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The Patriots predictably disposed of the Jets effortlessly in the season finale, ultimately winning 26-6. From the Jets' perspective, the game was fairly meaningless, and they used it to get another look at some of the players whose future roles with the team are uncertain.
Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the defensive side of the ball:
The Jets were pushed around a bit up front as the Patriots racked up 147 rushing yards, albeit at just under four yards per carry. Other than Leonard Williams, they weren't very disruptive up front. Williams got pressure on Tom Brady a few times, hitting him once, and was also in on a few run stops. He almost blew up two other plays in the backfield, only to then miss the tackle. He was also blocked out of a few plays.
Steve McLendon and Mike Pennel made some stops against the run with McLendon also contributing a couple of pressures. McLendon also had a clean-up sack, but that was negated by a penalty, and he missed a tackle on one play. Pennel ended up with five tackles, all within three yards of the line of scrimmage.
Reserve Xavier Cooper saw plenty of action, but was handled at the point of attack on a number of plays, and only made one tackle against the run. He also jumped offside once, although he was one of a few players that the penalty could have been called on. Cooper was credited with a cheap sack after Brady took a dive and also deflected a pass.
Kony Ealy had his lowest snap count of the year, although he did pressure Brady on a couple of plays.
Darron Lee had a particularly tough game this week as he struggled to get off blocks at the second level all day, and was held to just two tackles. He was also beaten for a first down in coverage, had a missed tackle, and got taken out on an end around by a Brady block.
It has to be a concern that Lee's best performances this season were when Muhammad Wilkerson was playing well, but he's struggled whenever Wilkerson has been out, or was struggling due to injuries. If the Jets' defensive line is weaker next year, will this hurt Lee's chances of reaching his potential?
Demario Davis has been much more consistent than Lee this season, and he was productive again yesterday with a team-high 11 tackles, including two for a loss. He also contributed a pressure and a quarterback hit as a pass rusher, although he was beaten for a touchdown in coverage.
On the outside, Jordan Jenkins and Josh Martin were each held to a couple of pressures, and didn't make many impact plays, although Martin had a nice tackle for loss and Jenkins batted down a pass. They were both blocked out of a few plays, and Jenkins also had a costly penalty to negate a sack.
Off the bench, David Bass beat his man around the edge for a sack. He only had one other tackle, but penetrated well to bottle up another running play.
Obum Gwacham saw more action this week, and got close to pressuring Brady a couple of times, but was driven off the line on a rare play against the run.
Jamal Adams stepped up well this week with perhaps his most consistent game as a pro. He had 10 tackles, including one for a loss, and jumped a route for a nice pass break-up. He also played a big role in shutting down Rob Gronkowski, who played over 50 snaps, but wasn't targeted, despite the fact he had a chance to attain some lucrative incentive benchmarks with a big day.
Adams was blocked out of a few plays and dragged for extra yardage once, but more than made up for it with several plays near the line of scrimmage. This was despite the fact he played in the box less than usual due to a Marcus Maye injury.
Prior to the injury, which came on a play where he was called for a soft pass interference penalty down the field, Maye had perhaps been lucky a couple of times on overthrown deep balls where his man appeared to have a step on him.
Rontez Miles filled in for Maye and ended up with nine tackles, including four on special teams, but also missed a few in the second half.
At cornerback, Juston Burris had a tough game in coverage following some good recent performances. He gave up several first downs and a couple of costly holding penalties.
By contrast, Morris Claiborne, who had struggled recently, held up well. He made some good plays in coverage, breaking up two passes, although one of these was negated by a hold. However, he had a poor tackle in the flat, and he got in Buster Skrine's way on Brady's first half touchdown pass.
Skrine gave up a few plays in coverage and was called for a defensive hold, but also contributed some good plays in run support, which is something he's quietly done well all year. He also made a good open field tackle for a third-down stop, but then had a bad missed tackle in the flat.
Finally, Darryl Roberts saw action briefly in the first half when Claiborne was injured, having not played on defense in the previous two games.