This analysis is based on watching and re-watching TV footage. As such, it is not always possible to accurately determine everything that was going on. However, every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is as complete and correct as possible.

Coming up, your breakdown of yesterday’s win over the Colts, together with detailed analysis of personnel groupings and individual performance.

Join me after the jump as I attempt to cover every angle.

I needed that.

For reasons I’d rather not get into, this has been a somewhat traumatic week in the Bent household. However, I was able to enjoy a Jets victory to lift my spirits when I felt like I needed it the most. So, thanks to the Jets for that, at least.

Sure, it wasn’t against one of the stronger teams in the AFC and you’d expect most teams to be able to take care of business against an opponent like that, especially with all the injuries they were dealing with. However, sometimes we concern ourselves too much with whether the team is on the right path or looking like a force to be reckoned with and forget to enjoy the game itself. All I wanted this week was for our guys to beat their guys and that’s what happened.

Within that performance, there were some very encouraging signs, but these are of course tempered by the fact that the injury-riddled Colts were somewhat undermanned. Let’s get into some of these…

Quarterbacks

After I criticized the Jets for how they’d been using Tim Tebow over the past few weeks, I’d like to applaud them for their use of Mark Sanchez this week. Straightforward, low degree-of-difficulty short passes, getting rid of the ball and not passing unless they needed to.

Of course, everybody’s life is made easier when you can run the football and that was the key factor here. If Sanchez only has to drop back to pass 20 times (or less) and many of those are simple, low-risk passes, then you’re limiting the amount of times bad things can happen and hopefully increasing the chances of a big play when you do go downfield.

Critics will point to the fact that he only had 82 yards passing, but he didn’t need any more than that and it was good that the Jets didn’t fall into the trap of trying to boost his numbers and get more people involved. I’ll leave you to decide if that could have happened with Santonio Holmes in the line-up.

Sanchez’s response was perfect. He looked decisive and confident and his teammates seemed to feed off that. When the time came to convert some first downs, he was on point, also throwing accurately on two red zone touchdowns. He only really misfired on three throws all day – a wide third down throw to Kerley, which at least was safely out of the reach of any defenders, a dump off to Bilal Powell, which was underthrown as he came under fire in the pocket and one overthrow that was nearly intercepted by a diving safety. That last one was the only time he came anywhere near making a costly mistake.

Due to the fact he was getting rid of the ball, he wasn’t under pressure very much. The one time he was sacked, an unblocked blitzer came off the edge and Sanchez saw it and looked for his hot read on the outside. However, Jeff Cumberland didn’t look back for the ball in time, so Sanchez ate it. I’d give Sanchez credit there both for recognizing the blitz and not forcing the throw.

Despite not completing any long balls, Sanchez impressed on first down throws to Chaz Schilens (twice), Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill. He also managed to fit both touchdown passes into tight windows. By not asking him to do too much, the Jets enabled Sanchez to play within himself. However, that’s not an option they’ll have every week, because their offensive line isn’t always going to dominate up front. Still, it does get some of the stink off from his recent performances and allows him, the fans and his teammates to build confidence.

Tebow’s role on offense wasn’t a major factor (aside from the intangible aspects like preparation time in practice and on-field confusion). However, they FINALLY ran the shotgun sneak on third and short and, of course, picked up the first down in the process. I’d be okay with them doing that most of the time in that situation.

Tebow did throw one pass on offense, overthrowing Kerley on a tipped ball. His biggest contribution was, of course, on special teams, but at least he is starting to make something happen every week. When Brad Smith was a Jet, even in the days before they used the Seminole formation, he’d always do something to contribute, whether that was a tackle, catching a pass, running an end around or whatever. Tebow is starting to have a similar impact. Maybe we should be expecting more, but it’s a start.

Offensive Line

One of the main benefits of not passing the ball very much, is that it makes it a lot easier to protect the quarterback. The Jets gave up no pressure up the middle and although Jerry Hughes got the better of Austin Howard a few times, Sanchez basically went otherwise unpressured. The Colts linemen did almost collapse the pocket a few times, but Sanchez was able to get rid of the ball each time.

