New Orleans Saints vs New York Jets: Full Roster Report Card Grades for New York
Chris Ivory and the running game provided the bulk of the offense, while Geno Smith made just enough plays without throwing a single interception. Meanwhile, the defense harassed Drew Brees and disrupted the potent Saints offense to pull out the big upset.
Here are this week's roster grades for every position.
Geno Smith: C+
This was a bit of an unusual performance from Geno Smith but in somewhat of a good way. His stat line (8-of-19 for 115 yards) was hardly impressive, but he played a smart, turnover-free game that gave the Jets a chance to win.
Smith's inefficiency was hardly all his fault; he was missing a handful of offensive weapons and lost his most reliable target, Jeremy Kerley, in the middle of the game.
While Geno may not have had a winning performance for your fantasy roster, he did just enough to win the game, which is all the Jets ask out of their rookie quarterback.
Chris Ivory: A+
It could not have gone much better for Ivory against his former team. Taking advantage of some shoddy perimeter run defense by the Saints and taking 18 carries for 117 yards (a 7.7 average) that included a touchdown.
This was exactly the type of running the Jets expected from Ivory when they traded for him in the spring. He should continue to see the vast majority of carries if he keeps up this type of production.
Bilal Powell: B
Powell has been regulated back to being the secondary back, but he was still effective in his role. Despite totaling just 29 yards on the ground, he showed off some burst and extra effort on his carries.
Stephen Hill: F
Another week, another invisible performance from the second-year player. Not only did Hill not record a catch, he also failed to execute a sight adjustment that resulted in a costly incompletion late in the game.
Jeremy Kerley: N/A
Kerley's day ended early after leaving the game with what is reported as an elbow subluxation, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). His loss would be a huge blow to an already depleted Jets receiving corps.
David Nelson: C
Nelson's productivity took a steep dive, but the one play he made was significant: a 19-yard grab to set up a touchdown before the end of the first half.
Greg Salas: B
Salas showed off some impressive burst on a pair of receptions, including a 25-yard screen pass. He looks like yet another good midseason find by John Idzik to boost depth.
Josh Cribbs: B+
He was not as effective as a runner or a wide receiver, but he generated a couple of big plays in the return game and throwing the ball out of the wildcat, which generated the team's first big play of the day.
Zach Sudfeld: C
While there was certainly a drop in production, Sudfeld held his own as the team's starting tight end. He had just two receptions, but his grab from a Josh Cribbs pass provided a desperately needed spark early in the game.
Still, the Jets clearly missed Jeff Cumberland (and Kellen Winslow) over the middle. The good news is, they should get both of these players back after their upcoming bye week.
Pass Protection: C
Rob Ryan's exotic blitzes got the best of the Jets' offensive line, as the Jets gave up a lot of pressure in obvious passing situations that made it difficult to sustain drives.
Geno Smith only took two sacks, but he did not get the time he needed to let his inferior receivers try to get open downfield.
The good news is that there were no man situations in which the Jets were beat one-on-one; rather, they made too many mental mistakes against a complex defensive team.
Run Blocking: A
With the passing game sputtering, the Jets were able to move the ball steadily through the ground largely thanks to Chris Ivory and some excellent run blocking by the Jets' offensive line.
The Jets were most impressive on the perimeter, where Ivory was able to bounce runs to rip off huge gains. Brian Winters sealed a lot of blocks on runs in the red zone for the Jets' first touchdown.
This was an area where the Jets have struggled this season; this game served as an ideal "get well" game against a defense that has been prone to allowing big runs.
Damon Harrison: A
Another week, another dominant performance from the Jets' stud nose tackle. The Jets only allowed 41 rushing yards, despite not loading up the box with eight players very often (if at all).
Harrison also showed continued improvement as a pass-rusher, as he was able to push the pocket and get pressure on Brees (although he did not record a sack).
Kenrick Ellis: B+
Kenrick Ellis was used in his usual rotational role and was effective doing so. He clogged up running lanes and made a tackle in limited action.
