As the Jets finished up training camp they are getting ready for their New York neighbors, the Giants. Going into the game, the Jets have received more attention than the previous super bowl winners. The G-men are tired of hearing about the Jets, but do not look at them as rivals. The Jets are more concerned with the Patriots, just as the Giants are more concerned with the Eagles. But tonight’s game will still hold some deal of pride. It will also give us a better look at the Jets first team offense and defense.
1) Who will Sanchez throw to?!
The Jets receiving core is crippled with injuries; their top three starters, Santonio Holmes, Chaz Schillins, and Jeremy Kerley, are still hurt and will most likely miss the rest of preseason. Not to mention rookie, Jordan White is also hurt. Sanchez is starting to get “a little worried” about his depleted group of receivers, but his team is still confident they can figure out a way to win games. Patrick Turner and Stephen Hill will start the game. Hill will have to impress his coaches on the field after last week or the Jets GM, Mike Tannenbaum, may be looking to add a veteran receiver. Look for Dexter Jackson, the former Appalachian State star, to play a lot in the slot after finishing training camp strong and getting on Sparano’s good side.
2) Protect the Quarterback!
Well he’s back! Although that does not excite most fans, but Wayne Hunter is back on the field since his debacle with Santonio Holmes. He will make his preseason debut at home (good), but will have to go against the Giants pass rush (very bad). The Jets pass protection was pretty bad last week and that’s putting it nicely. Sanchez was sacked twice and had constant pressure on him. On a side note, look to see tackle, Austin Howard, get a lot of playing action even with Hunter’s return. Howard will play as an extra tightend/tackle in Sparano’s jumbo package.
3) Is it Wildcat time?
Tebowmania finally hits the Meadowlands. But will we get a look at Tebow in the wildcat? The Jets, and Tebow, used the last few days of training camp (closed to public) to perfect the wildcat. Having said this it is yet unknown whether they will wait till next week to give it a few snaps, but it would be a little surprising if they don’t at least run one or two wild cat plays this game.
4) Fantastic Four?
Last week the Jets defensive line looked weak, except for the play of Quinton Coples. Sione Pouha is still having back injuries, so his playing status is a continual issue. Kendrick Ellis is expected to play a big role on the line whether he is ready for it or not. Muhammad Wilkerson had a bad game last week, but that doesn’t mean much. He will have to be a factor this season for the Jets defense to be “elite” and this game will allow Wilkerson a chance to stand out. Coples who wowed fans last week did not impress his coaches and teammates in practice this week according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. He was able to flip the switch last week so we’ll see if he can do it again. He has the talent, but does he have the drive?
5) Will Cro get some action at receiver?
Antonio Cromartie has been running his mouth all training camp and preseason about how he is the team’s second best receiver. Well with the Jets receiving core issues they might want to throw Cro a few passes during this game to see how he handles the game pressure and to also see if he can play against first team defenses.