By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
The Jets have had some embarrassing, forgettable moments under Rex Ryan, but the series of events that occurred on Saturday night were just downright strange.
The Jets were able to actually beat the Giants to win the all-important Snoopy trophy, but the aftermath had a vibe of a devastating loss rather than a preseason victory. Let’s take a look at how things turned out the way they did and why the game had a lot more positives than the headlines would suggest.
The man was explosive and showed off his athletic ability penetrating gaps and getting into the backfield. It’s early, but it appears as if Idzik has hit on at least one of his two first-round picks.
The Jets may have finally found a solid receiving option from the UDFA ranks, as Spadola caught three passes for over 100 yards in the game and was running with the first team. He let an interception get away from him early on, but Spadola looks like he belongs.
It was much better last week against the Jaguars than in the first game, but the Jets gave solid protection all night against a pretty talented Giants defensive line. Even more impressive was how Vladimir Ducasse managed to not embarrass himself starting with the first team.
Walls continues to impress me. He plays with great balance and knows where the ball is at all times. He should be the starter ahead of Wilson (he started in place of Cromartie, who was hurt) regardless of where the two were drafted.
Just like every other team, the Jets have taken a few losses over the past three weeks—but they have managed to avoid the devastating ACL tear to a key veteran or first-round rookie. It is still two weeks before the season starts, but the key starters are done for game action until the season starts.
Perimeter run defense
This was an uncharacteristic problem last year that does not appear to be going away. David Wilson scored from his own 16-yard-line on the first play of the game. It appeared as if Antonio Allen was at fault for filling the wrong gap, but Wilson exposed the Jets’ lack of speed at safety when he blew by them untouched.
Ivory has had his moments and runs hard, but he is still a bit indecisive and is lacking a bit of burst when he hits the hole. Maybe he’s still shaking off the rust from missing the first two weeks, but he has been a bit underwhelming in game action so far.
If you haven’t been watching Wilson since his rookie year, you haven’t missed much. He’s essentially the same player he was the day he left Boise, struggling to find the ball in the air and drawing PI calls in the process. Hakeem Nicks made easy work of him, drawing 2 PI calls in a row while still making sideline catches on him.
Yes, Smith’s day was far from perfect with three interceptions and a Dan Orlovsky-esque move to run out of the end zone—but he wasn’t a total disaster. His worst throw occurred when he let a ball sail right into the hands of Stevie Brown (who tore his ACL on the play and is now out for the year). His other two interceptions came on a zone blitz and an off-target pass that was ripped out of Ryan Spadola’s hands.
Geno is clearly not quite ready to start winning games on his own, but that is to be expected from a second-round pick. He did make some quality deep throws to Stephen Hill, but he does have a ways to go before Week 1.
Rex is/has taken a lot of heat for playing Sanchez in the end of the game, and his critics may have a point—Sanchez could be the team’s starter on opening day, and playing him in meanless action with third-stringers seems pointless.
However, if Sanchez was the second-string quarterback, shouldn’t he be treated as such? Second-string quarterbacks play at the end of preseason games—this is not news. Sanchez was injured because he was hit really hard, not because he was playing late in a game.
Rex vs. the Media
A lot has been made about the exchange between Rex and a reporter during the postgame press conference, but it was far form the Herm Edwards-esque outburst it was made out to be. Rex certainly expressed his frustration with the repetitive questions in an odd fashion, but he sure beats completely flipping out on a reporter about it. It look more as if Rex was explaining something to a child than talking to a professional sports writer.