WEEK IN REVIEW
The Jets pulled off another stunning victory this weekend against the Cleveland Browns 23-16. Not only did the Jets win their second game of the season, but they are currently on a two-game winning streak. This is the first time the Jets have won consecutive games since the final two games of the 2019 season. New York did benefit from an unpredictable loss Cleveland suffered. The day before the game, the Browns were informed that their three starting receivers, as well as a couple of other players, would not be able to play because they were considered high-risk-close-contacts to a player on the team who tested positive for COVID-19. The major adjustments the Browns’ coaching staff needed to make to the game plan clearly hindered their productivity on Sunday.
While the Jets did catch a break from a limited Browns’ receiving corps, it was the defense’s performance against the Browns’ rushing attack which came into the game featuring the only pair of running backs in the league who each have over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. The Jets’ defensive line, without star defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, held Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to a mere 39 rushing yards combined. On the offensive side of the ball, Sam Darnold continued to look like a career backup. The most impressive throw of the day actually came from Jamison Crowder on a trick play to Braxton Berrios that resulted in a 43-yard touchdown.
NEWS OF THE WEEK
Adam Gase is still the head coach. As mentioned in previous weeks, this will be the main story until it is no longer the case. The Jets have accumulated two wins over the past two weeks despite Gase’ terrible offensive game planning. Thanks to the second win, the Jets are no longer able to earn the number one overall draft pick. This means that, unless Joe Douglas can execute a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, it is highly unlikely that the Jets will be selecting Trevor Lawrence, who has been mocked to them for several months now.
When one door closes, another one opens. Assuming Lawrence goes to Jacksonville, the Jets then have a number of avenues they can pursue at #2. They will have their selection of the remaining top quarterbacks: Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance. The Jets do also have contractual control of Sam Darnold for two more years, if they pick up his 5th year option, so they could choose to pick a premiere non-quarterback near the top of the draft, such as Penei Sewell, the top-rated offensive lineman in the draft or one of the top wide receivers who could go in the top 10. The Jets could even field offers from other teams interested in trading up to #2 for one of the aforementioned quarterbacks. New York could trade back, stockpile picks and add several young, talented players to this depleted roster.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Jets opened as 3.5-point road underdogs against their longtime rivals, the New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming off an embarrassing 38-9 Monday night loss to the Buffalo Bills. With that win, the Bills became the first AFC East team to sweep the Patriots since 2000. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was embarrassed and expressed his frustration on the sidelines and with the media after the game. The Jets should be prepared to be the target of Belichick’s frustration this week.
Nathan Shepherd, John Franklin-Myers, Henry Anderson, and Folorunso Fatukasi will have another tough test ahead of them without their leader, Quinnen Williams. The Patriots run one of the most rush-heavy offenses in the NFL and the mobile wildcard of Cam Newton makes their rushing attack even more dynamic. Newton has struggled passing the ball, which has resulted in multiple benching, including one on Monday night. If the Jets defense can repeat their performance from the Browns game, they have a chance to keep it close or maybe even end the year on a three-game winning streak.