Grading Out Jets/Lions

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Quarterbacks (B) – Mark Sanchez’s completion percentage still isn’t high enough and he was inconsistent for 3 and 1/2 quarters, yet continuing to demonstrate a positive trend, he stepped up when it mattered the most. He looked excellent in the two minute drill and led the Jets to another come from behind victory. It is hard to question his arm strength after the beautiful 74 yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards and the more chemistry he develops with Santonio Holmes, the more passing yards he will rack up. Hopefully, this will be the first of many 300 yard games.

Running Backs (B) – LaDainian Tomlinson’s yards per carry has been creeping lower and lower each week, while Shonn Greene’s have been steady or rising when given the chance. However, LT was clutch on the two minute drill and contributed 47 yards receiving. I would really like to see Greene be getting more than 10 carries though.

Wide Receivers (B+) – They demonstrated their big play capability on Edwards long touchdown reception and Holmes 52 yard reception in overtime. Yet, there were still struggles with ball security. Jerricho Cotchery is in a serious funk right now and has lost his starting job. Edwards has to protect the football when running with it.

Tight Ends (B+) – Dustin Keller made a few clutch receptions and provided a big play down the seam late in the fourth quarter.

Offensive Line (B+) – The running game has been disappointing the past few weeks but the pass protection was very good. Brandon Moore did a great job on Ndamukong Suh, furthering his case for a trip to Hawaii this year.

Defensive Line (B) – A quiet day for the guys up front but they were solid against the run. Where has Shaun Ellis been the past few weeks? Vernon Gholston didn’t take advantage of being given the start, as he recorded no stats.

Linebackers (C) – There were some flaws in pass coverage, missed tackles, and a stupid personal foul on Bart Scott, who did record his first sack of the season. Calvin Pace and Jason Taylor remained in the missing persons program, in terms of getting to the quarterback.

Secondary (B) – Revis Island is back in business. Drew Coleman had a brutal day trying to cover Nate Burleson. It could be time for Dwight Lowery or Marquice Cole to get more of a shot in the slot. Is it me or has Jim Leonhard been a huge liability in pass coverage this year? Beyond that, is Brodney Pool even out there? Seriously, the guy is playing starter’s reps and can barely even record a tackle.

Special Teams (A) – Nick Folk continued his strong season with the game tying and game winning kick. Kyle Wilson finally had a good looking punt return but of course he fumbled at the end of it.

Coaching (D) – The Jets are way too undisciplined right now on both sides of the football and there were more clock management issues. Rex Ryan needs to wake his team up out of the funk they have been in the past few weeks.

Highlights of Jets Win

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Grading Out Jets/Packers

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Quarterback (C-) An ugly statistical day for Mark Sanchez (16/38, 256 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs. He wasn’t helped by dropped passes all over the field, particularly by Jerricho Cotchery and Santonio Holmes. However, Sanchez still appeared erratic and out of rhythm all day. He needs to get himself back on track quickly if the Jets are going to keep pace with the Patriots in the AFC East.

Running Backs (C) A disappointing effort from the Jets rushing attack. LaDainian Tomlinson struggled to get going (16 carries, 54 yards), while Shonn Greene was never given the chance to get going (6 carries, 22 yards). The Jets must do a better job of balancing the carries between their top two backs. Greene also needs to catch the ball when it is thrown to him.

Wide Receivers (F) Jerricho Cotchery, what is happening to you? You have to wonder if he is feeling extra pressure because of the addition of Holmes and is pressing too much but I have never seen him struggle like that. Speaking of Holmes, he needs to catch the ball when it hits him in the hands too and become more consistent. Terrible job by both Brian Schottenhiemer and Mark Sanchez, not involving BraylonEdwards more in the offense. Brad Smith had a rare negative play with a fumble.

Tight Ends (C)  Dustin Keller has cooled off after his strong start to the season. You can’t let defenders just rip the ball out of your hands.

Offensive Line (C) They did a pretty good job protecting Mark Sanchez overall but didn’t get their usual push in the running game. I’d expect a much bigger commitment to the Ground and Pound in the upcoming weeks.

Defensive Line (A) The Packers did nothing running the ball and Mike DeVito was very active in particular with 5 tackles. The Jets aren’t getting much of anything out of Trevor Pryce or Vernon Gholston right now.

