Like last week against the New York Giants, some players struggled for the Green & White during the 23-14 win.
Below are the top five Jets losers against the Green Bay Packers.
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Honorable Mention: Bubble Candidates With Quiet Games
James Morgan and Blake Cashman are two players that I’ve been waiting to see make a jump, only it hasn’t happened. With Zach Wilson playing four out of five possessions in the first half, Mike White followed that up with two and a half drives before leaving the game with a rib injury.
Between Wilson and White combined, the Jets put up points on five out of seven drives that the two quarterbacks finished. Not including the kneel-down possession, Morgan went zero for three in his attempts with punts on each. To be fair, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur only entrusted the third-stringer to throw the ball three times, but in a game where the 2020 fourth-rounder needed to prove he belonged, he didn’t. I’ll say it again, why not take a chance and use Morgan’s roster spot to take a flyer on former first-round talent Josh Rosen.
As for Cashman, he was outshined by younger linebackers like Camilo Eifler and Jamien Sherwood. The former Mike Maccagnan draft pick scored a 36.0 defensive grade on Pro Football Focus which was fourth worst for the Jets in this contest, including a pitiful 33.8 run defense grade.
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Offensive Depth Chart Losers
5. Josh Adams & La’Mical Perine
In a somewhat head-scratching turn of events, Perine was not utilized until the second half despite his awesome performance against the Giants. The second-year player followed up on that negative snap count by posting 2.7 yards per carry behind the Jets’ backup blockers.
That last part is important, but at the same time Michael Carter put up 5.2 yards per carry behind the same group of offensive linemen. I would be shocked if all four of these running backs don’t make the 53-man roster, but as of now, it seems like Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson are the main early-down backs with Carter working in as the third-down change of pace option and Perine being relegated to the power-back role. His value should come near the end zone.
You’ll notice that I have not mentioned Adams, who received zero snaps against the Packers. Time is ticking for the former Philadelphia Eagles half-back that appears to be the odd man out.
4. Keelan Cole & the Depth Wide Receivers
In the past, we’ve outlined a distinct top six when it comes to the Jets’ wide receiving core. Yesterday, that top-billing extended to eight players, as LaFleur added Vyncint and Jeff Smith to the first-team rotation. None of the NYJ weapons did anything all that impressive on Saturday aside from Corey Davis, Tyler Kroft and Braxton Berrios to some extent, but certain players were non-existent.
There’s very little opportunity left to make an impact if you’re Manasseh Bailey (zero targets), Josh Malone (zero targets), Lawrence Cager (zero targets) and D.J. Montgomery (one catch for five yards). I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these four is cut this week and it may come down to special teams. Malone has the ability as a returner, while Bailey and Montgomery both registered a special teams tackle in Green Bay.
Also of note was Cole’s noticeable slip in the ranks. Even with Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims sidelined, the OTA-hero worked in behind the Smiths and Jamison Crowder. Cole will make the 53-man roster but is a lackluster training camp phasing him out of the starting rotation?
3. Every Tight End Not Named Kroft
The main loser here has got to be the guys who are on the bottom, like Daniel Brown and Kenny Yeboah. The special-teamer Brown is not long for this roster. He received a miserable 28.9 pass-block grade and 51.7 run-block one on PFF. The UDFA Yeboah was much better from a blocking standpoint with steady scores in the low-70s, but he’s struggled to make any noise as a pass-catcher — the main reason the Jets signed him this spring. He added a six-yard reception and a special teams tackle to his stat sheet on August 21.
Chris Herndon’s day was filled with mixed results. He did nothing offensively as a playmaker, and to make matters worse, Kroft was the star of the game. If there was a competition for starting tight end, the newcomer is currently leading it.
At the same time, Herndon provided positive marks as a blocker with a 74.7 run-block and 70.2 pass-block grade. He also helped out on the second Kroft touchdown, hustling towards the sideline to clear the way for his fellow tight end.
Top 2 Biggest Losers Stem From a Scary Reality
2. Jets Defensive Line
We are now in a post-Carl Lawson world, at least for the 2021 campaign, and the early returns weren’t pretty. The starting defensive line got pulverized by AJ Dillon and this Packers’ offensive line. The silver lining is that Sheldon Rankins and Quinnen Williams didn’t play, but those that did were trampled. That includes quality run defenders like Folorunso Fatukasi and Nathan Shepherd. It wasn’t much better when the backups came in the game, as rookie Jonathan Marshall followed up his stellar performance in New York with a 27.8 run-defense grade in Green Bay.
The defensive ends also had an embarrassing day at the office without Lawson. None of the replacements were able to successfully hold the edge against the rushing attack and that seemed to keep the pass-rush off-balance — unlike against the Giants when they were in a constant attack mode.
Ronald Blair probably had the most consistent effort, but he picked up yet another injury with a hamstring issue. Some of the worst grades from PFF were Hamilcar Rashed Jr. with a 30.6 overall evaluation, John Franklin-Myers with a 30.7 tackling score, and Shepherd’s 39.5 run defense grade. Jabari Zuniga and Kyle Phillips must also be included in this section, being that neither has played in a game yet this preseason. You can’t make a roster if you never play.
1. Isaiah Dunn, Jason Pinnock & Bryce Hall
As mentioned in the winners’ article, the cornerback crew had a sort of a Jekyll and Hyde performance on Saturday. The starters — namely Dunn and Hall — looked terrible in this one while the backups did great. Whenever Kurt Benkert decided to throw the ball in the early stages, the first-team CBs were getting passed on with ease, and Hall even allowed a touchdown in the back of the end zone on a zone coverage look.
This wasn’t against Davante Adams either, it was against the Packers’ second and third-string wide receivers. Hall should be fine, but with Bless Austin missing for personal reasons, this was a huge opportunity for the UDFA Dunn and he blew it.
At the same time, what’s the deal with 2021 fifth-round draft pick Jason Pinnock? I’ve been asking beat reporters about the Pittsburgh product who’s totally disappeared off this depth chart during training camp. Nobody seems to have an answer though. Pinnock had a minor injury this week, but the Jets social media team posted a video of him warming up before the game. For whatever reason, he never saw any action.
One of the major fears for fans right now is that the loss of Lawson could have a domino effect on the secondary. So far, that fear is definitely warranted.