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:
Long hot summer
It was hoped that Spencer Long would help the Jets offensive line perform better than last year's group, which really struggled with starting center Wesley Johnson grading out as one of the worst offensive linemen in the NFL.
So far, he has been a definite upgrade over Johnson in pass protection, but has been inconsistent in the running game so far.
Long had one good block where he drove his man off the line, but whiffed on a block badly at the second level and had four runs blown up by allowing his man to penetrate into the backfield, including this one:
As noted, Long has been good in pass protection. Each of the other starters gave up at least three pressures, but Long only gave up one. His man did record a sack on one play, but that was after Sam Darnold was flushed out of the pocket and ran into his man, so Long wasn't beaten on the play.
As usual, we're left with the forlorn hope that this unit will start to perform better once they develop some chemistry and cohesion. The Browns should provide a good test on Thursday night.
Ain't that a Beach?
Kelvin Beachum came in for a lot of criticism after Sunday's game, but actually had a better game than he did in week one.
Robert Quinn definitely gave him a lot of problems although he was mostly able to stay in front of him. He was driven back off his spot regularly though, causing the pocket to be squeezed. On this particular play, he was driven back and gave up a quarterback hit, although the pass was still completed:
While he didn't give up a sack himself, Beachum was indirectly involved in two. One came on a stunt that led to James Carpenter giving up one and another saw him allow a pressure that flushed Darnold from the pocket, leading to one of the other linemen making a sack cleaning up.
In the running game, the Jets didn't run behind Beachum very much. He allowed his man into the backfield to stuff a couple of runs but also had a good kick-out block and another good one at the second level.
Beachum also had a false start for the second straight week. These sorts of mistakes should be avoidable for an experienced veteran.
Beachum is going to have a tough time of it tomorrow night, as Myles Garrett is usually lined up on the right. The best way to prevent Garrett from having a big impact as a pass rusher is almost certainly going to be to run the ball effectively, so if he can play with more consistency in the running game, that will help a lot.
Out of the frying pan and into the Pryor
Terrelle Pryor had a decent statistical output with 84 yards on four catches. However, it was an uneven performance by the veteran.
One of his catches was a dump-off, but the other three went for first downs of 17, 18 and 44 yards, one of which was in the above gif. The 44-yarder, as he easily got open on a square-in route down the field, came at a time when the Jets had managed just 93 total yards in over 29 minutes and finally got the Jets and Darnold going:
Pryor's route running was not so sharp on Sam Darnold's third quarter interception though. After the game, he admitted that pick was his fault because he should have cut the route short.
In all, Pryor was unsuccessful targeted four times with two drops as one of the others went through his hands in a crowd down the field and he couldn't hold onto another in tight coverage at the marker.
Pryor also had a missed block on a screen pass and some have criticized him for not somehow helping Chris Herndon's efforts to score as time expired in the first half, although rewatching this it's difficult to see what he could have done to help.
Considering how much time he missed in camp, Pryor is already off to a productive start and is well on the way to surpassing last year's production already (he has 133 yards having only racked up 240 all of last year). If he can play with more consistency, Pryor could still be a big weapon for the Jets this year.
PREVIOUSLY: 3-on-D: Adams, Skrine, Williamson