The big story from the offensive line this week was the run blocking. Although the Colts had some injury issues, any time you can take advantage to the tune of 250 yards, you must be doing something right. I did say last week that there were some signs that the running game was starting to come together and this week they started off with some well-blocked plays where you could already see they were more in synch than they had been. From there, they seemed to grow in confidence as the game went on, presumably as the Colts players saw their confidence take a nose-dive.

The Jets’ favorite play this week was definitely a simple trap block with Brandon Moore looping behind Nick Mangold to lead the way up the middle. They did also run this with Matt Slauson leading the way, but it seemed to be more effective with Moore making that block. Overall, Moore didn’t grade out that well, because he missed a couple of blocks in space and didn’t always sustain his blocks at the second level, but he never got badly beaten and was the driving force behind a lot of the successful runs.

Mangold, after a rough performance two weeks ago and a mediocre one last week was back to his best this week, despite the ankle injury which limited him during the week. As you’d expect, he regularly took his man and turned him aside to create a running lane. Though he let his man get off his block a few times, he was more consistent than Moore. They took the opportunity to rest him at the end of the game, moving Slauson to center and Vladimir Ducasse to left guard.

Slauson had a couple of great blocks in this game, driving guys out of the play on a regular basis. He also had more success on pulling blocks than Moore, going in either direction. It was good to see the Jets punch in a touchdown with him at center and like Moore, while he didn’t always sustain his blocks, he never let anyone get into the backfield or anything. The only thing that let him down was a false start.

Although he got beaten a few times in pass protection, Howard made some good kickout blocks and set the edge well on one run. To nitpick, there was one play where he didn’t get his hands on the edge rusher, although he slipped as he turned the corner. There was another play where his man tried to avoid having to engage with him and he gave him enough of a shove with his initial thrust to prevent him from being able to stop the runner. I’d be more comfortable with Howard if I saw him engage with his man on a more consistent basis, but that play highlights how his athletic gifts can enable his block to still be effective even when he doesn’t.

The biggest revelation in the running game was D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who was more of a focal point in the running game than he has been all season. In the second half, he grew in confidence, doing a terrific job of blocking down on his man to create a huge seam or set the edge on a number of occasions. His first half performance was a little more uneven, with some good kickout blocks mixed in with a few instances of his man being able to get off his block to make a play. If he can build on that second half performance, he could be a force in the running game, as he was from 2008 to 2010.

Off the bench, Ducasse continued to rotate in at left guard (every third series) and the offense continued to perform well, scoring their second and fifth touchdowns with him in the game. Ducasse made some good contributions in this one, notably throwing a key block on the last touchdown and on another play where he drove his man downfield at the second level. He did fail to make a couple of blocks in space and may have been fortunate to avoid a couple of holding calls, but he isn’t getting beaten and helped create a seam on several occasions.

Jason Smith continues to have a role on offense, but his best block of the day came not from the jumbo tight end position. Instead, he lined up as a fullback and made a driving block to the second level. In his more conventional role, Smith got beaten a couple of times, but did do his job on a couple of big runs.

Caleb Schlauderaff was active for the first time all year, but did not play.

Running Backs

Earlier this week, I almost made a post on TJB about whether Shonn Greene is ready to breakout. I didn’t and he did. My reasoning was that the Jets running game had started to coalesce a little over the last few games and looked ready to put it all together. Couple this with the fact that Greene struggled at the start of last year just as he has this year and this was the point where he started to pick things up and you’ve got a recipe for a prediction that could make you look pretty smart. If you made it. Which I didn’t.

Greene looked like a completely different player this week. You’ll recall he finished a couple of runs strongly in the latter stages of Monday night’s game and he built on that in this game. It wasn’t all down to the offensive line, either. The least elusive running back in the NFL entering this game (per PFF) somehow managed to break eight tackles and had more than half of his yards after contact. On a number of occasions, his blocking failed him, but he still made something positive happen, no better illustrated than on his four yard touchdown run where he span out of a tackle in the backfield and then side-stepped another man in the hole.

