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:
Falling off the edge of a Griff
Ryan Griffin had a monster game this week, catching all five targets for over 100 yards and a touchdown. It was clear that the tight ends were going to be an after-thought this week, as Griffin was pretty much wide open for each of his catches, as was Daniel Brown on his opening drive touchdown.
The downside to Chris Herndon being out is that you begin to wonder how much more he could have done with the same targets. Despite perhaps a slight underthrow from Sam Darnold, this would likely have been an easy touchdown for a player with Herndon's athleticism:
As it turned out, that mattered little, as Griffin was left open again on the very next snap and did score this time.
All five of his catches were for a first down, including one other big play for 26 out of a sail concept.
As a blocker, Griffin continues to bring mixed results but one interesting nugget on him is that he's stayed in to pass protect more often than any tight end in the NFL this year. This also means he's given up more pressure, albeit with no sacks and only one quarterback hit. It's just a shame they can't pair him with Herndon, as the two would complement one another well.
Tom Compton stepped in for Brian Winters this week and the Jets' running game looked as good as it has all season. Jets running backs combined to carry 31 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, picking up six first downs on the ground.
They were much more effective in the first half though, picking up 78 yards on 17 carries. After half time, they were held to 40 yards on 16 carries.
That was true for Compton as well. He got off to a great start in the first quarter with a block at the point of attack on a short yardage conversion and two good pulling blocks including this one:
However, Compton didn't have many positive plays in the running game after that strong start. Aside from one good driving block in the second quarter, he let his man get off his block or leverage his way into the path of the runner to bottle up a play on a handful of occasions.
As a pass protector, Compton did pretty well as he only allowed his man to get to Darnold once. He was also beaten on a play where Darnold was flushed from the pocket.
Alex Lewis got off to a strong initial start having replaced Kelechi Osemele, perhaps because the Jets deliberately played to some of his strengths early on. However, he hasn't been as consistent since then. It will be interesting to see how Compton holds up going forwards.
Every Crowder has a silver lining
Jamison Crowder put in a strong performance against his former team, racking up five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Crowder began his day with a low diving catch which was initially ruled incomplete on the field. That was the only one of his catches that was short of the sticks.
Perhaps his most impressive play of the day saw him show some elite route-running ability to get open on third down in the fourth quarter.
Crowder's touchdown was really a blown coverage, but he found a soft spot on the outside against zone coverage for a third down conversion and also picked up a first down on another sail concept crosser.
The 26-year old continues to be a good weapon out of the slot and still has two years left on his contract after this one. Expect Darnold to continue to develop a rapport with him.
Previously: 3-on-D: Anderson, Austin, Maye