Linebackers (A) Great game for David Harris with 9 tackles and a sack. Bart Scott played one of his better games with 7 tackles and a tackle for loss. Jason Taylor and Bryan Thomas have been awfully quiet lately.

Secondary (A) Holding Aaron Rodgers to 15/34 for 170 yards is pretty damn impressive. Darrelle Revis appears to moving around much better than prior to the bye week. Dwight Lowery had a nice pass breakup and a sack. Kyle Wilson is going to start being inactive soon.

Special Teams (D) Basic football knowledge…you don’t fake punts on 4th and 18 from your own 20 yard line. Nick Folk shanked a 37 yard field goal.

Coaching (F) Bad use of challenges and time outs, along with a weak and predictable offensive game plan. Beyond that, Steve Weatherford should never have the jurisdiction to run that fake punt on his own.

Grading Out Jets/Broncos

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Quarterback (C) – Mark Sanchez finally gave in and threw a pair of interceptions. His performance was ugly at times but most importantly he got it together and played well in the second half, leading his team to a comeback victory. He made the right decision by putting the ball up Santonio Holmes 1 on 1 on the decisive 4th and 6 and it obviously worked out. This offense has tons of potential that it still hasn’t reach yet, hopefully they will come rolling out of the bye week.

Running Back (B) – LaDainian Tomlinson brought it in the second half when it mattered the most. Shonn Greene was running hard and I would have liked to see him get more than 9 carries. Tony Richardson and John Conner are both playing very good football right now.

Wide Receivers (A) – I continue to be impressed with the season Braylon Edwards is putting together. He looks like the 1,000 yard borderline pro-bowl player the Jets were hoping when they dealt for him. As of now, he is on pace for a very strong, statistical season and he isn’t dropping passes. Santonio Holmes took another step towards getting into the rhythm of the offense, but needs to learn to tuck the ball away. Jerricho Cotchery may finish the season averaging the least yards per catch in NFL history, but he is still reliable. Brad Smith was effective with the ball in his hands, as usual.

Tight Ends (A) – Good day at the office for Keller and more solid blocking from Ben Hartsock, who is quietly a big part of the Jets offense.

Offensive Line (A) – There has really been no drop off from last season, which is a credit to the entire unit and especially Matt Slauson.

Defensive Line (B-) – The run defense was a let down and so was the pass rush. However, Sione Pouha had a nice sack and Trevor Pryce had a tackle for a loss. Big Mike DeVito almost pulled in an interception on a zone blitz.

Linebackers (C+) – David Harris was all over the field and Bart Scott was also active. A very quiet game from Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, and Jason Taylor. You’d like to see more pressure on the quarterback from these guys.

Secondary (B) – Antonio Cromartie played another terrific game. Darrelle Revis simply wasn’t himself out there. Drew Coleman had a few nice plays, including a forced fumble and a third down pass breakup. However, he was picked on most of the day. The helmet to helmet call on Jim Leonhard was bogus.

Special Teams (A) – Nick Folk is a monster. Steve Weatherford isn’t too bad either.

Coaching (B) – I wasn’t crazy about the playcalling from Brian Schottenheimer, who never seemed to get in a rhythm. The Jets were caught napping on an onsides kick.

Highlights From The Game

Grading Out Jets/Vikings

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1. Darrelle Revis admitted after the game what everybody could plainly see, he still isn’t 100 percent back from his hamstring injury and it now sounds like he might not play against the Broncos. It was foolish for Revis to attempt a comeback, unless he was truly 100 percent. You get the feeling this is going to be a nagging injury all year and we won’t be seeing any of the 2009 version of Revis this year.

2. The stats section is now updated.

Grading Out Jets/Vikings

Quarterback (B-) The stats (21/44, 191 yards) don’t show a very productive game for Mark Sanchez. However, there were at least 4 dropped passes by his receivers and he was dealing with poor weather conditions. Most importantly, Sanchez has now gone five full games without a single turnover.

Running Back (A) Another strong night for LaDainian Tomlinson with 94 yards on 20 carries, along with 5 receptions. I am a little concerned with him getting worn down, 25 touches is a bit too much. Shonn Greene only had 10 carries, which isn’t enough. He got rolling in the second half and finally popped through for a touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

Wide Receiver (C) Too many drops from this unit, particularly Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. Edwards did have another productive night with 70 yards on 5 receptions, but it could have much more. Jerricho Cotchery had a good night with 5 catches for 46 yards.