When Greene burst through a seam for 21 early in the game, would it have surprised anyone if his next 15 carries netted only 30 yards and left him with another underwhelming statline? Instead, Greene was picking up big chunks and falling forward for positive yardage when there wasn’t room. He’d been struggling with his reads in this new offense, but seems to have figured it out, bouncing one run outside for 19 and cutting back up the middle for one of his other touchdowns.

The bad news is that Greene’s sudden rise to prominence coincides with injuries to each of his backups. The Jets have options: Jonathan Grimes has been inactive in two of his three games and hasn’t played on offense yet; John Griffin, who was having a good camp until he got injured is a phone call away; and fullback Lex Hilliard has played as a tailback in the past. However, they would prefer to have Powell or McKnight available.

Before getting hurt, Powell stayed in to block three times, showed good power on a short yardage conversion and bounced a run off the edge for eight yards. However, he also got stuffed on two other runs. McKnight’s role already seemed to be increasing even before Powell went down. He had two first down runs including a 61-yarder that ended with him injured.

At fullback, Hilliard had a couple of good run blocks including one on a short yardage play but was driven back into the runner a couple of times too. His run blocking hasn’t been that good so far, but I think the Jets are benefiting from his consistency. One play they ran a couple of times was a double-trap from a three back set with both fullbacks (Hilliard and Cumberland) leading the way up the middle.

Receivers

There weren’t many opportunities for the receivers to shine in the passing game, but they all caught at least one ball. Stephen Hill, in particular, made a welcome return, catching all three balls (his first since Week 1), including one for a touchdown and two first downs.

Jeremy Kerley also caught three passes, including two where he took a dump-off in the flat and picked up some yardage after the catch. Those types of passes are important to get Sanchez going.

Chaz Schilens made two nice first down catches and looks to be something of a go-to guy for Sanchez in third down situations. He did miss a couple of run blocks, though.

Finally, Jason Hill didn’t play very much, but got on the scoreboard with a well-executed route to the inside and a clean catch.

At tight end, Dustin Keller only caught one short pass, but his return still provided a boost. You could imagine someone making the joke that Keller’s return gave the running game just what it needed, but that wouldn’t actually be that far from the truth as Keller had several key blocks in the early stages. He did a particular good job of setting the edge, but his best block saw him lead the runner on the outside and drive his man out of the play at the sideline. As you’d expect, he did get beaten a couple of times, but maybe Keller’s blocking is going to be improved this year.

With Keller doing a solid job, Konrad Reuland was only in on four snaps. Cumberland did see plenty of time in two tight end sets, but his blocking was extremely inconsistent as he got beaten inside four times. Cumberland sometimes fails to anchor himself when making his block, but when he did, he managed to sustain a few good blocks on the edge. He was also the only Jets player to drop a pass, on his only target.

Even Antonio Cromartie made a contribution on offense this week, running a fake reverse that definitely opened up the middle for a modest gain.

Defensive Line

Moving onto defense, other than the four sacks and four turnovers, the first thing that jumps out at you from the boxscore is the rushing numbers. 41 yards on 17 carries – an average of less than 2.5 yards per carry. For the defense to achieve this without Kenrick Ellis and Sione Po’uha is extremely impressive, even with the Colts a few men down.

As expected, Mike DeVito got the bulk of the workload at nose tackle, with the Jets also using Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples on the inside on certain four man fronts. Daniel Muir rotated in for 12 snaps, whereas Damon Harrison barely played until he got five of his seven snaps on the final series.

As BGA readers will know, I’ve been saying DeVito can hold his own at the nose tackle position for some time. He only got taken out of a couple of plays and did a great job of holding his ground. On one play, he got good penetration to redirect the runner, on another he assisted on a run stuff and on the best of the bunch, he threw aside a double team and stuffed the runner for no gain. Whether he would be able to handle this role against a bigger offensive line like San Francisco or Pittsburgh is another matter, but yesterday’s performance was outstanding.

In his Jets debut, Muir held up well at the point of attack on one run, but was driven off the line on another. He rushed the passer on seven of his 12 snaps, helping to flush the quarterback on one occasion. Harrison, to his credit, looked excellent in terms of getting a push in the pocket, although he was blocked to the ground on his first snap. They didn’t run the ball with him in there.

