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Jets vs. Eagles: Final Report Card, Player Grades for New York

Adam WaksmanCorrespondent IIIAugust 30, 2012

Jets vs. Eagles: Final Report Card, Player Grades for New York

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    The New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles matched up for the 13th straight year in their final preseason game.

    With the 28-10 victory, the Eagles are now 4-0 and have completed a perfect preseason. With the loss, the Jets have done the opposite, finishing 0-4.

    The Jets and Eagles will not face each other this year in the regular season, so there was nothing at stake here in terms of rivalry. However, both teams were focused on getting reps for the players who needed them and on finishing their preseasons on a high note.

    The Eagles got the easy win. Now the Jets will have to start getting prepared for their regular season opener at home against the Buffalo Bills.

    Final grades and analysis for the Jets follow.

Quarterbacks: Greg McElroy & Matt Simms — C

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    Overall Grade — C

    This grade is a mixture of decent play from Greg McElroy and attrocious play from Matt Simms. McElroy is clearly the No. 3 quarterback on the team, maybe even the No. 2. Simms should be cut tomorrow.


    Q4 — F

    Matt Simms looked terrible in the fourth quarter. The odds of him being cut tomorrow seem high now. He was unaware in the pocket and often held the ball too long. Overall he was 3 of 6 for a total of five yards. Add in the sacks and he went backward rather than forward.

    Simms also had a near interception to start the fourth quarter. 

     

    Q3 — C-

    Fourth-string quarterback Matt Simms finally came in with 8:52 left in the third quarter. He has been slow in the pocket and has not recognized pressure well. He has been unable to move the ball, and the offense accomplished nothing in the third quarter.

     

    Q2 — B+

    Greg McElroy had a solid second quarter. He ran for a first down on a 4th and 2, setting himself up for a touchdown throw. He took a few hits and held onto the ball for too long, but he did not make any major mistakes.

    He finishes the first half with a 108.9 quarterback rating after completing 10 of 14 passes.

     

    Q1 — B

    Quarterback Greg McElroy has had happy feet so far, taking off running on several plays. He has been reasonably accurate on his throws, though he has not yet tried any difficult throws.

    Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez rested tonight, as did backup quarterback and Wildcat-back Tim Tebow. Most of the reps  went to third-string quarterback Greg McElroy. McElroy was a seventh round draft pick in 2011 and saw action in last year's preseason games.

Runningbacks — B-

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    Overall Grade — B-

    Even in the absence of great blocking, the Jets' running backs when there were holes to be found. Bilal Powell, John Conners and Terrance Ganaway all deserve a spot on the team. However, there may not be room for all three of them.

     

    Q4 — D

    The offense executed poorly in the fourth quarter. The offensive line got no push, and this was a big part of the Jets' failure in the running game. None of the running backs were able to do much in the fourth quarter.

     

    Q3 — C+

    The offense got nothing done in the third quarter. Offensive guard Vladimir Ducasse got called for a holding penalty, as did backup center Caleb Schlauderaff. This hurt the running game, as some decent runs were called back. Quarterback Matt Simms made a bad decision on third down on a dump-off pass for a loss, further hurting the running backs statistically.

    Ganaway and Powell continued to play decently. Connors also got some reps in the third quarter.

     

    Q2 — B+

    The Jets offense finally scored a touchdown. A two yard run by quarterback Greg McElroy on a fourth down from the 22 yard line set it up. McElroy then finished off the drive with a touchdown pass to running back Terrance Ganaway, who is hoping to earn a roster spot but may still end up getting cut tomorrow.

    Ganaway looked solid overall today and is making a case for a roster spot.

    The Jets played very conservatively with a lot of runs up the middle. They got decent push on running plays for the most part. Backup running back Bilal Powell had two big runs up the middle, as well as a third one that was called back by a penalty.

    Offensive guard Matt Kroul was called for two offensive holding penalties in the second quarter, which brought back a couple of runs.

     

    Q1 — C+

    The offense was unimpressive in the first quarter. The offensive line did not get much push in the running game. The Jets played new right tackle Austin Howard, as well as Jason Smith at left tackle. Left tackle was Smith's original position, so that was an interesting switch.

    The Jets' star players on offense were all resting. John Conner saw some extra action in this game, due to Josh Baker being gone for the year.

    Powell got decent yards after contact and was adequate despite not getting much help from his line.

Wide Receivers — C-

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    Overall Grade — C-

    The Jets really went into their depth chart at wide receiver. Even No. 4 receiver Patrick Turner did not play. The wide receiver position was weak tonight, but these guys will not be seen much in the regular season anyway.


