The New York Jets fell to the Detroit Lions 26-17 in both teams pre-season opener on Friday. But the big story was the play of the Jets’ quarterbacks.
Mark Sanchez got the start for the Jets and he couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. After converting a third down, Sanchez threw a pick six on a failed screen pass to new fullback Tommy Bohanon. Here’s the play:
Bohanon was taken down by the Lions and Sanchez just recklessly threw the ball to no one in particular and Lions first round pick Ezekiel Ansah caught it an returned it for a touchdown.
Over the past 2 seasons, Sanchez has turned the ball over 52 times and the fact that it took him just 4 plays to turn it over is very concerning. There was typical screen pass pressure on Sanchez during the play and he still threw it right to the defense.
Sanchez must realize he is allowed to throw the ball away instead of trying to make something out of nothing. His receiving option was taken out of the play and he still tried to get it to him.
That’s unacceptable and it’s plays like this one that will kill the Jets if Sanchez wins the starting job.
Following that interception, Sanchez was nearly picked again by Glover Quinn, but Kellen Winslow was there to knock the ball away.
Then Sanchez got it together and rebounded nicely finishing 10/13 for 125 yards with a touchdown and a 99.8 rating. He led an efficient 80-yard scoring drive ending on a Jeff Cumberland 26-yard touchdown.
Geno Smith didn’t turn the ball over, but also didn’t wow in his Jets debut. He led the Jets to 3 first downs on 4 drives before injuring his ankle while scrambling out of the pocket at the beginning of the 3rd quarter.
Smith left the game and didn’t return. The injury however, isn’t serious and Smith is practicing this week. He finished his debut going 6/7 for 47 yards.
After 1 preseason game, Mark Sanchez out played Geno Smith. Right now it’s Sanchez who is the front-runner for the starting job.
There are 3 pre-season games left and that can change in a heart beat. So before Jets fans lose it that Sanchez is once again the starter, there’s still plenty of time.
Besides the quarterbacks, the Jets did have offensive players who stood out. Clyde Gates looked very good finishing with 3 catches for 39 yards, Kellen Winslow played well, Braylon Edwards looked healthy, and Jeff Cumberland caught a touchdown.
The tight end situation might not be as bad as originally thought. Winslow and Cumberland looked good and hopefully that’s a sign of things to come for the Jets.
On the defensive side, the first team D looked great. Matt Stafford was only able to get the ball to Calvin Johnson. Stafford finsihed 3/8 for 58 yards, all to Calvin.
Quinton Coples and Mohammed Wilkerson each had sacks and held the Lions first team offense scoreless. Sheldon Richardson also played well in the middle with 3 tackles and Antwan Barnes showed his speed rushing the quarterback.
Overall: The first team defense looked solid, Geno Smith’s injury isn’t serious, and Mark Sanchez continues to turn the ball over. The Jets next pre-season game is next Saturday against the Jaguars at Metlife Stadium.