Post Game Thoughts: Jets vs Giants Tweet
The story coming out of the "Snoopy Bowl" was supposed to be the way that Geno Smith handed the QB job to Mark Sanchez, but a big hit to Sanchez that may have seen him injure his shoulder in garbage time is going to bring the head coach under fire. The Jets handling of the QB competition has just been beyond awful maybe even worse than the Sanchez/Tebow/McElroy mess from the end of last season. You would not think that it was possible but it has been.
It was clear coming out of the 2nd Quarter that Sanchez was going to be the starter. You have 4 years of experience and footage of Sanchez. What were you hoping to see with a few minutes left in the game playing with backups that was going to make you change your mind? The reason teams do not play potential starters late in these games is partially because most of the players at this stage of the game won't be playing next week. You give a guy a chance to take a shot at a starter and they are going to take it and that's what happened. There is just no logical explanation for putting him in there when you have a 3rd stringer available to play.
As for the other QB, Smith clearly played himself right out of the QB competition with tonight's game. He hit the trifecta with the interceptions making sure to throw one to every level of the defense and then finished the night running himself out of bounds in the end zone. In the two preseason games he has played in he has actually been the least impressive QB on the roster. I do believe that there will be a time later this year after more practice that he will be able to play, but tonight had to be a humbling experience.
Because it is NY and because the rookies QBs in the league played so well last season I am sure more is going to be made out of what happened tonight than should be. Most rookies struggle and Smith struggled. He didn't look ready for the NFL, but I'd be more concerned if he looked like this next Preseason than in this one. There were a few flashes from him throwing the ball down the field that were nice to see but he just isn't ready.
With Sanchez potentially hurt I'm not sure what you do. Smith looked bad enough that I'd be worried that playing him before he is ready will have a longer lasting effect. You would like to think that if the QB truly has the goods he will overcome such issues, but there have been so many highly graded QBs that have started out badly and never recovered that it makes you at least have to consider if they are being damaged by the early play. Matt Simms looks to actually have the best arm on the team but I don't think he makes it beyond the Eagles game.
The battle for the starting RB seems to also have been won by Bilal Powell. Does Chris Ivory run hard? Yes he does, but whether it's the lack of practice or not really being in football shape yet, he just isn't doing much anything. Powell did drop another pass tonight and looked a bit confused coming out of the backfield on another pass, but the Jets can not afford negative plays and he is going to at least be a somewhat steady player.
The Offensive Line had some moments including a terrific stuff of the Giants pass rush on Smith's 1st TD pass where he had an eternity to throw the ball. I do think the Jets will be very active on the waiver wire to improve the backup quality. Braylon Edwards not playing probably hurt his chances to make the team. Ben Obomanu and Mohamed Massaquoi both did enough to make you forget Edwards. Ryan Spadola looked good again and I think he has to make the roster as well. Stephen Hill had a nice catch down the field but he also fumbled and got a penalty for hitting a player in the head.
On defense the Jets started out horribly giving up the huge TD run to David Wilson. Im still worried about the Jets run defense and this did nothing to change that feeling. That said the Jets young linemen are going to be a load. Wilkerson is already looking like a Pro Bowler and Sheldon Richardson made some terrific plays as well. Damon Harrison was all over the field.
Eli Manning looked bad for the Giants and I don't mean that as a way of praising the secondary. I don't know if he was having issues with his footing but he didn't look right throwing the ball. Kyle Wilson got the start and was brutalized. I think he had 3 PI calls, though I felt the second was a bad call. Yes Wilson did not turn his head and play the ball but he also didn't seem to touch Hakeem Nicks. If anything Nicks looked to be pushing him. On the other plays he was clearly at fault. Why they don't try him at Safety I don't know.
Still even though I felt the Giants QB was playing bad the Jets defense was put in so many bad positions and the Giants never scored. If the Jets can rush the passer this year the defense is going to be very good.
Nick Folk missed a FG that would have won the game in OT. I think he is going to lose the K battle to Billy Cundiff and that was a major miss. It's a pressure kick in the sense that it would have ended the game plus he's playing for a job. He missed it and at a quick glance he even missed the warmup kick when the Giants called a timeout. Cundiff had a booming kickoff before that which did not help Folk's case at all. Cundiff did blow a warmup kick on a timeout but did nail a second try a few plays later to end the game.
With the Preseason basically over I don't think anyone has any more hope of the team than they had going in. The offense looks to be very bad. If Sanchez is not injured the Jets do need to name a starting QB this week and just end the QB competition and get the players settled into their roles. If they truly think that they need to see the two guys playing against Eagles backups then the coaching staff is lost.
Watching them play I still feel that the Jets are one of the 5 worst teams in the NFL. The Raiders are clearly the worst but the next set of teams- Jets, Bills, Jaguars and Titans- are all pretty close. That said wacky things happen in the NFL and all it sometimes takes is a few breaks to turn what should be a really bad team into a pretty good one. That's what I'll be hoping for.