Yesterday I posted five things to watch in the Jets-Eagles preseason finale. How did they look?
1. Matt Flynn vs. Josh Johnson
Both Flynn and Johnson had some degree of success. Flynn played the first half. Johnson played the season. I wasn't very impressed by either, though. I saw signs the success they had was probably based more about playing against backups than genuine ability.
Flynn did not show much pocket presence. He frequently wasn't stepping into his throws. He also made some pretty poor decisions, none worse than the interception inside his own 10 yard line. That can't happen.
Johnson looked to me like a quarterback who makes his first read and looks to run if that isn't there.
These are the types of traits that might allow a quarterback to have success in preseason against backups but will lead to pain against real defenses. Of course, that is the type of play we should expect from quarterbacks like Flynn and Johnson. There are reasons they both made it so long without finding teams.
The Jets are probably going to keep one of the two. I think I would keep Johnson. I think he has more upside to produce big plays with his bigger arm and better athleticism. He also avoided Flynn's mistakes. I hope the Jets never have to use either quarterback.
2. Walter Powell's Returns
I think Powell earned himself a roster spot last night. He had a nice kickoff return and a nice punt return. Both were wiped out by penalty, but he showed some nice moves on both. Beyond returns, he was the Jets' second leading receiver with 3 catches for 58 yards. He also had a pair of receptions wiped out by very shaky offensive pass interference calls.
Is Powell going to be a good NFL player? I don't know, but I think he has earned a chance to prove himself. I would be disappointed if he was left off the roster. Jace Amaro's injury, and Quincy Enunwa shift to tight end should open a spot for Powell.
3. Offensive Line
As I said yesterday, there might be a better chance of somebody playing himself off the roster than somebody playing himself onto the roster. It was a solid night overall, but Brent Qvale gave up a rough sack.
It seemed like the Jets escaped fairly unscathed when if comes to players who will have a role with the team. Quincy Enunwa went down in the first half, but he returned to the game. It seems like he just had the wind knocked out of him.
In addition to Powell, Chris Owusu got a chance to shine as a wide receiver. He had 5 catches 72 yards and a touchdown and ran some very nice routes. If there was any doubt he was making the team, he probably put it to rest last night. The same goes for Rontez Miles. He was always around the ball, finishing with 8 tackles.
Darrin Walls had 2 interceptions, but there is an asterisk. He was beaten on the first one. A good throw by Matt Barkley would have meant a long touchdown. The ball was badly underthrown, and Walls picked it off. Walls' chances might have been helped more by how bad Dexter McDougle looked. He got lost in his zone and allowed a touchdown in the first half and then took a bad angle to Tim Tebow, allowing the quarterback to break the pocket and throw a second touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. If I had to choose between Walls and McDougle, I would probably keep McDougle. Neither is very good, but Walls is a finished product at age 27. McDougle at least could improve in theory. I'll totally understand if they keep Walls, though.