(Image credit Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Week 2 of the NFL season kicked off where the New York Jets lost to the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium 25-6. It was not a close game like it was in week 1 against the Carolina Panthers. In the game vs the New England Patriots, there were many players that impressed me and others that were disappointing. In this list, I will go through five players that both were impressive and disappointing.
1. Players Who Impressed - RB Michael Carter
Throughout training camp and the preseason rookie 4th round pick, Michael Carter was hyped up as a player to watch as he heavily impressed the coaching staff. During week 1 Carter did not perform well and many questioned the hype surrounding him. Well, Michael Carter showcased himself well in this game. He went from rushing for 6 yards vs the Panthers to rushing 59 yards against the Patriots. He had some solid runs in this game especially with his longest run being 14 yards. Michael Carter continues to prove how he can also be a solid pass-catching option for the offense as he caught the ball 2 times for 23 yards and had 4 targets from Zach Wilson. Carter was a solid blocker but he needs to focus on his awareness as he has a habit of missing blocks on occasion.
2. Player Who Disappointed - QB Zach Wilson
Yikes, Zach Wilson did not perform well at all in this game. In this game, Zach Wilson threw the ball for 210 yards and threw 4 interceptions. The first two interceptions were not his fault due to how terrible Corey Davis performed (We will get to him). The Third interception he threw was a complete underthrow to Elijah Moore. The Fourth and final interception was also a throw to Moore but this time was a complete overthrow that was right in the hands of Devin McCourty. I got to say Zach Wilson at times is a little too aggressive when throwing the football which has led to his last two interceptions. He is going to need to learn when to properly be aggressive when throwing the football. Wilson was absolutely one of the big reasons why the Jets lost but hopefully, this was a growing pain for Zach Wilson and he improves next week against the Denver Broncos.
3. Players Who Impressed - WR Braxton Berrios
Again Braxton Berrios is once again proving me wrong as he had a strong performance both on offense and special teams. Special teams, he has once again been extremely valuable as a punt and kick returner. He had a total of 11 targets and caught the ball 7 times for 73 yards. He has absolutely impressed me and has shown a ton of improvement from last year to this year. Maybe it is because he has a more competent head coach in Robert Saleh. Whatever it is Berrios fits well as a slot receiver and if he keeps this up in upcoming games then he will absolutely be a piece of this team for the long term as not only a special teams weapon but as a part of the Jets offense.
4. Player Who Disappointed - WR Corey Davis
Corey Davis vs the Carolina Panthers was one of the big bright spots for the Jets. Corey Davis was absolutely one of the main reasons why the Jets lost this game. Especially as he was the main reason why Zach Wilson threw the first two interceptions. The first interception thrown was mainly due to a poor route that was run by Davis. The second interception should have been a reception for him but he could not secure the ball as it went through his hands and the defensive player was in the right place at the right time. By the way, I got to admit that I love how much of a team player he was as after Wilson threw the two interceptions that were mainly due to him, Davis went up to him after the play saying that it was his fault. I give him a lot of kudos and that is a strong teammate to have. He had only two receptions in this game for 8 yards and was targeted a total of 6 times which was not good at all.
5. Players Who Impressed - DT Sheldon Rankins
The Defensive line performed very well in this game. It was hard for me to choose who impressed me the most but I am leaning towards Sheldon Rankins. He had a big impact as a run stopper. While he did not make a ton of tackles he did a solid job plugging holes so running backs could not hit the holes that they originally wanted to. He has had a ton of impact as a pass rusher as he provided pressure to the quarterback and even sacked Mac Jones in this game. So far Rankins has been a solid addition to the team and hopefully, he can keep his momentum up next week against the Denver Broncos.
6. Player Who Disappointed - The entire Tight End Core
Roses are Red, Violets are blue and oh boy what a surprise the Jets once again got nothing out of the Tight End core too. This franchise has never solved and found a consistently good tight end since Mickey Shuler. That trend has once again continued as both Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffin did not perform well at all. Kroft did not impress and failed to get open when running routes and Ryan Griffin did not do much except struggle to block for Zach Wilson. They need to show something in the next few games or else this position will once again not help the Jets young QB, Zach Wilson.
7. Players Who Impressed - LB CJ Mosley
For a football player who has not played football in two years due to a Torn ACL in the 2019 season and opting out of the 2020 season, Mosley played a really solid game. He led the Jets with 10 tackles in this game. He had 7 solo tackles. Mosley is a very strong tackler and while he didn’t have a strong performance rushing the passer he continues to showcase that he has the tools to make an impact. I even saw him blocked by two or even three players all game vs the Patriots. He does need to improve his coverage on covering tight ends as Jonnu Smith did have a long catch when he covered him but he was solid in covering Hunter Henry. He still has plenty left in the tank and hopefully, he stays healthy for the entire season and continues to have a big part of this injured Jets defense.
