Saturday Morning Quarterback: New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions


Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) on the sidelines in the second quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a new year, so back with the “Quarterback” column. For the people who are new to the blog this year, I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Normally this will be a “Monday Morning Quarterback” article. During the season, this article will be where I talk about the keys to either the victory, or the defeat. During the preseason, however, we will instead talk about some points from the game, good or bad.

We’ll start with the offense. Overall, Mark Sanchez had a nice game. He finished 10-13 for 125 yards and 1 TD. His shining moment came on a 5-5 drive that was capped off by a 26 yard TD pass to Jeff Cumberland up the seam on the right side. He spread the ball around to several different receivers, characteristic of a West Coast offensive scheme. Marty Mornhinweg called a nice variety of plays for him, as he did for all of the quarterbacks.

However, the inconsistency was there, and it is what drives everyone so crazy about Mark. He threw one pick six, nearly two, and the one he threw was bad. It was again on a screen pass, which for some reason has been a tough play for Mark recently. On his opening drive, he threw an attempted screen pass that was picked off by rookie Ziggy Ansah and taken to the house, bringing back memories of the last two seasons. Obviously, Mark Sanchez has to be more consistent if he is going to earn and keep the starting job.

Before leaving with an injury, Geno Smith did a nice job in his own right, going 6-7 for 47 yards. The injury apparently is not serious, and Smith is hopeful to practice quickly next week. Greg McElroy had a nice night as well, posting a boxscore of 11-19 for 145 yards and 1 TD. Rex, however, has mentioned that he is competing solely for the third quarterback position. He acquitted himself well for that spot.

One thing is for sure, the Marty Mornhinweg offense will be known for attacking the defense, no matter who the quarterback is.

There is one element that needs to improve with the quarterbacks as a group, and especially with the two main competitors. They are holding the ball far too long. It is great the offensive line allowed them time to do so, but that doesn’t mean they should be doing it. A characteristic of the West Coast system is short dropbacks, and getting the football out quickly. I want to see Mark, Geno, and everyone else take a three step drop, and get rid of the football. Same with a five step drop.  This will improve with time in the offense.

A couple of more things on the offense before we move onto the defense. Great to see Ryan Spadol spending time with the ones. He has worked hard, and the recognition is great, but making a catch with that group is even better.

The first team offensive line did a nice job in the passing game. Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, when Geno was with them, had forever to throw. That’s a good sign. They didn’t get much going in the ground game. Bilal Powell ran it 9 times for only 14 yards. The o-line will need to get better with the run schemes, especially on the straight ahead runs.

Zac Rogers had a bad drop on a wide open pass, but came back and recorded a TD from Greg McElroy. Other players that stood out a bit were Chad Spann, and Ben Obomanu. It was a tough debut for Oday Aboushi, with far too many penalties to suit anybody.

We will talk defense on the next page.

Jul 26, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive end Quinton Coples (98) looks on during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The first team defense had an excellent evening. They kept an explosive Lions’ first team offense off of the scoreboard, which is always an accomplishment, in the regular season or otherwise.

The young defense already showed us why we should be excited about them, starting with second year Quinton Coples. He posted 4 tackles and one sack, looking like his grasp of the defense is far better than it was last season. Mo Wilkerson was also back to his near Pro Bowl self with a sack of his own, despite the fact that he was held on the play. There is no reason not to be excited about the Jets’ defensive front seven.

In the backfield, Jaiquawn Jarrett acquitted himself well in an attempt to earn the safety spot opposite Dawan Landry. Jarrett posted 4.5 tackles, and filled holes in the running lanes with force. The guy can hit, and will make his presence felt back there. Josh Bush led the way with 5.5 tackles.

On the outside, Darrin Walls did not help himself, getting beaten badly for a TD, not turning around to take a look for the football. To make a play, and make it cleanly, the cornerback must have his head on a swivel, and be able to turn it and look up for the ball just at the right time. Ironically, a move done well last night by Kyle “finger wagging” Wilson. He made a nice play on the outside on a ball thrown his way.

All in all, not a terrible first game for the Jets, but there is much work to be done moving forward.