BGA: Scouting Chris Owusu

Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had signed a pair of wide receivers, Chris Owusu and TJ Graham, to replace struggling rookie Jalen Saunders (who was cut) and veteran David Nelson (who suffered an ankle injury on Sunday). Jets fans might not know too much about these players, so I’ve been watching game footage to assess what they could bring to the table. Here we look at Owusu. We’ll be looking at Graham this afternoon.

Owusu is a 24-year old receiver who is 6-0 and 196 pounds. He was an undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2012 and spent time with the 49ers and Chargers, before ending up on the Bucs active roster. He caught 16 passes in 17 games with the Bucs, including his first career touchdown in the season opener this year, but was released after week two.

After the jump, observations from reviewing footage from Owusu’s career so far to evaluate his strengths and weaknesses. To read more of this story, click here

BGA Wrap-up: Lions at Jets

So, here we are again. 1-3 is not the end of the world. Neither are three one-possession losses in a row. It’s the upcoming schedule and the dysfunctional nature of the worst parts of those losses that has everyone drawing up their doomsday scenarios.

Enough misery. The Jets have been in each of the last three games, have made some monumentally dumb mistakes, have had some bad luck and have been on the wrong end of some officiating decisions. All of these things don’t have to be destined to be repeated. This team needs some momentum and they need to get their season going again.

The Jets are one game out of first place with 12 games to go. Mathematically, they’re still in this. Just.

There are links to each BGA article or the option to read the offensive and/or defensive BGA in full after the jump.

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BGA: The kicking of beasts

The Jets got an unexpected boost from punter Ryan Quigley this week, as he had by far his best game of the season. Five of his six punts went at least 50 yards, with four of those being fair-caught.

Unfortunately, his one sub-par punt was an important one, as it left the Lions with the short field and they went on to score their second touchdown just before half-time. This was desperate bad luck for Quigley though as his punt from the end zone bounced in the Detroit half and could easily have continued to roll, but took a Lions bounce and ended up on the Jets’ 47 yard line. This ruined an otherwise excellent performance from someone who really needed to pick up his game.

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BGA: Relying too much on a roar rookie

Midway through the second quarter, this was a tight affair, tied 3-3 with neither team moving the ball with any level of consistency. That’s when Jeremy Ross burned Antonio Allen to catch a 59-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford.

However, while I can’t be 100% certain of this until I see the all-22 footage tomorrow, it does seem pretty clear that Allen was expecting help over the top and rookie Calvin Pryor bit hard on Stafford’s pump fake. Pryor also had a bad angle on a play earlier in the game which saw Golden Tate go for 35.

Pryor was in for a couple more plays and then apparently went down with an injury. I do wonder if the Jets will milk this injury to enable him to sit for a few games without formally benching him (as I suspect they did when Dee Milliner was struggling last year). You can live with rookie mistakes, but Pryor’s are particularly costly because he’s the last line of defense on a team designed to play in tight games and with inexperienced players operating at the corner positions. The current system puts too much pressure on the rookie not to make any mistakes, which again is an unrealistic proposition.

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BGA: Open, like a Lion, in zone

David Harris had a pretty good game against the run, stuffing a couple of runs in the hole. However, his coverage numbers were very disconcerting and signs that perhaps the zone defenses the Jets were running placed too much responsibility on him. Harris was targeted seven times and all seven were successfully completed for 123 yards and a score.

Not all of this is Harris’ fault either. The longest play was a 35-yarder to Golden Tate on a crossing route, as he cut in behind an oblivious Calvin Pace. Harris realized Tate was coming open and raced across from the opposite slot to make a despairing attempt at a diving tackle. The end result is that the reception is credited to Harris’ coverage because he was the closest man in the zone and also that Harris gets hit with a missed tackle.

Harris did get clearly burned on one play where he ended up isolated with Tate down the middle and obviously that was a play where they were caught in the wrong defense for the situation. He gave up one other first down and the touchdown to Eric Ebron where he was actually in pretty good position.

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BGA: Apex Predators

One thing you can always count on is that the Jets defensive line will bring it. The team had four more sacks, plenty of pressure and another good performance against the run, holding the Lions to 88 yards at 3.3 per carry.

It was Wilkerson who spearheaded the effort against the run with eight tackles, most of which were at or near the line of scrimmage as he blew up several runs. Sheldon Richardson also had eight tackles, although only two came near the line of scrimmage and one of them was because the runner slipped. Both Wilkerson and Richardson were effective in the pass rush though. Richardson had a sack and collapsed the pocket twice with a bullrush. Wilkerson stood out though with 1.5 sacks and two more pressures.

Damon Harrison had a solid day against the run, stuffing a couple at the line. His importance to the run defense was underlined by the fact that when he went down with an injury midway through the fourth, the Lions’ next six carries netted 37 yards, almost as many as they had managed all day to that point. While Harrison still hasn’t recorded a pressure this season, he is creating a surge and getting off blocks in the pass rush – it’s just difficult for him to get there before one of the other great pass rushers can.

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BGA: Is this the mane issue?

The Jets’ receiving corps found themselves further depleted when starter David Nelson went down with an ankle injury early in the second quarter. With Eric Decker already not 100¬†percent¬†and rookie Jalen Saunders a healthy scratch, this put an onus on Greg Salas to step into a more prominent role. Decker missed a total of 15 snaps, three times as many as he missed in the the last game he was healthy for (the opener against the Raiders).

Four Jets receivers combined for eight catches and 118 yards. That’s not terrible, but it is put into context when you consider that Golden Tate alone had eight catches and 116 yards… and he’s not even the Lions’ number one receiver.

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