New York Jets Preseason Week 1: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Aug 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to a new year of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. For those new to the site I do both a Quick Hits column, that are my own thoughts from the game as they happen uninfluenced by any beat writers or news items, which goes up on the website immediately following the game and I also do this column which is a more in-depth look at the game that takes into account Rex’s press conference and reports on the game for things I might have missed while watching the game initially. This column runs the day after the game. So without further adieu here are the good, the bad and the ugly from Thursday night’s Jets victory:

The Good

1) The Jets Win! – Despite it being a preseason game that doesn’t count it always feels good to win a game. Andrew Furney’s long 51 yard field goal with 1:08 remaining was the difference in the 13-10 victory. IK Enemkpali sealed the victory with a strip sack which was recovered by AJ Edds. Worth noting last year that the Jets forced 18 fumbles but only recovered 2 so this is a nice start.

2) No major injuries – Chris Ivory left the game with a rib injury and David Nelson with a hand injury but Rex Ryan said in his post game presser that neither are serious and he expects both to be ready next week for the Bengals. As expected Calvin Pryor, Bilal Powell and Antwan Barnes missed the game. Greg Salas “had a thing” according to Rex Ryan so apparently some part of his body was hurt enough to keep him out of the game but isn’t bad enough to hinder his progress going forward. Other inactives include Shaq Evans, Markus Zusevics, and Brent Qvale.

3) No turnovers on offense – Along with injuries this was one of the biggest areas of focus after the ungodly amount of turnovers in 2012 and 2013. Both Smith and Vick made good, quick decisions with the football. The ball placement was good and they used their feet to pick up yardage as well. The only possibilities for turnovers were when Smith had a throwaway in the direction of Bohanon that was a questionable throw but he showed more poise in the pocket than last year and his footwork has improved. Also, Vick was almost strip sacked when Ben Ijalana got beaten off of the edge just before halftime. Daryl Richardson fumbled but quickly recovered his own mistake.

4) Smith and Vick – Geno Smith finished his day 4/6 for 33 yards with another 10 yards on the ground in two drives against the Colts’ starters. He was able to lead the team to a Nick Folk field goal on his second drive. As I said above, his footwork, decision making and ball placement were all either as remembered from the last month of last season or improved. On his 1st drive, after a seven yard completion to Decker (whom Smith has built a nice rapport with) and a three yard run by Ivory where he hurdled a defender for a 1st down the drive stalled after a 3rd and 9 completion to Eric Decker was nullified by a late false start flag on David Nelson. On the ensuing 3rd and 14 there was no one open down the field so he correctly checked down to Chris Johnson who took it for 9 yards. They got the ball back after a shanked punt and got into a rhythm with an 11 yard pass to Cumberland, a read option run by Smith for 10 yards and a five yard completion to Decker that left a 3rd and 6. The Colts came with an overload blitz and Smith had to throw it away to avoid a sack. In that situation I think Smith should have slid his protection or audibled out of the play altogether but I seem to be alone in that sentiment as others are lauding him for staying in the pocket and throwing it away. Re-watching the game I see that it was a really well timed blitz by the corner so he had no time to audible so his decision was correct. Smith talked about the play and suggested that he might use a dummy snap count to try and get the corner to show blitz. All in all Smith played relatively well against a good pressure scheme that Chuck Pagano runs for the Colts.

Aug 4, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner (27) walks out to the field prior to the start of training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Vick came in and faced the Colts’ backups and led the Jets’ 1st team offense on a 15 play 80 yard drive that took 7:06. Vick finished 3/5 for 17 yards and added another 19 yards on the ground including a 15 yard scramble that was vintage Vick. The drive was very run-oriented and was aided by 30 yards of Colt penalties but of the 3 Vick completions, 2 were very important. The 1st was a 3rd down throw to Jace Amaro where Amaro used his body well to shield off the defender and get the 1st down and the other was a 4th down completion to Tommy Bohanon on a rollout off of play action. Vick’s 2nd series started at his own 10 behind the 2nd team offensive line and predictably it went 3 and out. Vick played well and showed that he is definitely a viable back up that can come in and win games in Smith gets injured or falters.

