Jets' grades

Jets teammates Geno Smith, left, and Dee Milliner Jets teammates Geno Smith, left, and Dee Milliner walk off the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Sept. 8, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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OFFENSE

B Geno Smith threw as many touchdowns as he did interceptions (one), but when the game was on the line, he took control. He completed a 25-yard pass to Kellen Winslow (seven catches, 79 yards) and drew a penalty flag on linebacker Lavonte David that set up Nick Folk's game-winning field goal. Smith was sacked five times behind a porous offensive line, but the unit gave him just enough wiggle room to be productive.

 

DEFENSE

A- A collective breakdown on Vincent Jackson's 37-yard completion with about a minute left in the game was the only blemish on an otherwise impressive defensive effort. The line got after Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, sacking him three times for a loss of 25 yards. As Dawan Landry put it: "It felt like we were hunting out there."

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

A While all the cameras were focused on Smith, the quarterback credited his kicker. "Nick Folk came up big, just like he always does," the rookie said. Folk connected from 43, 30 and 48 yards to help save the day for the Jets. Robert Malone also punted one 84 yards, to coach Rex Ryan's delight. "We needed a big one at that time and he delivered."

 

COACHES

B+ Ryan and his defensive staff get tons of credit for having their unit ready to play. The defense -- and particularly its front seven -- made good on its promise to rattle Freeman. Marty Mornhinweg laid out a manageable game plan for Smith, though the offensive coordinator disrupted the rookie's rhythm by inserting unnecessary Wildcat plays that took the ball out of his quarterback's hands.

Ryan also gets credit for challenging a called incompletion on a Smith pass to Stephen Hill in the fourth quarter. The play was overturned and Folk went on to kick a 30-yard field goal that put the Jets up 15-14.

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