The New York Jets move to 1-1 on the year after a 31-30 victory against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland on Sunday. This week’s recap has much more positives than in last week’s game. Next Sunday, the Jets host another AFC North team in the Cincinnati Bengals. It is interesting how the schedule worked out as the Jets first four games this season are against the AFC North Division in the Baltimore Ravens which was a crushing loss, Browns which they won, the Bengals next week, and then the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jets will look to take that momentum from Sunday’s win and carry it into their contest with the Bengals.
Let’s start with the negatives as there are not many from Sunday’s win.
- Run defense did not look like last week
Last week, the Jets allowed 63 rushing yards and no rushing touchdowns to the Ravens. However, on Sunday they allowed 184 rushing yards total along with three touchdowns for Nick Chubb. Part of the struggle of the run game and allowing wide receiver Amari Cooper to have 101 receiving yards and a touchdown was due to a lot of missed tackles and missed communication between the defense.
- Feed Jeremy Ruckert!
With starting tight end and sought after free agent acquisition sidelined with a hamstring injury that was aggravated earlier in the week in practice, opened up a perfect opportunity for rookie tight end Jeremy Ruckert to get targets and be involved in this offense. Tight end Lawrence Cager was also out this week so Ruckert was only competing with tight end Tyler Conklin. However, he only had one target while Conklin had six receptions for 40 yards. Ruckert was one of the best tight end prospects coming out of Ohio State University.
Now let’s look at the positives of the win.
- Joe Flacco had himself a great game and bounce back win
After struggling in Week 1 against his former team, Flacco came out firing and having himself a day. Flacco went 26/44 for 307 yards and 4 passing touchdowns. Flacco also had two rushes for six yards which is somewhat impressive considering he is not mobile in the slightest. Flacco made a lot of nice plays including the deep ball touchdown to wide receiver Corey Davis.
- Rookies Continue to Impress
Running back Breece Hall looked good with seven carries for 50 yards averaging an impressive 7.1 yards per carry. Also, he had a reception for ten yards scoring his first career touchdown.
However, the best Jets rookie and arguably player of the game wide receiver Garrett Wilson stepped up big. For those who read last week’s recap article read that Wilson needs to be more featured in the offense and he definitely was. Wilson had team highs in receptions with eight and receiving yards with 102. If he continues to keep making plays and having games like this, he will have many more touchdowns and be a player Jets fans will get ecstatic to watch.
On the other side of the football, Sauce Gardner had himself a great game. Gardner had five solo tackles and one assisted in addition to a pass breakup.
- Special Teams Looked Special
After kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Braden Mann struggled last week, they, like Flacco, redeemed themselves. Zuerlein hit his lone field goal attempt from 57 yards and converted on all of his PAT attempts. While Mann did not shank any of his punts like he did last week and had two punts go inside the 20-yard line. Mann even converted on a fake-punt and threw a 17-yard pass to Jeff Smith for the first down conversion.
- Won the Turnover Battle
The Jets did not have any turnovers on Sunday’s win which helped. However, they did have one fumble but was recovered. The Jets still need to clean that up as they need to hold onto the football. However, the one turnover that happened in the game was with six seconds left in the game as quarterback Jacoby Brissett and the Browns tried to lead a last-second comeback. Unfortunately for the Browns, Brissett’s pass was intercepted by Jets safety Ashtyn Davis.
Overall, this was a solid game and solid team win for the Jets. However, there are still a few things the team needs to take care of and also need to get healthy as they already have some key injuries. However, this win and significant improvements offensively should give the team confidence and motivation heading into their matchup with the Bengals.