What We Saw: Week 4

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from Sunday's NFL action

Jets @ Steelers 

Final Score: Jets 24, Steelers 20

Writer: Mario Adamo Jr (@marioadamojr on Twitter)

 

This game featured not one, but two QBs making their 2022 debuts.

The Steelers got the ball to start the game, moved the chains a couple of times, then punted (fun fact, the Steelers have punted on each of their first drives this season). Zach Wilson and the Jets had an uninspiring three-and-out and punted the ball away. Mitch Tribusky threw a pass to Diontae Johnson that was tipped and picked off, leading to a Jets field goal. Steelers get the ball back and punt it again after another three-and-out (Steelers fun fact #2, they lead the league in three-and-outs). The Jets moved the ball well and scored in the RedZone off of a Philly-Special-esque play.

The Steelers’ next drive featured Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren taking turns moving the chains. Mitch threw a ball that Dioante Johnson caught in the back of the endzone that was ultimately ruled out of bounds, and the Steelers settled for a field goal. After that drive, the teams took turns punting until the last drive of the half. The Jets picked off Mitch, but a penalty was called for roughing the passer and bumped the Steelers into field goal range. Chris Boswell hit a 59-yard field goal, good for the longest field goal in Acrisure Stadium (formerly Heinz Field) history. 

The Jets started the second half with another three-and-out and punted away. When the Steelers’ offense took the field in the second half it was rookie Kenny Pickett leading them out. The drive started with a couple of Najee runs and a Pickett QB sneak to get the first down. After moving the chains, Pickett attempted his first pass deep to Chase Claypool, only for it to be intercepted. Wilson threw it to Tyler Conklin who bobbled it and the Steelers picked it off. Pickett found the end zone with a 1-yard QB sneak. The Jets punted on the next drive and after some solid passes to Freiermuth and Pickens, Pickett scrambled two yards for his second rushing touchdown. Wilson answered quickly with a 5-yard pass to Corey Davis. Again a ball was tipped, this time by Freiermuth, and led to another inception. Wilson lead the Jets downfield to set up a Breece Hall touchdown with sixteen seconds left.  On the last play of the game, Pickett ended his debut by throwing a deep ball that was ultimately picked off.

 

New York Jets

 

Quarterback

 

Zach Wilson: 18/36, 252 Yards, TD, 2 INT | 2 Carries, 15 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 2 Yards, TD

 

Making his 2022 debut, I would describe Zach Wilson in two ways: someone capable of throwing the perfect bullet pass and someone who frantically runs for his life when the pressure gets to him. Before today Wilson actually had the longest active pass attempt streak without a pick (171 attempts). It’s not his fault the pressure gets to him, the Jets are already on their fifth left tackle of the season and RT Max Mitchell was carted off in the second quarter. When the pressure does get to him, he reminds me of another QB drafted second overall whose last name also starts with ‘W’, Carson Wentz. I mean that in both a good way and a bad way. He had a rocket arm that can fit a ball in a tight window, but I worry he gets a little too much “hero-ball” sometimes.

Early on the play-calling didn’t help Wilson, there were a lot of throws behind the first down marker, and the run game really never got going. It’s also worth highlighting that his second interception was tipped off of Tyler Conklin’s hands. However, when the moments were big Wilson stepped up. He became the first Jets QB to have a receiving touchdown to extend their early lead. When they were on their final drive of the game, Wilson went 5/5 and 57 yards.

So how fantasy relevant is Wilson? He finished with 19 points, good for QB9 (not counting SNF or MNF). It’s tough to predict if this will be his standard, but if you’re currently starting Marcus Mariota, Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, or Carson Wentz, I’d keep my eye on Wilson and consider spending a waiver or some FAAB on him. In Superflex leagues, Wilson should definitely be rostered and started.

 

 

Running Back

 

Breece Hall: 17 Carries, 66 Yards, TD | 6 Targets, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards

Michael Carter: 9 Carries, 15 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 14 Yards

 

Breece Hall had his best game to date, securing his first rushing touchdown in a pivotal moment to give the Jets a 4-point lead with 16 seconds on the clock. He nearly doubled Michael Carter’s opportunities (23 to 12 respectively) and six targets from Wilson show me he’s trusted by his QB going forward.

How was their usage? On the Jets’ first drive, they each got a carry. Second drive Hall had two carries, both on third downs, while Carter had one. Their third drive featured Carter only once to Hall’s four rushes. However, it’s important to note on that drive when the Jets first entered the red zone (PIT 16) Carter got the opportunity. Hall got the following two carries before the Philly Special helped the Jets find the end zone. On the Jets’ fourth drive they didn’t run the ball, while the fifth drive featured Hall twice and again Carter once. The sixth drive saw Hall thrice and Carter no times, besides an incomplete pass that was nullified by defensive holding. Lucky number seventh drive Carter finally had the leg up on Hall one to zero. Order was restored on the eighth drive with Hall ahead two to zero. The ninth drive was two to one in favor of the rookie (Hall) and the tenth drive was a similar three to one. On the Jets’ final drive, Carter saw his most opportunities, three, but Hall still passed him with four.

