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Other Week 9 Game Recaps

Week 9 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 23, New York Jets 28

What you need to know

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguar offense is learning how to stay aggressive through adversity. This is a big play, high-variance offense at this point. Bortles leads the league in throws downfield, and the two Allens have blossomed into fantastic Boldin/Fitzgerald-type compliments at wide receiver. While the big plays are keeping the Jags close in games, dumb plays that they’re forcing themselves to overcome are keeping them from getting wins.

New York Jets

• It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Jets did enough on both sides of the secure their fifth win of the season. New York had to dig down deep in an effort to overcome numerous injuries on the offensive line and in the secondary. In addition, kicker Nick Folk injured his quadriceps during warmups and gave all kicking duties to punter, Ryan Quigley. Ryan Fitzpatrick, injured thumb and all, was able to muster a competitive, winning effort and did not commit any turnovers.

• New York’s defense returned to its ball-hawking ways, forcing three turnovers and registering five sacks. New York’s defensive line, which was led by Sheldon Richardson’s dominant effort, simply overpowered Jacksonville’s unit at the line of scrimmage. Monitor the progress of rookie linebacker, Lorenzo Mauldin. Mauldin was strictly utilized in pass rushing situations, but registered two key sacks.

• From purely a statistical standpoint, Chris Ivory had one of the worst games for a running back in history. Ivory rushed 23 times for just 26 yards, which was an all-time low for a player with at least 23 carries. Ivory, however, was able to salvage his afternoon by scoring twice. While there were some injuries on the offensive line, namely to Nick Mangold and Willie Colon, Ivory is responsible for some of this ineptitude. Jacksonville’s run defense is fairly good, but it’s far from an all-time great unit that should limit Ivory.

Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Blake Bortles, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 40 - 381 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 4 - 32 - 0
Bortles is at this point a high variance player by definition. His aggressiveness and willingness to throw deep is keeping the Jaguars in games. It’s a double edged sword throw, because his tendency to improvise leads to big mistakes and turnovers (like the game sealing sack/fumble in the redzone this week). He went at Revis early and got burned with a pass breakup and interception, but was rewarded for his aggressiveness, leading to big plays and a healthy statline for Allen Robinson. He also led a fantastic two-minute drive to end the half right after having one of the worst fumbles ever in the shadow of his own endzone.

RB T.J. Yeldon, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 64 - 0, Rec: 3 - 37 - 0 (3 targets)
Yeldon had good early pass game involvement. He broke one long run late in the game, but for the most part was held in check on the ground against a very good Jets front. He got tentative in pass protection, and the basis of the Jets’ game plan was Cover 1 blitzes and gaming him in pass pro to get a free rusher.

WR Allen Robinson, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 121 - 0 (11 targets)
Robinson continues to have an excellent year and had a very good statline while drawing Revis for the entire game. His two early targets early vs Revis resulted in a pass breakup and interception. Made his first big play on scramble rules, getting upfield while Bortles improvised. He also had a fantastic contested catch downfield later in the game with Revis draped all over him.

WR Allen Hurns, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 122 - 1 (8 targets)
Hurns did most of his damage burning Antonio Cromartie shortly before the end of the first half. I’ve said before that he has developed into a nice facsimile of what the Jaguars hoped Justin Blackmon would be – but he also offers a little more verticality than Blackmon did. His touchdown came on a double move against Cromartie, and he easily separated for a long score. He has now caught a touchdown in six straight games.

TE Julius Thomas, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (8 targets)
Thomas remains a non-factor in the Jaguar offense, despite seeing a healthy target load and snap count. During the game, pictures started surfacing of Thomas looking overweight compared to last year, and on the field he does look bigger and more sluggish than he did while in Denver.