Muhammad Wilkerson: A
Wilkerson isn't just the best defender on the Jets—he may be the best defensive player in the league at this moment.
He added yet another sack to his total (eight on the season) and was dominant against the run. He could have added at least two more sacks had Drew Brees not made some impressive maneuvers to get away from pressure.
Sheldon Richardson: B+
Sheldon Richardson did not record a sack, but he was still very active in getting pressure on Brees. He was also stout against the run with four tackles.
David Harris: B+
The team's leading tackler (10), Harris was stout against the run and solid in coverage as well in the rare times where he was asked to do so. He also applied good pressure on a few blitzes.
DeMario Davis: B
Davis was not quite as active as Harris in the run game (four tackles), but he did do a nice job on Jimmy Graham when he was called upon to cover him.
Quinton Coples: B+
This was Coples' best game of the year by far. He did not record a sack, but he provided a lot of consistent pressure, which is something we have yet to see from him this year.
He was also tremendous against the run, as he made a huge stop on a crucial fourth down.
Calvin Pace: B+
Calvin Pace was also active as a pass-rusher, getting one of two sacks on Brees (even if he was set up for it). He set the edge well against the run, recording six tackles in the process.
Antonio Cromartie: C-
Cromartie may have notched an interception on a tipped pass (although he could have had at least two more), he was far form stout in coverage. He slipped on a long completion early in the game and was targeted as often as any other defender on the Jets.
This downward spiral of Cromartie's performance is starting to look like less of an aberration and more of a permanent trend. The Jets need Cromartie to turn his game around in a hurry if they want to be the elite defense they strive to be.
Dee Milliner: C+
After last week's benching (his second of the season), Milliner managed to flash some positive traits. He broke up a third-down pass and looked more decisive making plays downhill.
Still, Milliner has a lot of work to do; he was caught looking in the backfield on a long completion and nearly gave up another one had the ball not been a bit overthrown. He still needs to iron out some technique issues, but this was at least a step forward for Milliner.
Kyle Wilson: B-
Wilson was beat on one long completion, but he was solid otherwise. He made a few solid tackles and held down his slot position relatively well.
Don't look now, but Wilson has quietly put together his best month of football as a pro.
Darrin Walls: B-
Walls did not play much with Milliner avoiding the bench, but he was not targeted much (if at all) either. He recorded one tackle.
Ellis Lankster: B
Lankster saw most of his time as a special teams gunner, where he was excellent—his hustle prevented any big returns on what were average punts from Ryan Quigley.
Dawan Landry: B+
Landry had one of his best games of the season, defending two passes and making five tackles in the run game. He did a nice job containing Jimmy Graham when he was assigned to cover him.
Antonio Allen: A-
Antonio Allen has morphed into the Jets' antidote to elite tight ends. Two weeks removed from handling Rob Gronkowski, Allen more than held his own against Jimmy Graham, including one instance where he beat him in a one-on-one, jump-ball situation.
Unfortunately, Allen left the game with a head injury, according to Darryl Slater of The Star-Ledger. The Jets are certainly hoping that he will use the extra bye week to be ready for their next game two weeks from now.
Jaiquawn Jarrett: C-
The difference between Allen and Jarrett was on clear display based on how they covered Jimmy Graham.
While Allen was able to shut him down, Jarrett was burned for a long touchdown reception that forced the Jets to change their strategy in covering him.
Jarrett was at least serviceable after that play, but he was highlighted for all of the wrong reasons.
Nick Folk: A+
Unconscious. That is the only word that can describe the zone Nick Folk is in right now, as he has made all 23 of his field-goal attempts.
Simply put, if it wasn't for Folk, the tone of the Jets' season would be much different.
Ryan Quigley: D
The Jets are starting to look rather foolish for dumping Robert Malone in favor of Ryan Quigley midseason. Quigley's average may not look terrible on paper (44.0 yards), but he benefited from a lot of favorable bounces. He gave the Saints offense favorable field position on a few occasions.
The Jets should start looking for more competition here, if they haven't already.