Observations: Jets vs. Giants
Eric Weeks , theJetsBlog.com
What Quarterback Controversy? – You can continue to discuss the Sanchez vs. Tebow dynamic until you’re blue in the face but the fact of the matter is there simply is no contest: Sanchez is the clear-cut starter. He completed 9 of 11 passes last night and only one could be considered a explicitly horrid throw which of course was the pick six but aside from that I wasn’t too overly concerned with his accuracy–his health was another story. The checkdowns were a bit much then again that could be a product of the “Vanilla with sprinkles”/lack of game plan and Wayne Hunter. Maybe it’s just me but when he was sacked, it looked like he trying to find someone deep downfield.
If you want to know why Tebow won’t be starter you can look at the replay of his pass to Hill who was wide open in the end zone. Matt Simms could have made that pass. People need to start accepting the fact that Tebow is good for what he is: an occasional passer with the ability to run the ball well. His popularity is all well and fine but that is not nor should it be a basis of him ever becoming a starter. Period.
Ground and Pound? - The running game got off to a bit of a sluggish start but soon enough Shonn Greene lowered the shoulder pads and started to make some headway. Interestingly, the Jets gave the ball to John Conner twice when they needed a yard and both times he failed to produce anything to the visible ire of Greene–I can’t blame him either. Bilal Powell has seemingly overtaken Joe McKnight as the third down back racking up 21 yards on six carries. McKnight meanwhile was held in check and was only targeted four times (3 rush 1 pass).
Will Someone Step Up? – With the absence of three of the Jets’ top receivers, we were expecting someone, anyone, to take initiative and step up. There was no clear candidate against Cincy but Jordan White seemed to be last night’s winner. Though he had been battling with some swelling of the knee, he made three catches for 28 yards and showed some nice route running ability. While Stephen Hill has yet to make a catch with the first team, he had a couple of catches from Tebow–of course when someone is chucking a snowball at you, it’s a bit difficult to position yourself to score. Recent signee Joseph Collins caught a long 17 yard pass while Patrick Turner was relatively quiet with a 12 yard catch. Not exactly the results I was hoping for but when you’re first and second offensive line gives up a combined seven sacks I suppose spreading the ball around is made nearly impossible. More on that later.
Battle of the Tight Ends – It was a battle, for what though is an entirely different question. Jeff Cumberland had two catches for 24 yards but once again had issues blocking. Keller was re-introduced to the offense with two catches for a combined total of 9 yards. Dederick Epps and Josh Baker were both targeted but neither recorded a catch. Baker struggled at times with his blocking.
Dysfunctional – There’s no possible way to sugar coat it: the offensive line looked like a mass cluster****. I will grant that not all of the issues were their fault because a blocking tight end would have certainly helped immensely however, when the starting right tackle gives up 3 sacks (4 technically but 1 was negated by a penalty on the Giants) you have major issues. I was nearly in hysterics/a rage when I watched JPP just breeze past Hunter as if nothing but air was there. I knew he struggled before and I don’t know if he’s just getting re-acclimated following his back injury but Jeezus that killed drives more than Sanchez’s checkdowns and Tebow’s attempts at scrambling combined! And the back-up unit didn’t exactly inspire confidence either giving up 4 more sacks. I can handle Matt Slauson’s mistakes but Wayne Hunter CANNOT be the starter on opening day if the Jets want to succeed this season, guaranteed salary or not.
Defense Holds – About the only thing that did go well was on the defensive side of the ball. I’m beginning to warm-up to the cut of LaRon Landry’s jib. Dirty 30 caught an errant Eli Manning pass, much to the dismay of Eli who bought out the obligatory Manning Face, and lit up Victor Cruz–Landry said the hit was clean and said he could have hit him harder. Antonio Allen continues to impress as he was in on a couple run stuffs and recorded 3 tackles. How he dropped to the seventh round is a mystery. Kyle Wilson was up and down. He deflected a pass in the end zone but got away with some pre-pass interference much to the ire of Giants fans who apparently got Wilson trending on Twitter–you would have thought they were the ones who needed blood pressure medication.
Revis and Cromartie were more or less doing Revis and Cromartie things holding the Giants’ receivers in check backed up in their own territory. Julian Posey had a up and down night recording four tackles but giving up a long catch on a bomb from David Carr and incurring a couple penalties. Bart Scott had five tackles but was burned by Cruz a couple of times, as was any other linebacker on him much to my dismay. The dimintive Trufant is certainly determined to secure his roster spot despite his small stature. He recorded four tackles and downed a punt at the Giants’ 2 yard line. Kenrick Ellis again looked solid filling in for Po’uha and noticably got good penetration on a couple of plays.
Quinton Coples still has room to improve but, continued his preseason streak recording a sack and recording a few impressive tackles, one of which he dragged David Wilson down by his sleeves. Josh Mauga recorded two tackles and had a big hit on the quarterback. Josh Bush matched Yeremiah Bell with two tackles while Aaron Maybin recorded a tackle and blocked a Weatherford punt. Garrett McIntyre recorded a tackle but continued to show improvement from last season with some solid plays. Harris, Demario Davis, Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, Matt Hardison, Bryan Thomas and DeVito each recorded a tackle.
Disasterous Special Teams – Special Teams again set the tone for the night after Joe McKnight was flagged after running into Steve Weatherford (#SorryNotSorry). From there it was an assortment of odds and ends in which hilarity ensued. On one particular return McKnight had four blockers in front of him and it didn’t do much good as the Giants blew past them and stuffed McKnight. T.J. Conley, even for all his inconsistencies, last season never had three shanks in one game. I don’t know if he was injured or got spooked after last week’s jailbreak near the end zone but whenever the Jets were backed up in their own end zone, Conley did not look comfortable at all. But hey he’s still better than Travis Baltz. The kicking competition was quiet for obvious reasons. Josh Brown got the nod on the Jets’ lone points of the night on a 30 yarder that hit the upright and favorably went in but that was hardly encouraging.