New York Jets

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 34 - 272 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 0 - 0
One week after tearing a ligament in his left thumb, Ryan Fitzpatrick returned to action and played well enough to win. Unlike prior weeks, Fitzpatrick took the majority of his snaps from the shotgun and only used his left hand as a guide. Fitzpatrick did not have any issue putting velocity on his throws, fitting two tight throws, one to Eric Decker and the other to Brandon Marshall, for game changing touchdowns. Early in the first quarter, Fitzpatrick found Decker in the middle of the end zone for an easy 7-yard pitch-and-catch. Fitzpatrick scrambled to prolong the play, but credit Decker for beating his defender and making a nice back shoulder catch. Late in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick hooked up with Marshall for a game-sealing 20-yard touchdown. Marshall dogged corner, Davon House and made an acrobatic catch to finish the scoring play. Fitzpatrick’s scoring strike to Marshall gave New York a 28-13 lead. While Fitzpatrick made some plays, he missed some easy throws and overshot Marshall in the second quarter, which would have resulted in an easy touchdown. Fitzpatrick will have to be sharper when the Buffalo Bills come to town.

RB Chris Ivory, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 26 - 2, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (3 targets)
One week after getting embarrassed by Oakland’s resurgent front seven, Ivory did not bounce back and had arguably one of the worst performances in NFL history from a volume standpoint. Ivory’s 23 rushing attempts, which generated just 26 yards, were an all-time low for a player with at least 23 attempts. Ivory was able to salvage his afternoon with two short touchdown plunges, but Ivory needed multiple attempts to get the ball across the plane. New York’s offensive line play has not been good and Nick Mangold departed in the second quarter with an apparent injury. Mangold’s departure further exacerbated issues for a unit that was already missing Willie Colon. Simply put, the offensive line was unable to win its one-on-one match-ups and Ivory did not have much room to work.

RB Zac Stacy, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)
Bilal Powell was inactive, so Zac Stacy was inserted as Chris Ivory’s backup. Alike Ivory, Stacy did not find a lot of room to run and was a complete non-factor. Stacy took a big shot on a screen pass and left the game.

WR Eric Decker, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 79 - 1 (9 targets)
Another week, another solid performance for Eric Decker. Week in and week out, Decker proves that he’s an ideal second wide receiver for any offense. With Jacksonville’s top corner, Davon House, focused on Brandon Marshall, Decker found a lot of room to room in Jacksonville’s secondary. Decker ran his normal array of slants, crossing routes, and deep drags, easily beating man coverage at the line of scrimmage and out-muscling defenders at the catch point. Decker displayed his end-zone prowess in the first quarter by beating a defender and securing a 7-yard touchdown on a back shoulder throw. Decker was also instrumental on third downs, making big plays in the second half to keep drives alive.

WR Brandon Marshall, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 1 (8 targets)
Brandon Marshall turned in season lows for catches and yards, but made arguably the biggest play of the game. Late in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick found Marshall in the back of the endzone for a 20-yard touchdown. Marshall was blanketed by Davon House, but Marshall made an acrobatic dive to position himself to ultimately secure the ball. Marshall’s scoring play gave New York a 28-13 fourth quarter lead. Marshall should have turned in a bigger individual effort, but Fitzpatrick missed several throws throughout the game. Of note, Marshall ran wide open during the second quarter for what would be an easy touchdown grab, but Fitzpatrick badly misfired. At this point in his career, wins have become paramount for Marshall and he made a single play to secure a victory for his team.

WR Kenbrell Thompkins, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 45 - 0 (4 targets)
Kenbrell Thompkins was primarily targeted on short-to-intermediate routes and gained 38 of his 45 yards on a deep drag route midway through the fourth quarter. Thompkins was able to create separation at the line of scrimmage and found an open spot in Jacksonville’s deep zone coverage.

WR Jeremy Kerley, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (3 targets)
Unlike prior weeks, Jeremy Kerley did not have many opportunities to make plays. Primarily operating out of the slot and on special teams, Kerley ran short-to-intermediate routes and was only targeted on a few occasions. When targeted, Kerley’s body control and technical route running ability was on full display.

TE Jeff Cumberland, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 44 - 0 (3 targets)
For the first time this season, Jeff Cumberland made a big play to extend a drive. Cumberland ran free down the seam, fought through an initial arm tackle for a 43-yard gain.