Jets at Bengals: Don’t read into it

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Saturday night the Jets faced a strong opponent in the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Jets made do without their top three cornerbacks (Milliner, Patterson & Dex McDougle) from the start of training camp, in addition to RB Chris Ivory, WR Eric Decker and TE Jeff Cumberland.  Here’s some thoughts that occurred to me during the Jets 25-17 preseason victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

USATSI_8033799_110579513_lowresThe sky is not falling — Every year after the first week of regular season, pundits from national media outlets make sweeping generalizations about what they saw in the first week of football and make stupid predictions that turn out to be utter garbage by the time Week 17 rolls around.  The point?  We’re not even that far into the season so decreeing that the Jets are this or they aren’t that is hollow.

It was just that kind of a night — Is there a weird special rivalry between the Jets and Bengals that I am unaware of?  Does it date back to their deathlock with each other during the final game and first postseason game of the 2009 season?  Not even that far? Ryan might want them to play tough, but I’ve never considered the Jets chippy.  Whatever it was, the Jets let the personal fouls and on-the-field lapses get too much.  They’ve got to dial that back in successive weeks unless they are looking to shoot themselves in the foot.

Ugly, but not THAT ugly — When the Bengals and Jets first team were in the game, it wasn’t pretty.  The defense allowed Andy Dalton to have a perfect 8-8 night and the Jets offense struggled to get the ball moving until the Bengals put in their second teamers.  But this isn’t the whole story.  The Jets played a very base defense, there were miscommunications with new personnel and they left their corners to dangle early and often.  No, they didn’t play well against the Bengals starters.  But no, Rex Ryan didn’t do much to help disguise the intent of his playcalling, as one does in the preseason.  I fully believe that was part of the plan so Rex could calibrate how to call his secondary going forward.  Every year there seem to be preseason questions about this defense and every year they seem to come through OK.

ThenThingsGotWeirdIf the Jets game tonight taught me anything, it is that pairing Dee Milliner and Calvin Pryor could be lethal.  The caveat here is that the Jets will need both of those young players on the field and healthy.  But once Milliner is healthy I fully believe the Jets will be fine on defense.

On the other side of the ball?  Geno demonstrated competence despite the miscommunication with David Nelson, which resulted in an interception.  Vick ran the backups effectively.  While the secondary needs to get healthy, the depth of this team compared to last year is astounding.

Tinder account or not, New York is about to fall in love with Calvin Pryor — All offseason Rex Ryan has been grinning and saying that when his rookie takes the field in pads, people will understand the value he brings to the team.  Tonight was that night.  Seven tackles and two passes defensed were good, but it was Pryor’s two highlight reel plays that made me take notice.  Pryor’s first was a forced fumble after a Cobi Hamilton catch.  The second was a tackle for loss of running back Rex Burkhead.  Deep in the game, Ryan also used Pryor extensively on inside and outside blitzes.  Pryor didn’t land a sack, but Rex is still figuring out where and when to use him as a blitzer and we don’t expect it will be long before Pryor notches his first sack.

No dropoff in Chris Johnson’s game — I thought that Johnson had a very good night, rushing and receiving well against a good defense.  Johnson will be the straw that stirs the drink for this offense and his ability to provide help as a checkdown option and some special plays on the perimeter are really going to help this team.  Between him, Ivory, Powell and the legs of whichever quarterback plays, the Jets are going to have a four dimensional running attack.




75 comments

Brian B, the correct phrase is "make due", not "make do". that's what my dog does in the driveway. As a blogsite founder you need to know that

Dknyj
Dknyj

It's not about ppl thinking the sky is falling, it's simply the reasonable fan response to watching non-starting caliber cornerbacks play football.

metjetnet
metjetnet

(née miketaliaferro) Spot on, Bent, thanks!

We're in much better shape than I thought we were, heading into last night.

The biggest missing piece in the D last night? Rex. 

As Bent clearly notes, Rex put his D minions out there in basic high school D formations to see what they could do mano-a-mano at every position, with no coaching help. Smart move. Now he has a foundation to build on, a clearer idea of what each player can do & not do when he sits down to draw up his mad scientist plan for World Domination. This is NOT a D of high-caliber individuals, who all should be Pro Bowl-bound on football talent alone, and just need to be woven together. The last player we had like that was Revis -- and pining for him is like Mets fans pining for Tom Seaver -- he ain't coming back, Move on! Each D member here is a PIECE, something to plug in & move around within Rex's master plan.

Now, Rex gets to look at the tape of these two games, and begin getting excited over just what he can do with this approach or that formation to horrify OCs across the league.

As for the offense? Rex has to be happy. The overall was better than the pieces -- which is all it needs to be. He has to be secretly pleased by the chippiness of the evening, going back to his old, "Hit one of ours, we'll hit two of yours!" mantra of 2009. That was one tough outfit -- he's clearly trying to instill that same beastliness into this group, and may end up with a Colon tattoo on his other arm before Wk 17 is over. The line held up, the QBs were as adequate as they needed to be (the int coming on a timing miss, not a bad read), Chris Johnson had 6.3 ypc and Powell gained 50+ yds on limited carries, Amaro showed up finally. Slowly, the plan is emerging.

