By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets wrapped up a terribly disappointing season with a 37-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins Sunday afternoon. The Jets finally had an offensive performance good enough to win a lot of games this season, as quarterback Geno Smith had a perfect passer rating and wide receiver Eric Decker went over 200 yards receiving, but it was too little too late.
Here is a look at those players that deserve Game Balls after the big win over the Dolphins, and those that are saddled with Game Falls for not doing their part.
Geno Smith: For once, Smith actually played like a legitimate starting quarterback. He had a perfect passer rating in completing 20-of-25 passes for 358 yards and three touchdowns. Smith didn't throw an interception, but did fumble once. He led five scoring drives in the second half alone. He also finally found a target at wide receiver, finding Eric Decker 10 times for over 200 yards. But it was too little too late. Smith probably will get a shot to start again next season, which no Jets fan wants to see. He could be the only option, however. At least this performance make that fact hurt a little less. Just a little.
Eric Decker: For one day, Decker probably thought he was back in Denver, catching 10 passes for 221 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown catch. Decker fell just seven yards short of the all-time Jets record for receiving yards in a game, set by Don Maynard. It was a career day for Decker.
Chris Owusu: He caught one pass for 36 yards, ran once for a 23-yard touchdown jaunt, and had an 87-yard kick return. Maybe the Jets found a potential playmaker in the rookie.
Ryan Quigley to Zach Sudfeld: The punter hit the tight end for a 38-yard pass on a fake punt with four minutes to go in the game and the Jets leading by just three points. One play later, Geno Smith hit Jeff Cumberland for a 23-yard touchdown pass and the game was over. The fake punt, one of the best run plays of the season, set up the winner.
David Harris: He might not be back with the Jets next season, but he sure made a statement to the rest of the league he can still play at a high level. Harris had a game-high nine tackles, with 2.5 sacks, two tackles for a loss, one pass deflection and two quarterback hits.
Quinton Coples: He is another player that could be on the way out, but he saved his best for last, recording two sacks to give him 6.5 for the season.
Calvin Pryor: He was most to blame on Lamar Miller's 97-yard touchdown run, falling down without being touched as Miller ran right past him. Pryor has been a giant disappointment as a first-round draft pick, another likely bust taken by former general manager John Idzik.
Calvin Pace: While Harris and Coples made their cases to come back, Pace likely sealed his fate with a one-tackle performance against Miami.
Chris Ivory: The Jets running back didn't have a strong finish to the season, capping it off by rushing for just 29 yards on 13 carries against the Dolphins, a 2.2-yard per carry average. Ivory did score on an eight-yard touchdown reception in the game.