    Q4 — D

    The offense executed poorly in the fourth quarter. There was significant pressure on quarterback Matt Simms, and he did not handle it well. As a result, there were not a lot of receptions to be found.

    Wide receiver Royce Pollard caught a pass but then got lucky when he fumbled the ball out of bounds.

    Eron Riley made somewhat of a case for his roster spot, catching a couple more balls in the fourth quarter.

     

    Q3 — C+

    The offense—granted largely third-stringers—got nothing done in the third quarter. Offensive guard Vladimir Ducasse got called for a holding penalty, as did backup center Caleb Schlauderaff. Quarterback Matt Simms made a bad decision on third down on a dump-off pass for a loss.

    One of the high points was wide receiver Eron Riley—who might be cut tomorrow. He had a couple of nice catches in the third quarter.

     

    Q2 — C+

    The Jets offense finally scored a touchdown in the second quarter, although the pass went to running back Terrance Ganaway. 

    They played very conservatively with a lot of runs up the middle. Offensive guard Matt Kroul was called for two offensive holding penalties in the second quarter, which killed a drive.

    Eron Riley stood out among the wide receivers. He caught all five passes that went his way in this game for a total of 33 yards.

     

    Q1 — C

    The offense was largely unsuccessful in the first quarter. However, quarterback Greg McElroy was able to connect with some of his receivers, including an impressive catch by Eron Riley.

    The first drive sputtered when rookie wide receiver Jordan White dropped an easy catch on third down. White had a generally poor game.

    The Jets' star players on offense all rested. The only starter who played was right tackle Austin Howard. The offensive line play in general was not great, which hurt the passing game. However, Howard looked pretty good, which is all that really matters.

Tight Ends — C+

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    Overall Grade — C+

    Despite Dustin Keller being absent and Josh Baker being gone for the year, the tight end play was decent. Dedrick Epps made some nice plays. He is on the roster bubble, so we will have to wait and see if he is on the team tomorrow.


    Q4 — C

    The tight-ends were largely uninvolved in the fourth quarter. In a blocking capacity, their play was average.

     

    Q3 — D

    The offense—granted largely third-stringers—got nothing done in the third quarter. The offensive line play was problematic. However, the tight-ends did reasonably well in blocking capacities. Epps was involved in this game, being targeted three times in the passing game. With their top three receiving tight-ends not in the game, the Jets used their tight-ends more for blocking than for receiving.

     

    Q2 — C+

    The Jets offense finally scored a touchdown in the second quarter.

    The Jets played conservatively with a lot of runs up the middle. They ran pretty vanilla plays but used some tight-ends for chip blocks to help out their two new offensive tackles. They got decent push on running plays for the most part. Bilal Powell had two successful runs up the middle, as well as a third one that was called back by a penalty on the offensive line.

    While the offensive line had penalty problems, the tight ends did not.

     

    Q1 — C

    The Jets passing attack was barely existent in the first quarter. Part of this was due to the absence of pass-catching tight ends. The Jets tight ends did not get open much when they did go out on routes. Dedrick Epps—on the roster bubble—saw significant playing time and had mixed results as a receiver.

Offensive Line — C-

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    Overall Grade — C-

    The good news is that the one player who mattered—right tackle Austin Howard—played a decent game. He gave up a couple of pressures, but nothing terrible. The rest of the line was weak—especially the middle of the line—which got no push on running plays.

    As we already knew, the Jets do not have a good replacement if center Nick Mangold goes down.


    Q4 — F

    The fourth quarter was a train wreck for the Jets offensive line. The offense executed poorly in general in the fourth quarter. The right side of the offensive line completely caved in on a sack. Offensive tackle Paul Cornick had a false start and then allowed a sack on the very next play. The Jets were not really able to move the ball on offense in the second half.

     

    Q3 — D

    The offense was not able to move the ball in in the third quarter. Offensive guard Vladimir Ducasse got called for a holding penalty, which is a problem he often as. Backup center Caleb Schlauderaff was also called for a holding penalty.. Quarterback Matt Simms was sacked a couple of times. The sacks were partly his fault, but he could have used more time in the pocket.

     

    Q2 — C+

    The Jets offense got some push finally on running plays and put up 10 points in the second quarter. A two yard run by quarterback Greg McElroy on a fourth down from the 22 yard line set up the Jets' lone touchdown. McElroy finished off the drive with a touchdown pass to running back Terrance Ganaway.

