Post Game Thoughts: Jets vs Panthers
A look at the offense and defense. Oh and these replacement refs need to go unless the NFL is going to allow 5 or 6 challenges per game.
Lets start with the good things. I really though Mark Sanchez looked much better and much more confident back there. He seemed like he went into the game looking to prove something and was winging the ball all over the field. It was much different than the quick step throw 5 yards on a locked on receiver. Off the top of my head I only recall one really errant pass and there was one sack he took where it was probably as much his faults as the offensive lines. Their one long drive that started deep in their own territory and ended around the Panthers 10 was a big positive. Those are momentum changing drives. He did have the one interception, but lets be real that was not his fault whatsoever.
Austin Howard looked good at right tackle, though the ďAustin watchĒ on NBC was way over the top. We all know Wayne Hunter was horrific last week but this was a bit too much. I will say that I thought Sanchez was more confident in part because of this as I think everyone on the team knew that Hunter was mentally shot and had no confidence in his game. Itís one thing to expect light pressure, which is what Howard seemed to allow, and another to expect a knockout blow, which is what Hunter allowed.
I was happy again with Bilal Powell. I know its against backups, but this is two weeks in a row where he is stating his case to be splitting time with Shonn GreeneÖ.Patrick Turner has also made Chaz Schilens irrelevant. Schilens may make the team simply due to injury and if his agent is smart he should be telling him to remain injured until the regular season begins.
Now for the negatives. The scoring is a real issue. When you are a team with a proven track record its not a big deal, but when you have no track record itís a problem. For as good as their one drive was their drive that began on the Panther 10 was just as bad. People point to the preseason, but the Jets arenít working out kinks. They are trying to score. Yesterday I was watching the Broncos play and they ran the same exact play in the end zone two times in a row. It did result in a TD but if it no red flag would go off- it was them essentially practicing a play until they got it right. It would never happen in the regular season. The Jets are trying and simply not executing.
One of the issues I have is that the team seems to think itís a joke in interviews. Maybe they know something we all donít, but I think Rex has them hanging their hat on this Wildcat nonsense which they refused to run in the preseason. Hereís the problem with that. If it is a gimmick it is understandable not to run it. Save it for the regular season and hope you get something out of it for a few weeks. The Jets make it like this Tebow package is not a gimmick but a legit offensive weapon. If that is the case how do you not have your team practicing it in real time in the preseason against game speed players? You run real plays in the preseason to get ready for the real games. I guess we will see when the regular season begins.
The WR drops were bad. It was good to Santonio Holmes out there, but bad to see the drops. The first down thing in the preseason is also a joke. Someone in the organization needs to sit down and talk with him about a time and a place for everything. Stephen Hill is not going to contribute much this year. He did make a nice adjustment to come back to Sanchez on a pass but his hands are terrible. Its why you probably should not waste a 2nd rounder on a project WR, but we shall see. Hes only going to play this year out of desperation.
The run game continues to sputter and for the 2nd straight week they didnít pick up a yard in two tries. The refs gave the Jets a great spot on a 4th down play where Sanchez didnít even get close to the first down marker. Maybe the Jets should consider Tebow as a runner. He canít throw the football but he will run with more steam than the guys they list as starters.
You have to be pleased with the defense. The slow start was again an issue, but they held Carolina to 3 points so they didnít break. Until the offense proves otherwise every FG is precious so the team needs to get the slow start out from under them, but otherwise it was a great showing. You see with the youth up front a different level of athleticism than the Jets have had probably since John Abraham and Shaun Ellis were in their primes on the field together in 2004. They actually have players that can pressure the QB and push a pocket now without the all out blitz.
Quinton Coples has tremendous skills. I thought he should have gotten flagged with his flying clothesline bend of Cam Newton, but that doesnít change the fact that he got there with ease. He is a far better prospect than Vernon Gholston who never seemed to understand what to even try to do out there. Sure its only preseason but he does have freakish ability. His work ethic looks like it may be a problem. Apparently he was complaining about having to play deep into the game and that is the second time he has done that already. He also had a knock on him for not being a hard worker in college. But the skillset is scary.
Kenrick Ellis has had a great preseason. Heís a load out there. I have a feeling he will put Sione Pouha back on 2 down duty and if he can keep this up will replace him outright by 2013. Ellis looks like he may be the Jets first real find draft pick under Tannenbaum. Iím really excited by what I seeÖ.Laron Landry is also a huge addition if he can stay healthy. He gives them that physical presence in the secondary they have lacked for the last two seasons and he understands the positioning in the defensive backfield much better during a play. The Jets interception totals have always been lackluster when you consider the pressure they generate and tight outside coverage, partially because the safeties didnít scare anyone in the middle. I think that changes now. If you get it for 16 games from Landry itís a big upgrade over what was there beforeÖ.Bart Scott looked better for the 2nd straight week, though Iím hoping they can find someone else in passing situations unless he is going to blitz.
The one worry spot is going to be Kyle Wilson. Wilson was picked on for the second straight week and that is going to be a trend this season unless he improves. He played poor coverage on a 3rd down conversion early and then just got beaten badly on other plays. He got eaten alive on a block on a run play where was rendered totally useless. In baseball sometimes they talk about this guys that are like Triple A and Ĺ players. Maybe thatís Wilson. Hes ok when he plays backups and you can see how athletic he is, but against the NFL quality player he doesnít get the job done. Corners are sometimes slow to develop, but its close to time to pulling the plug. He wont stay on the field in the regular season if this play continues.