With the final preseason game in the books, The New York Jets have gone undefeated in the preseason. With roster cuts looming overhead and 27 players about to lose their jobs. Let’s look back at those players and what they were able to accomplish on this team in the preseason and what we can expect from this team moving forward into the regular season.
The New York Giants Game
The preseason game against the New York Giants followed a very similar trend that we saw in the other two games. The game was filled with some pretty low lows but also filled with some pretty high highs. From the first low of the first team offensive line unit looking really really out of practice to once again Chris Strevelar coming in clutch and winning the game for the New York Jets. Let’s go over the details from the giants game and what this means going forward for this New York Jets team into week one against the Baltimore Ravens.
Offensive Line Woes
Against the New York Giants was the 1st time we saw the offensive line unit that we should expect to play all 17 games of the regular season together and on the field. With the injury to Mekhi Becton and the acquisition of left tackle Duane Brown, this unit very much looked out of sync and out of practice with one another. In the 1st quarter of the game, the offensive line failed to protect Joe Flacco in the passing game leading to some costly turnovers and leading to 37-year-old Joe Flacco running for his life on most passing plays.
The run game wasn’t any better with the offensive line seemingly unable to create any type of push or movement for their running backs. The one good thing was once the second unit came out we saw much better and improved Offensive line play. This bodes well for the depth and in case of injury.
Denzel Mims Proves The Haters Wrong
Everyone was paying attention to what Denzel Mims would do with his opportunities if he got any in this game and boy did he show up and show out. Denzel Mims went out there and shut everyone who called him lazy or a bust, up. Denzel was the most target player on offense and had the most yards. He finally scored an NFL touchdown even if it was in the pre-season and I believe the most important thing was he showed us command of the playbook.
The fears of Denzel not knowing the playbook should have gone out the window. My real fear is that he played so well that teams will go up to Joe Douglases’ asking price for Denzel and we won’t really have a choice but to trade him. I want Denzel on this team for a long time because I truly believe he has the talent to be a game changer for this team in the future.
If Chris Strevlar isn’t on the 53 for some team by this time tomorrow something is very wrong with this league. We brought in Chris and didn’t give him any snaps at practice. Asked him to come to a meeting and learn the playbook and he did. Suited him up with no intention of playing him in any valuable type of way, AND YET with all the cards stacked against him and all the hurdles he needed to jump through, he went out there week after week, worked his tail off, and won the Jets 2 games in the clutch.
I think Chris has worked his way above Mike White on this roster and I would be okay with him being Zach’s backup next year if Flacco retires or moves on.
The Defense did a great job yesterday. Kwon layed down a MEAN hit that led to a fumble. Jamien Sherwood really separated himself from the pack of young Linebackers. Hamsah played really well and made people think twice as to whether he was a cut candidate or not. Sauce again wasn’t targeted all game showing that Offensive Coordinators and QBs are scared to throw the ball his way. Ultimately I saw a lot of good things from every aspect of our defense.
Did Ulbrich’s Seat Get Colder?
The talk of Jets Nation this off-season was the defense. The Defense this team put on the field last year was abysmal. Ranked dead last in almost all statistical rankings everyone began to wonder what went wrong and who was to blame. While most sensible Jets fans were able to understand that not only were we the team that fielded the most year one and two players of any team in the NFL, we were also the most injured team in the NFL. That didn’t stop fans from asking for Ulbrich’s head.
Ulbrich also didn’t do any favors for his job candidacy either last year. Play calling was very predictable and bland. He was unable or unwilling to adapt or change the defensive playcalling last year which led to bad play up and down the field.
The first two pre-season games as expected were very vanilla as they should have been. We don’t want to give the Ravens any more tape of our defense than we needed to. But once Ulbrich unleashed the playbook a little we saw lots of dynamic and exciting movement and coverages from our guys on defense. If you don’t believe go back and watch the first play on Defense from that Giants game, we had Quinnen Williams drop back into coverage while we sent a Linebacker SCREAMING up to fill his place. This is what I want to see, dynamic and exciting playcalling from Ulbrich.
Do These Wins Mean Anything For The Regular Season?
No, not really. While it’s nice to see the boys go out and fight for wins none of that mattered. No one will look back on this season and remember that we were undefeated in the pre-season. Now the real work begins and prep for the Ravens is well underway. While it’s still fresh in our minds we should also remember that 23 men will lose their jobs tomorrow. It’s a sad part of the business of football but a necessary evil.
Let’s get ready for some regular season play and hopefully a surprise playoff birth from this team!