You saw a decent prototype of your 2014 New York Jets last night:

A solid, talented, time-consuming ground-game-dominated O and a D with enough talented, multi-dimensional pieces that should keep Rex slathering with excitement for months to come.

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

Rex, in his defiance and denial sees no problem, or won't admit to a huge problem in the secondary.


"I’m fired up because I know we’re a lot better than what we’re given credit for,” Ryan said. “This is a victory. We’ll take it. That’s a good football team. Hey, I recognize we’ve got some work to do. There’s no question.”


Vince Lombardi was angry when Green Bay won by 20, Rex is pleased getting his way against  the 2s and 3s.   Not a sound strategy.


"

a57se
a57se

Food for thought:

As Vanilla as our Defense and Offense played last night, so did Cincinnati's Defense and Offense.

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

I can't say enough things about how well Bilial Powell played last night. The kid is just a baller!

metsjetsdu
metsjetsdu

That first touchdown is the most troublesome to me . Not getting pressure on the QB followed by Kyle Wilson not getting his head around . That is where we will get picked apart . Need to get more pressure . I have faith we will , just get worried seeing plays like that .

marshrandy
marshrandy

It's hard not to read into certain things though, like how freaking awful Kyle Wilson is. On the whole though, I like what I see from the offense (besides the dumb penalties). Love Pryor. Wish I saw more from the D-line in terms of pass rush. Punter punted like a punter who punts well

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

The Farm was starting to believe in a 9/10 win season but after last night, We are back to 7/8 wins. Lets see if winning the droopy bowl can get get Nellie believing again and back to 9/10 wins, lol

Great analysis.  Thank you.  I can't read too much in to the second pre-season game of the season.  I honestly don't have a clue as to how good or bad we will be and I still think much of that is on Geno.  I see some maturity in his game as compared to last season so maybe that is a positive sign.  Those who are focusing on whether he threw any TD's so far in pre-season need to be a bit more objective in their analysis.  I am NOT expecting Tom Brady but if Geno turns in to a competent QB who can manage an offense and limit turnovers I think that would be a real step in the right direction for his second season.  If not then we may have a real problem.  Again only the second pre-season game so take it for what it is worth.  As for the secondary and defense overall I think we all have to lighten up a bit and have some faith that Rex actually knows what he is doing.  Our secondary SUCKED last year and we still managed to win 8 games.  There was no game plan last night.  Very Vanilla.  Pre-season, right?


Last night's 1st quarter was horrible but I don't believe that is indicative of what's ahead.  Too soon to tell.  I respect everyone's opinion but so many of you both here and on other message boards are so negative.  I guess that comes with being a fan, we all want to look great or think we are moving in the right direction.  That said, some of you are starting to sound like the Jets beat writers.  Is Cimini posting incognito on this board?

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

Alright gangarooskies, I am moving on from this debacle. Next Friday the Droopy Bowl! Any consolation is that the Giants offense looks worse than the the Jets. Eli is really struggling with the Jest coast offense, I don't think that offense suits his style but that is their problema!

bob
bob

When the secondary gets  healthy and it will get healthy. D.Millner Patterson and Pryor I think the secondary for the Jets should be pretty good. Last night the Bengals took advantage of us trying new players to see what happens in the second dairy. However the Bengals for the most part didnt run the ball all that great in the open feild. Great write up as all ways. Thanks BB.

Lew Blaustein
Lew Blaustein

The headline is "Don't Read Into It" and then...Bassett reads into it! I think, given what the post actually said, the headline should've been "Don't Worry, Be Happy (Except For The Penalties)"

Bent
Bent moderator

@metjetnet  Credit where credit's due, MTF.  Bassett wrote this post, not I.

Zartan
Zartan

@metjetnet That's just not true, the Jets went to exotic blitzing When the back up QB came in. 

Zartan
Zartan

@Lloyd Jay Reife in all seriousness , what would you have him say. Every teams have problems. Rex went through a rebuild and on top of that, lost some of the best players on the team (due to enjury) and never cried about it. 


I love that Rex focus on what's good. If you focus on all the bad luck and not the good, you would deem yourself unlucky and it would be so. 


Rex pulled 8-8 out of nothing and while this team is improved, it's not very good but they can get result.

harvlis
harvlis

@Lloyd Jay Reife  Lloyd, you need to ease up.  This was the pre-season.  We were missing a bunch of solid players, including our starting CBs.  A few things to take away from this game. The O-line is solid and going to be feisty. CJ is going to be a beast.  Bilal Powell is the best third back in the NFL.  The defensive line was playing vanilla.  When the real bullets start to fly, offensive lines are going to take a lot of abuse from our defensive front seven.  As for Rex, it is his job to keep his team pumped up and confident.  Being positive works much better than bad mouthing players, units, coaches, etc... That is why his players love him.      

metjetnet
metjetnet

@Mike Milea To me, the highlight play was Powell on the sideline, surrounded by 4 or 5 Bengals, tripped up, halfway down, keeping his balance, breaking away from a few hands on him, and turning it into a decent gainer.

