Today’s game had a lot of ups and downs on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the team was performing great in the first half, but once again disappeared in the 2nd. Defensively, the team seemed to be letting the porous Jets offense, (ranked 28th in the NFL) walk all over them, but they were still able to come up with some huge stops and do just enough to let an improving offense come up with the play in overtime to win the game. Here’s the players that I’ve compiled for today’s game that are worthy of consideration for the player of the game award.
Teddy Bridgewater: Teddy had another good game, showing improvement in his awareness of the field and improved stats to go along with it. After getting pummeled on the first drive for a safety, he piled up 309 yards of passing on 19/29 attempts in just over 4-quarters of play that also included an interception and 2-TDs (which really should be 3). His rating today was an impressive 117.7. Teddy also deserves props both for hanging in there with the constant pressure being thrown at him by a depleted and severely under-performing offensive line, and for making the last-second adjustment in the final play of the game, recognizing the cover-0 attack and calling and executing the play that allowed his teammates to win the game.
Jarius Wright: Making 3 catches for 45 yards and one rush for another 23 in regulation isn’t much to warrant consideration for player of the game honors. Luckily for Wright, this game didn’t end in regulation. On what turned out to be the final play of overtime, Jarius caught a screen pass a couple yards behind the line of scrimmage, danced between his blockers and around another defender and then raced 87-yards to the endzone for the TD, making a gigantic play in the most crucial time of the game that he could have, leading his team off the field for the victory.
Charles Johnson: Charles has quickly become what appears to be Teddy’s favorite target. He’s frequently getting open downfield and helping the rookie to build confidence in his deep throws. Charles only caught 4 of the 8-balls thrown his way, but did so for 103-yards and a TD. Granted he dropped another would-be catch in the endzone, there’s some controversy about whether or not interference should have been called to negate that drop. Also, had he not dropped the ball as he was crossing the endzone, Felton’s TD would have been another one for Charles’ stats today, but instead Felton got credit for a fumble recovery in the endzone while Johnson gave away credit for a receiving TD and Teddy lost credit for what should have been a passing TD.
Gerald Hodges: Hodges got his second start of the year, this time filling in for rookie OLB Anthony Barr. Tied for 3rd on the team in tackles with 8, he also notched two pass deflections and that AMAZING pick-6 on the first play of the game! This kid looks like a solid play-maker, and may be a great replacement for Greenway once he and the team eventually decide to part ways.
Harrison Smith: In a game where your safeties have the 2nd and 3rd most tackles on the team, that generally says a lot about the under-performance from the rest of the defense. Nonetheless, the safeties were able to make tackles and not let the Jets playmakers past our last line of defense often enough to keep them out of the endzone for most of the game. Harrison Smith makes the list not only because he had the 3rd most tackles at 8, but also because he was able to blitz in and take down Geno Smith for a huge 3rd down sack early in the game on a drive that was looking very promising for the Jets up until that point, but that ended in a punt after this big play.
Captain Munnerlyn: While Captain only came up with one tackle on the day, he was able to get a big turnover for the team. The Jets were driving hard with a relentless running attack that the Vikings appeared to be completely incapable of stopping. Then by some miracle, as a player was pounding it up the middle with his eye on the endzone, Captain was able to pick up a fumble and stop a drive that almost seemed guaranteed to add 7-points to New York’s score.
That’s today’s list. Honorable mention goes out to Xavier Rhodes who was credited with 4-tackles and 3 pass deflections, Andrew Sendejo for forcing the fumble that Munnerlyn picked up after coming in for an injured Blanton, Greg Jennings who tallied up 5-catches for 52 yards including a Cris Carter-esque toe tapper that was upheld on the challenge, and to Everson Griffen and Brian Robison who both came up with a sack. Place your vote!