Post Game Thoughts: Jets vs Giants
Preseason week 2 is in the booksÖ
There is really nothing left to say about Wayne Hunter. He got absolutely mauled by the Giants in the game and looked like he didnít even belong in the NFL. If that was Vlad Ducasse getting beat up like that the coach would have pulled him out of the game because he was going to get the starting QB murdered. I understand why the Jets did not cut Hunter, but at this point he just canít be the starter on the team. Iím not even sure if he can be on the team at all. It just sends the wrong message to everyone.
Hunter made it almost impossible to evaluate the starting offense. Mark Sanchez threw the pick 6 which was just a horrendous throw. There was no zip on the ball and he threw behind Patrick Turner which led to an easy pick and score. What made me more upset was actually his interview during the game where he made it seem as if he was in a groove and then screwed up that pass. Sanchez was never in a groove nor was the offense playing well. Sure he was 7 of 9 but these were all quick little passes. To me thatís not the right attitude.
Luckily for Sanchez Tebow didnít fare much better. He missed a wide open Stephen Hill for a score and had some of the ugliest passes you could imagine after the first drive. He had better protection than Sanchez until the end at which point the line seemed to get tired. He was visibly frustrated with his line at one point which surprised me.
The ground and pound just got pounded. Again itís tough to evaluate when the line is so poor, but the runners just seem so slow. If you are going to be a tough runner you need to get the pad level down and plow into the line. Both Shonn Greene and John Conner failed to pick up short yard first downs because of that. Conners job could be in danger if anyone else could play ok in the backfield, but he may get a spot by default.
This was a much better effort than last week. Really the only worrisome thing was the fact that they started slow again and seemed to be in the bend but donít break mode. The team got off to these slow starts last year and those are things you donít want to see in the preseason. Victor Cruz toasted Darrelle Revis right at the start which should have been an 80 yard touchdown but Eli Manning led the ball out of bounds.
Bart Scott was much better this week and I was impressed with Kenrick Ellis. He has the ability to get into the backfield. Iím not sure he knows what to do when he is there just yet, but physically he is a pile pusher. I think eventually those types learn how to separate and make tackles. Rookie Antonio Allen sure looks like a player with a great nose for the football. Iíd be interested in seeing what happens if you throw him in with the ones for a few plays. He is clearly better than the 2s and 3s but making that leap up can be difficult.
I donít know what to make of Kyle Wilson. Heís a tweener type to me. He probably has no business ever starting but he does flash against backups. That tells me the talent is there but something is just missing. Cruz lit him up and Wilson mugged a Giants receiver in the end zone for what should have been a pass interference call that the horrid replacement refs missed. I donít think the Jets will be comfortable with him against teams with a big time slot target, but I guess he can fill a role in other games.
Aaron Maybin and rookie Quinton Coples both made a few plays later in the game.
Iíd be shocked if the Jets donít bring a punter in this week and TJ Conley probably cost himself the job this week. He had one great punt early but he cost the Jets 7 points late in the game with back to back shanked punts. One of the things with special teams players is they have to be able to shake off the bad play. If they cant they become worthless. Conley had a bad punt that he followed with another one. His third was also bad but caught a better bounce since it actually landed in the field of play.
Its preseason, but when you see things that looked just like the prior season it becomes alarming. I already heard the excuses about vanilla gameplans and lack of weapons but lets be honest for a minute. The Jets want to be a vanilla offense. Their mantra is to line up their 11 guys and smash the other 11 around at the point of attack and bludgeon teams to death. There is nothing fancy about that. To see the Jets physically overmatched again just sets the tone that they cant run the offense they want to run.
This is why the rumors of Percy Harvin are crazy. All the wide receivers in the world do nothing for you when the QB can not get them the football. Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley would have made no difference in this game. The Giants simply overpowered Hunter and the interior of the line on too many plays. Calvin Johnson wouldnít make a difference. When you play like that in front of the QB the game is over almost every week.
If the feeling around the team is that the Wildcat is somehow going to fix things then its going to be a long season. Itís a gimmick that has run its course in the league. Tebow couldnít move the ball against 2s and 3s tonight. Somehow its going to fool 16 teams when he comes in and runs against NFL quality starters? I donít think so.
Look at it this way. In the first half of the game the Jets blocked a punt, had an interception at midfield, and ran a kick back past midfield. A normal NFL offense would have put up a minimum of 3 points off that. The Jets put up 0 and gave the opposing team their only touchdown of the first half. The team is running a real risk of turning this into a defense vs offense locker room unless they can get this fixed. There are certain things in the preseason that do matter and when a team crashed the way they did last season, primarily because of the offense its not just the fans that you have to make feel better about the teams prospects. There are a ton of defensive players standing there watching that offense and saying ďwhat in the world do we have to do to win a game this yearĒ. If that boils over into week 1 it can derail the season. The Jets need a good performance against Carolina next week and if they do not get it, the team needs to actually get their starters work against the Eagles backups in week 4 to see if there is anything there.