    The Jets played an extremely conservative style with a lot of runs up the middle. They got decent push on running plays for the most part in the second quarter. Backup running back Bilal Powell had two big runs up the middle, as well as a third one that was called back by a penalty.

    One big problem was offensive guard Matt Kroul, who was called for two offensive holding penalties in the second quarter. Kroul looked bad tonight; his roster spot might be in question.

     

    Q1 — C

    In the first quarter, the offensive line did not getting any push in the running game, especially in the middle. Runs up the middle were ineffective. The pass protection was acceptable, and quarterback Greg McElroy was untouched in the first quarter.

Defensive Line — B+

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    Overall Grade — B+

    The defensive line was the best looking unit today for the Jets. Their defensive line depth is tremendous, and they will have some trouble tomorrow making roster cuts.

     

    Q4 — B

    The defense overall was average in the fourth quarter, but the defensive line continued to be solid. Defensive end Marcus Dixon had a tackle for loss on opposing running back Chris Polk. Shortly after he suffered a stinger, which hopefully will not be a big deal.

    The Jets defensive line continually had pressure on the Eagles quarterbacks in this game. Better play from the secondary almost certainly would have resulted in more sacks by keeping the quarterbacks in the pocket longer.

    The defensive line was not great in the fourth uarter against the running game. Polk ran up the middle successfully several times, ultimately for a touchdown after a broken tackle.

     

    Q3 — B-

    The Jets defense had a weak third quarter and were bailed out by a missed field goal by the Eagles. A horse collar by safety Antonio Allen was the low point of the quarter. The defensive line was however solid. Defensive end Marcus Dixon did a very nice job of chasing the Eagles' quarterback out of bounds.

     

    Q2 — B+

    The Jets defensive line was again strong in the second quarter. Defensive end Quinton Coples continued to get pressure on the quarterback and on running places. While the defense gave up two touchdowns, the fault rested more on the secondary. The second touchdown was on a long pass that was thrown in haste after the line got good penetration.

    The first touchdown was the result of a blatantly wrong late hit penalty against Coples. The quarterback was well within the field of play, so Coples deserved a sack instead of a penalty.

    Defensive end Jay Richardson has made his presence felt in the second quarter and throughout the game. He got a quarterback hit, as well as a tackle for loss and a few quarterback pressures in the second quarter. He will most likely keep his roster spot tomorrow.

     

    Q1 —  A-

    The defensive line looked great in the first quarter, mostly due to Quinton Coples. Coples was the only starter in the game for the defense, so his dominance was not surprising. 

    The defense started out a little bit soft, letting the Eagles move the ball. Rookie linebacker Demario Davis missed a key tackle, and Isaiah Trufant was beaten for a long game on a play action pass.

    Coples, however, saved the defense. He got penetration on two running plays in the opening drive. The second one resulted for a tackle for loss on third down, ending the Eagles' drive. Coples also recorded a sack and a pass deflection on the second drive.

    Although Coples is expected to be the opening day starter, he did not get to rest this week. Head coach Rex Ryan wanted to test his conditioning and also shrink his ego a little bit.

    Going up against mainly second-string players, Coples put on a clinic.

Linebackers — C

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    Overall Grade — C

    The Jets did not play any starting linebackers. They did though play Aaron Maybin, who will be seeing playing time. They also played rookie Demario Davis. The linebacker play was decent on the whole, although not great in pass coverage.

     

    Q4 — C-

    The defensive line and linebackers had trouble in the fourth quarter against the running game. Eagles running back Chris Polk ran up the middle successfully several times, ultimately for a touchdown after a broken tackle.

    Aaron Maybin missed an easy tackle, although he played a good game overall.

     

    Q3 — C

    Linebacker Garrett McIntyre had a bad quarter and had somewhat of an ugly missed tackle on a third down. He might have been able to end a drive there, but it would have been close. Overall, McIntyre led the team in tackles with seven.

     

    Q2 — C+

    The Jets defense earned another C+ in the second quarter despite being statistically worse. Defensive end Quinton Coples continues to get pressure. They gave up two touchdowns. The second was on a long pass. The first was the result of a blatantly wrong late hit penalty against Coples. The quarterback was well within the field of play, so Coples deserved a sack instead of a penalty.

    The second touchdown, however, was the fault of the secondary. The backup secondary has not been great so far and has not shown the depth that the rest of the defense has. The biggest mistake was when safety Antonio Allen allowed a long touchdown completion on an inaccurate throw that hung in the air and could have been intercepted.

