New York Jets Week 6 Stock Report
The New York Jets are 3-1, to the surprise of many, and their remaining schedule is fairly light.
Indeed, the stock is rising all over MetLife Stadium as the Jets come out of the bye week with players getting healthy and a schedule that is relatively soft.
The only true tests they still have to face are against the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. All of those are winnable games, even if the Jets will be the underdog in most of them. The rest of the games? The Jets should be favorites, almost without exception.
But as always, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Some players are carrying their weight, while others need to pick up the slack.
Who's on the rise, and who's taking a step back headed into Week 6?
Stock Up: Chris Ivory
The Jets may be operating a new style of offense under coordinator Chan Gailey, but running back Chris Ivory remains a big part of the game plan, and it's no mystery why.
Would-be tacklers are bouncing right off him, as the veteran back is averaging 3.27 yards per carry after contact, the third-highest average in the league among qualifying running backs, according to stats website Pro Football Focus. Last week against the Miami Dolphins, Ivory bounced off 6'4", 320-pound defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on his way to a big gain.
The thing is, we haven't even seen the best Ivory has to offer. He was sidelined in Week 3 with an injury, but thanks to a bye in Week 5, he should be back to 100 percent sooner than later—if he's not already.
So long as Ivory is fully healthy and taking handoffs, the Jets offense should keep right on rolling.
Stock Down: Muhammad Wilkerson
Not everyone who lands in the "stock down" category does so because of on-field performance. Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson can attest to that.
The veteran lineman has played some of the best football of his career this season with 12 quarterback hurries, four hits and three sacks, according to Pro Football Focus. Whether he'll continue on that path, though, might depend on his health. According to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini, Wilkerson has been experiencing some soreness in his ribs. His X-rays came back negative, but his status bears monitoring.
That's especially true given the fact that defensive end Sheldon Richardson will return from a four-game suspension this week against the Washington Redskins. The Jets coaches will surely want to ease Richardson back into the mix, as it's been nearly two full months since he last played a football game. That being said, the Jets might have a perfect opportunity for a win-win by reducing Wilkerson's workload.
The Jets have a luxury with one of the deepest groups of defensive linemen in the league. They would be foolish not to maximize their resources.
Stock Up: Leonard Williams
He got off to a slow start to the season against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1. By the time Week 4 rolled around, though, Williams was making a statement at the expense of the Dolphins offensive line. According to Pro Football Focus, he notched four quarterback hurries and five hits of Ryan Tannehill in London.
It's still early in the season, but Williams is one of the NFL's top 10 3-4 defensive ends in both run-stop percentage (9.6 percent) and pass-rushing productivity (10 hurries, seven hits, one sack), per PFF.
Due to the Jets' overwhelming defensive line depth, Williams was considered a luxury pick when the team made the selection back in April. As it turns out, his presence was more of a necessity than anyone could have predicted, due to Sheldon Richardson's four-game suspension.
Stock Down: Buster Skrine
With Darrelle Revis locking down one receiver, opposing quarterbacks have to look elsewhere. One place they've looked frequently has been anyone or anywhere being covered by cornerback Buster Skrine.
This season, Skrine has been targeted 28 times and has given up 17 receptions for 192 yards, per Pro Football Focus. In Week 4 against the Dolphins, he was targeted 10 times and yielded six receptions for 82 yards.
For his part, Skrine excelled in another way. The Jets sent him on a cornerback blitz 12 (!) times, resulting in four quarterback hurries and one hit. His 12 pass-rush attempts were nearly twice as many as he had all season before that game (seven in the first three games), so this was clearly a wrinkle that the Jets used to take advantage of a weakness in the Dolphins' protection scheme.
So, while Skrine's coverage has left something to be desired, it hasn't all been bad for the slot cornerback.
Stock Up: Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall is on a run unlike any wide receiver in Jets history.
He has opened the season with four straight games of six catches or more. If Marshall finishes Sunday with six or more catches, he will be the first receiver in Jets history to post five straight games with that many receptions. His 30 receptions are tied for the second-most in team history through four games, and his 400 receiving yards are the fourth-most in team history through four games.
If those accolades aren't worthy of inclusion in the "stock up" category, I don't know what is.
The Jets have a dynamic one-two punch at wide receiver with Marshall and Eric Decker, and that's part of the reason for their 3-1 record.