Bob Wischusen has been the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Jets for 19 years. Lasting all season, Wischusen will share thoughts about the Green & White in a weekly column.
Jets First Win
I thought the most impressive aspects of the Jets' first win of the season was how they took the particular strength of the Rams on each side of the ball and neutralized it. The Rams were the No. 1 defensive team in the league and No. 3 in scoring -- and their defensive line, led usually by Aaron Donald who terrorizes opposing quarterbacks -- and they protected Sam Darnold. The play calling seemed to keep the Rams off balance and off schedule almost the entire game. Early in the game it was check down to the flats, later in the game Darnold pushed the ball down the field when the check downs were taken away. And for the first time this year, the Jets seemed to have answers for the adjustments that a defense made. For the Jets defensively, they seemed to take Jared Goff out of his game early and keep him off balance as well. All in all, it seemed like on both sides of the ball, the Jets seemed to have answers to questions posed by one of the best teams in the league.
A Defensive Front
Thinking about the Jets win over the Rams, if there were any players that stood out, I would look to the guys on the defensive line. Nathan Shepherd, in the absence of Foley Fatukasi seemed to have his best and most effective game of the season. Once again Quinnen Williams, before he left the game with a head injury, seemed to be just about unblockable. The Rams have three running backs, a consistent run game, all three are usually involved and it keeps them ahead of the game. The run game makes life easy on Goff who is a effective play-action quarterback. But with Williams, Shepherd and the rest of the Jets defensive front, controlling the line of scrimmage in a way that they have not in most of this season, they did an outstanding job of keeping them behind the chains and on the Jets schedule. As a result, that group had a lot to do with the team's first win of the year.
What does this Jets' win over the Rams do to the team's future? Time will tell. You have to wait for the season to be complete to know where the Jets will draft and what direction they may go. But if it turns out they're not picking first and QB Trevor Lawrence is not the No. 1 option, then things get interesting at quarterback. You wonder how this team views Darnold's tenure. I have a soft spot of Darnold. He is exactly the kind of leader and person you want as the face of your franchise. I think he can still be a top-flight NFL QB. I absolutely believe that he has a future as a No. 1 starter in the league. The debate now internally with the Jets becomes what direction to go at the most important position if they don't have the first pick in the draft. But if someone were to tell me that the worst-case scenario is Darnold as the starting quarterback, that is an awfully strong position to be in if that's a worst case. That bodes well for the Jets' most important position on the field, and it's been a long time since we knew that the Jets had a good future at QB.