Oakland Raiders vs. New York Jets: Full Roster Report Card Grades for New York
There is still plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball, but the Jets showed a lot of improvement in a lot of areas, including the offensive line, secondary and quarterback position. The result was their most comfortable win in well over a month.
The Jets still have a long way to go before playoffs can become a reality, but they appear to finally be headed back in the right direction.
Here are the roster grades from this week's win over the Raiders.
Geno Smith: B
This was a "get well" game for Geno Smith, who threw his first touchdown pass in well over a month in today's game.
Finally given adequate pass protection and not being victimized by drops, Smith had his best game since the bye week, going 15-for-25 for 219 yards. He threw one interception, but he was much more accurate and comfortable in the pocket than he has been in quite some time.
Smith also made a lot of plays with his feet, accumulating 50 yards on the ground to extend drives.
There is still plenty of room for improvement, but Smith has appeared to have shaken his slump against an average Raiders defense.
Chris Ivory: A-
Ivory was arguably the Jets' best player. His 4.2 average on 18 carries was at least solid, but the stats do not do justice as to how much extra yardage he generated to offset some poor run blocking.
Ivory broke countless tackles for extra yards, which was highlighted by a spectacular 15-yard touchdown run. He even flashed in pass protection, knocking out linebacker Sio Moore on a block.
Bilal Powell: B
Powell was not quite as effective as Ivory on the ground with 14 yards on eight carries, but he added 24 yards on a well-executed screen pass. He was also effective in pass protection, helping solve the blitz-pickup problem.
Santonio Holmes: B
Based on how he was moving, it was clear that he was not 100 percent. He was still rather effective on his three receptions, totaling 55 yards. His 32-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter jump-started the Jets offense and gave it new life.
Holmes' days as a Jet may be limited, but he deserves credit for playing through his injury and still managing to be effective.
Jeremy Kerley: A-
Kerley showed exactly why the Jets were so ineffective without him. He may have "only" had four catches, but they were usually either for a touchdown or a key third-down conversion.
He made a spectacular play on a touchdown grab that may not have even been intended for him. Without Kerley, the Jets certainly do not win this game as comfortably as they did.
David Nelson: C+
Nelson did not contribute any game-changing plays, but he added four receptions without dropping a pass, which has been an issue for him in recent weeks.
Kellen Winslow: B
After being barely used in last week's debacle, the Jets made a concerted effort to get Winslow more involved in this week's game plan.
Winslow finished with three catches for a team-high 61 yards, but he could have had more if Geno Smith had been a bit more accurate with the ball. He was open on a would-be touchdown in the first half.
Jeff Cumberland: F
Winslow's increase in playing time came at the expense of Cumberland, who has faded into obscurity in recent weeks. Not only did he finish with zero catches on the day, but he was also a liability as a blocker in both the running and passing game.
Pass Protection: B+
The difference between the offense this week and last week stems from the Jets' ability to give Geno Smith adequate time in the pocket. The Jets were much better at picking up the blitz this week, and the Jets were able to generate a lot more big plays as a result.
Geno Smith was also able to find his comfort zone more easily. With decent protection in front of him, he grew more and more comfortable and confident as the game went on. Smith was sacked just one time.
While the Jets still did have a few breakdowns that they could have improved on, this week's performance was leaps and bounds better than what they have shown in recent weeks.
Run Blocking: C
The Jets had a successful day running the ball on paper, but it was not because they were dominant on the offensive line with run blocking.
Chris Ivory averaged 4.2 yards per carry, but he had to break countless tackles to do so. Bilal Powell, on the other hand, averaged just 1.8 yards on the ground.
The weak spot on the offensive line was left guard Brian Winters, who has only regressed with each week in his rookie season. The Jets may want to consider replacing him in favor of Vladimir Ducasse, even if it does cost him experience.
Damon Harrison: B+
For the first time this season, Harrison does not get an "A". While he was far from being a liability, he missed a tackle on Marcel Reece's long touchdown run that allowed him to be the first running back to gain 100 yards on the Jets' run defense this season.
Harrison still had a solid game, but he was not quite as dominant as we have become accustomed to.
Kenrick Ellis: B-
Ellis was given limited playing time, but he was not a liability when he was in the game. He finished with one solo tackle.
