who were wide open, and misfired on a few other throws.
He didn't have the same kind of issues with accuracy in the second half, but only because they hardly threw the ball. He was 1-for-1 for two yards in the third quarter and ended up 6-for-8 for 38 yards in the second half with those two above incompletions being his only ones after half time.
If we're looking for one area where he's progressed since last season, it would have to be in terms of his running. He took off three times on first down runs, showing good decisiveness each time and now has 56 yards on six carries this year, which compares favorably to his 19 yards on five carries last season. However, Petty also took three sacks.
Maybe it could have been different for Petty if his early touchdown pass to Robby Anderson had held up, but Anderson was correctly flagged for a push-off that was perhaps unnecessary. Ultimately though, Petty seemed to be out of his depth and the only thing keeping him out there is the fact that the Jets suspect Christian Hackenberg would flounder ever more dramatically.
Spreading some festive 'zier
Many feel that the Jets were a little hasty to give Brian Winters a big money extension when they had a much cheaper option in-house. Dakota Dozier had replaced Winters a few times last year with the offense not seeming to miss a beat and that has continued into this season.
Dozier wasn't flawless but he gets the job done more with effort than technique. On a few occasions he got driven back into the backfield but re-anchored or managed to redirect his man to prevent a play from being blown up.
He held up pretty well in pass protection, but did get rocked off his spot on this play, flushing Petty from the pocket:
In the running game, Dozier had a couple of good blocks at the point of attack but missed one at the second level.
In the past, the conclusion might have been that Dozier was perhaps grading out better than Winters because he was getting more help, but that doesn't seem to hold up because he's typically been in the game with other reserves, as was the case yesterday.
Maybe Winters' recent struggles can be attributed to injury. However, if this was limiting him, then why didn't we see Dozier sooner? It would be frustrating if the Jets lost Dozier - who is out of contract at the end of the season - while they are already on the hook for all of Winters' $7 million base salary in 2018.
Good Thing Wesley-less
Center Wesley Johnson missed his first game of the season and the Jets didn't really miss him. In fact, the likes of James Carpenter, Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell graded out better than usual.
Johnson's replacement, Jonnotthan Harrison, didn't fare so well. While the line as a unit had one of their better games, Harrison graded out poorly. In fact, Johnson has only once been graded out worse than Harrison was yesterday, despite being the last-placed center in PFF's rankings.
Harrison did have one impressive moment though, leading the way out in front of Bilal Powell's long touchdown run:
In the running game, Harrison had a few plays where he whiffed at the point of attack or in space and let his man get off his block and in on a tackle a few times. He also struggled to hold up against the bull rush in pass protection and allowed a big hit on Petty when he was late reacting to a stunt, although this did turn out to be a roughing the passer penalty.
Based on preseason, Harrison is no better than Johnson is, but if Johnson is slowed by injury then it probably makes sense for him to get the start. Either way, the team really needs to upgrade at this spot after the season, but it shows that they have decent depth because they racked up 197 rushing yards despite the absences.
PREVIOUSLY: Special teams analysis