Sunday Morning Quarterback: Jets vs. Giants
By Alan Schechter
Aug 15, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan looks on during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
It’s the morning after, Jets fans. This will be the Monday Morning Quarterback during the season, but we adapt to the different days of games during training camp.
As we all know, we have a lot to talk about. Many things were not good last night, so let’s get right to the recap.
We’ll start with the offensive line. Oh, boy. We talked about it yesterday afternoon, you can read it again by clicking here. I hate to say I told you so, but…..everything falls apart when the offensive line does. Everyone’s favorite RT had a great game once again. The Giants front, led by Jason Pierre-Paul, beat Wayne Hunter to the tune of four sacks(one erased on a penalty). Hunter was basically thrown around like a rag doll. We have seen this movie before, as Wayne was thrown around like a rag doll for most of 2011. But was does our brain trust upstairs do? Guarantee him over 2 million dollars this year, while making guys like Matthew Slauson take a pay cut. Does that make sense to anybody?
What this game made clear was, that Mike Tannenbaum needs to get us some offensive line help, and do it quickly. So far, Mike has lost his ability to acquire offensive line help, maybe he forgot that they stunk up the joint last season. He had better remember real fast.
When Mark Sanchez had time to throw, he looked good, for the most part. It’s hard to get on him a lot with no weapons healthy. He did go 9-11 for 59 yards. But….and there was one big but. The interception. Specifically, the pick six interception. Mark’s pass was not close, throwing behind his man, and right into the arms of the defender. People know me as a Mark Sanchez defender, but when he makes throws like that, we all get frustrated. He is so inconsistent with his accuracy, and his decision making. This is why I wanted Chad Pennington back as the QB coach. Someone needs to help him be more accurate. He can be 9-11 all he likes, but when one of the incomplete passes is a pick six, that is all anyone will remember. After a while, this is what the coaches will remember as well.
The offensive line was no help with the “Ground and Pound” either. Shonn Greene had some flashes, but nobody can make runs when the line doesn’t block for you. The running game did nothing, to the tune of 2.7 yards per rush. That, in short, will never cut it. Greene as I said had some flashes, and led with 36 yards on 11 carries, and Bilal Powell looked better than last week, with 6 carries for 21 yards, but the performance overall was terrible. I know that this is the preseason, but seeing the offense go backwards is not going to help anyone. And it starts with the offensive line. Like I said yesterday, everything falls apart when the offensive line does.
It is a rough sign when only one team has not scored a TD in the preseason. That team? The New York Jets.
Now, let’s talk about Tim Tebow. He clearly still has his difficulties throwing the football. He made some accurate throws, but made a lot more inaccurate one. He did get the ball downfield a bit more than Mark did, but was not accurate, finishing 5-14 for 69 yards.
But, there were some good things I liked from Tebow. Even though he took some sacks, his instincts were more like a quarterback. There was no doubt that he was going to take sacks, that was unavoidable based on the offensive line play. However, he had his head downfield much more than he did last week. Last week, I talked about Tim having instincts as a running back. The moment he felt a rush, he took off. This week, he felt the rush, and rolled out looking downfield. Sometimes he took a sack, sometimes he threw it away. THAT is the way a quarterback needs to think. Believe it or not, I was happy with Tebow for that.
But he still can’t throw. Sorry, I can’t change my tune entirely.
The other major issue was with the special teams. The stupid mistakes from Joe McKnight are unacceptable. After the defense holds, you cannot take a roughing the kicker penalty. Mistakes like that kill momentum, as we saw tonight the Giants went on to score after the drive was extended. This cannot happen.
Also, it looked like TJ Conley was punting blindfolded last night. He had two punts in a row that went off the side of his foot, and one that would have been just as bad had it not rolled. Maybe the Jets jumped the gun getting rid of Travis Baltz. Conley has to be consistent, because punting can change the game based on field position. A consistent punter is one of the little things that can be the difference in a game. Ultimately, most NFL teams are close in talent, and it’s the little things that make a difference. Punting is one of them.
By the way, did everyone forget Dustin Keller? Not targetted much last night.
There were some positives, however. The run defense was terrific, allowing just 1.8 yards per rush. This is exactly what we expect from the New York Jets defense. Bart Scott had a particularly nice stick on a running play. The defense here looked good.
It was nice to see a turnover on defense, even though the throw that caused it was horrible. The pass rush by Mike Devito forced a horrible overthrow. LaRon Landry welcomed himself to the Jets nicely with that pick, along with a big hit on Victor Cruz. The hit was clean, despite what Giants fans were saying. If he is going to lay hits like that, things may change in the way tight ends play against the Jets, which is a great sign.
Another guy that stepped out and played well was Antonio Allen. He had three tackles officially, but when you watch the game, you could see that he was all over the field. He is moving towards being a strong asset in sub packages this year on defense.
Quinton Coples continued his positive play from last week. It is still preseason, obviously, but he is on his way to shedding his “bust” pick status. He finished with 3 tackles (one for a loss), one sack, and 2 hits on the QB. This man will be a difference maker on defense this year.
Finally, Aaron Maybin, although not on defense, created some mayhem with a blocked punt. He is an active player, and if he is going well, his speed will reak havoc.
That’s it for the Sunday Morning Quarterback. We get to try it again next week against the Panthers.