Jets head coach Adam Gase left no doubt how he felt about WR Jamison Crowder returning to action from his hamstring injury against Denver:
"Anytime you can get your best receiver back on the field, that gets you fired up a little bit."
Crowder's motto for his return, meanwhile, was a modest one: "I just want to get out there and make plays and do what I can to get a win. I'm just going out there and trying to do what I can."
The Jets didn't get that win over the Broncos, but Crowder made plays. He gathered in seven receptions from Sam Darnold for 104 yards, including nifty completions for 27 and 35 yards. Thus, although Crowder has played in half the Jets' games heading into Arizona on Sunday, he's got twice as many 20-yard plays, four, as the next man on the list, WR Braxton Berrios with two.
And Crowder is on the verge of joining a fairly elite club in Jets franchise history: players who have three or more consecutive games with 100 receiving yards. Since Crowder had seven catches for 115 yards and his 69-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the opener and sat out the next two games, he's angling for No. 3 in a row vs. the Cards.
If he does it, he'd be only the third different Jets receiver to reach that milestone in the last 52 seasons.
Brandon Marshall was the last to build that streak, which he did twice in 2015 while teaming with Ryan Fitzpatrick — four straight 100-yard games early in the season, then three straight late. Before that, Al Toon had a pair of three-game streaks, in 1987 and '88.
And before that, we're back in the Joe Namath-to-Don Maynard era, with Maynard's last such stretch the franchise's longest at five games late in 1968 that began and ended with Oakland bookends. In Game 10, "the Heidi Game," Maynard had a franchise-record 228 yards and a TD on 10 catches. Then six weeks later (after sitting out the regular-season finale), he went 6-118-2 in the AFC Championship win over the Raiders.
In all, Crowder on Sunday could become the seventh different Jets/Titans pass-catcher to go for 100-plus three times in a row. But if so, he'd be the first in franchise history to do it with two different starting QBs, since Darnold will rest with a shoulder sprain and Joe Flacco will be the Green & White pitcher against Big Red at MetLife. Will that matter to Crowder? We're about to find out.
Huff on the Rise
Bryce Huff, the undrafted free agent DL/LB with a knack for sacks and TFLs while at Memphis, is getting more playing time, and with that is coming some big plays as a pro. In the first quarter against Denver, Huff read and reacted quickly on a first-quarter slip screen from QB Brett Rypien to RB Royce Freeman and took down the Bronco for a third-down 2-yard loss. In the fourth quarter, Huff forced Rypien into a intentional grounding penalty, again on third down.
Intentional grounding calls tend to be overlooked, since defenders get no credit for forcing errant throws in official play-by-plays. But we've been tracking the groundings caused by Jets defenders since 1997. Huff's IG is the 45th forced by a Jet in that span and he joins Kyle Phillips, Tarell Basham and Steve McLendon as current members of the Jets defense to force groundings, all since 2018.
The Green & White's defensive IG leaders over the last 24 seasons: LB Mo Lewis with four and DL Leonard Williams with three.
The reason this may factor in Sunday is because of Arizona QB Kyler Murray. He's one elusive dude, leading the Cards with 265 rushing yards, at 8.3/carry, and having been sacked only seven times for minus-16 yards. But there are a few ways to slow Murray down. He's personally committed six turnovers (five INTs, one FUM), and he has also been flagged three times for intentional grounding, the most by any NFL quarterback in the first four weeks of this season.