NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 16 Game Recap: New York Jets 26, Jacksonville Jaguars 21

New York Jets running back Michael Carter (32) rushes against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeat the Jaguars, 26-21, on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in East Rutherford. Nyj Vs Jax

In a battle between two AFC teams, the New York Jets defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-21.

While the two teams have already been eliminated from the playoffs, this matchup was still crucial for the development of the first two picks of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson made arguably the best play of his young career when he scrambled 52 yards for a touchdown. On the other sideline, Trevor Lawrence continued to struggle.

With their victory, the Jets advanced to 4-11, while the Jaguars drop to 2-13.

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New York Jets

Quarterback

It has been a tough year for Zach Wilson. While his play is certainly a major reason for his struggles, it didn't help that he was without his top three receivers today.

Wilson completed 14 of his 22 attempts for 102 yards and a single touchdown. And while no interceptions were officially recorded, he still had a single turnover-worthy play and survived several other close calls. All of this led to a 59.7 passing grade on PFF's first review.

However, he had quite the day on the ground, rushing three times for 89 yards and a long touchdown. 

Running Back

Michael Carter has been a solid rushing option for the team when the aerial attack wasn’t effective enough. Today, Carter rushed 16 times for 118 yards and five first downs, leading the way to a solid 83.9 rushing grade.

Behind him, Tevin Coleman logged four attempts for 57 yards.

As a receiving duo, both had below-average days. Between the two, they caught all three of their targets for 10 yards.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Jamison Crowder were all out today, which meant that other receivers were the focal point of the offense. 

Braxton Berrios, a 26-year-old product of the Miami Hurricanes had an impressive day, catching all five of his targets for 37 yards. He moved the chains four times for first downs and received a 76.7 receiving grade on first review. Berrios averaged a team-leading 1.68 yards per route run.

Berrios also had a big play on special teams, as he returned a kickoff 102 yards for a score.

Keelan Cole caught both of his two targets for 25 yards, and Tyler Kroft caught two of his four targets for 24 yards. No other Jets receiver had more than 10 receiving yards.

Offensive Line

The offensive line allowed seven pressures and had eight total negatively graded plays. The highest-graded starter was Connor McGovern, who earned an overall grade of just 70.2 on first review.

Poor Offensive Line Play vs. Jacksonville | Wk. 16
Player Offensive Grade Run-Blocking Grade Pass-Blocking Grade Pressures Negatively Graded Pass-Blocking Plays
Connor McGovern 70.2 68.0 74.0 1 1
George Fant 69.5 59.3 88.5 0 0
Morgan Moses 66.1 65.3 63.2 1 2
Greg Van Roten 63.1 66.8 35.3 3 3
Dan Feeney 59.8 58.2 62.5 2 2

A highlight for the offensive line unit today was surely the Wilson-Conor McDermott touchdown connection in the fourth quarter. Yeah, you heard that right — a big-man receiving touchdown.

Defensive Line

The New York defensive line isn’t great, but there is definitely some talent that can be developed. When covering the rush, Bryce Huff led the way with three tackles and a tackle for a loss.

While Jacksonville lost their leading rusher James Robinson early, the unit was effective in stopping his replacement.

From a pass-rushing perspective, Nathan Shepherd led the unit with four total pressures — three hurries and a hit. Ne finished the day with a 21.1% pass-rush win percentage.

Linebacker

The Jets linebacking corps looked good enough during today’s battle. C.J. Mosley was the big story of the day at this position, with an 82.0 defensive grade on the first review. He recorded a sack on one of his two pass-rushing snaps and tallied three tackles.

Secondary

Javelin Guidry led the unit by recording four tackles and two assists. He allowed 57 yards and two first downs on seven targets, but it’s worth noting that the majority of his yardage allowed came on two 15-plus-yard gains.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterback

If you’re a Jacksonville fan, it’s about time you called this season a wash. The team has gotten rid of head coach Urban Meyer, and now the focus is on 2022 and the continued development of Trevor Lawrence.

Today, Lawrence went 25-for-39 for 280 yards. He fumbled twice and lost one, resulting in two turnover-worthy plays, but he still had two big-time throws. All of this was for naught, though. This was the eighth game this year that Lawrence didn’t throw a passing touchdown.

Running Back

James Robinson left the game early with a non-contact injury that is now confirmed to be an Achilles tear. Before the injury, he rushed just three times for nine yards.

In his absence, Dare Ogunbowale took over the role of lead running back. He rushed 17 times for 57 yards and a touchdown. As a receiver, he caught two of his four targets for 15 yards.

Receiver Tavon Austin also took some rushing duties, resulting in three attempts for 21 yards.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

The Jaguars’ receiving unit truly is a mixed bag. Some days, they look awful and like a reason why Lawrence might be struggling. Other days, they look like a decent asset to the young quarterback. Luckily for fans in Duval County, today was the latter.

Marvin Jones Jr. was the leading pass-catcher. He caught eight of his 13 targets for 74 yards and five first downs.

Tavon Austin and Laquon Treadwell were behind him, with 68 and 54 receiving yards, respectively. Tight end James O’Shaughnessy has also become a great weapon for Lawrence. This young chemistry resulted in four receptions on four targets for 49 yards and three first downs.

Offensive Line

Like the Jets, a lot of work can be done to this offensive line to help the team’s young quarterback out. In total, the unit allowed nine pressures, including one sack, seven hurries and a quarterback hit.

Cam Robinson was the standout lineman today, grading at 83.7 as a run-blocker and 78.3 in pass protection on first review.

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Will Richardson (76) recovers the fumble by Trevor Lawrence for a touchdown against the New York Jets in the first half at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in East Rutherford.
Nyj Vs Jax
Defensive Line

Poor defensive line play has plagued both teams this season, and the Jaguars were without one of their best defensive linemen, Josh Allen, which made pass-rushing a little more difficult. 

Still, Jacksonville managed to put Wilson under pressure a little bit. The unit generated 10 total pressures, including a sack and eight hurries. 

Filling the Allen-sized pass-rushing hole was Davon Hamilton, who stepped up and recorded three hurries on just nine pass-rushing snaps. He also recorded three tackles and three assists when defending the run.

Roy Robertson-Harris also looked great when blocking the run. He recorded three tackles and an assist.

Linebacker

It was a great day in coverage for Jacksonville’s linebackers. In total, they allowed just nine receptions and 50 yards on 11 targets. Still, Shaquille Quarterman looked great. He allowed only two yards on the way to a 79.2 coverage grade on first review.

Chapelle Russell also looked great, allowing just 14 yards while also recording three tackles.

Secondary

It was a mixed bag for the Jaguars secondary today. Nevin Lawson and Shaquill Griffin were good assets for the team, allowing zero receptions between the both of them.

On the other hand, Tyson Campbell and Rudy Ford were picked apart. The duo collectively allowed four receptions for 47 yards and three first downs.

As ugly as it sounds, the MVP for the Jaguars today was kicker Matthew Wright, who hit all three of his field goals for nine of the team’s 21 total points.

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