5) Standout players – Dee Milliner looked terrific and was in perfect position on 2 pass breakups. On the 2nd one ,which was an end zone throw, it hit his hands and should have been intercepted. Milliner looked like the number 1 corner the team needs. Now about that number 2 corner we’ll have more on him in later sections. Quinton Coples had a very good game and was getting into the backfield at will. He had a sack when he touched Luck down after a botched snap and he chased a running back down that was at full speed. Coples has not lost any strength when he lost the 15 lbs in the offseason and is poised to take a big step forward this year. Demario Davis snuffed out a swing pass to Hilton and ran through him before Hilton could gain anything. Davis looks a step quicker too but his quickness comes from the confidence of knowing what to do while not having to think about it anymore which is a huge step in the development of a player. Jace Amaro wasn’t quite as lost as he was portrayed as he caught 2 balls for 18 yards on two nice plays. On the 1st catch, it was a 3rd down and 4 where he found the sticks and used his body to shield off the defender then made the catch and fell forward for the 1st down. On the 2nd catch it was a simple flat pass that he took and turned upfield for 13 yards showing off his speed. He may not know all of his assignments yet but Amaro knows how to catch and run which creates matchup problems due to his size (6’7″ 260 lbs.). Just that alone will allow him to contribute year 1. The new editions Eric Decker and Chris Johnson looked good as both had a pair of receptions and Johnson also had a short touchdown run. Daryl Richardson ran well in the 2nd half as did Alex Green. Of the 2nd team unit Leger Douzable, Kenrick Ellis, TJ Barnes, Kerry Hyder, Tevita Finau, Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster and Dexter McDougle made some plays.

Oct 31, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson (24) intercepts a pass in front of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

1) Dimitri Patterson – Patterson had an awful night. He got beaten routinely and committed a penalty. On his first challenge it was 3rd and 11 and he was supposed to cover Hakeem Nicks. He runs right past the 1st down marker not noticing that Nicks has broken off of his route and he cannot recover in time allowing a 16 yard gain and a 1st down. The next time he is tested Da’Rick Rogers runs right past him and beats him for 45 yards. He also committed a defensive holding penalty that extended a Colts drive and was routinely around every negative play the Jets defense made. If Patterson plays like this he will get passed on the depth chart by McDougle and Walls and can possibly not even make the team if he is a complete flop. Look for the Jets to be active near final cuts if Patterson still struggles and no one else steps up. Whether it is a trade from a team with a glut of corners (Cleveland) or a surprise cut there will be another corner on this team.

2) The defense struggled a bit – The starting defense allowed 10 points, including an 80 yard touchdown drive by the Colts’ backups. The main problems were getting off the field on 3rd down, stopping swing passes to the running back, getting Harris isolated on a wide receiver running a crossing route and the deep ball. The Colts were able to convert 6 of 10 3rd downs and in all ways, by pass, by run and by penalty. For the most part the 1st team pass rush wasn’t getting home and that includes an all-out blitz that was picked up allowing Hilton to beat Wilson for a 1st down. The Jets were getting dinked and dunked to death by little swing passes to the running back in space. Dan Herron had 6 catches for 36 yards and a touchdown in 2 drives and they seem to be running the same play over and over again. The 1st line of defense was missing tackles allowing a 6-10 yard gain each time. Jeremiah George was being picked on especially. The Colts hit a big play when TY Hilton found himself wide open over the middle after he was isolated against David Harris who lost him immediately. The play went for 22 yards. Finally, another game another deep ball given up. Hill beat Patterson for 44 yards at the Green and White Scrimmage and now Rogers beat Patterson for 45 yards in last night’s game. Calvin Pryor makes his debut next week and hopefully that makes a difference. 3) The punters are terrible – Both Ryan Quigley and Jacob Schum are not NFL quality punters and more competition needs to be brought in to upgrade the position. Whether it is the fact that the kicks are short or not high enough or both it just isn’t good enough. They worked out Zoltan Mesko so they should bring him back and drop Schum and let Mesko compete with Quigley. Jaylen Saunders did not have a great game as a punt returner with 3 fair catches inside the 10 yard line. He has the moves and ability to get upfield as he showed on other returns but he needs to let the balls go when they are inside the 10.

4) Stephen Hill and other invisible or struggling players – I saw Hill on a couple of plays and he did draw a defensive holding penalty but with 13 different Jets catching balls Hill still wasn’t one of them. His play in practice needs to carry over to the games consistently or else he won’t just be an ex-Jet he will be an ex-NFL player in a year or 2. David Nelson had a penalty or 2 and wasn’t very productive even before he hurt his hand. Ben Ijalana got beat clean on a sack that laid a nice hit on Vick that was almost a forced fumble. Daryl Richardson really struggled in pass protection getting thrown into the backfield on multiple occasions and beaten clean on another.

Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; NFL referee Carl Cheffers (51) signals during the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Pittsburgh won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

1) Penalties, penalties and more penalties – The Jets had 9 accepted penalties for 59 yards. At least 4 that I can think of were pre-snap penalties including offsides on Pace and Richardson and a false start on Nelson which were all key to extending or curtailing drives. This is the stuff that needs to get cleaned up now and is almost expected at this point in time but boy is it frustrating to watch. The offsides penalties were most troubling because they were a major issue last year with Muhammad Wilkerson having something like 10 last year. I like that the team is ready to attack just watch the ball and go on the snap.

2) Just to reiterate Dimitri Patterson was terrible – I’d like to see in the coming days that Walls and/or McDougle are getting some of the 1st team reps so if Patterson fails against Cincinnati (a very talented offensive team especially at receiver) that he can be yanked from the game. Patterson isn’t as bad as he showed but he needs to step it up and step it up quickly.