BGA: Good Williams to all men

Rookie Marcus Williams came up big with his first career interception to put the Jets into position for what should have been the go-ahead score late in the fourth.

Williams reacted well to snag an off-line throw by Tom Brady after the receiver had got separation from him on the outside. However, he also made some great plays in the first half, breaking up two passes, making a good open field tackle to force a third down and being in good position on a third down incompletion. Williams even drew some one-on-one assignments against Rob Gronkowski and handled these well, which is a good use of his physicality.

Other than the interception, the second half was tougher for Williams who gave up four first downs. Overall though, he gave up just 65 yards on 12 targets which is very solid. He has been the best rookie on the team over the second half of the season.

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BGA: The pressure outside is frightful

The Jets sacked Tom Brady four times in the first half yesterday and although they didn’t manage to sack him in the second half, the pressure on him was effective all day, holding him to two completions in seven attempts when under pressure.

Across the board, the linebackers played pretty well, notably in coverage where the zone defense seemed to be much more in sync this week and the linebackers contributed towards holding Rob Gronkowski to a season-low 31 yards on 10 targets. David Harris had an outstanding game with several solid open field tackles and Demario Davis also made some plays in coverage, including one where he jumped a route to almost make a pick-six.

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BGA: The Three Wide Men

With Muhammad Wilkerson making his return to the line-up, the Jets starting unit was once again made whole. And if there was ever any doubt about the attention Wilkerson draws from opposing offensive linemen, I can’t illustrate that any better than this image does:

Yes, that’s four linemen looking at Wilkerson while the Jets send three against one on the other side. The Jets had opened in their conventional base alignment for first and second down and then went to this look on third down where they basically had Wilkerson at nose, Sheldon Richardson dropping into coverage from outside linebacker and both Jason Babin and Calvin Pace with their hands in the dirt coming off the right side.

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BGA: Oh Cumb let us adore him

It’s been a rough year for Jeff Cumberland. Despite increased playing time, his production is down on the past two seasons and he hasn’t had more than three catches in a game since opening day.

Yesterday, however, was one of his better games. Cumberland exploited a blown coverage by Patrick Chung to score the Jets’ only touchdown on a 20-yard catch and had two other first down receptions. He continues to get tough assignments as a blocker and held his own yesterday, setting the edge well on one wildcat run.

With Cumberland under contract at fairly reasonable rates over the next few seasons, he should remain with the team. Ideally they need to find (or coach up) someone who can block better at the position, so that Cumberland can be deployed in situations that will allow him to focus on his strengths.

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BGA: Have Yourselves Ivory Merry Christmas

The Jets had a pretty balanced attack yesterday and managed to grind out 116 rushing yards, although it was tough sledding.

Chris Ivory had a nice performance, forcing five missed tackles (including two from Darrelle Revis) on his way to 53 yards at almost five per carry. It seems the dream of a 1,000 yard season is fading though, as he simply isn’t getting enough carries. Ivory would need to rush for 208 in the last game of the year to reach that mark. A more realistic target for him would be the 41 yards he needs to eclipse last year’s total and give himself a career year.

He sure has been fun to watch this year though. What about the rest of the backs though?

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BGA: Dalton merrily on high

The Jets suffered a setback when Nick Mangold went down with a leg/ankle injury in the first half. Thankfully it doesn’t seem like Mangold’s injury is serious and his availability for next week’s game is of no real concern. A long term injury to a player of Mangold’s importance at this stage of the year could really mess up next season too.

Let’s consider how they coped without their leader.

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BGA: Ho, Ho, Hope?

Statistically, you could say that Geno Smith “outduelled” Tom Brady. They each had a touchdown and an interception, with Geno putting up more yards in fewer pass attempts. He even finished up an interception-free streak of 75 pass attempts lasting almost 11 quarters.

Can we therefore use this to enter the 2015 season with a renewed optimism that Smith has turned the corner and has a chance of being a solid starter next year?

No, not really because his footwork was still extremely sloppy even when he was completing passes. In addition, he hurt the Jets with two major mistakes.

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