Preseason Game: Detroit Lions 26, New York Jets 17
The injuries are hitting the running backs hard. Backup RB John Griffin suffered a season-ending broken leg in Friday night’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions. He was yanked to the ground in the third quarter on a horse-collar tackle by Detroit linebacker Travis Lewis. Griffin left the game on a cart and the X-ray confirmed the fracture.
The Jets offense had an immediate flashback to the problems Mark Sanchez has had from past years. Sanchez threw a screen pass that was intercepted by a defensive linemen and returned for a touchdown, leading to another brutal start for Jets football.
Remember, last year’s Jets first-team offense didn’t score last preseason. Sanchez bounced back and hit Cumberland for a 26-yard touchdown, wide open on a seam route. His final drive was a good one, as he moved the ball very well.
The Jets defense played good as far as the starters go. They played most of the first half, allowing 10 points. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie was taken out after a quarter, and Darrin Walls replaced him. Walls gave up a 15-yard touchdown pass. Safety Dawan Landry got beat once in coverage. This was all against the Lions back up quarterback.
The Jets new offense coordinator, Morty Mornhinweg, showed a big difference in the play calling. The one thing that stood out was how the wide receivers were open. The quarterbacks all had good passers ratings. Sanchez had a 77% completion rate, which is a huge upgrade.
The offensive line played well and definitely saw an improvement. I thought the starting O-Line did great with pass protection and it showed up on Sanchez’s last drive. The run blocking looked to be weak at times, but for the first preseason game, it was a good start.
The Jets’ running attack was almost non-existent as they ran for only 37 yards on 16 carries.
Bilial Powell ran nine times for 14 yards, his longest run being 11 yards. That’s not the night he wanted if he plans on being a key part in the running game this season.
Mossis Manu ran three times for 12 yards, his longest being five yards.
Joe McKnight went up the depth chart by not even practicing or playing. The injuries are mounting. John Griffin’s injury may keep him out for most of the season and the last thing the Jets needed is another running back injured.
Chris Ivory (hamstring) and Joe Mcknight (head) didn’t play due to injuries. Mike Goodson is still out due to personal reasons.
The Jets had 14 receivers make a catch in the game. Here are some of the numbers:
Obomanu: four catches for 59 yards; Gates: three catches for 39 yards; Kerley: two catches for 34 yards.
Winslow: two catches for 30 yards; Cumberland: one catch for 26 yards, 1 TD; Edwards: two catches for 23 yards.
Spann: one catch for 23 yards; Rogers two catches for 20 yards, 1 TD.
Clyde Gates is having a good camp and looks comfortable in the new offense.
Jeremy Kerley’s ability to shake defenders off is fun to watch. Kerley is getting more comfortable in the NFL and showing his size is not a factor .He is showing his ability to be a No. 2 starter for the Jets.
Kellen Winslow was running routes well and looking like an upgrade at the tight end position. Winslow plays with an edge that is good for this offense. On one particular play, Winslow hustled up the sideline for a 24-yard gain.
Sanchez 10-for-13 with 125 yards, 1 INT, 1 TD.
Smith 6-for-7 with 47 yards.
McElroy 11-for-19 with 145 yards, 1 TD.
Sanchez started the game off with a pick-six on the Jets’ first series.He was under pressure on a screen pass, and it was intercepted by rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who returned it 14 yards for a touchdown.
Sanchez responded to the rough start by finishing with a 26-yard touchdown pass to an open Jeff Cumberland. It was a great drive by Sanchez; a seven-play, 80-yard drive, much of which came in the hurry-up offense. Sanchez looked good at times, throwing an 18-yard pass over the middle to Clyde Gates on 3rd-and-10.
Geno Smith was in with the first-team offense on his first series. However, he played behind the second-team offense the rest of his time in the game.
Smith’s first pass showed off his velocity and good accuracy on a curl route to Gates. The ball was on target to Gates in stride and allowed him to get between defenders to generate another 5 yards after the catch. He also showed good timing in play-action, especially on a pass to Stephen Hill. Smith showed the ability to hold defenders in the play-action, selling the fake hand off.
Smith, in for just 4 plays in the third quarter, got hurt. He limped off the field under his own power after appearing to tweak his ankle on a scramble.
Smith’s X-rays were negative, and he hopes to practice immediately next week. Smith’s ankle doesn’t look too bad and he is not wearing a walking boot, just compression sleeve and electronic stim sleeve. That’s a good sign.
The life of a 3rd string quarterback in the NFL can be tough with the 3rd string offense. McElroy had a fumble and was rocked by some bad protections by the offense line. Still, he showed he understands the offense and has a good command of it already.
McElroy showed nifty footwork to avoid a rush, flipped a pass to a crossing Zach Rogers for a touchdown. It was an 11-yard pass.
Rex Ryan was impressed with safety Jaiquawn Jarrett, and he will move him to the first team this week.
Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples each had a quarterback sack and a pass rush.
Coples started making the transition to outside linebacker. He deflected a pass on an outside rush .On the next play he failed to set the edge and his mistake helped an outside run for a good gain. Overall, he wasn’t moving well in space, but there’s always an adjustment during a position change.
Kyle Wilson played well in coverage, knocking away at least one pass and using the boundaries to defend. Rex dialed up a blitz and sent Wilson in after the quarterback, which worked well.
Dee Milliner had some good plays in coverage and was tested in the game. Milliner broke up a ball from Matt Stafford for Patrick Edwards in end zone. Overall, he had good night, but needs to work on his game a little in his transition into the NFL.
The Jets have four days of practice left in Cortland, New York. They will break camp and return to Florham Park, New Jersey on Thursday. On Saturday they will have a home preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.