By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
While the Jets have yet to end the rather embarrassing touchdown drought, it was not all bad for the green and white.
The contained an explosive Panthers’ offense and Mark Sanchez had his best game of the preseason. If Stephen Hill was able to hang on to the ball in the end zone, the Monday’s headlines would have looked completely different.
Here is what we learned from Sunday night’s game:
The Jets have a ton of depth on the D-Line
Despite playing without two starters, the Jets defensive line rotation was rather dominant against what is normally a rock-solid Panthers offensive line. Kenrick Ellis was a load, Quinton Coples was moving guys all over the place, and even Wilkerson began to show some of the dominant play we have ben waiting for. Even Jay Richardson, once viewed as a bubble player, was wreaking havoc with the first team.
While Mike Tannenbaum may have neglected some spots on the offensive side, there is no question that beefing up the line became a priority, and it is paying off.
Stephen Hill is not reliable
Hill actually had a very strong night, leading the Jets in receptions and yards, including a 32-yard play to get the Jets in the red zone.
But he needs to fix his issues with drops before the season starts if he wants to earn Mark Sanchez’s trust. One of his drops led to an interception on a bobbled pass.
On his own, Sanchez is doing a very good job keeping the ball out of the opponet’s hands. The last thing the Jets need is for other players to make mistakes on their own to negate Sanchez’s improvements.
Sanchez looks comfortable
The production on the scoreboard may not reflect it, but Sanchez is clearly a more comfortable player in Tony Sparano’s high-tempo system. The Jets were getting to the line quickly, getting Sanchez in rhythm. If Stephen Hill was able to reel in those two drops, Sanchez is a hero in the papers the next day.
Josh Bush can cover
Yeremiah Bell sat this one out, which gave Josh Bush the nod to start. He was almost flawless in his debut with the first team, despite a pass-interference call that was questionable at best. He was terrific in coverage, which is his forte, and got his nose dirty in the run game. Based on what we saw from Bush, the coaches should have no qualms about putting him in the game if need be.
Austin Howard > Wayne Hunter
This may be something none of us on the outside will ever understand. How can Rex Ryan have not known that Howard was the better player than Hunter all this time? Howard was not dominant, but he did not allow a sack despite dealing with a good rusher in Charles Johnson.
Nonetheless, Howard looks like he can handle the job on his own for now, which certainly puts some major concerns for the Jets to rest.