Tight End (C) Dustin Keller was due for a quiet night (2 receptions, 14 yards).

Offensive Line (A) They did a terrific job run blocking against a physical Minnesota front seven. The pass protection was very good for most of the night. They are getting better with the penalties and starting to more closely resemble the unit they were in 2009.

Defensive Line (A-) They did a solid job against Adrian Peterson, holding him to under 100 yards. Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito both had 5 tackles and were active all night. Shaun Ellis added a half sack and didn’t appear limited by his leg injury last week.

Linebackers (A) Very active night for David Harris with 9 tackles, including a few big shots on Adrian Peterson. Calvin Pace made his presence felt with 1.5 sacks. Jason Taylor had another sack. A quiet night for Bryan Thomas. Bart Scott had a fumble recovery.

Secondary (B) There still seems to be miscommunication at times and Darrelle Revis is far from being his old self, however Antonio Cromartie played a great game despite allowing the one touchdown to Randy Moss, Drew Coleman is playing the best football of his life, and even Dwight Lowery made a huge play in a big spot.

Special Teams (A+) Nick Folk is playing like the All-Pro he used to be, by going 5/5 including a 53 yarder. Steve Weatherford also continued his strong 2010 campaign, continually pinning the Vikings deep and having great hang time on his kicks. Brad Smith ripped off a huge kick return that set up a field goal.

Coaching (C) I am downgrading them all the way to a C for the horrific time management in the final few minutes. The Jets gave the Vikings an extra minute to drive down for the go ahead field goal. There was no reason to throw ball on that second down before the two minute warning. Yes, Sanchez did a bad job not running the play clock all the way down but a pass never should have been called.

Highlights From The Win

Thoughts On Jets First Quarter

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Some assorted thoughts on the first quarter of the Jets season, along with a few statistical projections:

Mark ‘Freakin Sanchez – What a sharp turnaround over the past three games. Mark Sanchez seems to be progressing into the quarterback all of us hoped he would be. After four games in 2009, here were Sanchez’s stats followed by his stats so far this year:

  • 2009 – 63/110, 4 TDs, 5 INTs, 2 fumbles lost
  • 2010 – 60/103, 8 TDs, 0 INTs, 0 fumbles lost

Wow. What a change. The bottom line is that if Mark Sanchez protects the football and keeps playing at the level he did weeks 2-4, the Jets will be going 3-1 or 4-0 in the next three quarters of the season.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Revived

  • Who would have thought that after four games, LaDainian Tomlinson would be on pace for this season:
  • 224 carries, 1364 yards, 12 touchdowns, 48 receptions, 328 yards

The Jets have to somewhat limit his number of touches so he doesn’t burn out, which is why Shonn Greene’s recent performance against the Bills was so encouraging. Greene is on pace for 208 carries for 892 yards. Could the Jets end up with two 1,000 yard rushers if Greene continues to pick it up?

Receivers

Dustin Keller has stolen the show and established himself as the Jets top receiving target. He has on pace for 76 receptions, 1016 yards, and 20 (yes 20 touchdowns). Obviously, as teams begin to key on him and with the return of Santonio Holmes those numbers likely won’t carry out. Yet, there is no reason Keller shouldn’t be in double digits for touchdowns and flirt with 1,000 yards.

Braylon Edwards is on pace for 48 receptions, 908 yards, and 12 touchdowns. His yards per catch is extremely impressive at 18.9. There is no reason he can’t continue to be a big play threat and a red-zone target with the return of Holmes. I wouldn’t be stunned if his numbers didn’t fall too short of those projections.

Jerricho Cotchery is off to a slow start and is only on pace for 44 receptions, 360 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Many things the Jets do with Cotchery (namely the quick smoke screens) will likely fall to Holmes now. It will be interesting to see if the Jets can find a way to keep him involved in the offense. Maybe, with him fully embracing the slot receiver role, he can become a big time third down weapon.

Brad Smith is on pace for 316 rushing yards and is averaging 9.9 yards per carry. He also has a touchdown pass, a reception, and is probably the Jets overall best special teams player.