8. Player Who Disappointed - OL Greg Van Roten
The Offensive line was a little bit better than they were last week but the one player that was terrible all game was Greg Van Roten. He is a solid run blocker and he was doing a good job opening holes but he had moments of inconsistency. He would miss blocks when out in space and it hurt during screen passes and tosses on occasion. Van Roten was absolutely terrible as a pass protector and there were moments where he wouldn't even touch defenders. I counted a total of three times where he allowed the defense to go by him and sack Zach Wilson. It was getting ridiculous and he needs to clean up his hand usage as his techniques continue to get sloppy. He has gotten a little better with his footwork but again he needs to play a little more consistently. Greg Van Roten is going to need to improve in upcoming games if he wants to keep his starting spot on the o-line.
9. Players Who Impressed - S Marcus Maye
Marcus Maye is easily the best player on this defense and every time he is on the field he gets better and better. He was all over the place in this game as a pass rusher, in coverage, and tackling. He was so good with his performance that he even sacked the quarterback on third down. I am going to end this by asking Joe Douglas. Please make the right decision and keep Marcus Maye as a New York Jet. It is time to lock Marcus Maye up with this team. He has been the most consistent player on the Jets and replaced Jamal Adams very well after you messed up his contract negotiations. Don't make the same mistakes you did with Jamal Adams and resign Maye to a new long-term contract. Don’t retag Maye as they will not be a good move to do and hurt your chance of resigning him.
10. Player Who Disappointed - LB Quincy Williams
The defense has dealt with a ton of injuries especially at Linebacker. Blake Cashman, Jamien Sherwood, and Jarrad Davis are dealing with long-term injuries. So the Jets decided to sign Quinnen Williams’s Brother Quincey to fill in the role while the Jets deal with injuries. He did not perform well in his first game with the Jets as he missed blocks all game and is not a powerful tackler. Williams struggled all game and does a terrible job at blitzing the quarterback. What I will admit is Quincy does have a ton of potential but I won't be shocked if he gets placed on the Jets practice squad once the linebacker core gets a little bit healthy.
Dishonorable Mention - WR Denzel Mims
Normally I wouldn't make a dishonorable mention for someone who was inactive and didn't play this game but it is important to talk about how this team is poorly handling Denzel Mims. When I heard that Denzel Mims was inactive I was completely shocked and I thought he aggravated his injury. News later came out that he was a healthy scratch and I was just in shock. Here is something to think about: Jeff Smith was active over Denzel Mims. Yes, the receiver who had a tough time catching the ball last season and was undrafted years ago was active over a player who this organization spent a 2nd round pick on. But the fact that he is just a healthy scratch and the team isn't giving him a chance to adapt and learn this offense during game time is just getting ridiculous. At least with Christian Hackenburg (who is no question one of the top 5 worst draft selections in New York Jets History), he was just absolutely terrible but Mims actually has talent. You spent a high resource on this player and you're not even going to give him another chance to show improvement. There were reports that he was struggling to adapt to the offense during the offseason but he performed well with the snaps he was getting in the preseason and had flashes vs the Carolina Panthers. The guy had a 44-yard reception last week and was wide open all day against the Carolina Panthers. So don't give me the excuse that Mims is terrible. What's also ridiculous is Joe Douglas’s 2020 NFL Draft class. Look at the guys he drafted, OL Mekhi Becton (1st Round: Transcendent Blindside tackle, on IR) WR Denzel Mims (2nd Round: Inactive), S Ashtyn Davis (3rd Round: Terrible and on IR), DE/EDGE Jabari Zuniga (3rd Round: barley used and was missing any time he was active, currently on the practice squad), RB La’Mical Perine (4th round: inactive/injured), QB James Morgan (4th round: Wasted a pick on him, on Panthers Practice Squad), OL Cameron Clark (4th Round: IR), CB Bryce Hall (5th round: Solid CB, Starter), P Braden Mann (Good Punter but on IR). This is not a good draft excluding Mekhi Becton, Bryce Hall, and Braden Mann who have performed well. I will give my midseason grades for the Jets draft classes and will go into full detail about how bad this draft has been later in. But with Denzel Mims, it is not looking good for him at all long term with the Jets and I would not be shocked if he was traded for a day 3 pick or was cut in next season's preseason.