New York Jets Week 7 Stock Report
Things are looking up.
The New York Jets are 4-1 and in the thick of the playoff hunt nearly halfway through the season.
Their biggest challenge is right around the corner, though, as they travel up north to take on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Week 7. This game will serve as a measuring stick for exactly how far the Jets have come under new head coach Todd Bowles, and it could also serve as a true indicator of whether they stand a chance at winning the division.
With a relatively weak AFC, though, the Jets should have no problem making a run for the wild card—win or lose Sunday.
In Week 6, the Jets proved they can respond to adversity in their 34-20 win over the Washington Redskins. That's an important trait for any playoff team to have, but with that adversity comes the reasonable assumption that not everyone had a perfect game last week, despite the win.
So here's a look at some of the players whose stock is on the rise and others who need to turn things around.
Stock Up: Chris Ivory
With 312 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the past two games, running back Chris Ivory is on an amazing run. He has posted 140 rushing yards or more in each of the past two games, which makes him one of just 69 backs in NFL history who have done that.
With one more 140-plus-yard performance against the New England Patriots (who are yielding an average of 114 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per rush attempt), Ivory would become one of just 16 running backs with three straight games of 140 rushing yards or more.
Ivory ranks third in the NFL with 460 rushing yards, just 47 yards shy of Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. That being said, Forte has played two more games than Ivory (missed one game with an injury, plus the Jets' Week 5 bye).
The week off seemed to do Ivory some good in getting back to full health, and the Patriots run defense has been shaky so far, so expect his run of success to continue this week.
Stock Down: David Harris
There just aren't a lot of negative things to say about the Jets headed out of Week 6 and into Week 7, but if the Patriots expose one weakness, it's the Jets linebackers in coverage.
Namely, David Harris has sported a bull's-eye on his back and has been targeted with great success this season. So far, he's yielded 16 receptions on 19 throws into his coverage for 92 yards and a touchdown. Over the past two games, he's allowed receptions on eight of the nine passes thrown his way.
Harris is still an effective linebacker against the run and when he is sent after the quarterback in a pressure or blitz package; however, he is not now—nor has he ever been—an effective linebacker in pass coverage. The Jets should find ways to keep Harris out of the open field or at least to limit the opportunities their opponents will have to exploit his diminishing athleticism in the passing game.
Stock Up: Brandon Marshall
I'm getting a little tired of putting Brandon Marshall in the stock-up category every week, but I'm guessing defensive backs are getting even more tired of trying to prevent him from making insane grabs and having a huge impact on a weekly basis.
Marshall is playing receiver at a level that the Jets may have never seen at his position. He is the first receiver in Jets history to haul in at least six passes in five straight games, and his streak of four straight 100-yard games is the most since Don Maynard in 1969.
Marshall caught key passes every imaginable way last week. He reached out with his left hand and snared a one-handed grab that was way out in front of him. He doubled over to touch his toes and made a first base-grounder style grab that was way too low. He took the latter of those two for a touchdown by weaving his way through defenders.
Basically, Marshall is a beast. Until he stops being a beast, he deserves to be recognized and appreciated every week.
Stock Down: Calvin Pryor
Jets safety Calvin Pryor is a heat-seeking missile. The "Louisville Slugger" nickname is no accident; he lays the lumber to anyone in striking distance, and he would knock them out of the park if it were possible.
That being said, his aggressive style of play comes with its drawbacks. On Sunday against the Redskins, Pryor finished with six tackles but missed three more, according to Pro Football Focus. He also allowed completions on three of the four passes thrown into his coverage for the second straight week.
He's going to have a tough assignment in Week 7 when the Jets take on the New England Patriots. Pryor will be one of the men responsible for covering Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski when the 6'6", 265-pound tight end runs down the seam.
The Jets need Pryor to be an aggressive player, but they also need for him to play with a level head.
Stock Up: Sheldon Richardson
Welcome back, Sheldon.
The Jets didn't miss you while you were gone, but they're sure glad you're back.
Richardson wreaked havoc in the Redskins backfield on Sunday with six quarterback hurries and a sack, according to Pro Football Focus. The third-year All-Pro defensive tackle also contributed three tackles. The Jets allowed just 34 rushing yards on 17 carries against the Redskins, thanks in large part to Richardson's dominant play at the line of scrimmage.
Interestingly enough, it wasn't Leonard Williams who felt the impact of Richardson's return. In fact, Williams played 59 snaps to Richardson's 51. It was defensive end Quinton Coples, limited to just eight snaps, who felt the pinch.
The Jets may look for new and interesting ways to get everyone involved on defense this year, but now that Richardson is back, he'll surely be in that mix.
Unless otherwise noted, all advanced statistics obtained via Pro Football Focus.