New York Jets Preseason Week 3: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Aug 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) hands off to running backChris Johnson
(21) during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
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The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl trophy to the Giants 35-24 but the score is misleading as the Jets starters played their best game of the preseason on both sides of the ball. Other than a possible concussion suffered by Antonio Allen and some poor play from Kyle Wilson and some backups it was a good night for the Jets. Here is the good, the bad and the ugly:
1) Geno Smith – Smith was 9/14 for 137 yards with 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. He also added 3 rushes for 17 yards. Smith was in control in his five drives. He made good, quick decisions, had near perfect ball placement and was able to get into a nice rhythm on multiple drives. It is easy to see the growth from Geno mentally as the rush doesn’t bother him anymore, he doesn’t get happy feet, he stays poised and goes through his progressions before scrambling if necessary instead of forcing plays. In a move that surprised no one Smith was named the starting quarterback for the regular season after the game by Rex Ryan.
2) The running game – Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory were an extremely effective one-two punch in the backfield Friday night. They combined for 92 yards rushing on 15 carries (6+ yards per carry) and they were very effective in the screen game with the two combining for 58 yards receiving on three catches (nearly 20 yards per catch). With Bilal Powell and possibly Daryl Richardson able to keep them fresh during the season the Jets should be a top five rushing team that can do a lot with multi-faceted backs. Ivory is quicker and faster than most give him credit for and although he usually has hands of stone if he can catch a couple of screen passes he is dangerous in the open field because it is so hard to bring him down. Johnson is running fast and hard showing no signs of previous injury or wear and tear from years of overuse. Johnson is used to catching 40-50 balls anyway and that should be what he does here.
3) Jace Amaro – Amaro continues to develop into a weapon that makes plays weekly and he looks to be a player that teams will have to game plan against. Friday night he had four catches for 37 yards and his 1st touchdown. The touchdown came off of play action where Amaro released into the end zone while the Giants’ linebackers tried to stop a run play that didn’t exist. The result was an easy pitch and catch for the score. Amaro knows where the 1st down marker is on each play and how to use his body to make sure he gets the 1st down and he also is adept at picking up yards after the catch. Too big for corners or safeties and too fast for linebackers, Amaro will be a handful this year especially as the year goes along and he learns all of his roles.
4) The offensive line – The Jets amassed 405 yards in total offense including 147 on the ground and they did it while keeping Geno Smith and Michael Vick relatively clean. In the 1st half when all the starters were in the line only had 2 penalties, one for Colon on a false start and the other was a very questionable holding call against Winters that negated a 20 yard 3rd down conversion to Kerley. The discipline was much improved over last week and the line keeps improving steadily.
5) The first team defense shows up – Eli Manning was 12/21 for 139 yards but seven of his completions and 89 of his yards were when the Jets were essentially in prevent defense. For all the drives prior the Jets owned the line of scrimmage, got good pressure from Wilkerson (strip sack), Babin (strip sack), Coplea, Richardson, Pace and Demario Davis, and looked dominant doing it. Walls and Allen did a good job on the outside. Coples was the best player on the field at times seeming to have a permanent spot in the Giants’ backfield. Kyle Wilson was abused by Victor Cruz but who didn’t expect that. If Allen’s potential concussion doesn’t linger and Milliner comes back Week 1, the Jets could be in better shape than they were prior to the injuries. Rex realizing that Walls really can play and beginning to trust him will let him take the outside corner position and move Patterson inside where he plays best. Allen can move back to “safety” but his version of safety is covering tight ends and receivers in man coverage and blitzing off of the corner much like a cornerback would do anyway.
Aug 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) complete a pass as New York Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson (20) defends in during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
1) Antonio Allen’s possible concussion – Allen has been a quick study at corner and was playing a good game until he collided with Demario Davis while making a tackle. Allen struggled to get up and was taken to the locker room. According to Rex Ryan he is now subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol. That means they will compare his offseason, baseline brain study to his current one to help determine if he is concussed and he will be slowly eased back into the lineup once any symptoms subside and he reaches his baseline level. He will first need to be cleared for physical activity then cleared for contact. This will end his preseason. Hopefully he will be back for the week of practice before the Week 1 game versus the Raiders.
1)Brandon Dixon and Kyle Wilson – Brandon Dixon got beaten on two long touchdown passes (1 to Preston Parker the other to Cory Washington for 31 yards) and didn’t look good at all. Kyle Wilson got abused in the slot by Victor Cruz continuing Wilson’s string of poor play this preseason. Kyle’s night was summed up by the visual of him celebrating a pass defense while a pass interference flag was being thrown as he did it.
2) Jacoby Ford and Clyde Gates have a drops contest – It seemed Jacoby Ford and Clyde Gates were trading poor plays seemingly trying to one up each other. Ford dropped a pass, Gates juggles a pass out of bounds, Ford drops another pass, Gates drops a pass. Ford won the battle when he muffed a punt that thankfully the Jets recovered. I think it is pretty safe to say that neither of these players will be on the Jets Week 1 roster. Speaking of roster bubble players Stephen Hill had a nice catch on a crossing route but also dropped a ball that hit him in his hands.
3) Ryan Quigley‘s 2 2nd half punts – Quigley, after two punts in the 1st half that had nice hang time and distance, shanked both of his 2nd half punts with both only going 29 yards. Hopefully with 1st cuts coming on Tuesday the Jets can upgrade the position. Once again, neither Quigley or Schum are NFL caliber punters in my opinion.
4) Special teams miscues – There were a couple of penalties, a good amount of missed tackles, many, many fair catches and a muffed punt. Not to mention the punting disaster. This was not one of new Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey’s best nights. He has a lot of work to do, especially with injuries to Saunders and McDougle.