Five things to watch for tonight as the New York Jets take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Make sure to follow on Twitter during all the action!
1 - Offensive Line - Their performance was average at best last week. There was minimal push in the running game and a few breakdowns in pass protection. The Bengals have a fearsome front that will provide an immense challenge, particularly to Brian Winters and the Willie Colon/Breno Giacomini combination trying to work on their chemistry. Keep Geno Smith clean. Open up some holes for the first team running backs. Show some signs of life because right now this is a big question mark for the Jets.
2 - Always The Quarterback - Geno Smith is expected to play the entire first half against a Cincy defense that beat up on the Jets last season. This is a good August test for the second year quarterback. He did a nice job showing pocket presence and protecting the football last week but now let’s see him press the football down the field and generate a touchdown or two. Tahj Boyd is also expected to see his first action tonight. He has had a ROUGH camp. Can he make a case to stick as the third quarterback or at least hold a practice squad spot?
3 - A-Boi - Antonio Allen is going to get a long look at cornerback tonight, as the Jets try to figure out how to hold the fort until Dee MIlliner is back. Allen’s days as safety aren’t done but the amount of defensive packages that put him on the outside are going to increase in the coming month. How much can he hold his own? Will Dimitri Patterson play tonight and if he does, can he recover from an ugly debut? Ellis Lankster is coming off a strong week of practice and is making a case for playing time on the outside, while Darrin Walls also remains in the mix.
4 - Pass Rush - Let’s see Quinton Coples and Jason Babin making a little noise off the edge. With the second team, keep an eye on draft picks Trevor Reilly and IK Enemkpali, who could get an extended look tonight and make their case for a roster spot. From the interior, will TJ Barnes keep making his case for the Jets to keep six defensive lineman?
While we are talking about the defensive line, don’t miss this awesome new highlight compilation at Turn On The Jets TV from Kevin Bauer. Make sure to subscribe!
5 - Ay, ROOK! - Calvin Pryor’s debut is tonight. It will be fascinating to see where and how Rex Ryan begins utilizing him in the back end of the Jets defense. Jace Amaro was called out during the week. Let’s see him get down seam and involved in the intermediate to deep passing game.