After each game, we'll be highlighting three defensive and three offensive players and looking in detail at their performance. We'll wrap up today with the offense:
You Hanson Devil!
With Wes Schweitzer on injured reserve now, former Packer Jake Hanson was signed to the 53 and given his first start as a Jet. Prior to this, he had just played three offensive snaps for them.
Hanson seemed to fare better than all the other emergency right guards the Jets have used over the past several weeks (Chris Glaser, Xavier Newman, Max Mitchell, Billy Turner).
Hanson settled into his role quite well although Sheldon Rankins did give him a rude awakening on the last play of the first quarter.
For the most part Hanson held up okay in pass protection with a few other pressures but nothing clean. His man got upfield on him on one play, he was shoved back into the quarterback's lap on another and there was one where he was late picking up an inside stunt.
The Jets gave him a variety of assignments, including single blocking, double teams and as the spare man. He also had a variety of assignments with mixed results in the running game with cut blocks, climbing to the second level and blocking on the move. He controlled his man well at the point of attack a few times.
This was one of his most impressive plays, though, as he leaked out in front of a screen pass to spring Breece Hall for positive yardage with a good block.
Back in 2007, the Jets were in a similar situation at their left guard position. Not due to injuries, but simply from having started the season without any viable options. They were initially going to go with rookie Jacob Bender before changing their mind and going with Adrien Clarke, who struggled badly for most of the season. However, they also used a couple of other players briefly - Rob Turner and Will Montgomery.
Turner became a valuable reserve for the Jets, while Montgomery developed into a solid veteran who eventually started 75 games, albeit mostly elsewhere. With all these guys getting a shot to start at right guard this year it would be great if they could stumble upon at least one useful piece.
Based on the evidence so far, Hanson might be the most likely to be the lone success story.
Bawden on the ridiculous
We got an extended look at fullback Nick Bawden this week. He was on the field for 22 offensive snaps, which is actually a career high. Prior to this game, he'd only played double digit snaps once all year.
Bawden's role has increased since Ace Carter was released, with the Jets often using him in the backfield on his own, where he performed well both in pass protection and running decoy routes. He was (probably) the target on the play where Zach Wilson drew a roughing the passer penalty too, and picked up 3-4 yards on a fullback dive play.
As a run blocker, the Jets used Bawden a lot and didn't actually have that much success. Perhaps the best play to summarize his contributions is this one, where Bawden first helps out Jeremy Ruckert in pass protection, then hustles to get out in front of Hall, blocking one guy, then another and even goes after a third, albeit after the whistle.
Bawden is only on a one-year deal but the way the Jets are finding more and more ways to use him as the season goes along suggests they would probably like to keep him around next year.
When's it gonna be my Turn?
Max Mitchell was back in the lineup at right tackle, but he hurt his shoulder late in the third quarter. Turner entered in his place and was in the line-up for the last four drives which actually yielded a touchdown and three field goals (albeit that the field goals were all set up by Texans fourth down failures in their own territory).
It was a good performance by Turner, though, who seemed to have fallen out of favor since his start against the Chargers where he struggled badly and then hurt his hand.
In 14 pass block snaps, he didn't give up any pressure, although he was beaten once with Hanson late coming over to help him out.
He also did well in the running game, with his best block springing Breece Hall for his longest block of the day.
The Jets have been listing Turner as a backup guard but clearly he wasn't considered for that role and instead stepped in for Mitchell when he was needed and did a solid job.
Mitchell only suffered a stinger, so presumably could return on Sunday. However, with Turner outperforming him and Carter Warren potentially available again, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Jets start with yet another different configuration.
It's clear Aaron Rodgers was on board with Turner being on the team and while he's probably not a very good long term starting option, this is the second time this year Turner has stepped in following an injury and finished a game that the Jets have won, so his value as a versatile reserve might see him brought back next year.
Previously: Three on D: Gardner, Holmes, Quinnen Williams