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Week 8 Game Recap: New York Jets 15, Jacksonville Jaguars 29


What you need to know

New York Jets

What is there to say about this team? Nothing works, and the suck has even caught up to LeíVeon Bell, who didnít see much work on the ground and even less through the air. Ryan Griffin had two scores, but you canít count on that from and offense which has had almost no touchdowns this season. The Jets are a mess, the offensive line is bad at both pass and run blocking and to say the playcalling is uninspired is to insult truly uninspiring things. The Jets are mired below mediocrity and thereís nothing here a fantasy owner should depend on as more than an emergency spot.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off a 29-15 home win against the struggling New York Jets on Sunday thanks to a complete game from the offense and defense. Offensively, they racked up 21 first downs and almost 400 yards of offense despite facing a stingy Jets defense. The Jaguars offense was able to score in only four plays on their first drive and ultimately had two plays over 60 yards, showing signs of the explosive offense the Jaguars had in the earlier part of the season.

New York Jets

QB Sam Darnold, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 30 - 218 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0
This week wasnít awful, but only because last Monday against the Patriots set the bar low. Itís hard to gain any real insight into Darnoldís ability when heís under constant pressure, and the eight sacks, while a lot, could have been added to if not for the odd timely block or scramble by Darnold. The offensive line is awful, the playcalling is sub-par and doing him no favors, and both are contributing to his turnovers. By the same token, he needs to make better decisions. He forces a ball when he should take a sack or throw it away, holds the ball when he needs to get rid of it or run and generally has regressed rather majorly over the course of those season. Darnold does not look prepared to play since returning to active status, but that could be said of the entire team.

RB LeVeon Bell, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 23 - 0, Rec: 3 - 12 - 0 (5 targets)
Itís baffling that a player who is as good as Bell was as underutilized as he was against Jacksonville, especially with as badly as his quarterback was being beaten on. Bell only carried the ball nine times, and just three times in the second half. He didnít see the ball on passing downs very often either, which makes it three weeks in a row where heís a minimal factor in the passing game. Bell continues to show patience waiting for holes to form and quickness running through them, but they are few and far between and this week the defense he faced finally slowed him down enough to limit his yards per carry. He did do a great job as a misdirection on one of tight end Ryan Griffinís touchdowns, as most of the defense followed the former Steeler and Griffin was left relatively open. Again, though, nine carries is not much for a back like Bell.

RB Bilal Powell, 10 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 11 - 0
Powell just did some cleanup work for Bell. He continues to not be a factor.

WR Demaryius Thomas, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 63 - 0 (5 targets)
Thomas caught all of his targets but didnít make much of an impact overall. Whether because he gets open quickly or because itís being schemed to happen, Thomas is getting as many looks as anyone on this offense, but heís not able to break free enough to pile up any real yardage.

WR Robby Anderson, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 43 - 0 (6 targets)
Anderson should have had a long reception but was called for offensive pass interference, and was the target on two of Sam Darnoldís interceptions. Thereís no time for Darnold to throw behind his terrible offensive line, so itís a bit shocking that Anderson gets as many targets as he does, considering his game is mostly deep vertical routes.

WR Vyncint Smith, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 13 - 0, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (4 targets)
Smith was the target on Sam Darnoldís second to last interception, but found some success on a solid 13-yard run late in the game.

WR Jamison Crowder, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (5 targets)
While everyone hoped the return of Sam Darnold would mean a rise in Jamison Crowderís prominence, that hasnít been the case. Crowder still seems to get open on a semi-regular basis but either Darnold isnít seeing him or the play is schemed away from Crowder. Given Crowderís ability on short-to-intermediate routes, you would think the Jets would use him as an outlet for Darnold when under pressure, but thatís not happening. Whatever magic they had in Week 1, itís long gone.

TE Ryan Griffin, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 66 - 2 (4 targets)
Overall he has shown himself as more than a blocker, and itís likely that ability which has allowed the Jets to keep Chris Herndon off the field until heís completely healed.


Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Gardner Minshew, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 34 - 279 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 28 - 0
Gardner Minshew had his worst two-game stretch in Weeks 6 & 7, but he rebounded in Week 8 and had perhaps his best performance all season. He finished the game 22/34 for 279 yards and three touchdowns, and also added on 28 yards on the ground. It was Minshew's first three-touchdown game of his career and it was a result of a drastic improvement in pocket movement and awareness from the rookie. Instead of getting happy feet and bailing from pressure too early, he stayed tough in the pocket, set his feet and delivered strike after strike. He saw mostly man coverage on Sunday and was able to hit his wideouts with both touch and velocity passes to take advantage of open windows.

