NFL Preseason games ultimately mean next to nothing in the long run, the results forgotten soon after the final whistle. Individual performances are the main takeaway, as game situations can expose faults as well as strengths in an individual player's skill set. Preseason games are a good way to test how a unit is progressing, especially in weeks two and three on the preseason schedule. As for week one of the Jets preseason schedule, what did we learn?
What We Learned from Preseason Week One:
The New York Jets were not prepared to handle blitzes: This may not be a surprise, as the Jets were very plain in all three phases of the game and were probably expecting the same from the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals brought some heat and the Jets had difficulty picking it up or getting the ball out in time. Not something to be too concerned about at this point, but something that should be emphasized in practice this week.
Quinton Coples has a chance to be very, very good: It's still the preseason, but Quinton Coples looked very good last night. He was stout against the run and was able to get to the quarterback for a strip-sack. So much for everyone freaking out over Melvin Ingram making a play Thursday night for the San Diego Chargers. Quinton Coples finished up with five tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass deflection. Not bad for his first time on an NFL field.
Kenrick Ellis has improved: We have been touting Kenrick Ellis as a player to watch for a long time. The Jets got a steal in the 2011 NFL Draft in terms of potential, and Kenrick Ellis just needed to work on playing with better leverage as a rookie. He was generally immovable in the middle of the Jets defensive line last night and was able to disengage and make two tackles. Expect him to be a regular part of the defensive line rotation.
Santonio Holmes may be the key to the offense: The Bengals were able to blitz and stay in Cover Zero because they weren't worried about the Jets beating them deep. the Jets showed a lot of tight sets on offense, which will be part of their game. They do still need to stretch the field vertically to keep teams from stacking the box against the run. Tony Sparano will be a major part of that with his play calls, but Santonio Holmes is a massive piece to the puzzle.
Nothing here is final, just like very little from last night's game will be remembered by the end of next week. These are all very fluid situations with a lot of moving parts. Don't get too high or too low on any individual players or the team as a whole during the preseason. It's important to keep in mind that the Jets did not gameplan for last night's game, which probably would have eliminated some of the issues the Jets had, especially offensively.
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