Wilkerson had another disruptive day, recording a sack, a pressure, a forced fumble, a batted pass and seven stops. On one play he was once again double-teamed on a pass rush, but made a spin move to get to the quarterback for a pressure. While it was good to see him contributing as a pass rusher, it was in the running game where he really excelled himself, stuffing several runs at or near the line. His only major black mark was a roughing the passer penalty.

Coples also had his most productive game, with 1.5 sacks, a hit, a pressure, a tackle for a loss and two other stops. He made one good play against the run, shedding his block to stop the runner for a short gain, but the tackle for loss came as the runner tripped and he was taken out of one play early on. He had a facemask penalty on his first sack. Overall, he’s continuing to look – as he has since preseason began – like he’s going to be consistently productive at this level.

Linebackers

For the second straight week, the Jets did a much better job of tackling. After all their struggles early in the season, the Jets have missed just three tackles in the last two games. This might be because of an adjustment they seem to have made. On certain plays, it seems like one of the linebackers (usually Bart Scott, but sometimes Calvin Pace) will be a step further back than usual as the ball is snapped. Perhaps this is helping them to see the plays better and keeping them in their lane.

You can tell when Scott is feeling good, because he takes on the lead blocker and then chirps at him after the play is over. Last week, he was not doing that. This week, he was doing a lot of that, especially in the second half, disrupting a series of plays in so doing. He may have poked the bear a little too much, because on one occasion he got absolutely pancaked and landed flat on his back. However, he did get in on a couple of run stuffs, helped flush the quarterback out of the pocket a few times and broke up a pass in the flat. He did get beaten a couple of times in coverage, but they were zone miscommunications rather than being too slow, including one play where he let a guy get open behind him in the end zone, only for Andrew Luck to miss the throw.

David Harris wasn’t around the ball as much as last week, but did stuff a couple of runs and recovered a fumble. I’d like to know why Harris and Scott were both on the punt team for Robert Malone’s last kick.

The outside linebackers graded out disappointingly as Pace and Bryan Thomas recorded just one assist between them, although their primary role was to set the edge, as usual. Pace rushed the passer 31 times and generated no pressure, although many of these were from the defensive end position on a three man line, going 3-on-5. He’s used to that from 2010. As for Thomas, he did hit the quarterback once, but was also blocked to the ground on another play.

Demario Davis keeps seeing his playing time increase. He still hasn’t shown much against the run or in coverage, although he did recover a fumble this week. However, as a pass rusher, he continues to look pretty dynamic. He had a hit and two pressures this week.

Also off the bench, Aaron Maybin played a huge role this week, with 0.5 sacks, two hits and two pressures. Both of those pressures led to turnovers, as one helped cause Cromartie’s first half interception and the other caused Luck to step up to avoid him, from where Wilkerson swatted the ball out of his hand. Maybin also blew up the running play on which Coples made the tackle in the backfield. This is what the Jets have been waiting for. Let’s see if he can sustain it.

Since his breakout game in Pittsburgh, Garrett McIntyre has been a disappointment. He was limited to eight snaps this week, with no real impact. Nick Bellore saw his first defensive snaps of the season down the stretch. With Josh Mauga down, he might be needed to back up on the inside, so it’s useful to see him involved.

Defensive Backs

This was a match-up I figured Cromartie would have problems with. Reggie Wayne is an excellent route runner. However, Cromartie gave him a tough time, getting his hands on several passes. He did give up a couple of first down catches and was burned deep on an overthrow to the end zone, but his biggest issue was with penalties. Cromartie entered the game with just two penalties in his last 13 appearances, but yesterday he was flagged three times. He returned two interceptions for scores, but neither counted due to his own penalty on one and a Maybin block-in-the-back penalty on the other. While the touchdown was negated, his first interception still stood and helped the Jets open up their lead in the second quarter. Penalties are the one area where the Jets will definitely need to improve next week.

While the Jets made this game look easy, it was a pretty difficult game to grade, due to the number of passes completed by the Colts that were either a receiver finding a gap in the zone or a legal pick-play on the outside. It’s always difficult to apportion blame in such situations. However, Luck’s overall numbers were nothing special so I guess you could say they played well as a unit.