His three touchdowns were the result of good chemistry between him and his wide receivers, as well as a keen ability to extend plays and create positive gains when the structure of a play breakdown. The best examples of these were Minshew's second and third touchdowns -- a 70-yard pass to Chris Conley and a eight-yard yard pass to DJ Chark. On the pass to Conley, Minshew was designed to sprint out to his right but a blitzing Jamal Adams met him on the edge. He sidestepped Adams and then threw a touch pass to Conley while on the move, with Conley taking the catch all the way for a score.

On the throw to Chark, Minshew once again evaded Jets defenders but this time it was more than just ont blitzing safety. As the play progressed, no receivers found themselves open so Minshew broke to his right. He was met in space by two Jets defenders but was able to find space behind the LOS to avoid them before tossing a perfelctly placed pass to Chark for a score.

RB Leonard Fournette, 60 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 76 - 0, Rec: 7 - 60 - 0 (7 targets)
Leonard Fournette had one of his toughest tests of the season against a Jets defensive front that has done a good job of stopping the run all season, but he started the game off with a bang as he took his first handoff 66 yards into Jets territory. The play was a good example of Fournette showing patience on inside zone before breaking a tackle at the second level. Unfortunately for Fournette, he was caught from behind by Jamal Adams after he made a poor decision to cut back to the other side of the field during the run, which has been far too frequent of an occurrence this season.

Fournette struggled on the ground for the rest of the game due to a gluttony of negative runs caused by poor blocking from the OL, TEs and WRs. He finished his day with 76 yards on 19 rushes, with 66 coming on that one carry. He did contribute greatly as a pass catcher, however, catching all seven of his targets for 60 yards. The best play came on 3rd down in the fourth quarter in the red-zone, a play that helped set up the aforementioned Chark touchdown. On this play, he ran a wheel route out of the backfield and created easy separation against the linebacker before doing a great job of tracking the pass along the sideline and bringing it in for the conversion.

Fournette once again failed to register a touchdown, but he was given the ball often and for the most part he made the best of his opportunities.

RB Ryquell Armstead, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 7 - 0
Rookie running back Ryquell Armstead played the most snaps he has played all season but he had the same tough sledding that Leonard Fournette had, carrying it six times for only seven yards. Like Fournette, Armstead simply had zero running room. He did get a few red-zone carries and was the primary running back every time Fournette was not on the field, so the hope is he can still poach a touchdown here and there.

WR D.J. Chark, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 6 - 79 - 1 (12 targets)
DJ Chark continued his strong 2019 campaign by recording a six catch for 79 yards performance, with the aforementioned touchdown added in. He gained easy seperation against the Jets' defensive backs all game long, particually beating them on inside breaking routes such as slants and digs. He caught one 19-yard pass on a backside dig that showed an improved ability to win the rep off of his release off of the line, eating up cushion with long strides that creeped up on the corner.

His touchdown was the result of good chemistry with Minshew. He ran a drag from the backside of the formation and once he saw Minshew break from the pocket, he looked for a hole in the Jets' zone coverage before settling in near the sideline nearest to Minshew. He did have one 3rd down drop for the second week in a row, but Sunday was another positive step for the second-year wide receiver. He saw six targets, the second-most on the team behind Fournette's seven.

WR Chris Conley, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 103 - 1 (7 targets)
Chris Conley had his second consecutive big game for the Jaguars, hauling in four of his seven targets for a career-high 103 yards and one touchdown. The vast majority of his yards came on a 70-yard touchdown, which saw him run a crossing route against cover 3. The Jets' linebackers bit downhill when Minshew stepped up in the pocket and gave Conley a wide-open space to catch the ball in, and he then showed off his tremendous speed as he simply outran the rest of the defenders for the longest touchdown of his career. He did drop a pass, but ultimately he provided a big-bodied target for Minshew to hit underneath and across the middle of the field.

WR Keelan Cole, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 12 - 1 (2 targets)
Keelan Cole caught two passes for 12 yards in relief of Westbrook and an injured Marqise Lee, and he caught a touchdown for the second week in a row. His touchdown was the result of good route running as he beat Jamal Adams on an zig route for a six-yard score as he made Adams bite on his outside move before Cole won the inside leverage and provided an easy target for Minshew in the back of the end zone.

WR Dede Westbrook, 31 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Dede Westbrook only played one half of football before leaving with a shoulder and neck injury, but he did not record a catch on his lone target. Westbrook has been amongst the Jaguars' most heavily targeted players all season, so if he continues to deal with a shoulder injury it would be a big loss for the Jacksonville offense.

TE Josh Oliver, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)
Josh Oliver was only targeted twice on Sunday and finished his day with one catch for six yards with one drop. He did a good job of finding open zones and eating up linebacker cushions off of his releases, but he has yet to make a big impact on the passing game. His drop came when Minshew threw a pass slightly behind him before he adjusted his body for the ball. While he got his body around, the pass went in and out of his hands.