Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – New York Jets Week 2 Pre-Season Review

Joe Caporoso with 12 thoughts on the New York Jets 25-17 pre-season win over the Cincinnati Bengals

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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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Quote the Raven

    What cornerbacks do you project might be available in the coming weeks?

  • KAsh

    I was not planning to bring it up, as I try to let petty things go, but you cannot sit there and tell me that your analysis is unswayed by personal opinion. You cannot have a vendetta against Hill and Wilson, as they do not seem to have ever murdered your family members, but when a coin always comes up heads, something is fishy.

    A wide receiver has a catch for 43 yards when he was 39 yards downfield. Without even needing to see the play, you can make two conclusions:

    1) the QB had forever and a day to throw the football. The wide receiver ran 39 yards in pads, with a corner covering him – the QB made the throw at least four seconds after receiving the snap, and the ball travelled another second through the air.
    2) the safeties were late. The wide receiver had the corner one-on-one 40 yards downfield. The defense was either playing Cover 0 or the safeties were late.

    If you now watch the replay, Sanu makes the reception a full six seconds after the snap. It is taken as gospel that a corner cannot cover a wide receiver for that stretch of time. Continuing the narrative from last year, Landry was late with help and left Wilson on his own. (For anyone who wants to complain that Wilson did not have his head turned, Wilson was out of position to make any play on the ball. Unless an energy shield shoots up whenever Wilson looks at the ball, all that would have happened is Wilson would have watched the ball sail over his head for the touchdown, without even the opportunity to knock the ball out of Sanu’s hands.)

    Wilson did not have a great game. He allowed Sanu another reception for 13 yards and a first down. But as someone who watched and wrote about the entire 2013 Jets season, it should have been obvious right away who the long touchdown was on.

    As for Hill, I watched the receivers for the entire game. With Decker out, I wanted to see how they would fare. Hill played well. He seemed sudden going into his cuts and was getting separation right away. One thing he needs to work on is how he plays on runs: he gives away run plays with an awkward 3/4th speed jog as he tries to lock onto his corner. But you saw things from him that he never showed last year. On Geno’s touchdown run, Hill faked a short slant, then ran a fade. The corner bit, got turned around, and was still trying to box out Hill when Geno stepped into the endzone. Hill’s drop was also reminiscent of last year: in Geno’s first two months, he would hang his receivers out to dry with telegraphed, late throws that gave the secondary a highlight tackle. Hill was wide open right away; that throw should have been an easy catch with some yards added on. It might have been a miscommunication or a misdiagnosis on what the secondary was doing. In short, the play should have been changed.

    But when a solid preseason performance – no game plan and a vanilla scheme, so a lot of individual matchups need to be evaluated – becomes “shaky” when looking at the box score or when you inflate the capabilities of a corner beyond what anyone, except for maybe 2010 Revis, is capable of in order to knock him down a peg, you cannot turn around and say that you are giving a straight up evaluation. You keep coming up tails and are surprised when people call you out on it.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Sounds like more excuses for two players who just haven’t been good NFL players and Jets fans refuse to let go because they were high draft picks. I watched every snap from Hill’s pre-season opener last week, where he played 35 snaps, was targeted once and had zero catches (he had a ball go through on his hands on a shaky defensive holding call), he ran lazy routes and was constantly overwhelmed by physical coverage. This is after he regressed substantially from year 1 to 2. Last night, he had drop (the ball hit him directly between the 8 and the 4, don’t blame the drop on Geno), picked up a personal foul and had once nice catch on a 3rd down. Regardless, a journeyman like Greg Salas looked substantially smoother and more ready to contribute to a NFL offense.

    What cracks me up with those who remain adamant about defending Hill is that in 2012, it was apparently all Sanchez’s fault, even though Kerley managed a good year with Sanchez throwing him the ball. Last year, it was all Geno’s fault that Hill caught 40% of his targets, even though David Nelson and Kerley caught 60% of his targets. Then in the first week of the pre-season, it was Geno’s fault for not targeting him, even though he played multiple series with Simms and Vick and they didn’t target him either. How about he just isn’t that good? It happens, you miss on second round picks.