Ellis Lankster was responsible for or involved in four passes that went for first downs, but had a good pass breakup and then intercepted a pass in the end zone. Kyle Wilson was targeted a lot (13 times) and usually in good position, although he did get beaten a few times on third down. His forced fumble basically ended the game and he also made a tackle for a loss in the flat.

At safety, LaRon Landry played pretty well, breaking up two passes and nailing Luck on a blitz. He also had a touchdown saving tackle and came up to make a play in run support. Remarkably, he wasn’t penalized.

Yeremiah Bell racked up another eight tackles, including one good open field tackle, but also gave up a couple of first downs in zone coverage. He should have added a sack, but let the quarterback get away from him in the pocket – the only Jet to miss a tackle all day.

With Eric Smith out, the two rookies – Antonio Allen and Josh Bush – filled the void nicely between them. Allen had a sack and a pass interference penalty (where he was in tremendous position but didn’t get his head turned around), whereas Bush was in good position on one throw and almost got to Luck on a blitz. It would be good for the coaching staff’s confidence in these two to increase so that they can establish themselves for a bigger role in the near future.

Finally, Isaiah Trufant was on the field for a handful of snaps, the first time he has played on defense since Week 1. Hey, they’ve won in a blowout every time he plays, maybe we should…? Um, no.

Special Teams

The highlight on special teams this week was the superbly designed fake punt toss from Tebow to Bellore. I’ve got to give Mike Westhoff (more) credit because the two previous fakes were (until this week) probably the two best-blocked running plays all season. On this one, they again sold the action to the left and Bellore ran clear down the seam, even finishing it off with a Superman dive. Great preparation and a perfect example of how to break a tendency for a big play. Maybe Westhoff should be the offensive coordinator too.

Robert Malone’s punting this week was fine, other than the one that bounced into the end zone (and even that was a 38-yard net, which is acceptable). Nick Folk only got to try extra points this week, but did have two touchbacks on kickoffs.

On special teams, McIntyre, Allen, Bellore, Lankster and Schilens all made good tackles and Trufant forced a fumble which Bush recovered, only to see it overturned by the replay booth.

In the return game, McKnight had one good kickoff return, with Reuland making a good block. Once again, Kerley didn’t get a chance to run back any punts.

Conclusions

This was Classic Jets: Just when you thought they were out, they went and pulled you back in. On Sunday, they actually looked like a pretty good football team from top to bottom.

Now…will they be able to build on that, or will we be looking back in a few weeks and wondering (as we have been with regard to the Bills game for the last month) whether this even happened?

Next up, New England. For once, the Jets head there with some momentum, but they’ve faced the Pats coming off a loss in the past and it hasn’t been pretty. If they can perform well in this one, maybe certain people will be forced to take them seriously. Let’s hope they have a viable plan in place.

I’m afraid that, for reasons beyond my control, I won’t be able to do a BGA Extra this week, so I’m really sorry about that. However, if there was anything from the game that you’d like me to look into later, please ask me anyway and I’ll mention it when I do the BGA Extra for next week’s game. Hopefully, normal service can be resumed by then.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team. Today, we'll look at one of the top performers in the Jets' 16-6 loss to the Lions, cornerback Dexter McDougle.

Who is he?

Tags: Dexter McDougle
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Remember all that progress that Christian Hackenberg appeared to make in the Jets' preseason opener? Well, by Week 2 it was gone.

Hackenberg, getting a surprise start over veteran Josh McCown, gave an ugly and unproductive performance in the Jets 16-6 loss to the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. He was a miserable 2 of 6 for 14 yards, with both completions coming on dump-offs to running back Bilal Powell. In a full half of action he led the Jets to just two first downs and a total of 43 yards.

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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Christian Hackenberg could only complete two passes, the Jets' defense failed to contain Matthew Stafford, and the Lions beat the Jets, 16-6, in the second preseason game.

