Those of the mindset of looking at the Jets pre-season record of 0-3 and airing out those all but familiar phrases might want to broaden their minds a little and look past the failings of failing to get into the end zone for the third successive game.
I'm not totally dispelling my concerns for the lack of points on the board but I did, once again, see encouraging signs of improvement throughout the team during yesterdays 17-12 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers.
The Jets defense were arguably up against one of the best rushing attacks within the NFL. The Panthers averaged 150.5 yards a game last season, with Cam Newton setting an NFL record with 14 rushing touchdowns, gaining 704 yards along the way. The Jets D made Cam look ordinary throughout the game as they brought relentless pressure to the young QB who finished with disappointing figures of 6/15 for 60 yards and one TD, gaining only 16 yards on the ground from 2 attempts and a fumble at the hands of Quinton Coples who made his mark once again, showing his athleticism, skill, desire and determination not to give up on any play (a lesson to all).
Austin Howard performed stoutly in place of Wayne Hunter as he faced one of the best pass rushers in the league in the form of Charles Johnson, who by my count applied pressure to Sanchez on two occasions. Howard showed good strength, hands, lateral movement and remained composed throughout.
The Jets offense has been under an intense spotlight during the pre-season, regardless of the personal on the field. The main focus/talking point has been the lack of touchdowns, add to this the kiss of death via Woody Johnson who took to twitter in search of a touchdown song (yes only in Jets land does this happen). The rest as they say is history, there were however some positives, gone was the familiar three and out sequence, the Jets looked relaxed somewhat even comfortable at times within their passing game (minus the red zone failings) as they got the chains moving on a regular basis, something we'd yet to witness during this pre-season. Stephen Hill led the team with receptions (5 for 68 yards) and with continued work on his hands, he should prove to be a vital asset to the team.
The 'ground and pound' style also showed signs of improvements as blocking assignments held up, creating ample running lanes for Greene who appeared to have more of a burst than I'd become accustomed too during this pre-season.
Another notable performance was LanRon Landry, he was all over the field. He was quick to the line of scrimmage to stuff the run, looked great in coverage, applying some ferocious hits even came away with an interception (I for one am excited to see him go up against the Pats TE duo). Kenrick Ellis also looked impressive throughout.
Regardless of the doom and gloom that graced my timeline the performance on the whole was a vast improvement of what we'd seen so far. Are all are problems solved, questions answered?... No, but its a step in the right direction.