Defense

On defense, Shaun Ellis is on pace for 12 sacks. Let’s hope he can get back healthy next week. David Harris is leading the way with a pace for 92 tackles, with Bart Scott close behind en route to 84. Neither of them have recorded a sack yet but both have 2 tackles for a loss.

The Jets are on pace for 32 sacks in 2010. They had 32 sacks in 2009.

The Jets are on pace for 16 interceptions in 2010. They had 17 in 2009.

Unofficially, Kyle Wilson is on pace to allow 5,000 receiving yards and be called for 200 pass interference penalties.

Turning Point

In week 2, the Jets were getting beat up and down the field by the New England Patriots. They fell behind 7-0 on a Wes Welker touchdown in the second quarter and it felt like 0-2 could be on the way. However, the offense responded with a 12 play, 77 yard drive that ended in a Braylon Edwards touchdown. They haven’t looked back since.

Favorite Plays From Weeks 1 – 4

  • Shaun Ellis and Bryan Thomas demolishing Joe Flacco on the first defensive snap of the season.
  • Jason Taylor’s strip sack of Tom Brady to clinch a victory against New England.
  • Dustin Keller beating Yeremiah Bell on a fade for a first quarter touchdown against the Dolphins.
  • Drew Coleman’s game sealing interception against the Dolphins.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson breaking out the juke move for a 26 yard touchdown against the Bills.
  • Braylon Edwards smoking Leodis McKlevin for a 41 yard touchdown.

Look at LT Go

Jets Fans: Take A Deep Breath

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A short and friendly reminder to Jets fans who are quickly losing confidence in their team as a Super Bowl contender:

The games in August don’t count. This is the pre-season. There is no need to even recollect the countless examples of teams having strong pre-seasons and then being terrible or the reverse. Obviously, it would be nice to see Mark Sanchez play a little more consistent and the passing game connect on a few more big plays. Of course, Antonio Cromartie isn’t as good as Darrelle Revis. Yes, it is a big blow that Calvin Pace will miss the first four games.

Yet, I remember Sanchez playing god-awful in a pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens last year before coming out of the gate on fire, en route to a 3-0 start for the Jets. After that, he started to struggle and then finished the year playing better. The thing about Sanchez is that he is a young quarterback who is going to be inconsistent at times. Hopefully, he will be less inconsistent in 2009 than he was in 2010. Don’t forget the Jets went to the AFC Championship Game with him throwing 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions, while completing a little over 50 percent of his passes. He won’t be anywhere near that bad this season. The guy clearly has talent but you have to expect some inconsistencies to linger in his second year.

The Jets played four games without Calvin Pace last season and went 3-1. They are now better equipped to deal with his absence because of the Jason Taylor signing and because Vernon Gholston appears to be improved from last year.

Simply put, not having Darrelle Revis sucks. The Jets secondary is going to suffer without him but that doesn’t mean they are going to look like the Giants last year defending the pass, and be allowing 40 points a game. At this point, even if Revis returns he won’t be playing at his 2009 level until the middle of the season, if he doesn’t get hurt before. Revis Island is gone. Don’t expect to see that kind of play until late October, if he actually decides he can stomach playing football for 120 million dollars.

The Jets defense is still going to be very, very good this year. They can still run the football as well as any team in the league. These two things mean the Jets are going to be competitive every week and win more times than they lose, because they still have superior talent to just about all the teams they will face, even without Revis. It is a well-coached, highly motivated team that has quality veteran leadership (Richardson, Cotchery, Leonhard, Scott, Woody, Jenkins,) and plenty of skill spread across the roster.

Take a deep breath Jets fans, August is over and we survived with only key injury and the guy will be back for week 5. September is here and we are still a Super Bowl contender.

Mark Sanchez Will Be Fine

TOJ TV…Of Course

TV Critic: Hard Knocks Episode #2

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A quick look at episode 2 of Hard Knocks

1. Does anybody else miss Leon Washington yet? I haven’t heard or seen one encouraging thing from Joe McKnight yet and he didn’t come off well at all in tonight’s episode. He looked like a spaced out kid, who thinks he has all the answers. Good move by Santonio Holmes trying to give him advice and running backs coach Anthony Lynn was working on him constantly, but it didn’t seem like it was getting through.

