Monday Morning Quarterback: Jets vs. Panthers


Aug 26, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez (6) and Tim Tebow (15) stand on the sideline during the first half against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Alas, we have the Monday Morning Quarterback, on a Monday morning for the first time in 2012. Here are thoughts from last night’s 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers:

First and foremost, we must give it up to Austin Howard. Granted, he wasn’t playing against the pass rushers that Wayne Hunter had to face in the previous game, but you can’t choose your opponents. The fact of the matter is, Howard was terrific in pass protection, and was making blocks at more than one level in the running game. This performance by Howard should take the urgency away from finding another right tackle elsewhere. It looks like we have one, and a good one. Hats off to the great Jake Steinberg (@Steiny31) for calling it months ago.

On another note, Mark Sanchez looked much better tonight, getting the ball down the field on a few occasions. He finished 11-18 for 123 yards and 1 INT. He was the victim of a couple of costly drops by Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill. Mark had several completions for over 20 yards, and if not for the previous drops, the Jets might have scored their first TD last night.

Stephen Hill did have a strong night, other than the drops, finishing his night with 5 catches for 68 yards. He’s a rookie, folks, he is going to have his drops as well as his big plays. The running backs showed “flashes”, Shonn Greene with an 18 yard run, and Bilal Powell had a bit of spring in his step tonight. We need to see more from the running game, obviously.

Quinton Coples continues to show everyone why Rex had the faith in this guy, when everyone else criticized. He made his presence felt again last night, with a sack and a forced fumble. Quinton is proving himself to be a tough man to block. And to the critics, his “motor” looks pretty good to me!

Aug. 18, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back LaRon Landry (30) celebrates with New York Jets defensive back Antonio Cromartie (31) after a tackle against the New York Giants during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Another acquistion that is going to make a huge difference this year is Mr. LaRon Landry. He had 3.5 tackles to go along with his second INT in the postseason. Man, can he hit or what? The receivers of this league are going to learn pretty quickly that it isn’t safe going over the middle against this guy. It still remains to be seen if he and Yeremiah Bell can stop the TEs of the world, but it most certainly is going to be a much fairer fight. That’s for sure.

The first team defense as a whole looked pretty good. The Panthers offense really got nothing going through the air, and the run defense was tough as usual. Through the struggles, the one thing you don’t have to worry about is the Jets defense, as they look ready to return to the league’s elite.

The injury bug hit last night, and it hit the Jets badly. After making a catch for 24 yards to start the game, Dustin Keller came out, not to return after a hamstring injury. Thankfully, Rex said after the game that his injury doesn’t appear to be serious, as he is a main weapon for this team, and we are already thin at TE. Another injury that isn’t serious at this point is the ankle injury sustained by David Harris. He left the game, but it doesn’t sound like he broke his ankle, and just may have sprained it a bit. He would be a big loss to the defense.

The injury to Josh Baker, however, looked very serious. He was involved in a nasty collision in the endzone, and was not able to put any weight on his injured leg. We hope it is not as serious as originally thought, and he can get back on the field at some point, as he has had a great camp to date.

Tim Tebow was just not accurate with his passes. The INT he threw was bad, as he stared down his wide receiver for quite a long time. You cannot do that in this league. He had a couple of nice throws, especially in the final two minutes, but the rest of them were not good. He finished 4-14 for 55 yards.

He did show some magic in the last two minutes though, didn’t he? He got the offense moving with his feet, and a couple of completions to lead them almost to a game winning score. Say a lot about the guy, but Tim Tebow has a spark in him when the game is on the line. This, there is no doubt.

Finally, there are still no touchdowns for the Jets offense. They got closer last night, as they did have some shots in the redzone, but ultimately were only able to turn those opportunities into field goals. In the grand scheme of things, whether they score or not during the preseason ultimately makes no difference. However, it is quite understandable to be alarmed, as it feels a bit like more of the same from last season.

Finally, Nick Folk may have won the kicking competition last night, going 3-3 in field goal attempts. Josh Brown missed a 45 yarder, while it’s only one kick, in a close competition, one kick can make all of the difference.

And so it goes. One more preseason tuneup before the season begins. Roster cuts to come later on today, and we will have it all covered for you right here.