With another week down for the New York Jets the same story remains. No touchdowns, no excitement, no wins. Although the game did not end up as planned, it felt different from games prior. There was a slight sense of hope when the starters played and if they stayed in the whole game there would have been a much different outcome. The Jets defense disrupted Cam Newton and were playing with heart. The offense struggled but Mark Sanchez came out guns blazing. This teams has many holes the question is who can step up and be the leader?
1) Mark Sanchez- Sanchez deserves no blame for that game. He was 11/18 for 123 yards which would have been so much more if not for vital drops including ones by Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill. Sanchez was by far the best offensive weapon and proved he is the clear cut starter which has been known since day one. The thing that makes his performance even more impressive is the lack of offensive weapons he had. Dustin Keller was out after one catch and Josh Baker was crushed by a season ending injury.
2) Nick Folk- Here is a name that may need to be added to the good list more often. Folk was lights out this year and seems like he can’t miss. He beat out Josh Brown in a fair competition and went 3/3 against the Panthers hitting from 46, 30, and 22.
3) TJ Conley- A name that is usually on the bad or even ugly list has made up for a bad performance with a great one. Although he only had 2 punts they averaged an outstanding 57 yards. His long of 63 was perfect and his 51 yarder was great as well. If he can punt like that against the Eagles he should hold off Spencer Lanning otherwise Lanning may swoop in and take the job.
4) Antonio Cromartie- Cromartie was great in coverage and due to that only needed to post 3 tackles. The statistic of the night was his 2 forced fumbles which proved that he knows how to use his head…literally. Jarring the ball loose is an art and Cromartie I working on perfecting it.
5) LaRon Landry- Landry was probably the player of the game. His hits are tremendous and when you get hit by Landry odds are you are not getting up, ask Jonathan Stewart. On top of his intense hitting skills he added 4 tackles and a nice interception.
6) Quinton Coples- No surprises here, he has made the good list every week so far and it doesn’t seem like he will be off it anytime soon. He is such a force for this team and an outsider can see he will be a force for years to come. Coples felt like jumping into a few defensive categories in this game by having a tackle, sack, and forced fumble.
1) Tim Tebow- Although Tebow may have almost pulled off one of his patented 4th quarter comebacks, he did not play well. Going 4/14 is not acceptable even for a 4th string quarterback. He added 45 yards rushing but that is not going to cut it in the regular season. He will see maybe six plays a game so he needs to make the best of it. This showing was not one of his bests by a longshot.
2) Josh Mauga- Josh was completely lost in coverage and gave up a wide open touchdown to Barnidge. He did not help his cause to make the final 53 man roster with this game.
3) Kyle Wilson- Wilson was lost in coverage the whole game and there is a reason why he played most of it. You have a sense that the coaches are not sold on him and he is still very rusty. With Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie being nearly lights out, Wilson has a lot of work to do
1) Josh Baker’s Injury- You never want to see anyone go down especially such a good all-around person. His season is over and the Jets lost a vital hybrid.
2) Inconsistency on offense- The Jets entire offense is a question mark which is not good. The wide receivers have had vital drops as well as injuries throughout the preseason. The running backs have no wow factor and are mediocre at best. No burst, no speed, no specialties. The tight end situation is scary. The team has a receiving tight end but no blocking tight end. Sanchez needs to step and things need to be perfect or this will be a long season.
Things to look for next week against the Eagles
1) Will the Jets finally score a touchdown?
2) Who will win the backup running back spot?
3) Who will win the punting battle between Conley and Lanning?
4) Can the Jets stay injury free?
5) Can Matt Simms play?
6) Will Hayden Smith actually show up in this game or stay invisible?
7) Can Folk keep his perfect streak alive?