    As for Wilson, he has been barely an average NFL player for his first four seasons in the NFL. He played poorly in the pre-season debut (gave up easy 17 yard catch to Hilton and whiffed on tackle in the backfield) and played poorly again last night. He was beat off the line by an average WR in Sanu and gave up a 43 yard TD and was then later beat by him again. You can try to talk around his mistakes all you want and justify them but the bottom line is he was beat and again showed no ability to play the football in the air. I have no idea why anybody thinks something like this would change with him in his 5th year.

    Fans cling to picks desperately, I caught the same crap on Joe McKnight and Vlad Ducasse. Both are gone now. Wilson will be gone after this season (0% chance team is giving him new contract) and Hill is firmly on the bubble of making the roster this year.

  • Re: Kyle Wilson —

    He worked hard to stay with Sanu on that play, and had succeeded to a point, but at the top of the route, and a number of strides after that point, he never even considered turning his head around to find the ball. It’s mind-boggling.

  • Well to be fair to kyle rex said he should have had help over the top and it never came n going back to last week the third down catch catch he gave up to hilton on third down any corner in the league covering the slot on an all out blitz would have given up that recption n I thought hill played well last night the ball over the middle he dropped should have been thrown sooner

  • David

    But here is the thing folks: We are talking about 2 positions (WR and CB) that still IMO are big needs for the NY Jets. Look at the WR’s right now– We have 12 of them on the roster, but how much “Quality” is really there once you get past Decker and Kerley? We could have brought back Santonio Holmes and he would have been a day 1 starter for the NY Jets.

    Same goes for CB– I like Milliner and McDougle, but injuries to those 2 guys should not send the CB’s into a tailspin. We have 12 CB’s there and outside of Milliner, how many would be in the top 2 on any other team’s depth chart? With all due respect, if guys like Ellis Lankster and Darrin Walls are key cogs in your secondary, your GM hasn’t done a good job at getting CB depth for your franchise.

  • Good analysis. On a relatively minor note, it’s amazing that Ras-“IR”-Dowling continues to take up a roster spot, even a pre-season version. This guy pulls a muscle getting out of bed in the morning..I wouldn’t waste one more practice rep with this guy, let him make his career on someone else’s practice squad.

  • Joe Caporoso

    I hear you at CB David, although let’s see how secondary looks with Pryor playing with starters and Allen back at safety, with Milliner and Patterson back healthy.

    At WR, Holmes isn’t a better WR than Decker or Kerley. There is a reason nobody signed him until 2 days ago and even then he basically got a 2 week tryout contract for the minimum. WR is not a major issue for the Jets, as their TEs and RBs will be so involved in passing game that there will be limited targets for WRs after Decker/Kerley

  • Joe Caporoso

    Right on, 100% Ron.

  • joeydefiant

    Anyone interested in a “Turn on the Jets” fantasy league? We make a league just for the active members/readers/writers of the site.

    I don’t mind being the commissioner if there is at least 10-12 people who are interested. We can go up to 20.

  • joeydefiant

    As far as settings and preferences…

    .5 PPR 1QB/3WR/2RB/1TE/1FLEX(WR-RB-TE)

    Sound good?

    I like large leagues. I play in two leagues every year one 18 team and one 20 team. If the league is only 10-12 teams I like having 2 QB and 2 TE. Everyone knows the top pro bowl players and they have been broken down and hundreds of articles written about them. The fun for me is finding that hidden gem in a league where every team isn’t a pro bowl team.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Geno looks much more comfortable this year, which is encouraging.

    Richardson looked like he deserves a roster spot. I wonder if he can return kicks, as I think he will be able to contribute more than Ford, Hakim, or Gates (who are listed as KR on the depth chart).

    I saw a nice block by Chad Young on a LB in the hole, its too bad the pass that came his way was off-target. Enunwa had a real nice block on Gates TD. It looked like he was the 1st Jet to the ball on the Jets last punt, fwiw.

    The Jets starting pass defense did not look good at all. Hopefully, this is a result of Rex/DT calling plays for evaluation purposes, not a sign of what this season will look like.

    IK & Reilly are making strong cases for roster spots, & I agree with the cutting Dowling.