12 thoughts on the New York Jets second pre-season game, a 25-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Check back on the TOJ YouTube channel at 7:30 tonight for our latest Podcast and make sure to subscribe!
1. Geno Smith had his first turnover of the pre-season on an interception intended for David Nelson. There was a clear miscommunication between the two and while it is hard to tell who more of the blame actually falls on, it usually ends up on the quarterback. Outside of that play, Smith played very well. He showed good poise in the pocket, knew when to take off to run and had a few impressive throws, particularly in the intermediate passing game. Smith finished 10/13 for 98 yards (1 dropped pass) along with 4 carries for 20 yards and a rushing touchdown, along with zero sacks. He also led the Jets to two touchdowns and a field goal.
Yes, a good chunk of work was done against the Bengals backups but to be fair Smith was without Eric Decker (his top wide receiver), Jeff Cumberland (his starting tight end) and Chris Ivory (his starting running back). Jalen Saudners also didn’t suit up. More importantly, anybody who watched Smith last season should be able to see a clear improvement in his footwork, pocket presence and decisiveness as a runner. Let’s hope next week he gets to work with a full cast on offense.
2. THE PENALTIES! They were egregious tonight and remain a huge ongoing issue for the Jets. They had SEVEN personal fouls, including five from the offensive line (anybody else think this will be an ongoing trend with Brian Winters, Willie Colon and Breno Giacomini upfront?) Stephen Hill also picked up a personal foul and so did Demario Davis. This team HAS to cut back on the penalties and the extracurricular activity after the whistle. They are not explosive enough to overcome shooting themselves in the foot.
3. The first team defense was a disappointment tonight, especially in the secondary which isn’t surprising considering their personnel. Andy Dalton went 8/8 for 144 yards with a touchdown (not a misprint). You can deal with Antonio Allen getting beat deep by AJ Green, when it is his first night playing corner. You can deal with lapses involving Jaiquawn Jarrett because he won’t be back there when the games count. However, Kyle Wilson is the starting nickel and was toasted by Mohamed Sanu (an average WR at best) for a 43 yard touchdown and later beat by him again for a 13 yard gain. The first team pass rush was also quiet against the Bengals starters. I’m aware the Jets played relatively vanilla but you want to see people getting off blocks regardless.
The Jets have issues in the secondary but Calvin Pryor in the back end will help things, along with a healthy Dee Milliner hopefully by week 2 (no need to rush him back for Oakland) and yes even a healthy Dimitri Patterson should help. They are also likely to add a veteran after rosters begin to get cut down.
4. Speaking of Pryor, he had a strong debut. He was inserted early in the second quarter and immediately recovered a fumble. In the second half, he did this and later blew up a play in the backfield. Pryor was frequently around the ball and you can only imagine some of the different ways Rex Ryan is going to use him throughout the year.
5. Elsewhere with the rookies, Jace Amaro had a 17 yard catch from Geno Smith with a nice run after. Later, he had a big catch and run from Mike Vick called back due to holding. Amaro rumbling in the open field is an element the Jets haven’t had at the tight end position in a long, long time. IK Enemkpali continued his impressive pre-season with a blocked punt for a safety and a sack. Trevor Reilly had a couple of nice tackles on special teams and Brandon Dixon held his own well at cornerback. Tahj Boyd looked ROUGH going 1/5 and missing a handful of very easy throws.
6. Over the past few years we’ve received some criticism for being too harsh on Stephen Hill and Kyle Wilson or having some type of personal vendetta against them, which is of course not true. We mentioned Wilson’s struggles earlier and Hill had a shaky game as well. He dropped a pass over the middle after receiving a big hit and then later picked up a personal foul. He did have a nice grab on 3rd and 16 when he sat in the open window against the zone and caught the ball with his hands. Regardless, it hasn’t been a strong summer for him so far when he badly needs one. There is no personal vendetta against these guys, I just don’t think either are all that good at football.
7. As for the rest of the receivers, Greg Salas looked very impressive and quick on his two receptions for 31 yards. Jeremy Kerley had a very Jeremy Kerley catch for 20 yards. David Nelson had 2 catches for 9 yards and yes CLYDE THE GLYDE GATES caught a 17 yard touchdown from Mike Vick on a wide receiver screen…no he won’t be making the roster but good for Clyde! It is going to be interesting to see how many receivers the Jets decide to keep and who sticks. As of now, I think Salas and Hill are battling it out for the fifth spot and Quincy Enunwa will end up on the practice squad. I still don’t see a reason to keep Jacoby Ford who was unimpressive in the return game tonight.
8. It was a strong night for the running backs and the offensive line when it came to getting a push in the run game. Chris Johnson had 10 carries for 63 yards and showed some of that trademark burst. Bilal Powell had a terrific debut that included a 32 yard run, a 2 yard touchdown and a couple of receptions. Powell remains a critically valuable piece to the Jets offense. Daryl Richardson showed his speed in the open field on a 26 yard pickup on a screen pass and added on 23 yards rushing. Oday Aboushi started over Brian Winters but WInters rotated in at the start of the second quarter.
9. An overreaction or not, I’ve been a little disappointed with Quinton Coples and Jason Babin so far this pre-season. Coples was invisible with the first team defense and Babin has been the same with the second team defense. The Jets need to find a way to bring pressure off the edge and that will mostly fall on these two, as it doesn’t seem like Antwan Barnes will be back anytime soon.
10. Ras I-Dowling somehow got hurt again tonight. I think he is gone in the first round of cuts. Josh Bush shouldn’t be far behind him either, as he is now clearly the sixth safety behind Pryor, Allen, Landry, Jarrett and Rontez Miles.
11. The Jets forced two fumbles tonight (Demario Davis and Nick Bellore), had an interception (Darrin Walls…he caught it!) and blocked a punt (IK Enemkpali)…I understand these were in backup situations but turnovers are turnovers and they are refreshing to see from the Jets. It also good to see that the team is finally developing some solid depth, which will also help boost their special teams.
12. Ellis Lankster held his own well on the outside tonight and remains in the mix for major playing time at corner…Alex Green played in front of Richardson tonight but had a quiet night…Mike Vick was 5/9 for 70 yards passing with a TD and had 16 yards rushing…the Jets had 8 plays of 15 yards or more.
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