Five things I’ll be watching in tonight’s Jets-Bengals Preseason matchup

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Here’s what I’ll be watching for in tonight’s Jets matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

NFL: New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons

Can CB Ellis Lankster make his play at the starting spot?

The Safety/Corner Switcheroo — Ryan talked this week about throwing Antonio Allen up against AJ Green.  Will he really do that?  If not, who plays instead?  Bent and I spent a lot of words (here, here, here) this week on the topic .  But whatever the Jets do, don’t expect whoever comes in to play flawlessly.  Not because they aren’t good enough, but because the Jets might want to leave players without help to see how much the coaches can “redline” this system tweak to their defense.  Look for Antonio Allen, Ellis Lankster and Darrin Walls to see extended time early at corner.  Walls might be falling out of favor right now and see how Calvin Pryor looks for the first time in live action for the Jets.

Make It Count – Geno had a fine performance last week against the Colts, but it was Mike Vick that electrified fans and media with a classic scramble and some solid passing.  The Jets know what they have in Vick and Vick knows what he has in this offense.  Meanwhile, Geno has had a steady camp and done a good job in protecting the football.  Last week against the Colts, Geno was able to move the ball, but can he step it up this week? While the Bengals aren’t all the way back defensively, the team still has a stout group and so seeing get the Jets down the field and into the endzone will be key.

Pressure point — For the past few years the Jets defensive line has hung their hat on their ability to stop the run.  They need to continue that trend while now upping the ante at pressuring the passer.  With a secondary in and out of triage, the best way to paper over that problem with the players they already have isn’t to send Antonio Allen out there, it is to attack the quarterback.

Boyd Oh Boyd — Sixth round draft pick Tajh Boyd hasn’t done much convincing so far through training camp, but tonight will be his chance to demonstrate whether or not he’s the gamer that Rex Ryan believes him to be.  Boyd will see time with and against the third stringers during the second half.  “Once you go in a game, another switch is flipped,” Boyd told ESPN New York this week.  “At the end of the day, I just have to go play free, and that’s something I’ve been battling with.”

Back of the line — D-lineman TJ Barnes has had an impressive camp.  Can the Jets keep him on the roster, will they carve off another player to do so?  Tonight might be another chance for Barnes to state his case for why he belongs on this team.

stephen-hillNow or never  – This is the time for Stephen Hill to assert his claim as a viable part of this offense.  He might be the most athletically gifted player the Jets have in terms of size and speed, but it has taken time to put it together.  Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called Hill’s camp “outstanding” last week.  But like we’ve asked the past two years, can Hill’s solid camp translate consistently on the field this September?  Tonight is a critical test for the young receiver.  “If you run a vertical route or even a short route, show vertical speed because you have it in you,” Lal told the New York Daily News about his third year receiver. “Be aggressive at the top because you’re 6-4, 215, just using what God has given you in every route.”  More than anything, Hill must realize how freakish he is use it to his advantage and if he can’t figure it out this year then it might never happen.




27 comments
bob
bob

Last year game results regular season play. Bengals 39 Jet 9.

DarrolRayFanClub
DarrolRayFanClub

For me, #1 is Hill. Until recent years, wide receivers took three years before 'getting it' -- but the pro style play in college and the focus on conditioning and training at an earlier age has made it easier to transition right away for top athletes. Imagine our team if he has an Alshon Jeffrey breakout (which Jeffrey did in year two -- he's a year older and had a better passing program in SC, with Hill in the GT option scheme)

j_spikett
j_spikett

boyd is helacious. he can't even throw an accurate pass. the pats got garapolo a future all star and we got boyd. common idzik start making some good pickups and stop letting outside influences determine your course of action

hitchhiker
hitchhiker

Excellent point about the coaches putting the DBs in tough situations in order to evaluate them!

If Geno continues to hit open check down receivers, other parts of the offense will open up. I'd much rather he continue to take what the defense "gives him" than see turnovers or incompletions because he is forcing throws.

I suspect the Jets pass rush stats will improve if the defense is paired with an offense &/or STs that can provide a lead & put the opposing offense in "obvious passing situations" on, at least, a semi-regular basis.

It'll be interesting to see if Hill gets the most WR reps again, & if he can actually produce this time.

a57se
a57se

I'm just hoping we don't have anymore major injuries...

bradysucks
bradysucks

All I wanna say is that we should all keep our eyes tonight on the WR and CB positions along with the QB play. These were the weak areas on the 2013 Jets.

Everybody knew this going into 2014. The Bengals are a good team. We'll get a glimpse tonight of whether or not Idzik has improved the team with 12 draft picks and millions of $$$$ to play with

Brian Miros
Brian Miros

The way you described Tahj Boyd as a "Gamer" can be used against Stephen Hill.  Practice Hi-lights but does not show up in the game.  Last year the Jets were torched by the Bengals Offense for at least 4 TD's, 3 if I rember going to Marvin Jones.  I'm expecting  improvement tonight.

Bent
Bent moderator

@bob I think it was 49-9.  The rate they were scoring they may have added another 10 since the game ended.

rstysanchz
rstysanchz

@UncleJoesJetFarm hopefully wilson covers him good nothing more annoying than holmes 1st down celebration especially if hes on the other team 

Bent
Bent moderator

@UncleJoesJetFarm


#smartmove

J. Smooth
J. Smooth

This is so stupid I don't even know where to begin.

johnnyl65
johnnyl65

@bradysucks I find the corner drama pretty funny,Patterson should be good to go,Lankster,Walls,Wilson all healthy,Miliner will probably be good for game two. Although I had high hopes for Mcdougle working his way to starter he hadn't yet cracked the starting rotation. So although I'll be interested to see if Allen be the starting corner we eventually need opposite Miliner,we'll be just fine.

What I'd like to see is Geno make the right calls at the line protections and audibles and throw his receivers open  in places that only they can catch then I want to see the receivers catch it and make yac I also want to see this line make plays in the running game and control the line of scrimmage. If they can do that against the Bengals front four I'll feel really good going forward.

bob
bob

@Bent @bob  wow oh geez.  lol 49 -9 awe shucks

Bent
Bent moderator

@UncleJoesJetFarm @Bent


For the Bears but mostly I am just tweaking Manish for his pathetically unprofessional rooting against Holmes ever getting another job.

bob
bob

@Bent @bob 

Lol ya that was a bad day. they blew up the o-line pretty much and Geno being a rookie maybe could have used a little more time at times and the defense was on the feild way to much.

rstysanchz
rstysanchz

@Bent i always felt that there was going to be that one ref that felt disrespected by holmes dropping the ball at their feet instead of tossing the ball to them and he was going to get flagged after a big 1st down and how he would do that even if the jets were out of the game