New York Jets Preseason Game 1: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan on the sidelines in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

This will be a weekly feature that I do each Monday highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly from the game that was. Obviously not  all-inclusive just what stuck out in my mind. Feel free to add your own in the comment section.

The Good

1) Muhammad Wilkerson – He ended a breakout year last year by getting snubbed for the Pro Bowl and it obviously has driven him to continue to improve in the offseason. His upper body strength is incredible as evidenced by the sack he recorded on a play where he was being held. He tore right through the lineman to get to the quarterback. He continues to be stout against the run as well.

2) Ben Obomanu – Obomanu made good adjustments on his routes to get open whether it be against man coverage or sitting down in a zone. Obomanu led the Jets with 4 receptions for 59 yards. If he can show this consistently he will not only make the team but get a decent chunk of playing time probably eating into Edwards’ reps.

3) Jaiquawn Jarrett – Jarrett made the most of his playing time as he had 6 tackles (3 solo) and a QB hit where he nearly knocked Kellen Moore out of his cleats. Jarrett also came in on run support and stopped the ball carrier dead in his tracks. On a night where Antonio Allen was invisible Jarrett passed him on the depth chart and will start preseason game number 2 on Saturday.

The Bad

1) Mark Sanchez’s screen passes – The first screen pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Ziggy Ansah and the second one required a vicious tackle by Kellen Winslow to prevent another pick 6. Sanchez lacks the touch on screen passes and has since he came to the Jets in 2009. The screen pass is a big part of Marty Mornhinweg’s offense so Sanchez needs to improve ASAP. Sanchez did recover nicely to go 10-13 for 125 yards and a beautiful touchdown to Jeff Cumberland to go along with the interception he threw.

2) Demario Davis – Davis looked a bit confused with his play recognition, whether it be knowing where his zone was and who he was handing his receiver off to or picking up his receiver in man coverage. He was beaten too easily. He needs to think less and react more, he has the athletic ability to be extremely good but won’t be the player he can be without mastering the mental aspect of the game.

3) Austin Howard’s pass blocking – Last season, according to Pro Football Focus, Austin Howard was responsible for 10 sacks plus 10 additional quarterback hits so his pass blocking needed improvement and so far not so good. Howard had a rough night with Lions defensive end Willie Young among others. It is only the first game and getting used to a new guard (either Willie Colon or Brian Winters) is difficult especially with communication but Howard needs to clean it up and do it fast.

The Ugly

1) Injuries – John Griffin broke his leg, Dennis Landholt tore up his knee, Geno Smith left the game with a sprained ankle as did Garrett McIntyre with a knee injury and Ryan Spadola left briefly when his ankle got rolled up. Smith, McIntyre and Spadola were lucky to be not injured more severely and all practiced on Sunday. These injuries underscore the need for more depth, especially along the offensive line and running back. Chris Ivory returned to practice Sunday albeit limited but he did go through running back drills and the walk through, he is on target to debut Saturday night. Joe McKnight is still a mess and Mike Goodson is nowhere to be found leaving Powell and Ivory in the backfield for now with Spann and newly signed Khalil Bell picking up some reps too.

2) Oday Aboushi and Vladimir Ducasse – The second team offensive line was atrocious but Aboushi and Ducasse were especially awful. Perhaps Aboushi had first game jitters but he looked slow and lost at tackle. Ducasse looked like Ducasse. I would expect a couple of reinforcements to be brought in after all the roster cuts are in because there is little to no capable depth along the line save for Winters and perhaps Schlauderaff.

3) Ricky Sapp – Right now as we speak somewhere Ricky Sapp is offsides. Sapp is also repeatedly trying the same speed move around the edge that everyone knows about. Eventually Sapp is going to have to be onside and try something different that will work outside of practice. He does have ability he just has to put it together without getting injured.

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