2. Sanchez, funny guy but pay attention when your quarterback coach is talking to you and stop stressing over the 59 cents extra on the Pizza Hut order, you have a 50 million dollar contract.

3. It sounds like a foregone conclusion that John Conner will be the starting fullback. I just hope the Jets aren’t stupid enough to cut Tony Richardson. There is value in keeping the veteran around and giving him a role on the offense.

4. Kris Jenkins vs. Nick Mangold – There is a battle worth watching…looks like Mangold got the best of him tonight.

5. I still don’t buy the Vernon Gholston hype. The Jets had to stage a fight for him to pick up the intensity.

6. Mark Brunell is a smart man for keeping his daughter far away from Sanchez. The veteran backup came off well in this episode as a valuable mentor for Sanchez, though.

7. Mike Westhoff is the man.

8. Where are you? – Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Nick Mangold, Calvin Pace, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Jim Leonhard, Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller.

9. Somehow I think there will be some people out there mocking Cromartie’s clip naming all his children.

10. I’m glad they didn’t spent any time on the Revis holdout.

11. Somebody hide the M&M’s from Rex.

12. Bart Scott…nice zinger on McKnight taking a pay cut after leaving USC.

13. Sanchez, what is with the Karate Kid look in the weight room?

14. Steve Weatherford…funny stuff with the shake weights.

Back To Camp: Jets Thursday Recap & Venting On Secondary

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First a few updates:

1. Listen to Turn On The Jets live tonight at 8PM on Football Reporters Online Presents: Pro Football NYC at this link (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/football-reporters/2010/08/19/football-reporters-online-presents-pro-football-nyc

2. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets).

3. The Jets have special teams practice at 4:15 today, an 8:20 AM practice tomorrow and then off on Friday in preparation of their pre-season game in Carolina Saturday Night at 8 PM. After how much the starters played on Monday night, don’t expect to see any first unit players get any reps outside of the first quarter.

4. Of course, Hard Knocks 10 PM tonight.

Thursday Practice Recap

The Good – Plenty of work for the second team today, with a few starters getting the day off and many getting limited reps. James Ihedigbo and Vernon Gholston both recorded sacks of Mark Brunell. Steve Weatherford got a shot to kick field goals today and hit all three (33, 38, 43 yards).

The Bad – There was another fight at practice today, this time between Matt Slauson and Matt Kroul. Rob Turner and Shaun Ellis were also exchanging some heated words…I think the players may be itching to leave Cortland full time. Marquice Cole was called for pass interference, extending the offenses’ two minute drive.

Play of the Day – Laveranues Coles had a one-handed grab of a Mark Brunell pass during the two minute drill.

Sanchez Stats – 6/11, No INTs, No TDs

Injury – Nick Mangold was back on the practice field today after missing the pre-season game against the Giants with a headache.  John Conner (knee) and Jason Davis (ankle) both had limited reps at fullback. Donovan Warren has a head injury. Lance Laury got stitches on his lower lip after the Giants game. Bart Scott, Matthew Mulligan Mike DeVito and Brandon Moore were given the day off.

Depth Chart – With Brandon Moore out today, Vladimir Ducasse worked at left guard while Matt Slauson worked at right guard. Kenwin Cummings filled in for Bart Scott at inside linebacker. Mark Brunell was back to working with the second offense.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • Disappointed with practice, thought it was sluggish. Too many false starts penalties.
  • No movement in left guard battle, thought both played well.
  • Said Joe McKnight needs to learn sometimes to just “get three yards and give us what you got in between the tackles.”
  • Praised Danny Woodhead’s courage and toughness.
  • Praised Kyle Wilson’s ability to learn defense and how coachable he is.
  • Would like to see more of Brashton Satele and Josh Mauga at linebacker.
  • He has been impressed with Jason Taylor’s ability to stop the run.
  • Said he believed Tony Dungy “unfairly judged him” and left him a message to call him and come visit camp.

Revis Update – Nada…and Dwight Lowery, Drew Coleman, and Marquice Cole are all still battling for the “David Barrett Award” given to the Jets corner who is beat at least 95% of the time the ball is thrown their way.