Though I think this will continue to be a shared backfield, it’s clear Hall is the guy. He has and will continue to live up to his pre-draft hype.

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Corey Davis: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 74 Yards, TD

Garrett Wilson: 6 Targets, 2 Receptions, 41 Yards

Elijah Moore: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 53 Yards | 1 Carry, 2 Yards 

Braxton Berrios: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 6 Yards | 1/1, 2 Yards, TD

Tyler Conklin: 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 52 Yards

Jeff Smith: 1 Target

 

Corey Davis wasn’t targeted until the Jets’ fifth drive, but he still led all Jets pass-catchers with seven targets. His touchdown came halfway through the fourth as the Jets trailed 20-10.  Garrett Wilson, no relation to QB Zach Wilson, only caught two of his six targets, but his 35-yard play was pivotal on the Jets’ second touchdown drive. Elijah Moore had a big catch for 20 yards, a big catch for 28 yards, and a catch for 5 yards. Braxton Berrios will be remembered more for his touchdown toss in the Philly Special than for his single catch for six yards. Tyler Conklin did bobble the ball that lead to Wilson’s second interception, but he also brought in three receptions for 52 yards. It was also Conklin’s first game in single digits this season. 

So what to do with this info, who is the pass-catcher on the Jets you want to roster in fantasy? I was surprised to see Conklin, TE3 on the season (before Week 4 SNF and MNF), available in all but one of my leagues. As for WRs, it’s easy to say Davis will be the guy he was paid to be, after signing a 3-year $37 million contract in 2021. I don’t think it’s that simple though, watching the game showed me the Jets’ staff design plays for everyone and Zach Wilson will hit the open man.

 

 

 

 Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Quarterback

 

Kenny Pickett: 10/13, 120 Yards, 3 INT | 6 Carries, 15 Yards, 2 TD

Mitch Trubisky: 7/13, 84 Yards, INT | 1 Carry, -1 Yard

 

It’s finally Pickett time in Pittsburgh, the rookie took the field for the Steelers’ first drive of the second half and we never saw Mitch again.

In the first half, Mitch Trubisky wasn’t playing inspiring football, only completing 7 of 13 passes. He had a pass tipped by Diontae Johnson that was picked off, if we take that play away he was still 7/12 for 84 yards. The Steelers needed a spark and Mike Tomlin knew what would ignite it. Enter Kenny Pickett taking the field in the third quarter.

Though he finished with three interceptions his second was tipped by Freiermuth and his third was the last play of the game Hail Mary attempt. His first pick was his very first throw, so remember that for bar trivia one of these days. His main versatility came from his legs, scrambling for two touchdowns. If Pickett continues to be the starter going forward, and I don’t think you can put the toothpaste back in the tube, I think his legs will ensure he always has some value in deeper leagues or Superflex leagues.

 

 

Running Back

 

Najee Harris: 18 Carries, 74 Yards

Jaylen Warren: 3 Carries, 18 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 4 Yards | 1 Fumble (Recovered)

 

Najee Harris was the workhorse you drafted him to be, getting 18 carries on the day. It was, however, his first game this season with zero targets with the previous low being two back in Week 1. He moved the ball well, averaging 4.11 yards-per-carry (ypc) but couldn’t find the end zone while rookie QB Kenny Pickett found it twice, both on designed runs.

The main takeaway is if Kenny Pickett is the starter going forward he’ll exist solely to vulture Najee’s touchdowns.

Jaylen Warren had two carries during the Steelers’ fourth drive and one carry on the tenth drive. His one target came from Mitch during the third drive.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

George Pickens: 8 Targets, 6 Receptions, 102 Yards

Diontae Johnson:  4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 11 Yards | 2 Carries, 11 Yards 

Chase Claypool: 2 Targets

Pat Freiermuth: 9 Targets, 7 Receptions, 85 Yards

Zach Gentry: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 2 Yards

 

Pat Freiermuth led all pass-catchers with seven receptions on nine targets good for 85 yards and looks to be a solid TE going forward regardless of who is in at QB. As for WRs, both Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool had their worst games of the year, while rookie George Pickens had his best.

Claypool was only targetted twice (once by each QB) and caught neither. His first and only target by Pickett was picked off. Johnson was only targetted four times, a huge dropoff from his next lowest of ten. Johnson did have a very close touchdown called out of bounds from a throw from Mitch. Pickens to Pickett worked as well on the field as the names are to say. Though Pickett had the same number of targets from both QBs, he had catches of 26 yards and 27 yards from Pickett. Though I expect Johnson to bounce back, it’s clear the rookies have some chemistry. 

I leave you with a tweet summarizing everyone’s targets with Pickett in the game.

 

 

 

 

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