Jets unleash relentless blitz, led by LBs Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets' weekly stock watch, examining the risers and fallers from Thursday night's 34-21 win over the Buffalo Bills (pre-film review):


LB Jordan Jenkins -- The second-year linebacker played his best game as a pro, becoming the Jets' first player since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2005 to record two sacks and a forced fumble in a game. "I'm not going to lie," he said, smiling, "it felt pretty good." Jenkins set the tone by sacking Tyrod Taylor on the first series. The Jets recorded a season-high seven sacks, blitzing from the moment the national anthem ended. Before going up by 17 points in the fourth quarter, the Jets blitzed Taylor on 75 percent of his dropbacks, per ESPN Stats & Information. They accounted for five sacks via the blitz, the most Taylor has ever been sacked by the blitz in a game. The Jets entered the game with only six sacks on blitzes.

LB Darron Lee -- His season began horribly (remember the mess in Oakland?), but Lee has been one of the most improved players in recent weeks. He recorded eight tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss. He's played fast and decisively, the way the Jets envisioned when they made him a first-round pick. "He had two blunders early in the season, but he wasn't playing bad," coach Todd Bowles said. "He studies hard, he's determined to be a good player and he puts in the work."

DE Muhammad Wilkerson -- His past three games were a lot better than the first six, that's for sure. Playing on a bad wheel on three days' rest, Wilkerson recorded a sack for the second straight week and deflected a pass. Because of foot and shoulder injuries, he hasn't practiced in four weeks. "I don't know how he does it," Bowles said. More than most, Wilkerson will benefit from the mini-bye.

RB Matt Forte -- He scored twice, ending an 11-game touchdown drought -- easily the longest of his career. He wasn't happy about getting only four carries in the previous game, but maybe that helped him because he looked fresh. Forte averaged a season-high 3.6 yards per rush before contact, his second best since joining the Jets. He spoke up about the playcalling, establishing himself as the EF Hutton of the locker room. For the younger crowd not familiar with the reference, just Google it.

The offensive line -- This unit, which had struggled in recent weeks to get a push in the running game, responded to a midweek challenge from the coaches. The Jets rushed for 194 yards against a defense that had been allowing only 80 yards per game. Prompted by Forte and the concerns of others, they featured the ground game and never deviated. They made a nice adjustment. Without fullback Lawrence Thomas, who sat with a concussion, they used tight end Eric Tomlinson in the backfield at times. On the NFL Network telecast, analyst Tony Romo raved about Tomlinson's blocking skills.


WR ArDarius Stewart -- When Jeremy Kerley went down in the first half with a foot injury, it was Chad Hansen -- not Stewart -- who stepped into the No. 3 receiver role. Hansen played a season-high 32 snaps, while fellow rookie Stewart played only 18. Bowles said Hansen hasn't leapfrogged Stewart on the depth chart, explaining that Hansen got the bulk of the work because of positional "gymnastics." This has been an odd couple of games for Stewart, who was inactive last week for the first time.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins -- We're nitpicking, because this has been a terrific year for Seferian-Jenkins, but he committed two penalties, bringing his season total to six, tied with guard Brian Winters for the most on offense.