In the fourth and final pre-season game of 2019, the New York Jets beat the Philadelphia Eagles 6 - 0 in a snooze fest. This was a painfully dull game to watch. As is traditional for the last pre-season game, the starters for both teams rested and we were treated to third and fourth team players desperately trying to put something positive on tape. The Jets backups ended up being slightly less bad than the Eagles backups, at least for one night, but neither side covered themselves in glory.
Let’s take a look at who struggled and who shined in this abomination of a fake game.
Blake Cashman. Nobody on either team excelled more than Blake Cashman. He was all over the field, outstanding in coverage, forcing a fumble and generally impressing on almost every snap. A tour de force for the Jets fifth round draft pick.
Trenton Cannon. Cannon didn’t play all that much, but he made the most of his snaps. Cannon had 17 yards rushing on four carries, doing his work between the tackles, like a real NFL running back, and showing excellent burst and wiggle. Cannon has looked like a different player the last two weeks, like a legitimate NFL running back. It’s come in limited action against backups, but what we’ve seen the last two weeks from Cannon is highly encouraging.
Josh Bellamy. At 30 years old Bellamy isn’t going to suddenly develop into a plus NFL receiver, but for the night he impressed, snagging 5 catches on 6 targets and consistently moving the chains. A nice performance for Bellamy.
Valentine Holmes. Holmes did nothing running the football, with zero yards on five carries. But he was a revelation in the passing game, leading all Jets receivers with 5 catches for 55 yards, including a gorgeous over the shoulder catch on a deep ball from Davis Webb.
Luke Falk. Falk didn’t exactly light the world on fire, but he was efficient and took care of the football, which was a lot more than could be said for Davis Webb.
Kyle Phillips. Phillips has little chance of making the 53 man roster, but two sacks on the night was an excellent way to end his first NFL pre-season.
Parry Nickerson. It came against scrubs, and it’s likely too little, too late, but I thought Nickerson quietly had the best performance of his short NFL career, leaving little in the way of separation for the guys he covered.
Davis Webb. This may well have been Webb’s final NFL performance. After 3 NFL camps and two NFL seasons of incompetence Webb was nothing if not consistent, throwing two ugly interceptions.
Taylor Bertolet. Bertolet missed three field goal tries. His leg was strong but his aim was not. Granted, these were not gimme attempts, coming from 49, 53 and 56 yards. If he misses one of those you’re OK with it. Miss two and you’re not pleased but those aren’t easy. Miss all three and, well, a guy whose place on the roster was already shaky likely sealed his fate as a Jet.
Elijah McGuire. McGuire did what McGuire does. 14 carries, 29 yards. No vision, little wiggle, just not an NFL quality running back. McGuire likely played his last game as a Jet tonight.
Jordan Morgan. Morgan did some nice things blocking in the running game, but multiple costly penalties land him in the penalty box. A small school prospect, perhaps he can be developed on the practice squad.
Tim White. White showed little as a receiver and less as a returner. That brief time in training camp when he was reportedly flashing seems a long time ago now. White seems destined to be cut.
Jachai Polite. Polite capped off a disastrous rookie training camp with a completely invisible final performance. Unofficially he got 16 snaps on defense. You would be hard pressed to recall a single one.
With the win the Jets final 2019 pre-season record goes to 2 - 2. It’s on to the regular season and finally, real NFL football. This season promises more talented players and more excitement for a Jets team than we’ve seen in quite some time. Can’t wait.