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Grading the Jets: Special teams are the only group above water

Sam Darnold #14 of the Jets during a

Sam Darnold #14 of the Jets during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sep. 20, 2020. Credit: Jim McIsaac

OFFENSE: Christopher Johnson can no longer call Adam Gase "a brilliant offensive mind." On what grounds? Don’t say anything about injuries. You play with who you have. But you have to be aggressive. The Jets ran 62 plays and 28 were designed runs. We know they didn’t have Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder. But the Niners’ defense didn’t have Richard Sherman, Dee Ford and lost Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas in the first quarter. Yet the Jets still didn’t get in the end zone until there was 1:23 left in the game. There should have been more creativity. The Jets got in the red zone twice in the first half. The first time, they went backward with Frank Gore running for minus-2 yards and Sam Darnold getting sacked for a 6-yard loss. The Jets had to settle for the field goal. On the next series, the Jets got to the Niners’ 20 and were stopped on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1. "A brilliant offensive mind," as Johnson called Gase, has to be able to call a play that gets a yard there. Didn’t happen.

GRADE: F

DEFENSE: Jamal Adams apparently was THE Jets’ defense. Gregg Williams’ group looks lost. They are missing tackles and playing undisciplined. To give up an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage is embarrassing. The fact that it didn’t fire the defense up is also alarming. The Niners scored on four of their first five series. They played without tight end George Kittle the whole game, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Raheem Mostert for the second half. The Jets let Nick Mullens lead two scoring drives after halftime. On one of them, the Jets gave up a 55-yard run on third-and-31, which led to a field goal. Marcus Maye struggled containing veteran tight end Jordan Reed, who caught two touchdown passes. Henry Anderson and Kyle Phillips helped two San Francisco touchdown drives with roughing the passer penalties.

GRADE: F

SPECIAL TEAMS: Sam Ficken is the Jets’ MVP at this point of the season. He made both of his field-goal attempts (41, 25) and converted his only extra-point try. Rookie punter Braden Mann had a 52-yard punt and averaged 44.4 yards on five punts. Josh Malone had a 32-yard kickoff return to the Jets’ 36, which was their third-best starting field position in the game. The Jets’ ended up punting, of course.

GRADE: B

COACHING: The Jets didn’t come ready to play, as demonstrated by the first play of the game. Gregg Williams’ defense looked soft for the second straight week. The offense moved the ball better than in Week 1 against Buffalo, but it was too predictable and stagnant at times and executed poorly in the red zone against a team just as decimated by injuries as the Jets, maybe more so.

GRADE: F

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