Hackenberg was sacked twice and completed two of his six passes. During the Jets' opening drive, Hackenberg fumbled after he was hit by Detroit's Cornelius Washington, but the Jets recovered. Bryce Petty completed 15 of his 24 passes for 160 yards and threw an interception for the Jets, who were 4-for-13 on third down.

Myles White led the Jets in receiving with three catches for 43 yards, while Jordan Leggett hauled in two catches for 40 yards. Bilil Powell carried the ball nine times for 32 yards as the Jets were unable to get much going in the running game.

Darron Lee and Morris Clairbone had five tackles to lead the Jets on defense, while Demario Davis, Josh Martin, and Corey Lemonier each had a sack. >> Box score

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson has become more of a vocal leader this season as he has taken it upon himself to fill that void in the locker room.

Linebacker David Harris was the voice in the Jets' locker room for years. Now that he is gone, Wilkerson is the next man in line and he is embracing the new role. 

"I've been here for a long time now," Wilkerson told The Post's Brian Costello, "I always looked up to older guys who are no longer here. I stepped into the footsteps into being a leader. I wasn't vocal [before], but I've always been a leader on this team. David Harris isn't here anymore, so I took it upon myself to speak up more and get out of my comfort zone." 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets are undefeated, which at the moment is insignificant. But really, given all the predictions of doom and gloom, some people probably thought they wouldn't even end up with one preseason win.

They did, but it wasn't pretty (7-3 over the Tennessee Titans at home last Saturday), and they barely answered any of the many, many major question marks surrounding their season and long-term future. Maybe their game in Detroit against the Lions on Saturday night will provide a few more clues about the direction they're headed.

In the meantime, here are five things worth watching at Ford Field tonight:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Christian Hackenberg, Dylan Donahue, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daily News Live: Hack Attack 00:02:52
As the Jets get ready for their second preseason game, the panel discusses if a good game from Hackenberg can win him the starting job.

 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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JRSportBrief: NFL work stoppage? 00:01:54
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

 

 

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

While New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles did name a starting quarterback for Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions, he is expected to give Josh McCown more playing time.

McCown, who did not get receive any reps at Thursday's practice when the Jets did game-plan prep, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, played the opening drive last week in New York's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans, but Christian Hackenberg then played the following eight possessions.

Bowles said he didn't anticipate any lineup changes, but left the door open to it by saying, "we'll discuss it."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Detroit Lions, Josh McCown
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New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

New York Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin tweaked his back and sat out practice Thursday, leaving him uncertain for the preseason game at Detroit on Saturday night.

Mauldin had been dealing with a back issue earlier during training camp, but returned to the field Wednesday. Coach Todd Bowles said the third-year linebacker was inside receiving treatment during practice Thursday.

Bowles added that he was unsure how long Mauldin would be sidelined, but said that he would likely not play against the Lions.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Detroit Lions, Lorenzo Mauldin, Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:03:01
Jeane Coakley talks to Muhammad Wilkerson about being one of the older, vocal leaders in the locker room at Jets camp.

 

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Daily News Live: Bowles' future 00:04:48
The Daily News Live panel discusses what Todd Bowles can do to save his job and if he is the right coach to lead a rebuilding effort.

 

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to gain a physical edge on the field, Jets linebacker Darron Lee gained nine pounds heading into training camp. 

Lee, who was 227 pounds after minicamp ended, is now 236 at training camp. 

"On my conditioning test, everybody was like, 'You look noticeably bigger,'" Lee said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hey, I put in that work."

Tags: Darron Lee
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Bowles rewards team during camp 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Florham Park where Todd Bowles allowed his team to remove pads during practice on Wednesday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin showed up to a Manhattan court on Wednesday for his alleged assault of a Queens man, but the case has been delayed because prosecution wasn't ready to file paper work, according to multiple reports

Mauldin had turned himself in to authorities in late June for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that took place on April 2. The New York Post reported on June 21 that Mauldin had been charged with misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum sentence of year in jail.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - In the wake of the ugly riots in Charlottesville, Va., there's a possibility that more NFL players will decline to stand for the national anthem during preseason games this weekend, joining a protest started by Colin Kaepernick last year. So far there's no indication any Jets players will join them.

