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Jets grades: Give defense 'B-plus,' offense a 'B' and special teams an 'A' 

Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets

Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets runs in the pocket during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 9, 2018 in Orchard Park, New York.  Credit: Getty Images/Brett Carlsen

OFFENSE: You probably should sit down for this: The Jets scored three offensive touchdowns Sunday. They totaled three in the last five games. It didn’t start pretty as their first series featured a false start and a broken play. On the second series, the Jets ran on third-and-12 in Bills territory and had to settle for a Jason Myers field goal. They had a second-and-goal from the 1 and also needed a field goal to finish the drive. But the offense eventually got clicking, relatively speaking. Sam Darnold made one bad throw but also threw some passes that have the Jets excited about the future. They were balanced and showed mettle. A zone run – their first of the game – led to the Elijah McGuire game-winning touchdown.


DEFENSE: You probably need to sit down for this one too: The defense finished the game. Trumaine Johnson picked off Josh Allen to seal the victory. It was his second interception on the day and the Jets’ third takeaway. In the same situation last week, the Jets committed three penalties and gave up big plays on Tennessee’s winning drive in the closing minutes. It didn’t start well as Buffalo scored touchdowns on two of its first three series. Allen definitely exploited the Jets with his legs, running for 101 yards and a touchdown. But the Jets limited him to 14 rushing yards in the second half. The defense was much better overall after halftime, allowing 138 yards and no touchdowns.


SPECIAL TEAMS: They continue to be the Jets’ best unit. Andre Roberts had 176 yards in kickoff returns and nearly broke one in the second quarter. He went 86 yards and was tackled at the 8, setting up the Jets’ first offensive touchdown in 25 series. Roberts continually gave the Jets good field position. He had a rare mistake, fumbling the second-half kickoff. Myers continues to be Mr. Automatic, making two more field goals and three extra points. The Jets also blocked a field-goal attempt.


COACHING: Todd Bowles and his coaching staff have come under fire over the last two months for all that has gone wrong. There were some questionable calls, especially early on offense, and the defense let Allen loose too easily. But the Jets tightened things up at halftime, and were different on both sides of the ball. Bowles also made the right move going for the win on fourth-and-1. He needed to be aggressive there and they called the right play.


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