Monday Meditations – New York Jets -18, Tampa Bay -17

A few extra thoughts on the New York Jets week one win after sleeping on it, re-watching the game and watching highlights of Geno Smith being pushed out of bounds 200 times. Look at that bench celebration, just terrific! 

1. Stephen Hill was impressive in the short and intermediate passing game, displaying good hands and toughness. He has also become a contributor in the running game because of his ability and willingness to block on the edge. I’m not sure if or when we will see Hill become the deep threat he was drafted to be but yesterday he played the part of a possession receiver and played it very well.

2. We have been huge Marty Mornhinweg advocates here at TOJ. However, there were some concerning play-calls yesterday. The third down rollout pass from Jeremy Kerley? The pitch outside to Kerley on 3rd and less than 1? Let’s not out-think ourselves here. I understand the Jets want to keep the Wildcat wrinkle in their offense but how many weeks of it being completely ineffective until it is scrapped? Beyond that, is admirable how much faith Mornhinweg showed in Smith by dropping him back 38 times but the consistent first down play action too frequently put the Jets in a hole and won’t be effective until they can establish some type of running game.

3. Further praise for Geno Smith – He showed a great feel for the screen game, knew when to throw the football away and knew when to slide to protect himself. There was an overall calmness and thoughtfulness to his game yesterday, which was very encouraging to see. There is going to be a cringe worthy mistake or two every week but on the whole, he moved around confidently and made more plays than I think anybody expected.

4. Demario Davis chasing down Vincent Jackson prior to Tampa’s go ahead field goal was quietly the play of the game. Davis had a strong all-around day and had a big hand in slowing down Doug Martin.

5. It wasn’t a strong outing for the offensive line. Vlad Ducasse struggled throughout the entire day and will be replaced by Brian Winters, sooner rather than later. D’Brickashaw Ferguson was plagued with penalties and overall there was a weak push in the running game and inconsistent pass protection. Tampa Bay has a tough front seven but the Jets OL has a ways to go at this point.

6. I would guess Santonio Holmes is about 80% healthy as of right now. There is a noticeable limp in his running still and he struggled to get separation. I wouldn’t expect to see ‘Tone at a true 100% until October.

7. A tough day for both Antonio Cromartie and Dee Milliner, who couldn’t slow down Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. Cromartie was surprisingly passive on the outside and was slower than usual in his reaction time. Milliner settled down in the second half but is going to get picked on a ton this season. Elsewhere in the secondary, Dawan Landry was very good besides his late game missed tackle and Antonio Allen didn’t have any disasters in coverage, which is a positive.

8. I won’t get down on Bilal Powell because he is what he is – A player with limited talent who does his job on every play. He isn’t going to pop big plays but will grind out yards, be a reliable check-down option and be solid in pass protection. Chris Ivory and eventually Mike Goodson need to become the play-makers for this team at running back. Ivory really only showed burst on his one 7 yard run that ended with a failed hurdled and struggled to catch the football. The Jets need him to get rolling in the open field, which of course will be easier with improved blocking upfront.

9. This is fun to read today.

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 EVP of Content at Whistle Sports