Welcome to a new year of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. For those new to the site I do both a Quick Hits column, that are my own thoughts from the game as they happen uninfluenced by any beat writers or news items, which goes up on the website immediately following the game and I also do this column which is a more in-depth look at the game that takes into account Rex’s press conference and reports on the game for things I might have missed while watching the game initially. This column runs the day after the game. So without further adieu here are the good, the bad and the ugly from Thursday night’s Jets victory:
1) The Jets Win! – Despite it being a preseason game that doesn’t count it always feels good to win a game. Andrew Furney’s long 51 yard field goal with 1:08 remaining was the difference in the 13-10 victory. IK Enemkpali sealed the victory with a strip sack which was recovered by AJ Edds. Worth noting last year that the Jets forced 18 fumbles but only recovered 2 so this is a nice start.
2) No major injuries – Chris Ivory left the game with a rib injury and David Nelson with a hand injury but Rex Ryan said in his post game presser that neither are serious and he expects both to be ready next week for the Bengals. As expected Calvin Pryor, Bilal Powell and Antwan Barnes missed the game. Greg Salas “had a thing” according to Rex Ryan so apparently some part of his body was hurt enough to keep him out of the game but isn’t bad enough to hinder his progress going forward. Other inactives include Shaq Evans, Markus Zusevics, and Brent Qvale.
3) No turnovers on offense – Along with injuries this was one of the biggest areas of focus after the ungodly amount of turnovers in 2012 and 2013. Both Smith and Vick made good, quick decisions with the football. The ball placement was good and they used their feet to pick up yardage as well. The only possibilities for turnovers were when Smith had a throwaway in the direction of Bohanon that was a questionable throw but he showed more poise in the pocket than last year and his footwork has improved. Also, Vick was almost strip sacked when Ben Ijalana got beaten off of the edge just before halftime. Daryl Richardson fumbled but quickly recovered his own mistake.
4) Smith and Vick – Geno Smith finished his day 4/6 for 33 yards with another 10 yards on the ground in two drives against the Colts’ starters. He was able to lead the team to a Nick Folk field goal on his second drive. As I said above, his footwork, decision making and ball placement were all either as remembered from the last month of last season or improved. On his 1st drive, after a seven yard completion to Decker (whom Smith has built a nice rapport with) and a three yard run by Ivory where he hurdled a defender for a 1st down the drive stalled after a 3rd and 9 completion to Eric Decker was nullified by a late false start flag on David Nelson. On the ensuing 3rd and 14 there was no one open down the field so he correctly checked down to Chris Johnson who took it for 9 yards. They got the ball back after a shanked punt and got into a rhythm with an 11 yard pass to Cumberland, a read option run by Smith for 10 yards and a five yard completion to Decker that left a 3rd and 6. The Colts came with an overload blitz and Smith had to throw it away to avoid a sack. In that situation I think Smith should have slid his protection or audibled out of the play altogether but I seem to be alone in that sentiment as others are lauding him for staying in the pocket and throwing it away. Re-watching the game I see that it was a really well timed blitz by the corner so he had no time to audible so his decision was correct. Smith talked about the play and suggested that he might use a dummy snap count to try and get the corner to show blitz. All in all Smith played relatively well against a good pressure scheme that Chuck Pagano runs for the Colts.