Post Game Thoughts- Jets 9 Panthers 3
Preseason games are usually tough to watch, but this game took it a step further.
This Jets/Panthers game was absolute torture to watch with two teams playing absolutely horrible football.
Going into this game I wondered how LaDainian Tomlinson would bounce back and clearly he did well busting off a 20 yard run early in the game, which was helped by a fine block by G Matt Slauson for the biggest offensive play of the game for the first stringers. This was the exact type of offensive line play that benefited Thomas Jones last year and one of the reasons why I think it was reasonable to assume that LT would see more big plays in this offense than he did in San Diego. Tomlinson looks to have some bounce in his step again and will possibly be pushing for more time if he keeps this up.
Great special teams play today. People often say that special teams is more about effort than anything else and the Jets guys never gave up on a play. The players were right on top of the returners leading to two turnovers to set up the Jets lone field goals. Extra credit to Lance Laury, Danny Woodhead, and David Clowney for coming up with the loose balls and Chauncey Washington for causing a fumble. Those final three see their chances increase of making it if he can show some more hope for specials...P Steve Weatherford got a real workout today and looked very good while K Nick Folk alleviated a lot of concerns with an excellent night.
Vernon Gholston had five or six tackles against the second and third stringers, by far the best game he has ever had since college.
Miscommunication in the secondary was a problem, and one would have to assume most of the blame should fall on CB Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie passed off WR Ken Moore to S Jim Leonhard and Leonhard did not seem ready for it which led to a 25 yard gain for the Panthers offense. Later Cromartie looked as if he failed to pick up WR Brandon LaFell who was passed off by LB Bart Scott, leading to a 15 yard gain for the Panthers. Darrelle Revis was probably smiling somewhere tonight.
DE Matt Kroul received two penalties on the same play costing the Jets 15 yards. That is not how you make a team. Kroul has shown little so far
Joe McKnight just does not look like a runner. I think some thought the negative focus on him from Hard Knocks may have lit a fire under him, but that is not the case. At this point it now looks like Danny Woodhead vs Joe McKnight is a legitimate roster battle. McKnight did help his stock with a big punt return. Maybe that jump starts something next week.
The O-line second unit was scary bad. Carolina's backups were really bringing the heat and the Jets offensive line, at times, looked as if they had never practiced together before. QB Kellen Clemens, in particular, was just overwhelmed by the rush allowed by his linemen.
The Jets backup QB situation looks scary. Clemens, playing with the real backups this week, did nothing to up his trade value. Mark Brunell looks like a really old and really bad version of Chad Pennington. All he can do is check the ball down explaining his 3 completions for all of 2 yards. Brunell should have been intercepted at least once. Kevin O'Connell continues to look awful.
The first team offense was hideous today. Carolina gave the Jets multiple opportunities to convert and time after time the Jets faltered. Negative plays. Terrible throws by Mark Sanchez, who could have easily been intercepted twice in the game. Sacks allowed by D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Ben Hartsock. It all led to huge 3rd down tries that they had almost no chance to convert. I'm not too sure if we will see Sanchez and company clowning around this week on Hard Knocks after this performance. If this is anything close to what the finished product is come September it will be a long season.
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