Four Downs: The Jets Win (Again) in Week 11
It was an expected win, especially given the opponent, but the New York Jets beat Washington 34-17 on Sunday. All of a sudden, a season on the brink is suddenly trending in the right direction.
With the win, the Jets are now 3-7 and have won two straight games.
Big plays on both sides of the ball paced the Jets to their most complete performance of the season. And while Washington is simply terrible, the Jets did what they were supposed to do en route to a big win.
Four Keys from the Jets in Week 11:
Darnold is Progressing
For much of the season, the narrative about Sam Darnold was his regression in his second year in the league. While Darnold hasn’t sparkled like he did his rookie year, the young quarterback is showing signs of growth and development over the past two games.
He finished the game 19-for-29 for 293 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Outside of the one turnover, Darnold looked good.
That interception notwithstanding, he threw the ball away when needed to and evaded Washington’s edge pressure, either stepping up in the pocket or rolling out, as he did on the Jets first two touchdowns. He also stayed strong in the pocket and hung in to make some big throws, taking hits but making smart decisions with the ball.
It was a game without a signature moment from Darnold, but all of a sudden the former first-round pick is beginning to look like the quarterback that excited the fanbase last year with his promise and potential.
President Adams Shines in the Capital
Jamal Adams dubbed himself "The President" last year and in the nation’s capital, he drained the swamp that is their NFL team. The Jets safety and franchise player put together another big performance in beating Washington.
He really likes playing the NFC East, apparently.
Adams continued the big plays that marked his performance in the Jets’ Week 10 win against the New York Giants. On Washington’s second possession of the game, he brought a big sack on rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, a play that stalled their drive and forced a punt.
He finished with four tackles, three of which were sacks.
Bless Shines Again
Last week in his NFL debut, cornerback Bless Austin was solid and he took another step forward on Sunday.
The former Rutgers star had three tackles and a pass defended on Sunday. His emergence as a reliable cornerback is a potentially big key for the Jets' backend this year and moving forward. So far, Austin has looked the part and played the part of a legitimate NFL cornerback.
At 11:36 left in the third quarter, Austin made a big play, stepping up to defend a pass from Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins intended for wide receiver Kelvin Harmon.
Griffin Continues to Impress
It was a big afternoon for tight end Ryan Griffin, who has very quietly put together a solid season in his first year with the Jets.
Three weeks ago in a 29-15 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Griffin had four catches for 66 yards with two touchdowns. He bounced back from a quiet performance last week where he had a single catch for -2 yards with his best game as a Jet.
Five catches for 109 yards and a touchdown paced all Jets in the passing game. Griffin has grown into a big part of the passing offense for the Jets this year.