The Jets' Terrific Twos, their draft class plus free agents from 2016, continued to make progress with this morning's word that LB Jordan Jenkins was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week after racking up his two sacks and forced fumble against the Bills.
"That just shocked me," Jenkins said today of the honor. "It's never something I really thought I was going to get. I'm definitely honored to have gotten that and it's definitely going to pressure me into trying to repeat that type of performance the rest of the season."
One positive notice from the league isn't a game-changer, but in general the Jets' second-year players are making their presence felt as this surprising season rolls along.
"I feel we're really starting to understand the game more and really just starting to play a little bit better," Jenkins said. "We're really clicking together and understanding how to play at a high level."
Darron Lee — In the last three games, the Jets' top pick of '16 has notched two 11-tackle games, three tackles for loss, his second sack and a pass defense. Lee started slowly but right now he's moved to the top of the defensive charts with 10 tackles for loss/no gain, 6.5 of those TFLs, and including those two sacks 12 tackles at or behind the line. All of those season totals lead the Jets.
Jenkins — His first sack of Tyrod Taylor came on the Jets' first defensive play and later he stripped Taylor, with Demario Davis recovering and the offense cashing in for seven points. That came one week after he pounced on Matt Ryan's first aborted center snap against the Falcons.
Robby Anderson — For the offense, Anderson was a free agent but he's playing like a high pick. He's leading the Jets with 483 yards and a 15.6-yard average on 31 catches with four touchdown receptions — including one in each of the last three games.
Brandon Shell — He was the opening-day RT starter and has started six games, with improving reports from head coach Todd Bowles, missing three starts with injuries.
Juston Burris— Like Lee and Jenkins, he got off to a slow start but has been picking up speed on special teams and is working back in on defense. He got a match for his opening-day interception when he stripped and recovered a fumble by Buffalo WR Jordan Matthews.
And let's not forget punter Lachlan Edwards, a seventh-rounder last year who's improved in all key metrics in year two, including my favorite — with two more inside-the-10 punts vs. the Bills, he has six I-10's the last three games, as many as he had all of his rookie season.
"You always know who you came in with," Edwards said of the Terrific Twos. "I know traditionally draft classes start to drop pretty quickly after a couple of years. It's good to see all the guys around still."
And perhaps this is one of those rare classes that will stick together, contributing more and more this season and in the coming years. So far, so good.