That's the one that made me go: "WOW! I want him on MY team!"

bittinho
bittinho

@Mike Milea he has improved every year, he is the type of player who never gives up on a play and maybe (well, definitely) I'm nuts but I saw a flash of Curtis Martin on a couple of his cutbacks last night. (Not saying he is anywhere near C-Mart's talent level)

metjetnet
metjetnet

@marshrandy The Kyle Wilson Story is a simple one.

As an UDFA, he'd be a beast, a key contributor!

As a 4th Round pick, he'd be a stud.

As a 1st Round pick, he's a bust.

Bent
Bent moderator

@UncleJoesJetFarm


I wondered if Coples was hurt at the time but he came out to give Babin some work and then went back in again later on.

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

I hate to say this, but if you don't have a well balanced TOP defense, you need more than a game managing offense. Those days are over as the NFL is a high octane passing league and will continue even this season with more rules that favor the offense. With the Jets shortcomings at defense, Geno will have to be much more than a game manager. I am not saying he cant be, but it will all have to all come together and not just him, the entire offense for it to work. Just remember also, while we are vanilla, so is the opponent!

metsjetsdu
metsjetsdu

After I eat ice cream and go to the bathroom ... Second dairy

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

@bob Yes, that is what will make a big difference, Dee train coming back healthy AND STAYING HEALTHY! If not, we are chopped meat as many high flying offenses will be coming in to bomb us!

realjetfan
realjetfan

@UncleJoesJetFarm So it was meaningful that the Jets starters "stunk it up" when the preseason game ("win") was meaningless?


Perfect logic.


Preseason is worthless.

Dee Gee Tee
Dee Gee Tee

@UncleJoesJetFarm But if the jets went 0-4 in the preseason you could bet your ass then they wouldnt be meaningless!  Nerd Cimini and Manish "I should be running a bodega store on flatbush avenue" Mehta would call anarchy on rex and the jets


Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

@harvlis,

I love Rex too.  Loving and treating him fairly does not remove the love from the equation.

I am more than aware it's the pre-season.  I am also aware it is pre-season. for the Bengals as well.   If we Jets fans and the local media see our secondary is the probable weak link to this team, I imagine it is and short of a miracle, or good trade, it will remain the weak link at season's beginning.

harvlis, I eased up since the 1969 season, and aggravated with them plenty.  And I will for life! 

metjetnet
metjetnet

@Mike Milea What that played showed is not just physical gifts but gut-check strength & indomitable will. 

If I'm not mistaken, that's what Rex refers to with the phrase, "Play Like A Jet!"

Zartan
Zartan

Basin was all over Rex back, I knew he would press for playing time.

@UncleJoesJetFarm I agree with what you are saying.  What I am saying is that I can't base whether we are going to have a top defense or not based upon what I saw last night.  It's just too soon to tell.  Maybe the Bengals just have our number or they are just plain better then we are.  We'll have to wait and see what happens moving forward.  I am concerned about the secondary and the health of Milliner but I trust that Rex will do his best to game plan around this.  I still think it rests on Geno's development.  I'll take a game manager as opposed to what he was last year.  I think if Geno was a game manager last year we would have made the playoffs.  What concerned me most was actually the penalties.  I would expect that to improve but need to see more discipline regardless of it being pre-season.

bob
bob

@UncleJoesJetFarm 

Rex dont seem to think so. Remember their still not getting help over the top at the CB,s position. Rex said it last night in a real game Wilson would have gotten some help over the top. Like BB said dont read into it.

harvlis
harvlis

@Lloyd Jay Reife  Lloyd, I am not doubting your loyalty.  Just want you to be a little more confident.  When Milliner and Patterson come back, things will look a little different. 

metjetnet
metjetnet

@Lloyd Jay Reife  It just came across the wire that Rex read your post & cancelled the season. "Who am I kidding? Why bother?" the coach said. "We don't have any viable CBs. We were gonna game plan around that, but it's clear now that that isn't gonna work. So we're just calling the whole thing off. See you next year!"

metjetnet
metjetnet

@Zartan Good. 

A more viable Babin creates a more motivated Coples.

UncleJoesJetFarm
UncleJoesJetFarm

@bob @UncleJoesJetFarm Of course Rex dont think so, LOL Remember, any time you give help you take away resources from other areas that offenses can exploit. That is why Rex loves a potent man to man secondary, but I get your point.

Lloyd Jay Reife
Lloyd Jay Reife

@metjetnet


I hope you don't go through and suffer as many Jet losses as I have, so spare me your bullchit.

If Rex were perfect, maybe he wouldn't have put Sanchez in Game 4 of the pre-season?    

If Rex were perfect maybe he wouldn't have told the media that offense is not his thing.?

Rex read my post?  Whe read it to you?

joemustgo
joemustgo

As you can see, he's one of the few who bothers responding. The rest of us ignore him.