Venting On Secondary

I have been trying not to think about the Darrelle Revis holdout too frequently. Honestly, once the Jets got rolling with practice, unless it was explicitly brought up (like in Hard Knocks), it was easy to just focus on the players on the field. However, we were all served a cruel reminder on Monday night about the Jets corners, not named Cromartie and Wilson.

In case you forgot about Dwight Lowery getting beat like a drum up and down the field in the AFC Championship Game, he reminded you of his coverage abilities. In case you forgot about Drew Coleman miss timing his jump in the AFC Championship Game on a Peyton Manning deep ball before the half that should have been intercepted and his general awfulness that traces back to missing tackles that lead to 60 yard touchdowns in 2006 against the Bears, he reminded you. In case you forgot who Marquice Cole was, he reminded you that he shouldn’t be a name worth remembering on the Jets defensive depth chart.

Bottom line is the Jets can’t have players like that on the field in their nickel package against teams like the Patriots, Packers, Vikings, and if it comes to it, the Colts. The Jets spent the off-season building themselves to beat a team like the Colts, by improving their pass rush with Jason Taylor and more importantly improving the depth in their secondary by trading for Cromartie and drafting Wilson. Unfortunately, their depth is back to where it started when the league’s best corner isn’t in the lineup. I don’t know about you but I am not interested in seeing a repeat of last year’s AFC Championship Game in 2010. Darrelle Revis just intercepted some leverage from the Jets and he will likely get more if the Panthers carve up the Jets reserves on Saturday.

Guessing That Drew Coleman Won’t Be Featured In A Commercial Anytime Soon

Grading Out Jets/Giants Pre-Season Game

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Quarterbacks (B+) – Outside of his interception, Mark Sanchez was accurate (13/17, 119 yards) and spread the ball around to all his weapons. It was also encouraging to see his knee hold up when he was sacked in the second quarter. How about Kellen Clemens? The quarterback we love to hate put up a solid 7/10 performance and looked like the Jets second best option behind Sanchez. Mark Brunell only threw three passes and Kevin O’Connell loodke like he is trying to play his way off the roster.

Running Backs (B+) – Shonn Greene picked up right where he left off last season, gashing defenses up the middle for 5 yards a pop. LaDainian Tomlinson showed his value catching passes out of the backfield and had good burst on a touchdown that was called back. Joe McKnight has a long way to go. It didn’t seem like anybody distinguished themselves in the battle at fullback. I don’t know if Danny Woodhead is technically a receiver or running back but he looked good and outplayed McKnight.

Wide Receivers (A) – Great balance and production from this group, who avoided any costly drops or mistakes. Jerricho Cotchery had his 3 receptions for 32 yards, with the first of many key third down conversions. Braylon Edwards added 3 receptions for 35 yards. Santonio Holmes looked crisp with the second unit, pulling in 4 receptions for 55 yards. Brad Smith caught a touchdown. Aundrae Allison finished with 40 receiving yards and Larry Taylor had a pair of receptions. M.I.A. – David Clowney and Laveranues Coles.

Tight Ends (B) – Dustin Keller had a pair of nice catches and was targeted frequently by Sanchez. How about Matthew Mulligan with a nice sliding grab of a Brunell pass?

Offensive Line (C+) Minus Nick Mangold, the unit had a holding penalty that brought back a touchdown (Rob Turner) and Damien Woody was beat for a sack. However, the run blocking was solid and the pass protection was good beyond the one sack.

Defensive Line (B) – Quiet night for the guys up front. No recorded stats from Vernon Gholston. Ropati Pitoitua finished with 3 tackles.

PhotobucketLinebackers (B) – Calvin Pace demolished Eli Manning on his bobbled exchange but Bart Scott has to find a way to pick up that football. Kenwin Cummings led the team in tackles with 5. A quiet night from Jason Taylor and Jamaal Westerman.

Secondary (C) – Antonio Cromartie played well but dropped a pair of interceptions. Dwight Lowery, Drew Coleman, or Marquice Cole can’t be trusted as the team’s nickel back, which is a scary thought considering how much nickel the Jets play. James Ihedigbo was active and Brodney Pool did a nice job chasing down Ahmad Bradshaw on his long reception.

Special Teams (A-) – The only glitch was Nick Folk’s missed field goal in the second half. However, he hit his other three attempts. Eric Smith blocked a punt and Larry Taylor looked promising on returns.

