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Last nights Good, Bad & Ugly....


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NY Jets Rewind: Analyzing the Good, Bad & Ugly from 38-27 preseason win over Eagles

by M.A. Mehta/The Star-Ledger Friday September 04, 2009, 11:56 AM

In keeping with the spirit of the fourth preseason game, we're going to keep this week's version of Rewind vanilla. Get your work in and get out. Let's hope we can stay healthy too. The last think we need is an unforeseen keyboard injury before the start of the regular season.

So, here goes.


Let's preface Mark Sanchez's night with one important caveat. The rookie was primarily facing the Eagles' second-team defense. Free safety Quintin Demps was the lone regular out there.

But Sanchez looked mighty impress. He looked calm, relaxed and smart out there. Was this really the same kid with the please-mommy-get-me-outta-here look two weeks ago in Baltimore? Let's break down his night, which lasted a grand total of 4 minutes and 4 seconds (the length of the Jets' first scoring drive).

Sanchez flashed veteran pocket presence on his second pass of the night when he deftly slid a couple feet to his left to avoid a pass rusher off the right edge and fired a rope to Dustin Keller for 14 yards.

Then, Sanchez took the next step in his ongoing education: He learned from his prior mistakes.

Remember when Sanchez stared down Chansi Stuckey in Baltimore and should have been picked off by Ray Lewis? Well, that didn't come close to happening Thursday night.

Sanchez used a nifty pump fake on his next three passes to hold the safeties and linebackers. He pumped right and hit Keller for s short 3-yard completion to his left. Then, Sanchez's sharp, quick pump froze Demps for just a moment, which gave Sanchez time to hit Keller on a seam route over the linebacker for a 27-yard gain. Sanchez capped the scoring drive with another quick pump that gave him a nice window to hit Jerricho Cotchery for a 21-yard TD.

Look, Danny Woodhead doesn't worry about being unemployed. Even if the Jets don't have room for the 5-9, 185-pound RB who rushed for 158 yards and 2 TDs against the Eagles, there's a team out there that will definitely pick him up. I'm thinking it's a club with a new coach whose name rhymes with Lan-Feeny. After the Browns have an aging starting RB (Jamal Lewis) in danger of getting cut and two unproven backups (James Davis and Jerome Harrison).

Let's give some of the behemoths up front some credit for Woodhead's great night. Left guard Stanley Daniels pulled and made a nice lead block and Wayne Hunter sealed his man nicely to spring Woodhead for a 55-yard TD run in the second quarter.

The coaching staff was impressed by Vernon Gholston's solid night. The much maligned former first rounder showed nice balance and power to record his first career sack (in preseason or regular season). Gholston also had an impressive bull rush on Eagles QB Kevin Kolb on the opening series of the game that was overshadowed by Lito Sheppard's pass interference penalty (more on that later).

Gholston did a solid job stringing out Michael Vick on an option run to the right in the first half. Afterward, Rex Ryan was pleased with Gholston's aggressiveness against the run. A promising sign.

WR David Clowney proved once again that nobody can cover the Clown? The speedster was held without a catch against the Giants, but he flashed his blazing speed Thursday by simply running past CB Jack Ikegwuonu on a go route that resulted in a 73-yard TD in the fourth quarter. The most interesting part of the play? Clowney thought he was finished for the night before Ryan unexpectedly came up to him and asked if he could get back in for one play to run a go route. Clowney tweeted about it after the game:

"Yeah I Was done after half time and the head man asked was I warm late 4th Quarter I said kinda Then he told me to get in and run a go, LOL... Gotta love Rex"

LB David Harris had a pair of tackles in one series. He also nearly made a breathtaking stop of LeSean McCoy on a 1-yard TD plunge, flying over the pile and hitting McCoy just a hair late. Can we please stop the Harris to the Broncos rumors now? He's going to be a pivotal piece to the Jets defense this season.

Did you notice that the Jets put Leon Washington in motion and set him up as the right slot receiver on the first play from scrimmage? Get ready to see Washington lined up all over the field this season.


It'd be easy to pick on the three Jets penalties that practically handed the Eagles a freebie touchdown on the opening drive of the game.

But let's look deeper.

Lito Sheppard's third pass interference call in two weeks - a 43-yarder this time -- wasn't justified. Sheppard was running step-for-step with WR Jeremy Maclin when he threw his arms in the air as the ball was approaching. Sure, Sheppard didn't turn to look for the ball, but he never made contact with Maclin. In fact, Sheppard was actually a half step ahead of the Eagles receiver, who lunged over Sheppard to make a play. Sheppard was still miffed by the call when we spoke in the lockerroom after the game. He chalked it up to "flag-happy" officials. And I agree.

Darrelle Revis' 22-pass interference call against WR Brandon Gibson was especially bogus on two counts. First, it was obvious looking at the tape that Kolb's pass was uncatchable. Second, both players' feet simply got tangled up as they both tripped. A clear case of incidental contact.

Finally, I even have to question Bart Scott's 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty near the goal line. Scott retaliated when Eagles WR Danny Amendola took a shot at Jim Leonhard on the bottom of the pile after LeSean McCoy's 3-yard run down to the 1. Scott said after the game that he was sticking up for his teammate. So, he shoved Amendola and took a swipe at o-lineman King Dunlap, whose helmet flew off. I'm thinking Scott doesn't get flagged if Dunlap doesn't lose the head gear.


Jack Simmons channeled Jackie Smith by dropping an easy touchdown pass from Erik Ainge in the third quarter. The rookie tight end let the ball hit in squarely in the chest as he slipped at the back of the end zone. He was cut Friday morning.

Ryan revealed that Kellen Clemens has been bothered by some sort of elbow injury. It showed in the two series he played. Clemens threw behind a wide-open Simmons on his first pass when the pocket collapsed. Then, Wallace Wright didn't do him any favors by letting a ball go right through his hands and into the waiting arms of an Eagles defender.

I'm no punting guru, but I do know that Reggie Hodges' four punts for a 37.8-yard average isn't anything to write home about. Hodges is the only punter on the roster. For now.

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