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Studs & Duds From Jets' 31-30 Victory Over Cleveland Browns

Here are three top performers from New York's unforgettable win over the Browns, along with two players that would love a do-over.
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The Jets had a chance to celebrate their first victory Monday of September in nearly 1,500 days after completing a miraculous comeback against the Cleveland Browns that included 14 points scored in the final 82 seconds of play.

While the majority of New York’s roster picked up its slack from the week prior, it wasn’t all roses on the field in Week 2 and required a little bit of luck to pull things off at the end. Let’s take a glance at some of the more noticeable individual performances from Week 2.

Stud No. 1: Wide Receiver Garrett Wilson

Natural, talented playmakers make their presence felt early and often in their NFL careers and, after getting a glimpse of that talent from 10th overall pick Garrett Wilson in his limited action the week before, the Jets expanded his role in Week 2, and it paid off mightily.

The former Buckeye led the Jets offense in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns on the day, capping off the team’s fourth-quarter comeback with a 15-yard touchdown breaking across the middle of the field.

New York needs its playmakers to take a huge step forward this season to keep the offense afloat with Joe Flacco under center and aid in the development of Zach Wilson, and from what we saw Saturday they should be in great hands with the trio of Wilson, Elijah Moore and Corey Davis.

Dud No. 1: Offensive Tackle George Fant

Last week it was left guard Laken Tomlinson that landed on the dud list, and this time around his neighbor on the offensive line will take his place.

George Fant led the Jets in pressures allowed Sunday, committed his second holding penalty of the season and should’ve been called for a handful of false starts. He now grades as the sixth-worst tackle in football according to PFF, with three of those below him being rookies.

Yes, Fant was tasked with defending possibly the best edge defender in the game in Myles Garrett, but this is the second week in a row now where he’s played below the expectations that he built for himself in 2021. After being a reliable asset protecting the quarterback’s blindside a year ago, Fant is off to a shaky start and needs to find some stability to help this offense stay afloat.

Stud No. 2: Punter Braden Mann

Give a lot of credit to punter Brandon Mann for stepping up in against the Browns just days after the team worked out several punters and hinted at the notion his days in a Jets uniform could be numbered.

His heroics on the 17-yard completion off a fake punt and onside kick that was recovered by the kickoff team steal the show, but he also upped his average punt by five yards and avoided any shanks that hurt his team in the Ravens game. His now four punts inside the 20-yard tie for the 7th most in the league.

It’s a week-to-week league in the NFL and there’s no guarantee a couple down weeks wouldn’t have Mann back on the hot seat, but he answered the bell in perfect fashion after a lousy season debut and played a pivotal role in the Jets first win of the season.

Dud No. 2: Safety Jordan Whitehead

Hate to pick on the safety room for the second week in a row but it continues to be a glaring weakness of the Jets defense and, this time, it was most noticeable from their highly paid free agent Jordan Whitehead.

The former Buccaneer missed four tackles in Week 2, tied for the highest in football alongside his running mate Lamarcus Joyner, and was caught out of place in zone coverage on numerous occasions. His individual grade of 35.5 by PFF was the second lowest of Jets players Sunday, and his season-long grade of 35.8 is third worst in the NFL.

Whitehead was dealing with ankle issues this week and may have been playing a little hobbled against the Browns, but nonetheless this is not the start the Jets were looking for out of their $14.5 million safety.

Stud No. 3: Breece Hall

Let’s give it up to the rookie playmakers this week, as second-round pick Breece Hall also made a huge impact for the Jets in this game and paved the way to an expanded role in this offense.

Finishing the day with 60 all-purpose yards and leading the way on the ground with seven carries for 50 yards, Hall was far more efficient with the football than he was against the Ravens, ripped off a beautiful 23-yard run and scored the Jets second touchdown of the day with a 10-yard reception in the second quarter.

Hall now ranks third in the league among rookies in most scrimmage yards with 121 — behind his teammate Wilson and Falcons’ wideout Drake London — and all that in a secondary role to Michael Carter. The Jets will continue to utilize the duo as a one-two punch, but expect to see Hall’s snap count increase in a big way for their game against Cincinnati.

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