Highlights

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also now reach TOJ by e-mail at JCaporoso@fanball.com

2. A reminder the Jets will putting Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, and Joe Namath in their Ring of Honor tonight. So stay in your seats during halftime and pass up on the 9 dollar hot dog and 7 dollar beer.

The Super Bowl Of Meaningless Games: Jets vs. Giants Preview

It’s time for some August football, which means despite a Subway spokesperson and a reserve corner constantly expressing their jealously over the Jets, ultimately tonight’s results will be meaningless. However, that is no reason not to be excited to watch the Jets and Giants first teams battle it out in the first quarter. Well, at least the Jets first team since the Giants have continued their trend from 2009 by becoming the Mets of the NFL aka “the walking wounded.” What is in the water up there in Albany that has half of their team injured?

Anyway on to the football, there is plenty to watch for from a Jets perspective tonight:

Offense

1. Mark Sanchez – It would be encouraging to see Sanchez build on his strong postseason run tonight. The most important things are for him to protect the football and show the ability to take a hit after his off-season surgery. The Jets offense should be a little more wide-open than their strict ground and pound approach in 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Schottenheimer dial up an early deep ball for Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson – The word out of Cortland has been that Tomlinson has a little bounce in his step and looks like he is far from done. LT will be getting substantially  more pre-season work than he is used to. The Jets love his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, so look for him split out on a few plays and to be the target of a screen pass or two. It will also be interesting to see how the carries are divided up between him and Shonn Greene, along with who will get the goal-line touches.

3. Left Guard – The battle between Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse moves into a game situation tonight. Slauson has an early advantage but Ducasse should get a shot with the first offense to keep himself in the race. How much will the Jets miss Alan Faneca and his revolving door pass blocking?

4. Backup Quarterback – I’m not sold on Mark Brunell yet but apparently he has put together a strong camp. He will likely be working with Santonio Holmes, Laveranues Coles, and David Clowney at receiver, so let’s see the Jets offense move the ball against the Giants second unit.

5. Formations – The Jets are stacked with receiving options. I just can’t wait to see the different ways Schottenheimer has come up with to line up Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Santonio Holmes, and Dustin Keller.

6. Keep An Eye On – Rookie tight end Jeff Cumberland…reserve receivers Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry…rookie running back Joe McKnight (please don’t throw up)…How many reps rookie fullback John Conner gets with the first offense.

Defense

Photobucket1. A Team Without An Island – Antonio Cromartie slides over into Darrelle Revis’ old spot and will be looking to build on a monster training camp. Rookie Kyle Wilson will start opposite him, while Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole will be the first to work in behind the starters. It wouldn’t hurt the Jets leverage if Cromartie flashed back to 2007 and had a pick six or Kyle Wilson had a strong night in the starting lineup, while the organization could get antsy if Eli Manning is throwing all over the Jets first defense.

2. Is He Alive? – Vernon Gholston has been getting hyped up all August by the coaching staff and now even the beat writers. Will we actually notice him on the field tonight? Could he possibly pressure the quarterback or even record a sack?

3. The Cookie Monster – Kris Jenkins should see very limited reps tonight as he returns from ACL surgery. I would like to see the big fella blow up a few plays and then get on the sideline.

4. A Mirage – We get to see Jason Taylor rushing the quarterback in a Jets uniform tonight, weird. He can start winning fans over by flattening Manning tonight.

5. Mrs. Rhodes Replacement – I am anxious to see a safety next to Jim Leonhard who can tackle.

6. Keep An Eye On – Kenwin Cummings at inside linebacker…Ropati Pitoitua battling for a spot in the defensive end rotation…Donovan Warren, Brian Jackson, Drew Coleman, and Emmanuel Cook battling for a roster spot in the secondary…Bart Scott ripping the ball out of Brandon Jacobs hands again.

Special Teams

What The Folk – I won’t be able to watch tonight when Folk lines up for field goals.

No More Dearth – The Jets have a new long snapper in Tanner Purdum, everybody will remember James Dearth’s name tonight if he flubs a snap.

Return Battle – I am looking forward to see Kyle Wilson deep on punt returns and Brad Smith, Joe McKnight, Aundrae Allison, and Larry Taylor fight it out for the kick return job.

Check back tonight for instant reaction after the game

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