Review of Jets-Panthers field goalathon
August, 22, 2010
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com
Some thoughts after reviewing footage of the New York Jets' 9-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night:
- It was a great night for the Jets' defense, disconcerting for their offense. Even the offensive line had a rough night. Mark Sanchez was sacked twice. Shonn Greene was thrown for a 7-yard loss.
- When I saw Sanchez at SUNY Cortland, I could justify the occasional mistake, considering he's playing against the NFL's top-rated defense from last year. But the more I see of him in preseason games, the less encouraged I am that he has figured it out. He's way off target and telegraphs too many throws. He also seems to have some rookie panic still in his game.
- Sanchez completed just three of his first eight passes and couldn't lead a touchdown drive, including one that started on the Panthers' 12-yard line. Factoring in the sacks, the Jets had minus-3 yards passing with Sanchez in the game.
- Sanchez received bonus time thanks to a pair of botched Carolina punt returns. His four possessions were in the first quarter, with the last one bleeding into the second quarter. The first-team offense gained 33 yards.
- Veteran backup Mark Brunell didn't fare any better. He is being outplayed by Kellen Clemens through two preseason games. Brunell handled four possessions, each of them a three-and-out and totaling 12 yards of offense.
- Not a good sign to see guards Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse on the field in the fourth quarter -- and getting beaten.
- Cornerbacks Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman had nice bounce-back games. Giants undrafted rookie receiver Victor Cruz romped against the Jets' reserve corners on Monday. But Lowery was strong in coverage and knocked down a pair of passes. Coleman had an interception with 1:38 to play.
- Solid night for Nick Folk's confidence, converting all three tries from 43, 36 and 49 yards.
- I'm not saying some switch has been flipped and Vernon Gholston is about to fulfill his pre-draft expectations, but he looks like he'll finally be a serviceable role player for the Jets. That's a whole lot better than being a possible inactive every week.
- LaDainian Tomlinson looks great in the preseason, ripping off a 20-yard run on the Jets' opening drive. But I won't be sold until I still see explosiveness a few games into the regular season.
- Not sure the reason, but I've noticed an awful lot of chinstraps riding up on players' faces in the preseason. Eli Manning and Trent Edwards have discovered what kinds of problems that can cause.