Try not to look too deep into this victory, just as you wouldn't want to overvalue last weeks preseason defeat in Texas. Both defense and offensive units showed flashes of brilliance as well as sluggish moments, and perhaps most importantly we learned Plaxico Burress can still catch a football.
More on the preseason pounding after the jump. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game below.
Plaxico Burress returned to the NFL in a big way Sunday night, catching three passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. Not too shabby for half a games work with some of the players starters on the field, coming off two years worth of rust to shake off. Burress even bowed to his new fans after scoring. Don't get overly excited, Burress beat Fred Bennet on the score and will likely face much stiffer competition in the regular season, but that goes without saying.
Personally, I was impressed by our receiving corps in general. Santonio Holmes caught three quick passes for 19 yards and a score. Dustin Keller accrued the most yards with 73 on 4 receptions. Even Jeff Cumberland got in on the passing action with two decent reception for 43 yards...not too shabby Jeff.
Chris Jennings saw a lot of action, and he really made the most of it, rushing for 81 yards. It's too bad, but I just can't see this kid making the team for week 1 with 4 other running backs on a loaded roster. I'm confident given what he's shown he'll wind up with a team that needs him. Who knows, maybe he'll become the next Danny Woodhead.
Jim Leonhard showed up in a big way, picking off Andy Dalton and returning it 35 yards to the Cincinnati red zone. Aaron Maybin showed up late in the game and made an argument for his potential, gaining a sack and forcing a fumble. Eric Smith and Brandon Satele also pulled down an interception a piece.
The rushing production from most of our backs that will likely see regular season action was lacking. You can debate whether this was because of the lack of Shonn Greene, a deficiency in the offensive line, or the simple fact that it's the preseason and several players are on the bench nursing minor injuries and ailments.
The offensive unit looked particularly sluggish at times, and I'm going to go out on a limb and attribute those shortcomings the the offensive line. Vlad Ducasse got a false start called on him, but he also had a couple of impressive run blocks. You be the judge.
Nick Folk hit one field goal from 50 yards, not bad. He also missed one from much closer. Nick Novak was brought in shortly thereafter to kick a couple of extra points and a 30 yard field goal. Are the coaches just giving the guys equal chances, or are they sending a message to Nick Folk?
Chris Bryan technically had the better night punting of one less punt, pulling down a better average and pinning one punt inside the 20 yard line. Conley's longest was 53 yards and Bryan's was 51. Is there such thing as a punting controversy? My guess is the job is still Conley's anyway.
I'm sure I'll get heat for this, but the way Mark Sanchez dove forward into a couple of defenders on the play where he was sacked was ugly. Ugly scary. To his credit there is only so much you can do when they are bearing down on you, he was just trying to recover some yards. But it was just reminiscent of plays last year where Sanchez went head first instead of going down or sliding. Sanchez performed just fine, leading the charge and going 12 for 20 with 2 touchdowns. Not bad. 12 for 20 is similar the kind of completion percentage he had last year, not the greatest, but overall Sanchez looked very good.
All in all, I'm optimistic moving forward, even though it was only a preseason game with the Bengals. How about you?