Muhammad Wilkerson: B
Like Damon Harrison, Wilkerson was not a liability by any means, but this may have been his most unspectacular performance of the season. He finished with just two solo tackles.
He was not very effective as a pass-rusher. Not only did he not record a sack, but he also did not get much pressure on a play-by-play basis.
Sheldon Richardson: B
Richardson had nearly an identical game to that of Wilkerson. Hardly visible as a pass-rusher (zero sacks), he was solid controlling the run with two tackles on the stat sheet.
He too may have had his most uneventful game of the season against an average Raiders offensive line, but he did record a quarterback hit.
Leger Douzable: B
Douzable got a bit more playing time than usual, and his production matched his that of his linemates. He too finished with just two tackles and zero sacks.
David Harris: B
This game was a bit of a mixed bag for Harris. he made a ton of plays in the run game with a team-high eight tackles, but he was not nearly as stout in coverage, as he was picked on a few times by Matt McGloin.
Worst of all, he had his ankles broken on a Matt McGloin scramble that cost the Jets about 20 yards. Luckily for Harris, the Jets' win means that the only price he will have to pay is a good ribbing during the Monday film review.
Demario Davis: A-
Davis did not have as many tackles as Harris (six), but he was more impressive in how he made plays from sideline to sideline. He finished with a tackle for loss and was stout in coverage as well.
Quinton Coples: A-
While the rest of the defensive line had trouble getting to the quarterback, Coples was about the only player on the team to be interested in rushing the passer.
Coples finished with a sack, tackle-for-loss and a pass defense to round out one of his best games of the year.
Calvin Pace: B+
Pace put in a solid effort against the run with two tackles-for-loss. He also continued to rack up coverage sacks, getting his eighth sack of the year.
Garrett McIntyre: B
McIntyre was back in action for the first time since injuring his knee earlier in the season. He was rather effective stopping the run, as he was responsible for blowing up at least one running play by driving his blocker into the backfield to take away running lanes.
Dee Milliner: B+
After struggling in just about every game he has played in this season, Dee Milliner finally turned in a quality performance the Jets have been expecting out of the ninth overall pick.
Outside of missing a tackle on Marcel Reese, Milliner was the Jets' top corner by a significant margin. He did not let up many (if any) receptions and even made a few nice pass breakups when he was targeted.
Antonio Cromartie: F
While Milliner was enjoying a nice rebound game on the opposite side, Cromartie continued his disastrous season. The Raiders targeted Cromartie over and over, and he was unable to come up with a reason why they should have stopped their assault.
Cromartie gave up big plays in the passing game, including a 40-yard pass to get the Raiders out of the shadow of their own goal post.
Cromartie is clearly not 100 percent, and Rex Ryan should consider taking him out of the starting lineup for the next game.
Kyle Wilson: B
Wilson turned in yet another solid performance in the slot. He did not get torched in coverage and did not allow any runs to get around him on the edge.
Antonio Allen: A-
Back in the starting lineup, Allen rewarded Rex Ryan's faith with a handful of big plays, including a blocked punt that he recovered for a touchdown.
He did allow a couple of completions to taller receivers, but he turned in yet another solid game in coverage, resulting in much fewer big plays going over the Jets' head.
Dawan Landry: B-
Landry was most effective making stops against the run (seven solo tackles), but he did appear to be out of position on Marcel Reese's long touchdown run.
Ed Reed: C+
Reed was in a much better role this week, coming in only on third downs to keep Antonio Allen on the field. He did get his first interception of the season, but he made a terrible play on a slant route that turned a 10-yard reception into a long touchdown.
The Jets may be regretting the decision to bring in Reed, but they at least now have him in a role that is much more manageable as opposed to forcing him into a starting role.
Nick Folk: A
Another week, another stellar game from Nick Folk. Folk knocked in all three of his field goals, including a 51-yarder. He was also terrific on his kickoffs, not allowing the Raiders to generate any big returns when they did bring out the ball.
Ryan Quigley: A-
This may have been Quigley's best game of the season. Thanks to some increased offensive production, he was not quite as busy this week, but he was as efficient as ever. His strong day was highlighted by a terrific punt to pin the Raiders on the 2-yard line in what may have been his best punt of the year.