GAME RECAP: I’ll bet the players were just as excited as I was to see them on the field across from guys wearing different color jerseys then they were for the first time since Miami, nearly nine months ago. The outcome was no different, still a Jets loss, but the feeling leaving the field certainly wasn’t. I’d say the team had a right to leave the field with a feeling of enthusiasm after seeing some of its old & new parts in action.
Starting QB Mark Sanchez didn’t light it up, almost opening the game with back-to-back three and outs, until a referee’s bad call on the Bengals punt return unit gave his second drive new life.
Sanchez went a turnover free four out of six for twenty-one yards in limited action and without his top two receivers in the lineup. Both Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley sat out with injuries, which gave rookie Stephen Hill a chance to show us how that lean frame handles an NFL tackle.
Hill only made two catches, and that drop on a pass from Tebow which would have been a sure first down will stand out as one that got away. From a player who lists “Jerry Rice” and “Calvin Johnson” as his favorite wide receivers, he definitely needs to sure-up those hands to get targeted at the same rate as those incredible players… definitely.
Tim Tebow looked pretty good running the conventional offense after Sanchez took the rest of the night off. Tebow went four out of eight for twenty-seven yards and a horrible interception he later admits he “…shouldn’t have thrown.” The Jets backup QB and punt protector had four rushes for thirty-four yards with a long of fourteen. He also lined up as the fullback on the punt team three times during the game, almost missing the first punt of the game, but making it out there just in time. Both Josh Brown and Nick Folk nailed field goals, accounting for the team’s only points in the 17-6 defeat. Other than the kickers, some of the real bright spots for Gang Green were the play of Austin Howard and Quinton Coples respectively. Howard, the 6’7” 330 plus pounder out of Northern Iowa the Jets plucked from the Ravens practice squad held his own in extended time at both tackle positions as Wayne Hunter sat this game out. While Howard was making fans smile with his solid line play, Coples was making them stand and cheer with his performance on thirty-nine total plays from scrimmage. He looked at home against the pass as he amassed five tackles, two for loss, and deflected a pass as well. Players like Bilal Powell and Royce Pollard continue to see their stock soar as they continue to impress. The Jets are a solid team, with no parts that floor you singularly, but as a whole, they could be effective at both moving and stopping the ball.
WE TALKING ‘BOUT PRACTICE: No one’s really talking about the Jets practice session from Monday as it was closed to fans, and media members in attendance were sworn to secrecy. The Jets practiced some “wildcat” plays according to some. Now, is it that they practiced the actual wildcat, with a running back or wide receiver taking the snap, or did they just practice more spread offense type plays like the ones Tebow ran at Florida and in Denver last year. I’m not going to call the Jets in a standard, or shotgun set, with Tebow back there “the wildcat” because it’s not. He’s a QB… at least that’s what it says on the depth chart. When Michael Vick returned and played a few downs here and there for the Eagles, he was called a wildcat QB, which I thought was completely incorrect as well. I’ll let popular media say what they want, and hope educated readers are able to decipher between the hype and real analysis.
LOOKING FORWARD: The Jets will be home for their next game against the defending Super Bowl champions and their MetLife Stadium co-tenants, the New York Giants. Maybe Head Coach Tom Coughlin hasn’t given Jets HC Rex Ryan the courtesy call on not running the wildcat like Marvin Lewis of the Bengals did, because the Jets are warming up their Tebow-offense in double-secret probation style practices. I don’t think we’ll see the Tebow-offense until the regular season, to avoid teams having anything on film to study for an upcoming matchup. If you’re looking to see how the Tebow-offense or redzone-offense will look, you’ll need to tune in week one against the Buffalo Bills. Hopefully we won’t need to wait that long to see Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley take the field, as both will be out against the Giants according to Rex. I guess that gives the Jets latest weapon at wide receiver, Antonio Cromartie, a few extra reps at the position. This is going to be one interesting season.
JETS REMAINING PRESEASON SCHEDULE:
Saturday, August 18th: vs. New York
Sunday, August 26th: vs. Carolina
Thursday, August 30th: at Philadelphia
Photo: Quinton looking to get mid-evil!
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