What To Watch On Sunday Night

By Alan Schechter

Tomorrow night, the Jets will face the Cincinatti Bengals from New Meadowlands Stadium in a week 2 preseason matchup.  Here are some things to watch for.

Pass Protection

7 sacks were given up last Monday night, which were far too many.  Part of that was due to the absence of Nick Mangold, who will return tomorrow night.  Brandon Moore is still out, and he is being replaced by the Vladimir Ducasse, which is still a scary prospect.  Over the past 2 seasons he has almost gotten Mark Sanchez killed twice.  Here’s one man’s prayer that Mark Sanchez won’t be carried out on a stretcher thanks to Vladimir, and there will be a step forward in pass protection.

Red Zone Offense

Although the backups did net a touchdown later in the game Monday night, the first team offense was noticeably putrid in the red zone, with a net negative one yard in their time in the red zone.  They will have help, as big target Plaxico Burress returns to the lineup tomorrow night.  They have to get better in the red zone.

Welcome Plaxico

After 20 months behind bars, Plaxico Burress will see his first game action tomorrow night.  As the rapport between Mark Sanchez and Derrick Mason was interesting to watch last Monday night, the beginnings of the rapport between Mark and Plaxico Burress will need to start tomorrow night.  The sooner he can get on the same page with his new weapon, the better.

Think Think Think

Penalties are to be expected in the preseason, no doubt.  However, we need to see the stupid penalites start to fall away in the second game.  Rex Ryan should not have to witness the potential for a two many men penalty, causing him to throw his headset on the ground.  Time to play like a Jet, and that means play smart.

Battle of the Feet

It should be interesting to see if someone takes the lead in either the kicking battle or the punting battle.  Nick Folk seemed to have a bit of a lead over Nick Novak by kicking deeper kickoffs last week.  TJ Conley and Chris Bryan performed virtually equally in the punting game, with their respective hang times averaging within 2 tenths of a second of each other.  Interesting to see if a strong leader emerges in the battle at these two positions.

Obviously the Jets need to get better after last week.  These are just some items to watch for and see how they develop.