But if they do, their coach will have their back.

"We don't have a rule book on what's right to protest and not protest," Bowles said at Jets training camp on Wednesday. "You don't know those things until the course of time, whether it's sitting for the anthem, whether it's raising your fist, wither it's speaking out, a walk to Washington -- who's to say whose protest is good or bad?"

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

John Morton seemed to like everything he saw with Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Saturday night. He liked his poise, his decisiveness, the decisions he made. It was clearly a step in the right direction.

But was it a big step toward Hackenberg getting the starting job?

That's a question that Morton, the Jets new offensive coordinator, wasn't willing to answer on Tuesday. In fact, Morton made it sound like Hackenberg still has a long ways to go.

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead, who suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice, will have surgery for the injury, head coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Prior to deciding on surgery, Whitehead was expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead joined the Jets after he was released by the Cowboys on July 24. He returend two punts and a kickoff in the Jets' preseason opener. Serving primarily as a returner, he caught three passes for 48 yards for the Cowboys in 2016.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:46
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp, where Todd Bowles was pleased with his team's response to his criticism.

 

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Jets Training Camp report 00:01:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

Tags: Matt Forte
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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets have signed undrafted rookie WR Daniel Williams, and waived WR Deshon Foxx, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams spent time with the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted out of Jackson State (Miss.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, he totaled 184 receptions for 2,497 yards and 19 touchdowns in four years at college. 

Foxx went undrafted as well out of UConn in 2016. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before joining the Jets this offseason. The Jets waived him on May 9, but eventually resigned him on May 22. 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still early in their NFL careers, Josh McCown is taking a leadership and mentorship role at quarterback in his first season with the Jets. 

"Every quarterback goes out there and they want to finish each drive with a touchdown, so when those things are happening, there is kind of an inner fight of, man, do I need to do more?" McCown said, according to Newsday. "Things happen and you get kind of delayed, but the fight as a quarterback is to stay in the system, stay within the game and don't be greedy and force the ball. So my hat is off to both of them for not doing that."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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SNY's Jonas Schwartz and former NFL guard Willie Colon are live from Jets training camp in Florham Park. The guys open the show with SNY Jets reporter Jeane Coakley to discuss the biggest storylines from camp. Then, they welcome in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who opens up about the troubled start to his NFL career, and how he is a changed man. Later, rookie safety Marcus Maye joins the show to give his thoughts on his first NFL training camp, and how he is adjusting to life in the New York area.

Click below to listen

 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robenson Therezie after safety Doug Middleton reportedly suffered a torn pec.

Therezie, a 26-year-old free safety, recorded one interception, two passes defensed and 36 combined tackles in 25 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. He was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Middleton, who was competing for a backup role with New York, recorded six combined tackles and one pass defensed in four games as a Jet last season. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 7-3 preseason win over the Tennessee Titans and is expected to undergo surgery, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Jets also announced they waived fullback Algernon Brown, who appeared in eight offensive plays and two plays on special teams on Saturday. He recorded 1,310 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four seasons with BYU.

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Jets WR Anderson on Hackenberg 00:01:31
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets' preseason win over the Tennessee Titans.

 

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This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team.  Today we'll look at defensive lineman Claude Pelon, who was one of the top performers in the Jets' 7-3 win over the Titans in the preseason opener.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The last time anybody saw Christian Hackenberg in a game was the preseason finale almost a year ago. It was a disaster. He completed just 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and threw an interception, too.

It was a much, much different and better Hackenberg that the Jets got to see on Saturday night.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Josh McCown threw the Jets' first touchdown of the preseason and the team's defense tallied eight sacks in a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets kept the Titans out of the endzone for the duration of the game, allowing only a field goal on a five-play, 49-yard drive in the third quarter. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The good news is the Jets really have no choice but to play most of their starters in their preseason opener. Or maybe that's the bad news given the low expectations for this team.

But Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have promised competition all summer long for almost every job on the roster, and the competition begins for real against the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Not all jobs are up for grabs, of course, but quite a few are.

Here's an inside look at some of the battles and 10 intriguing players to watch:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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