The New York Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, winning the regular-season finale 13-6. While Buffalo played most of its backups by choice, the Jets have done so for much of the year out of necessity, as the team currently has 21 players on injured reserve.
Most of the Jets we chose to watch this week performed well, or at least as well as anyone did in a rain-soaked, ugly football game. Here’s how their key players fared.
QB Sam Darnold
I anticipated that Darnold would have a much stronger day against the Bills this time around than he did in Week 1, where the Bills held him under 200 yards passing despite the fact that he attempted 41 passes. However, playing against Buffalo’s second- and third-string (and, in the case of Isaiah McKenzie, who had to play cornerback in the fourth quarter, the emergency-string) defense, Darnold really didn’t excel. Sure, the weather was atrocious, but one would have assumed that he’d have done more than a 23-for-36 day where he still failed to break 200 yards passing. Darnold threw for 199 yards and a touchdown, adding one interception that counted and another that was nullified by penalty.
RB Le’Veon Bell
The versatile running back ended the worst year of his career on another low note, as he barely touched the ball in the second half of the game. Bell finished the day with poor numbers—16 carries, 41 yards, five receptions on five targets, 36 yards receiving—but his second-half numbers really tell the story. He carried the ball four times in the second half for a total of minus-four yards. He caught one screen pass for 15 yards, but his rushing total was poor yet again. Bell finished with a 3.2-yards-per-carry average on 245 attempts, which was not only a career-low average, but was actually the worst in the history of the Jets franchise for players with over 200 carries.
WR Jamison Crowder
Once again, the slot receiver torched the Bills. In two games against Buffalo this year, he caught 22 passes for 165 yards, accounting for 28% of his receptions and 20% of his receiving yardage totals for the season in what was arguably the best year of his career overall. This week, he had eight catches, 66 yards, and one touchdown (the only one of the game for either team) on ten targets. Crowder was a great find for the Jets this year; he has two years and $18.5 million remaining on his three-year, $28.5 million contract signed this offseason.
DL Henry Anderson
Anderson was a total non-factor in this game. Jon Feliciano hit him with a low block early in the contest, and Anderson limped off as a result. He only appeared on 11 defensive snaps.
S Jamal Adams
The stud safety was all over the field blitzing, covering tight ends, and generally wreaking havoc wherever he went. He didn’t have the stats, but his impact on the game was clear, as he was often in the offensive backfield causing quarterback Matt Barkley to rush his throws. Adams totaled three tackles and one pass breakup on the day.