The Jets (4-6) lost to the Bills (6-5), 32-6, in Orchard Park, NY, on Sunday. Here are three takeaways from Week 11.
O-Line Shuffle Continues
In Week 1 vs. the Bills, the Jets starting offensive line from left to right was Duane Brown, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton. In the return matchup Sunday in Western New York, only Tomlinson remained from a group that continues to be plagued by both personnel losses and continuity issues.
The team has started seven different line combinations and five in as many games. Overall, the Green & White has played 13 line combinations, tied for the fourth most in the NFL. The Jets also have played 13 different linemen, which is tied for third most in the league. (Offensive linemen who have entered the game as TEs in certain jumbo packages do not count towards these numbers).
On Sunday, the Green & White started, from left to right, Becton, Tomlinson, Joe Tippmann, Chris Glaser and Max Mitchell. Becton exited the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter when he was rolled up on and did not return, which thrusted rookie Carter Warren into the lineup in what were his first snaps in the NFL.
Glaser, in his third NFL game, took his first snaps on offense and made his first start. He signed to the Green & White active roster from the Cowboys practice squad on Nov. 1 after a stint with the Jets practice squad last season. He originally signed with the Chiefs in 2022 as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia. Xavier Newman, who started last week at Las Vegas, was not elevated from the practice squad as he was dealing with an injury.
Tomlinson was the only player on the offensive line that finished Sunday's game with more than 14 games under his belt and three-fifths of the group had played in 10 or fewer games.
"Credit to them, I thought they came in and battled," HC Robert Saleh said Sunday night. "They're here because they can play. And so, we've got to line up, we've got to find ways to generate a scheme that protects them but also gives them a chance to be successful. It's an exciting opportunity for them, that's the big thing. We'll see what we can do with it.
Rookie Snap Count Increases
The Jets had four rookies make their debut Sunday – RB Izzy Abanikanda, T Carter Warren, WR Jason Brownlee and CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse.
Abanikanda's debut was anticipated after the Jets waived RB Michael Carter last week. The Pitt product and Brooklyn native took 10 snaps on offense and had 1 carry for 11 yards. He also took 3 special teams snaps at kick returner and had a 19-yard return in the fourth quarter.
HC Robert Saleh hinted at other personnel changes that included Brownlee, an undrafted free agent out of Southern Mississippi, receiving more playing time. He took 19 snaps but was not targeted.
Second-round pick Joe Tippmann took the most snaps among of the rookies with 54, but Warren, a fourth-round pick out of Pitt, was second with 49.
Warren and Bernard-Converse, who took 7 special teams snaps Sunday, returned to practice from injuries on Oct. 4. Warren was then signed to the active roster 10 days later and JBC Oct. 24.
DE Will McDonald, the team's first-round pick, had one of, if not his best games this season. He had 2 QB hits and a 6-yard tackle for loss where he burst through the line of scrimmage.
See the best game action photos during Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.
Up and Down Special Teams Performance
The Jets special teams were a mixed bag on Sunday. Xavier Gipson fumbled the opening kickoff on a big hit by FB Reggie Gilliam that was recovered on the Jets' 21-yard line.
With two minutes left in the second quarter, the Jets successfully faked a punt as P Thomas Morstead completed a pass 10-yard pass to CB Brandin Echols, who gained an extra 8 yards after the catch.
"I am not good a multitasking so the good thing about it was there was no read, it was just throwing to a spot," Morstead said. "We just noticed the way [Bills CB Siran Neal] was turning his back and thought there would be a chance to do it and we executed."
RB Breece Hall scored forGreen & White with a 9-yard touchdown eight plays later, the team's first score in three games.