The New York Jets won their second game of the preseason defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 25-17 at Paul Brown Stadium. There were several positives and negatives to take away from the game and they are as follows:
Put the controversy to bed- Barring a serious injury over the next 2 weeks, Geno Smith is the starting quarterback in week one against the Oakland Raiders. Smith continues to show a good command of the offense, poise in the pocket, and mobility. Geno is also starting to use his legs more which will effectively keep defenses honest.
Pryor shines- Calvin Pryor made his preseason debut Saturday night and instantly started making plays including two forced fumbles. Pryor's impact will be significant in the secondary and it is clear that Rex Ryan will use him in a variety of blitz packages.
Johnson shows some flash- Running back Chris Johnson continues to work off the rust as he gained 63 yards on 10 carries Saturday night. Johnson was used as a back and a wide receiver and it is evident that the Jets will find numerous ways to get the ball in the playmaker's hands.
Powell being Powell- Bilal Powell quietly continues to make plays when given the opportunity. Powell always fights for the extra yards and brings a physical presence to the offense in terms of blitz pickup. There is no way that Bilal Powell should be cut from this roster, especially with the injury history of Chris Ivory.
Salas earning reps- Wide receiver Greg Salas had 2 catches for 31 yards as he tries to earn a roster spot. Salas displays consistent hands and finds ways to get open. I think it would be foolish for the Jets to part ways with Greg as he continues to develop as a pass catcher.
A.J. Edds making his case- Another week, another quality performance from linebacker A.J. Edds. The Jets linebacker does a good job of identifying plays and displays decent range sideline to sideline. Edds has to be considered one of the surprise players this preseason.
Winters and Aboushi continue to battle- Oday Aboushi and Brian Winters continue to compete for the starting left guard spot. Both young offensive linemen have played well and it is great that the Jets will finally have some depth at the position. As of now it seems like it is Winters job to lose.
Demario emerging- Demario Davis is having an excellent preseason (minus one dumb personal foul) and could be one of the most improved players on the team. Davis is tenacious and is clearly becoming an emotional leader for the Jets.
Reilly, Enemkpali impress- Nothing better than watching young, hungry defensive players trying to make the roster. Both Trevor Reilly and IK Enemkpali (forced fumble and a sack) were active on special teams (Enemkpali with a blocked punt ) and provided some pressure with the pass rush. Rex Ryan has to be encouraged with these two young men and will have some tough decisions to make with the roster cuts.
Top ranked defense? The New York Jets made Andy Dalton look like Tom Brady in the first quarter yielding 144 passing yards and a touchdown. The defensive line was manhandled while the secondary was picked apart. Shocking performance by a defense that likes to be considered elite.
Flag on the play- The Jets embarrassed themselves with 7 personal fouls and a total of 12 penalties for 133 yards. It is one thing to play physical, it is another to lose control and cost your team field position.
Struggling secondary- As expected the Jets secondary struggled with just about everyone making a mistake. The safeties were slow in coverage while the corners gave up some big plays. It is quite obvious that John Idzik will be looking to make some type of move to add talent to this group.
This was a sloppy performance by Gang Green and one that many will want to quickly forget. There is plenty of work to do on both sides of the ball and in terms of roster management. I expect a much better performance against the Giants as that game is the final dress rehearsal of the preseason.