Five Jets to keep an eye on as the Green & White greet the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their final home game of the season at MetLife Stadium on Sunday:
WR/KR Braxton Berrios — We'll roll with Berrios for a second week as a Jet in the spotlight. He's become a go-to, chain-moving wideout for Wilson, especially with Jamison Crowder (calf) doubtful and TEs decimated for the game. Equally important is Berrios' Pro Bowl-caliber returning. His TD runback vs. the Jags helped lift his NFL-leading return average to 30.7. Want more? Tampa Bay's coverage team is ranked 30th, just above Jacksonville's 31st, allowing 27.1 yards/return. Along with Brax's punt returning and other factors that we'll note in Saturday's Inside the Numbers, the Jets' plus12.3-yard field-position differential over the Jaguars was their best figure in the last three seasons, and a big reason for that was Brax.
C Dan Feeney — The OL was beset by more adversity, with C Connor McGovern's knee injury vs. the Jaguars sending him to IR. Feeney and his mullet took over and looked right at home. And why wouldn't they? Feeney tied for the NFL lead in offensive plays in 2020, taking every one of the Chargers' snaps that season — all at center. And from 2018-20, he was 15th on the NFL's offensive snaps list for all positions. Dude's been around the block. Another plus: Last week Feeney played all 58 plays, the first 51 at LG, the last 7 at C, in a game in which the Jets averaged 7.6 yards/carry and gave up one Zach sack. Still, keep an eye on No. 67 to make sure he gets all his snaps into Wilson's hands and leads the line against a Bucs front that will may missing top sacker Shaq Barrett and one of their top defenders in Lavonte David.
See the Top Practice Images from Wednesday of Bucs Week at 1 Jets Drive
DL John Franklin-Myers — JFM has come off Reserve/COVID and was practicing this week. He leads the Jets with Quinnen Williams (who may not be active due to COVID) with 6.0 sacks and 12 QB hits and tops the defense with 35.5 QB hurries. Tom Brady is hard to rattle as we all know. On the other hand, TB has thrown 11 interceptions and lost 3 fumbles this season, with his 14 giveaways his most in a season since 2013. If Franklin-Myers can generate effective pressure along with Bryce Huff, Kyle Phillips and the rest of the DL, that could give the Jets' back end the "opp" for a takeaway (or two?).
Safeties Ashtyn Davis and Elijah Riley — The Jets' safety position has been under the gun all season, but HC Robert Saleh, DC Jeff Ulbrich and safeties coach Marquand Manuel along with the players available have held it together. This week, Davis could return from the COVID protocols and Riley, off his concussion of two weeks ago, is practicing full. If one or the other can't go, rookie CB convert Jason Pinnock and Will Parks will step in. The position is key because Tom Brady leads NFL passers in attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns, and Rob Gronkowski, while not the league's most dangerous TE anymore, is still productive with 41 catches, 550 yards and six TDs. If the newly returned John Franklin-Myers can bring pressure on Brady, it will be up to the Jets safeties to take advantage of that and limit the damage that