The “Jets” fell short 20-16 but the preseason is never about winning. The primary goals are to avoid major injuries to key players, establishing some rhythm among starting units, while hopefully developing a few diamonds in the rough to add to the mix. So how did the Jets really fare in those categories last night? Let’s take a look –
MAJOR INJURIES: The offensive line suffered a depth setback when backup center Rob Turner broke his leg. The Jets must add players to this unit. Damien Woody anyone? Joe McKnight may have suffered a concussion. LB Bart Scott rolled his ankle and left after the first play. The brightside? No season enders hit any starters.
RYTHYM: Mark Sanchez looked sharp in establishing a connection with both Santonio Holmes and Derrick Mason. The starters saw extremely limited time on both sides of the ball. RB Shonn Greene ran hard and found space in the second level during his attempts. The defense was not really tested. Texan stars Andre Johnson and Arian Foster sat out the game. Kyle Wilson in his second year, was in better position to play the ball than we remember him being all of last year.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: WR Jeremy Kerley has had a notable camp. The rookie WR was heavily involved throughout last night, showing good hands, quick feet, and an elusive ability in traffic. LB Josh Mauga replaced Scott and was around the ball constantly, with a sack and INT capping his efforts.
TE Jeff Cumberland displayed physical skill in the passing game, with consistent receptions and running after the catch. This furthering the excitement of Jets fans who envision a tight end heavy passing game due to the arrival of former Colts guru Tom Moore on the coaching staff.
RB Bilal Powell replaced McKnight and impressed us with his footwork and ability to wait patiently for his blockers before attacking the line of scrimmage.
Backup QB Greg McElroy rebounded from a sluggish start in his three quarters of action.The former Alabama product sped up his release time and displayed sharpness on short to mid range routes as the game progressed. He also fell victim to two deep ball drops, including one that could’ve won the game for the Jets late in the fourth.