Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comHere’s some thoughts I had from tonight’s 37-13 win by the Jets over the Jacksonville Jaguars during Week 2 of the preseason.
Pass protection — The first team pass protection looked quite good this week and were much more disciplined in their efforts. On the whole the protection from this group looked good and that coupled with a coordinator who can get players open allows one to help the other.
Ups and Downs — Mark Sanchez was up and down and then back up in this game. After coming out looking sharp at the start of the game, he lost some of his confidence when he was intercepted and then looked lost in that series right before the end of the half. Sanchez bounced back in the second half, but many of those reps came against backups and even with backups. Sanchez saw a lot of time for a second week matchup, which would lead us to believe that the Jets are going to want to see as much as possible from Geno next week since Sanchez got so many reps this week … if Smith is healthy, he might not get very many a week from now.
Penalties — The Jets looked much more disciplined against the Jaguars this week with only four penalties for 35 yards all night. As for the Jaguars, they looked sloppy with 12 for 100 yards. As a note, there were lots of holding penalties by the Jags … was this because the Jaguars are so bad or because they were having such a tough time against the Jets defensive line? Maybe a little of both?
Slow it down — I was a little troubled to see Blaine Gabbert easily carve up this defense in the first half during most of one drive that ended up stalling due to the Jaguars own penalties, only netting a field goal. I’m not sure what it was that the Jets were having trouble responding to, but it’s worth noting later. The Jets defense is promising but does need some time to coalesce and teams like the Patriots or Steelers won’t kill themsleves with mistakes like the Jaguars did tonight.
Kahlil Bell — With John Griffin out for the season, Bell looked promising in his time against the Jags. In action in the second half against backups, Kahlil Bell looked good and had five good runs, many of which came in the red zone. In the end, Bell finished with just a 2.6 YPC average, but with Goodson’s whereabouts unknown and Joe McKnight’s status with the team in doubt , Bell seems like a realistic option as a player to make this roster.
Tommy Bohanon — Bo is going through some rookie growing pains, but looks in a good spot to make the team. On a wheel-route along the sidelines, Bohanon tried to turn the ball back inside rather than just turn upfield should have run the outside rather than go inside. Bohanon also missed his block badly on one play in which Chris Ivory was stuffed.
Quinton Coples — Coples was in the backfield quite a bit over the course of the first half, but it was that Mutombo swat of the Chad Henne pass that really demonstrated how he is going to benefit from guys like Wilkerson on this line. The other stellar play from him was his diagnosis, deep in the backfield while engaged with his blocker, yet still able to force the throwaway.
Jeff Cumberland — Again, Sanchez found Cumby in the end zone for another score … that’s two in two weeks to the same man. Cumberland benefited from his defender falling down, but the more I see of Cumberland the more we sense he is going to push Winslow in terms of productivity this season.
Demario Davis — Davis had some ups and downs in his coverage this week. He was badly beaten on the Reisner touchdown, but then he had another nice play in coverage in the end zone to prevent another touchdown not long after. Davis is still learning his role, but we think that given some time and patience he’s going to be a solid linebacker, especially in coverage for the Jets.
Vlad Ducasse — People say that this year might be the end of the line for Vlad, but Ducasse was the first man in when Peterman came out of the game in the first quarter and he’s shown a real chippiness in the last two preseason games. Also I really liked the way Vlad shut down his man during that long touchdown to Cumberland. Vlad kept his feet moving and he stayed in front of his man — and did so in space — to keep the defender from getting any pressure on Sanchez on the play.
Braylon Edwards — Edwards had a couple of tough misses, but he keeps looking good in his time on the field as he gets back into game shape. Edwards ran mostly with the 2s this game, so while we expect he’ll make the final roster, it’s amazing to think that he’s now in this role just a few years removed from 2010.
Mike Edwards — Edwards is making a case to make the roster based on his special teams fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the game to seal the Jets win over the Jaguars.
Clyde Gates — Targeted twice, but with no catches, Gates’ biggest contributions came as a returner where he had three returns for 100 yards. Gates had one impressive return that the Jets will watch closely this week as they consider what to do about Joe McKnight this fall …
David Harris — Didn’t notice Harris much other than the bad angle he took on that sideline pass to MJD.
Stephen Hill — Hill had a very nice grab in traffic early in the game, but then had just one other target which he wasn’t able to hold onto in the collapsed red zone offense and a forced throw by Sanchez.
Chris Ivory — On the whole it looks like Ivory is still getting a feel for this offense and this line, but his long run of the night, an eight yarder showed what’s possible. Even so, you can see the pieces coming into place on why he can be such an integral part of this offense.
Dawan Landry — Landry was in on the most tackles of the game, accounting for eight. While we’re happy that Landry seems to be fitting in on this defense, a safety leading the team in tackles isn’t the best sign about the defense this week.
Ellis Lankster — Lankster played extremely physically and did a commendable job most of the night. I loved his wrap-and-hold that came in the third quarter to prevent a receiver from getting a first down after he caught the ball. Lankster’s unwillingness to let go on that play forced the Jags to punt, and the Jets took advantage on the next series.
Danny Lansanah — Great interception by him in the third quarter, but I’m sure he’ll hear about that fumble not even two seconds thereafter.
Jeremy Kerley — Kerley had two catches for twenty two yards, but his cut where he put his foot in the dirt and changed direction on a dime to leave his cornerback in the dust was impressive.
Dee Milliner — To me, it seemed like Dee was getting picked on a lot, most notably by Justin Blackmon. Credit to Milliner for his physicality, but like any rookie corner he’s going to have some up and down games … we just need to see how quickly he can move past that.
Stephen Peterman — The guard looked solid in his time in the game, but did come out for a series with an injury, but came back in, so might not bee too serious.
Bilal Powell — I’ve been saying that I think Powell can be a bigger part of this offense than he’s been getting credit for. I think that tonight’s game against the Jags helped to cement that belief for me. Powell an excellent long run on a pull play and had seven carries for 69 yards and one caught pass. Powell was also wide open on a swing pass in the red zone that Sanchez instead chose to keep (and not score on).
Konrad Reuland — Overall Reuland looked good and had a great deep catch for 31 yards in the second half.
Ricky Sapp — Sapp had the game’s only sack, but he also deserves a lot of credit for holding down the returner on the muffed punt so that the Jets could recover the ball and take a shot at the end zone.
Ryan Spadola — Targeted three times and with three catches, Spadola continues to make his case for why he should be on this roster come September.