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Jets grades: Strong marks all around

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell runs the ball

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell runs the ball as Giants defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson moves in during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke


The Jets looked like a well-oiled machine early, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions. Sam Darnold was 10-for-12 with one passing touchdown and one rushing TD in the first 13:25 of the game. He finished with 230 yards passing and didn’t turn the ball over for the first time in five games. Huge improvement. The Jets didn’t have any turnovers. Another big improvement. The line also protected Darnold. He was sacked only twice. The offense had some lulls, but overall, the Jets scored three touchdowns after having eight in the first eight games. Demaryius Thomas had six catches for 84 yards and Jamison Crowder five receptions for 81 yards and a TD.


They gave up four touchdown passes. But the unit also had some huge plays – and they finished the game. They kept the Giants out of the end zone and scoreless in the fourth quarter. The Giants totaled 33 net yards in four fourth-quarter possessions. The Jets also held Saquon Barkley to 1 yard rushing. Jamal Adams played one of his best games as a pro. He had two sacks, including a strip sack that he returned for a touchdown. Adams also led the Jets with eight tackles, and stopped Daniel Jones on a critical fourth-and-1. Nathan Shepherd easily had his best game as a pro. The second-year defensive lineman had a sack and three tackles for loss. The Jets had a season-high six sacks.


Compared to the Giants, who botched two extra-point tries, the Jets’ group was stellar. Sam Ficken made two of his three field-goal tries (53 and 35 yards). He missed a 54-yarder. Ficken also hit all four extra-point attempts. They outgained the Giants in return yards, 67-42. The Giants started four of their drives inside the 20.


This group hasn’t outcoached many teams this year, but the Jets did that on Sunday. They looked prepared right from the beginning. The fact that the Jets scored touchdowns on their first two possessions showed how locked in they were. They were less predictable. Adam Gase had a good play call on Darnold’s 2-yard TD run on the first sseries. He had four receivers wide and then called a keeper. The Jets’ defense also started fast with Adams getting his first sack and forced fumble on the Giants’ first series. The Jets had breakdowns but never melted down even after giving up a 14-0 lead.

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