With all the problems the New York Giants are purported to have, they’ve started the 2014 preseason with four straight wins. The G-men make the Jets their most-recent victim, defeating Gang Green 35-24 in Friday night’s Snoopy Bowl. Even though it’s considered the “dress rehearsal for the regular season” by many, events before and after the game have dominated the news after the game’s conclusion.
After the game, Gang Green and HC Rex Ryan announced what we’ve all suspected since the signing of Mike Vick… that Geno Smith would open the season under center versus the visiting Oakland Raiders Week 1. “He’s done everything we’ve asked of him,” Rex said about his second-year QB. “This is no slight to Mike Vick, believe me! I wanted to come out of this knowing we had two really good quarterbacks that we can win games with, and I know, in my heart, that we have two we can win with.”
Rex has every reason to be confident with his QB situation, as both “potential starters” played decently in the loss & all three QBs threw TDs. Geno goes 9 of 14 for 137yds and led the team to a 10-0 start in the game (31-yard FG by Nick Folk & 1yd pass to Jace Amaro) before Eli Manning connected with Rueben Randle to close the first half. Barring the fumble on the exchange with Chris Johnson, Mike Vick showed flashes of the guy we used to know. Vick went 4 of 5 for 35yds and a 3-yard TD strike to free-agent WR Eric Decker. Matt Simms hit Greg Salas on an 11-yard TD connection, then entertained all with his version of Victor Cruz’s world-famous celebration!!
I’m sure Rex, along with GM John Idzik and the rest of the organization, wish they could have as much confidence in their cornerback situation as they do their QB collaboration of Geno and Mike Vick. Long gone are the days of Antonio Cromartie’s hip or another Darrelle Revis holdout. A suspect-secondary at best is now anchored by a recovering Dee Milliner, underachieving Kyle Wilson, a slew of reserves, and an unhappy Dimitri Patterson deciding to go AWOL for Friday night’s game! After 48 hours of not knowing, the Jets finally met with Patterson Sunday, then suspended the corner indefinitely on Monday. This after the Mike Goodson situation… two swings and misses for John Idzik.
Guys Idzik can feel proud of bringing in via free agency, DE Jason Babin (4 tackles/1 sack) and RB Chris Johnson (9 rushes for 42yds plus 2 catches for 35yds) have fortified their position groups on both sides of the ball. Babin will be splitting time with Quinton Coples, who decided NOT to go the Dimitri Patterson route when and SHOWED UP with 5 tackles, including one behind the line. I’d love to see that combination tally sixteen sacks for 2014. The best way to help that patchwork secondary is to get to the QB early and often.
Special teams can be an invaluable asset to both sides of the ball. A game-saving (and winning) kicker like Nick Folk and make a four-win team a potential playoff contender. He’ll most-likely keep his job despite the solid showing from rookie Andrew Furney (who has a game winner to his credit this preseason). Ryan Quigley struggled early in camp, but kicked all five punts for on Friday after splitting punts with Jacob Schum against the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Jacoby Ford was unable to impress in the return game, and was cut after the game. Jalen Saunders has returned to the Jets after missing time due to a “medical incident” which caused his one-car accident last week. It’s been reported that the “medial incident” was a seizure.
As if the drama of cuts, missing players and a QB dual weren’t enough to keep the preseason interesting, the Jets will play their final exhibition game against the Philadelphia Eagles… and former starter Mark Sanchez. Maybe this week, he goes cheesesteak instead of hot dog on the sideline? Maybe?
-Joseph Haas Editor, HCoftheNYJ.com
WEEK 1: vs Indianapolis Colts (Jets win 13-10 at MetLife Stadium)
WEEK 2: at Cincinnati Bengals (Jets win 25-17 at Paul Brown Stadium)
WEEK 3: vs New York Giants, (Giants win 35-24 at MetLife Stadium)
WEEK 4: at Philadelphia Eagles, THURSDAY August 28, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field a.k.a The Linc