Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comHere’s some stray thoughts from the 13-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the Jets first game of the 2014 preseason.
Geno back in action — Smith (4-for-6, 33 yards) looked smooth, but not flashy, in his first action since Week 17 of the 2013 season. While the quarterback might not have come away from the game with a touchdown, he did connect with Eric Decker twice and had a third wiped out because of a false start on David Nelson. Smith also had a spot-on throw to Jeff Cumberland and scrambled for 10 yards to the left side on a read-option fake-handoff, demonstrating the trouble that Geno’s and Chris Johnson’s legs in the backfield can cause for opposing defenses if the OLB comes crashing down in an attempt to stuff the run. Although there was one ill-advised throw to FB Tommy Bohanon, Smith didn’t turn the ball over which must make Rex Ryan very pleased.
Vick the quick — Mike Vick seems to be demonstrating why the Jets brought him in and what he could offer the team should the need arise. Vick completed two clutch passes on a third and a fourth down. Vick had a Falcons-esque run on a third and long for 15 yards in which he set up a defender (DT Jeris Pendleton), planted his foot and cut up field for a first down. Vick only saw one series with the first team offensive line, but he was able to use his arms and legs well to move the ball down the field. Overall, Vick made operating within the Marty Mornhinweg offense look natural, able to find the open man and find his early reads easily. If there are any concerns, it is that Vick was not able to move the ball with the second team in a two-minute drill and that he needs to get the ball out of his hand a little more quickly.
A run on the runners — We know that some are holding their breath about the Jets injuries to the running backs already just one game into the preseason. Chris Ivory suffered a rib injury and did not return to the game. Bilal Powell didn’t play due to a hamstring injury. Chris Johnson didn’t look to be in midseason form, after offseason surgery and stem-cell treatment in his knee. Look for the Jets to try and keep their running backs in the shop as much as possible during August, but one preseason game does not a running attack made (or break). Expect some of the kinks to get worked out, but also watch closely how much rust Johnson can knock off in the coming weeks.
Less of whatever that was, please — We’ve heard rumblings about whether or not the team has taken a dim view on CB Dimitri Patterson and the Colts game didn’t do anything to tamp down that story. Patterson had a tough day at the office, regularly giving up too much space to his opponent. Rex seemed content to let him suffer by keeping Patterson in the game well past the point where most first teamers had come off the field. Most notably, Patterson gave up a 45-yard Hasselbeck pass in coverage of Da’Rick Rogers and was flagged for holding in the second half. Meanwhile, Dee Milliner acquitted himself well, staying in position against a tough passing attack and breaking up two passes. His most memorable play of the game was PBU in the end zone from Matt Hasselbeck to Donte Moncrief.
- Lucky 51! Jets kickers Nick Folk nailed two 51 yarders as did camp backup Andrew Furney from the same distance.
- Rookie WR Jalen Saunders seems set as the team’s top punt returner, fielding two punts for a combined 11 yards.
- D-lineman TJ Barnes had a great play to notch one of the Jets three sacks on the night. The other came when Andrew Luck missed a shotgun snap (Harris) and in the final minutes of the game (Enemkpali)
- S Rontez Miles saw some limited time with a starters (sub-package?) during the game. It is clear that Ryan really likes the cut of his jib, even if just as a special teamer.