A Quarter For My Thoughts

A running quarter by quarter summary of tonight's preseason game against Carolina.

A Quarter For My Thoughts - The First Quarter

The Jets' second preseason game will see the first team get just a quarter of action and a chance to see if the second team will do better than Monday night's second half breakdown. This will be a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the moments of note from Saturday night's preseason game against Carolina.

1. The Opening Drive – A very shaky effort by the Jets, who advanced just 17 yards on six plays. It started off well with a five yard gain by Shonn Greene but then there was a bad sack conceded by D'Brickashaw Ferguson, a poorly executed pass play to Shonn Greene and a near interception by Mark Sanchez who threw into double coverage. The next drive faired little better despite solid field position after a Carolina turnover. Sanchez was sacked again on the Jets' second drive and nearly picked off as the Jets settled for a field goal.

2. "The Beast" – When the Jets signed Lance Laury, he wasn't just linebacker depth, they got a special teams beast. Laury's punt recovery in the first half on the nick off a Carolina player's leg was a heads up play – his reaction to the ball beat everyone else on the field by at least two seconds. Then on the Panthers' muffed kick return, Laury was there again. You may have missed it since David Clowney guy the kudos for the recovery, but Laury got his hand in there to swipe the ball away before the Carolina player could fall on it. It was a little play, but a momentum changing play. The Jets would kick their second field goal on that next drive for a 6-0 lead.

3. Tomlinson Is Hungry – It has been a few years since LaDainian Tomlinson has hit the hole this hard, but the newest of the Jets' running backs was hungry out there. Tomlinson finished runs strong and was noticeably upset when he wasn't on the right page with Sanchez. Think L.T. has something to prove?

4. Leonhard Lights It Up – On Carolina's second drive of the night, the Panthers dug themselves a significant hole when Jim Leonhard sacked Matt Moore for a nine yard loss. The sack, which came on the second play of the drive, was a big play on a big night for Leonhard, who had an interception on Carolina's first drive. It wasn't talked about, but it was great downfield coverage by Kyle Wilson to close down Moore's options down the field. Leonhard also returned a punt in the first quarter.

The Second Quarter

1. More Struggles – On Monday night against the Giants, Brunell and the second-team offense struggled, and the Carolina game appears to be no different. In Cortland during training camp, Brunell looked really good and fluid with the offense but he's struggled now in game conditions. Brunell was nearly picked off on his second drive with the offense. He had just three completions for two yards in the quarter.

2. Go Wester-man - Last year's camp favorite was Rutgers' product Jamal Westerman, the undrafted defensive end/linebacker who made a big impression with head coach Rex Ryan. Westerman had a nice sack on Matt Moore midway through the second quarter, blowing by his blocker on a kill blitz. It was a great rush from Westerman, who was very quiet on Monday night against the Giants.

3. All Pro About Conner – Rookie John Conner had a couple nice blocks to spring a stagnant running game as neither Joe McKnight or Danny Woodhead seemed to get much traction. Also, while it was just a one yard gain off a Brunell pass, Conner held onto a difficult pass and maintained possession even with a defender being draped all over him. He also picked up the blitz very well on two occasions, preventing possible sacks on Brunell.

4. Vernon Ghoston – Yep, take the "l" out of his name, he's a ghost out there. Oh wait, he had a tackle? Gholston for the Pro Bowl! Gholston got in the backfield a couple times and while he was stood up on more than one occasion, he did show well. Could that first career sack be far away?

The Third Quarter

1. Mixed on McKnight – It was a statistically quiet night for Joe McKnight, following an overall quiet night on Monday night against the Giants. McKnight seemed to get some forward motion on his first run of the third quarter, reading the hole well, hitting it hard and running into space…and then he fumbled the ball. The tools all seem to be there for McKnight, but he needs to work on his concentration and discipline. A good sign for Jets' fans was the way he bounced back. On the first play of their next drive, he danced his way for six yards. Then two plays later, needing four yards for a first down, he bounced outside and churned his legs towards the marker. Let's not judge his play quite yet as the reviews are still mixed.

2. Cumberland No Gap - GWR has been talking about undrafted tight end Jeff Cumberland since OTA sessions. The wide receiver turned tight end has a big frame and uses it well down the field. He made a nice snag in the third quarter on a tough to catch pass from Kellen Clemens. It was good concentration but also good use of his body to get the ball. Encouraging start, but can he block? Not yet.

3. Struggles On The Line – Like what happened on Monday night, the Jets struggled in the second half on the line, with both the offense and defense getting pushed around in the trenches. Vlad Ducasse, the rookie out of UMass, had a hard time in pass coverage, getting beat several times on the edge. The offensive line as a unit gave up two sacks deep in their own end, leading to a three and out. The defensive line got pushed around less than against the Giants, but still struggled to get in the backfield and gave Jimmy Clausen way too much time in the pocket. A better quarterback would have made them pay.

4. Take a Chauncey – What a versatile effort by Chauncey Washington. Late in the third quarter, he created the third special team's fumble of the night off a booming kick by Steve Weatherford. Then, he replaced McKnight in the backfield and hit the hole very hard on several runs. If Washington makes this team, he has Saturday night to thank for it. He may not be competing with McKnight as much as he's probably after Danny Woodhead's job on the roster.

The Fourth Quarter

1. Folk Talk – After the Giants game, Nick Folk said he felt good in nailing two of his three field goal attempts. "I feel like I am there, I've got a good rhythm and I am almost there," Folk told GreenAndWhiteReport.com. Then tonight against Carolina, Folk hit three field goals and hit them all well. We fully acknowledge having knots in our stomach the first time he kicked, but the effort was strong and good. Perhaps the rumor of his demise are highly over-rated.

2. Cummings On - The leading tackler in the game on Monday night? Kenwin Cummings and the linebacker picked up where he left off on Saturday against the Panthers. The undrafted free agent is certainly showing his mettle, making plays and crunching hits. He read plays and hits the gap hard, closing holes. Who was there to fall on top of Jimmy Clausen on a botched snap? Cummings was the first one on the scene and responded well. The former Wingate product was constantly in the Carolina backfield and has found himself onto the roster.

3. McKnight Gets Right – After his third quarter fumble caused Jets' fans to smack their heads, McKnight finished the quarter with several solid runs. Then returning a punt in the fourth quarter, McKnight took the ball 67 yards in a spinning, twisting and highlight reel return. This is a player with potential, but needs to mentally catch up to where and what he's got physically.

4. Take a Chauncey – What a versatile effort by Chauncey Washington. Late in the third quarter, he created the third special team's fumble of the night off a booming kick by Steve Weatherford. Then, he replaced McKnight in the backfield and hit the hole very hard on several runs. If Washington makes this team, he has Saturday night to thank for it. He may not be competing with McKnight as much as he's probably after Danny Woodhead's job on the roster.


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