New York Jets Week 1: Tale of the tape

Ryan Moran
quinnen williams, new york jets
New York Jets lineman Quinnen Williams (95) celebrates his sack against the New York Giants in the first half of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, August 28, 2022. Nfl Giants Vs Jets Preseason Game Giants At Jets

After reviewing the All-22 of the New York Jets Week 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens, there are a few key takeaways worth noting.

This was a game that the Jets lost 24-9 and struggled offensively. Following an encouraging start in the first half, the Jets defense, which did not get a lot of help in this one, struggled with a few things in the second half.

Despite the loss, there were some positives to take from this one for the Jets on both sides of the football.

Quinnen Williams shines:

The star of this one for the Jets was fourth-year defensive tackle, Quinnen Williams. Although he did not register any sacks, Williams did more than enough in terms of impact plays.

He had some solid pressures working against rookie first-round pick and highly touted center prospect, Tyler Linderbaum. Williams generated some strong power on a few rushes.

Williams had one impressive pass deflection that stalled a drive on third down, a series the Ravens started in the red zone. Lastly, Williams’ run defense was noticeable in this one.

Alongside Williams, the other two Jets defensive linemen to make some splashes were John Franklin-Myers and rookie first-round pick, Jermaine Johnson. Franklin-Myers was active in the backfield, defeating blocks leading to some pressure. Johnson had one run stop that stood out to go along with his great sack.

Encouraging start for the cornerback trio:

All three Jets cornerbacks, new additions Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed, along with second-year slot cornerback, Michael Carter, all provided some good things on tape.

Gardner was matched up with the Ravens’ elite pass-catcher, Mark Andrews, a few times and held his own. He made one incredible pass breakup in Cover 3 near the goal line. On the play, Gardner exhibited his quickness, reactionary skills, and ability to stay poised in a high-pressure situation.

To go along with Reed’s terrific interception, he kept the Ravens in check whenever they threw it his way. He had a pass deflection, a forced fumble and stayed in good position when targeted on a longer developing deep post in which Reed stayed in phase well.

Carter II did a little bit of everything, as expected. He held his own in coverage, made tackles in space around the line of scrimmage, and impacted the pocket when he blitzed.

Jets’ run defense holds up:

The run defense of the Jets was arguably the biggest concern entering 2022. To start the year, they could not have done better.

They stacked the box with seven or even eight defenders to contain it. From there, they stayed true to their gaps and were able to shut out the Ravens’ running game essentially.

The Ravens had their longest run on the day go for 10 yards. They averaged three a carry and had 63 total rushing yards in the game. Lamar Jackson was slowed down to 17 yards. On 11 rushing attempts, Kenyan Drake had just 31 yards.

In particular, the linebackers of the Jets, C.J. Mosley, Quincy Williams, and Kwon Alexander, all did their part in limiting the Ravens’ running game.

Pass blocking woes, Joe Flacco struggles:

The starting offensive line for the Jets had very little time leading up to the regular season to work together. It showed up in Week 1.

It certainly was not the best of days for established veterans George Fant and Laken Tomlinson. On the other hand, fourth-round rookie Max Mitchell did hold up.

The lack of time to throw the ball clearly impacted Joe Flacco. He missed some open receivers downfield throughout the game. Flacco was late on a few throws as well, which led to incompletions.

The two phases worked in sync, while the pass projection was poor, Flacco still missed opportunities.

Jets’ two-deep zones exposed:

The Jets’ zone defenses had their moments in this one. The Ravens exploited it on their final two touchdowns, working the deep middle, the weakness of Cover 2 and Cover 4.

They had some perfect answers for it, having one safety bite down on a route, leaving space to work across the face of the other deep middle safety on post routes.

Even on plays, the Ravens did not connect, they had answers for some of the Jets’ zone coverages.

Jets’ pass rush not impactful enough:

Aside from Williams with a few reps from Franklin-Myers and Johnson, it was way too quiet of a game from the Jets’ talented group of pass rushers on the defensive line.

It works hand in hand with the zone coverages getting beat, the Jets’ front four simply did not get home enough in this game.

The Jets rookies impress for the most part:

For the first game, this thrilling Jets draft class predominately did well. Gardner and Johnson made splash plays for the defense. On offense, skill players Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson showed promise when they had chances, and Mitchell was not exposed in any big way at right tackle.

Hall did have one fumble. However, he made plays on the ground and in the passing game. In particular, he had one great pass block on a completion to Corey Davis over the middle.