After each game, we've been highlighting three defensive and three offensive players to look in detail at their performance. We'll start today with the offense:
THIS WHOLE KALIL
Ryan Kalil has been bearing a lot of the blame for the offensive struggles so far. His inclusion on an offensive line that isn't functioning well as a unit has received a lot of attention. Obviously, it's his responsibility to set protections, but a lot of the unit-wide issues are a symptom of the fact the line didn't play together in the offseason.
How is Kalil performing within his role, though? He got off to a good start on Sunday, as this was arguably his best rep of the season so far, on the game's first play:
Overall, Kalil's contributions to the running game were pretty solid this week. He had the best run blocking grade on the team this week according to Pro Football Focus and although that would still go down as above average rather than good, it was still better than over the first two games. He still had negatives though, including on the 3rd-and-3 run on the final series, as his man stood him up to help bottle the run up for no gain.
In pass protection, the group obviously had issues as a unit - and you have to include Luke Falk in that, as he was responsible for some of the pressure and sacks due to not being able to process fast enough. However, Kalil was only directly responsible for one pressure and did a decent job of anchoring against the bull rush throughout.
He did, however, have two penalties in pass protection - one on a seemingly unnecessary face mask call as he picked up a blitz and another as he was called for holding when he took down an interior rusher. The latter didn't matter because Falk threw an interception anyway. Perhaps Kalil should've just let that rusher sack Falk.
Aside from the unit-wide communication issues, penalties have been Kalil's main problem so far because he has four in three games, putting him on course for over 20. Hopefully that number will come down as the line gets to grips with playing together, but Adam Gase has been teasing personnel changes so it wouldn't be altogether surprising to see them try a rotation at the center position to see if the unit performs any better.
Ryan Griffin was almost an afterthought this offseason, as the Jets brought him in as cover for the suspended Chris Herndon. Based on his performance so far, the Jets might not be compelled to use him much once Herndon is back.
He hasn't produced at all in the passing game with just 15 yards on five targets. This week, he caught a five yard pass on his only target, although he was open over the middle for what should have been a first down on one of New England's sacks.
As a blocker, Griffin's role was a lot different this week, as the Jets left him in to block 14 times having done so just five times in the first two games combined. He allowed one quarterback hit.
Over the first two games, Griffin had been making some decent run blocking contributions, notably on the move as the Jets used him to wham block or trap on two of their main staple runs.
However, he was extremely ineffective on Sunday with several missed blocks. On this one, he allowed his man to blow up a run for a huge loss:
Griffin has one game left as the starter before Herndon can return. He needs to step up his game.
While last week, it was Josh Bellamy who stepped in for the injured Demaryius Thomas, the Jets opted to go with youngster Braxton Berrios for his first offensive reps of the year this week.
Berrios played primarily in the slot, which meant that Jamison Crowder played as many snaps on the outside (34, in 45 snaps) as he had in the first two games combined (127 snaps).
He was thrown at four times with two incomplete and one short catch as he was tackled immediately on 2nd-and-long but his best play went for a nice gain:
The two incompletions were both overthrows, one on a downfield route where he didn't really get open and the other on a short crosser over the middle.
Aside from his contributions as a pass catcher, Berrios was called for offensive pass interference on one play for blocking too early and got away with doing the same thing on one other play. Neither of those plays worked anyway, as Berrios and Griffin blocked the same guy on one of them.
Disappointingly, he didn't get a chance to return any of the six New England punts, primarily due to poor blocking by the vices. He let two of them bounce, one of which went into the end zone but the other being downed at the one-yard line.
It will be interesting to see how the rotation on offense goes after the bye week with Vyncint Smith guaranteed a spot for the next three games and Thomas presumably due to return soon too.
We'll be back with the 3-on-D tomorrow.