Aug 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackMichael Vick
(1) scrambles against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight the Jets opened the preseason defeating the Colts 13-10. It was sloppy like most first preseason games are with areas of improvement apparent but there is also reason for optimism for Jets fans. Here are the Quick Hits:
1) The Quarterbacks – Geno Smith was 4/6 for 33 yards and had a 10 yard run for a 1st down. He only had 2 drives because the defense couldn’t get off the field and managed a field goal in his second drive. His ball placement was good, there were no turnovers or anything close to 1. His decisions were crisp. He didn’t wow with his stats but he played a perfectly acceptable game. The two things I found fault with is a pass he threw away to Bohanon under heavy rush that was a little risky and he did not audible out or slide protection on an overload blitz that forced a quick throw incompletion on the 3rd down before the field goal. The first drive failed because a false start penalty on Nelson negated a 1st down throw to Cumberland on a 3rd and 9 making it 3rd and 14. Smith made the correct decision to dump down to Chris Johnson who ran for 9 yards. The second drive had flow after an 11 yard completion to Cumberland, a 10 yard run by Smith and a pass to Decker for 5. The 3rd and 6 play was where Smith should have audibled and the incompletion forced a field goal. Smith seems to already have a rapport with Decker which is excellent to see.
Vick led a 7 minute 15 play touchdown drive and was 3/6 for 17 yards. His 3 completions included a key 3rd down throw to Amaro and a 4th down play action pass to Bohanon. Vick also ran for 19 yards including a 15 yard scramble. The drive was a run based drive where the Jets finally started to attack the line of scrimmage. They were also helped out by 30 yards worth of Colt penalties. Vick’s ball placement was good and only had one chance at a turnover when he was almost in his 2nd drive (a 3 and out with the 2nd team o-line) strip sacked but he held on.
Matt Simms played the 2nd half and he played decently and like Matt Simms usually plays. It’s graded on a curve because he was playing against the Colts’ scrubs. He isn’t going to start barring multiple injuries but he seems to be performing well enough to hold off Tajh Boyd who will have to accept a practice squad spot, if he isn’t grabbed on waivers by another team.
2) Some stars – Dee Milliner looked terrific with 2 pass breakups when he was in good position and should have intercepted a pass in the end zone. Quinton Coples was very active either stuffing the run or beating his block to get in the backfield. He got a gimme sack when a snap flew over Luck’s head and Coples touched him down. He also looked very good chasing down a running back on a flat pass. Eric Decker caught 2 balls for 12 yards but showed that he knows how to get open and quickly using his route running to get to his spot. Other than being mismatched on TY Hilton in coverage for a play David Harris had 6 tackles and a sack. Chris Johnson looked good on the 2 catches he had for 16 yards and found the end zone with a short run. Ivory was running pretty well before he injured his rib. Demario Davis destroyed a receiver catching a swing pass. Jace Amaro used his body well and caught a key 3rd down pass then took a flat pass and turned it upfield for 13 yards. Amaro actually led the Jets in receiving with 2 catches for 18 yards. 13 different Jets caught passes. Daryl Richardson and Alex Green ran well in the 2nd half. IK Enempkali had a strip sack to end the game.
3) Some who struggled – Dimitri Patterson had a nightmare game. In addition to allowing a key 3rd down completion for 16 yards to Nicks, he was also beaten deep cleanly by Da’Rick Rogers for 45 yards then committed a defensive holding penalty away from the ball that extended a Colts drive. Jason Babin did not set the edge on a couple of occasions and allowed runs in his direction. Jeremiah George seemed overmatched in coverage and was getting abused on passes in the flat to the running back. Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson were extremely quiet. Stephen Hill was a non-factor. David Nelson struggled with penalties and a drop and injured his hand. Ben Ijalana got beat clean for a sack and Daryl Richardson’s pass protection was terrible and he fumbled but recovered his own fumble. Both Jets punters were terrible. They need another option at that position. The Colts 1st team defense’s blitz scheme confused the Jets which led to pressure. Hard to tell at first glance who was responsible.
Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) at the line of scrimmage against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
4) Defense has it’s moments but doesn’t perform to expectations – The Jets’ defense struggled in a few areas allowing 10 points including a touchdown by the Colts’ backups against the Jets’ starters. One was getting off the field on 3rd down where they allowed 6 out of 10 to Indianapolis in the 1st half. The team had struggles at the corner spot opposite Milliner with Patterson performing terribly. McDougle missed a tackle but had a nice pass break up where he was able to push the receiver to keep him from getting a 2nd foot down. McDougle played outside with the 2nd unit. Walls and McDougle might push Patterson down the depth chart quickly if things do not improve for Patterson. Another area of struggle was defending running backs out of the backfield and crossing routes that created mismatches. Herron caught 6 balls in two drives with 1 for a touchdown and TY Hilton had 38 yards including a 22 yard crossing route where he was isolated on David Harris. On the positive side, after a couple of carries the Jets did a good job against the run with the 1st team defense. Milliner, Harris, Davis, Coples, Douzable and Kenrick Ellis stuck out and played well. The Colts only passed for 16 yards in the 2nd half so give credit to McDougle and Walls. TJ Barnes, Kerry Hyder and Tevita Finau also flashed some nice play in the 2nd half.
5) No turnovers on offense and one caused on defense- That’s good news for the offense and defense. Two close calls Richardson fumbled but recovered his own fumble and Milliner dropped a ball he should have intercepted but IK Enempkali ended the night with an impressive strip sack.
6) Special Teams – Jalen Saunders had 3 fair catches at or inside the 10 then had 1 nice return on his last one of the day when he got to the 40 yard line only to have his helmet taken off. To his credit he kept playing anyway. Nick Folk made a 51 yard line because that’s what he does. Andrew Furney had a 51 yarder that he hit with just over a minute left to give the Jets the lead. The punters were terrible but the coverage units looked improved over last year with their athleticism and tackling ability although they had a false start penalty.
7) Injuries – In the game Chris Ivory suffered a rib injury and didn’t return after a goal line carry. It did not look serious. David Nelson injured his hand. Severity not known but he stayed on the field. As expected Calvin Pryor did not play as he recovers from a concussion although he did dress in uniform and go through the entire pre-game process. Bilal Powell did not play because of his mild hamstring injury and the only surprise was Greg Salas, who did not dress for an undisclosed reason. Other inactives include Brent Qvale, Markus Zusevics, Shaq Evans and Antwan Barnes.