EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01: Eddie Jones #99 and Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets celebrate a fumble against Philadelphia Eagles during their pre-season game at MetLife Stadium on September 1, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
I know I've been saying it all preseason, but don't look too much into this one. Most of the people we saw tonight will be riding the pine all season, if they even make the team at all. Several of our players that aren't in danger of losing their roster spots were the most effective, some in the front seven and others in the secondary.
Several players made surprising cases to make the team, including Aaron Maybin, Eddie Jones, Drew Willy; Ellis Lankster, Nick Bellore, Matthias Berning, and others. Other players came short and will probably find themselves gone long before Tuesday.
I'm so grateful the season is about to start, I just can't take it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love studying our backups and situational players, as well as the guys just battling for a spot on the team, but I'm yearning for some real football. Give your thoughts on the game and what you expect from the upcoming season below. I expect good things this season still, even if our reserves lost to theirs. A more thorough breakdown on the game player by player after the jump.
Perhaps the most surprising was Drew Willy's showing on the field. Willy went 9 for 16 for 109 yards and a touchdown on the field in relief of Greg McElroy, who left the game with a dislocated thumb after hitting half of his 6 short passes for 29 yards. It wasn't an incredible showing from Willy, but it wasn't all that bad either. I like his preseason success to other QB's struggling to make a team, nothing to write home about. The guy will never be Tom Brady, or Mark Sanchez, or Chad Henne. He's a career backup, if he's lucky.
The rushing effort was pretty pathetic, like it has been most this preseason. To be fair our runners have been behind reserves and guys struggling to make it in the game. Even when starters are on the field in earlier games, some of our guys, such as Moore, haven't been there for precautionary reasons. I just don't want anybody to panic because of rushing has been lackluster in the preseason. With all of that said, our top rusher was Dan DePalma who picked up 8 yards on a single run around. Joe McKnight picked up 6 yards on 4 attempts, yuck. Bilal Powell got 4 yards on 7 attempts. Poor Chris Jennings, who you can be fairly certain will not make the team after tonight if you weren't sure already, lost a yard on the one carry he was given. Sorry, Chris. Good luck.
For those following the Vlad watch: Ducasse jumped early three times, but as someone else mentioned Vlad rotated at least three positions on the line tonight and played all of them fairly well. Vlad has been quietly improving for us this preseason, I don't think people should be too concerned about our line anymore.
Jeff Cumberland was a bright receiving spot on a quiet offensive evening, leading the team with 36 yards. Joe McKnight caught a couple of passes from the backfield for 16 yards, making a case that he can replace LDT in situational plays after he retires. Scotty McKnight made a case for himself with a gorgeous touchdown catch.
Nick Folk missed a 52 yard field goal short and wide. I don't mean to be picky, that was a really hard kick, but they way that flew and landed it looked like it would have had a hard time making the uprights no matter where he was kicking from. Folk's two extra points were good. Conley proved the FO made the right choice in choosing him for the new punter, as he nailed the other team inside the twenty and kicked a 60 yard punt.
Especially impressive were two young men, Aaron Maybin who I'm sure you know, and Eddie Jones who you may not. Both were very disruptive in the Eagles backfield tonight, probably the most entertaining part of the game for Jets fans. Maybin got 1.5 sacks and some pressure, and I think he's all but a lock for the team. Eddie Jones is a bigger question mark, but he certainly did all he could with 5 tackles (including a couple for losses) and a fumble recovery.Nick Bellore's 4 registered tackles don't really do him justice, he might not, but I hope Nick makes the team. In spite of the fact that he led the team with 8 tackles most people, including me, don't think Brashton Satele should make the team. He just doesn't look like an NFL caliber player. Insert pizza shop joke here. Matthias Berning also made a case for a shot at the regular season roster, but I'm not sure if that's going to be possible with all of the great talent vying to make the team this year.
Ropati Pitoitua didn't play very long, but he looked like a force to be reckoned with on the line. Marquice Cole and Emmanuel Cook both looked pretty sharp when they were playing. Cole especially, who pulled down a sack. Marcus Dixon looked extremely impressive on the field as well.
Jamaal Westerman pulled down quite a few tackles and looked like a safety out there playing mop up for practice squad fodder, but as much as I have been defending him, I must admit Jamaal looked confused and turned around on several plays throughout the game. I think Jamaal still has a chance to excel as a situation and rushing player, but playing every down doesn't appear to be for him.
Kyle Wilson and Brodney Pool seemed to have communication problems on the field. In my opinion, both were far too quick to blame the other for their own shortcomings. I think Kyle Wilson got picked on a little bit this week, although that may generate a visceral reaction. Just keep in mind that Kyle is going to be a slot and dime guy. Give him time, he IS improving in coverage, last week is proof. Kenrick Ellis was kind of disappointing. I'm hoping he blooms into a force to be reckoned with this season.
That's all I got for thoughts on this weeks game. The offense was pretty lame. That's probably an understatement. Don't give it too much thought, just prepare yourself for real football. P.S. We've only seen flashes of it, but I absolutely love Jeremy Kerley's speed and versatility. I think he's a perfect replacement for Brad Smith. I just hope B.S. doesn't misuse him or turn him into an overly gimmicky player.
How do you feel about our team, moving into the regular season?