Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jets at Bengals Preseason Recap

Photo courtesy of NY Post
Final Score: Jets 25, Bengals 17

First Star: QB Andy Dalton- 8/8, 144 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 158.3 passer rating

Second Star: S Calvin Pryor- 3 tackles, 3 assists, 1 fumble recovery

Third Star: RB Chris Johnson- 10 rushes, 63 yards, 2 receptions, 1 yard

The Good
Calvin Pryor looked great in his first in-game action. He constantly found himself in the backfield after breaking through the offensive line. It was a very good sign for the rookie's future.

Geno Smith and the rest of the offense found their footing towards the end of the second half, putting together two touchdown drives in the second quarter.

Antonio Allen was bad at times, but for someone playing cornerback for the first time in his career, actually looked decent overall. Still, he'll need to improve quickly if Rex Ryan is going to need him to play an important in the regular season.

I.K. Enemkpali showed off his speed and agility by exploding off the line to block a punt through the back of the end zone for a safety. It doesn't really mean much, as it's only one play, but it's a good sign.

The Bad
The offense only looked good when they were matched up against Cincinnati's second team unit.

The Ugly
Penalties. The Jets were called for 12 penalties totaling 133 yards over the course of the game. Offensive linemen Willie Colon and Breno Giacomini were playing generally undisciplined football early and caused a few scuffles between the two teams.

Tajh Boyd looked absolutely terrible in the fourth quarter, going 1 for 5 with 6 passing yards. I'd like to see him get another chance later in the preseason to compete for the third string job along with Matt Simms, but he didn't do himself any favors yesterday.

The Weird
Both Calvin Pryor and running back Alex Green wore #25 in last night's game. I know it's just preseason, but I've never seen that before. And I doubt it's legal.

Quarterback Playing Time
1st Quarter- Geno Smith
2nd Quarter- Geno Smith
3rd Quarter- Michael Vick
4th Quarter-Tajh Boyd
Did Not Play- Matt Simms

Last night's preseason game between the Jets and the Bengals may have been a win for Gang Green, but it did not bode well for the team's regular season chances. The game did not start off very well for the offense, as they dealt with two third and very longs in their first two possessions.

The Bengals first team offense was clicking on all cylinders, scoring all of Cincinnati's 17 points early in the first half. Andy Dalton maintained a perfect passer rating throughout the first half because the Jets defense provided very little resistance.

The biggest defensive problem for the Jets last year was that they were susceptible to the big play. Even if they could control the game at the line of scrimmage, any team with the ability to beat the Jets secondary over the top on the deep ball or break out a long run or screen pass could score on New York because of poor tackling from the back end of the defense. That continued to be an issue last night, as A.J. Green had a 35 yard catch and Mohamed Sanu burnt Kyle Wilson on his way to catching a 43 yard touchdown.

At the end of the first quarter, a horrible miscommunication between Geno Smith and David Nelson leads to interception. It looked like it was Nelson's fault, but either way it was a bad play. Kinks like that will be worked out in training camp and in next week's preseason game against the Giants, so it's not a huge issue.

Early in the second quarter, the Bengals brought in their second stringers, while the Jets used their starters for the entire first half. The Bengals first team unit departed with a 17-3 lead. As was to be expected, the rest of the second quarter belonged to the Jets.

In Cincinnati's second team offense's first series, Demario Davis burst through the line for a strip sack on Bengals backup Matt Scott. The fumble was recovered by Calvin Pryor who got around a poor block by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Following the turnover, the Jets offense got back on track with a nice, short drive that led to a Bilal Powell touchdown.

In limited action, Powell showed an ability to make big plays, ripping off a 32 yard carry as well as a 12 yard reception.

Later in the second quarter, Geno Smith and the Jets controlled the ball for 5 minutes and 32 seconds on their way to a 9 play, 62 yard scoring drive punctuated by a 1 yard run by Smith.

Smith did nothing to improve his position in the ongoing quarterback battle, but neither did Michael Vick, so the incumbent Smith is still the frontrunner to land the starter's role. He also teamed up with Nick Mangold on a hilarious videobomb of Vick:

Michael Vick looked pretty good in the third quarter, completing 5 passes on 9 attempts for 70 yards, and connected with my least favorite Jet, Clyde Gates (who should not be allowed to wear Chad Pennington's old number.) on a 17 yard touchdown. Vick also had 2 carries for 16 yards, including an 11 yard scramble.

Even though the Jets lost the first team battle on both sides of the ball, they seemed to right the ship, and dominated the rest of the game, scoring the final 22 points of the contest.

I'll be excited to see how they fare next week at home against their stadium-mates, the Giants.

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