    Defensive end Jay Richardson has made his presence felt. He got a quarterback hit, as well as a tackle for loss and a few quarterback pressures.

     

    Q1 —  C

    The defense started out a little bit soft, letting the Eagles move the ball. However, Aaron Maybin had a positive impact, getting pressure on the Eagles' quarterback. Rookie linebacker Demario Davis missed a key tackle that allowed a first down.

    Maybin did not record any statistics in the game but did get pressures on the opposing quarterbacks. He sometimes gives chase to quarterbacks without fully wrapping them up, which we saw in the game against the Carolina Panthers.

Defensive Backs — C

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    Overall Grade — C

    The Jets secondary put up a weak showing. However, they went deep into their depth chart, so it is not a big cause for concern.

     

    Q4 — B-

    The defense was average in the fourth quarter on the whole. Cornerback Isaiah Trufant had two nice pass deflections. Trufant played a solid game overall.

    One big mistake occurred when cornerback Julian Posey went into soft coverage on 4th and 1 and allowed a pass completion.

     

    Q3 — C-

    The Jets defense had a weak quarter in the third and were bailed out by a missed field goal by the Eagles. A horse collar by safety Antonio Allen was the low point of the quarter. Allen had a very disappointing game, which might jeopardize his roster spot. 

     

    Q2 — D

    The Jets gave up two touchdowns in the second quarter, mostly because of the secondary. The first touchdown was the result of a blatantly wrong late hit penalty against Coples. The quarterback was well within the field of play, so Coples deserved a sack instead of a penalty.

    However, the second touchdown was entirely the fault of the secondary. The backup secondary has not been great so far and has not shown the depth that the rest of the defense has. The biggest mistake was when safety Antonio Allen allowed a long touchdown completion on an inaccurate throw that hung in the air and could have been intercepted.

    Allen was involved in a lot of plays, recording six tackles. However, he made a few costly mistakes.

     

    Q1 —  C-

    The Jets defensive backs were relatively soft to start the game. The coverage in the first quarter was weak, and Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was able to complete passes when he had time to release them.

    This game was used as an opportunity to test the depth of the Jets' secondary. Some of these players were playing for their jobs, with final roster cuts coming tomorrow. Safety Antonio Allen got a lot of playing time. He will be hoping to keep his roster spot tomorrow.

    Additionally, D'Anton Lynn was trying to earn the fifth cornerback spot on the team.

Special Teams — B

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    Overall Grade — B

    Special teams play was solid for the most part. The main exception was backup punter Spencer Lanning, who was terrible and will likely be cut tomorrow.

     

    Q4 — C+

    The special teams play was average in the fourth quarter. There was solid punt coverage on a 49 yard punt by T.J. Conley, who made a good case today for keeping his job. Spencer Lanning—his competition—had an awful game and should be cut tomorrow. He had another bad punt in the fourth quarter, which only went 30 yards.

     

    Q3 — C

    The special teams was less impressive in the third quarter. Punter Spencer Lanning had two bad punts. One rolled a little bit, while one was caught after only 34 yards in flight. T.J. Conley then came in and made a decent 50 yard punt that was returned for 12 yards.

    The kick return team has not looked good so far, getting trapped inside their own 20 yard line.

     

    Q2 — A

    Another strong quarter from the special teams. The Jets got a second straight kickoff result inside the opposing 20. Nick Folk ended the half with a 58 yard successful field goal straight down the middle. He may have sealed his kicking position for this year by doing so.

     

    Q1 — A

    The Jets special teams has been pretty much perfect so far. Kicker Nick Folk put the opening kickoff six yards deep in the endzone, and the returner was taken down inside his own 20. New punter Spencer Planning placed his first punt perfectly inside the Eagles' 20.

    One blemish was a holding penalty on a punt return, but it is unclear if that really happened. It took the replacement refs about three minutes to make the decision.

    The most important competition of the night for the Jets on the special teams section of the roster was the punter battle. T.J. Conley has performed poorly in the preseason, and Spencer Lanning was brought in to add some competition.

    Each punter got opportunities to punt. Most likely only one of them will earn a roster spot on the team.

Coaches — C

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    Overall Grade — C

    There was very little coaching to do in this game. The offense and defense were both vanilla and conservative. The most redeeming aspect of the coaching is that there were no major injuries.

     

    Q4 — C

    The coaching staff had no decisions of consequence to make in the fourth quarter, so they get another gentlemen's C. It was interesting that they chose to keep fullback John Conner in the game in the fourth quarter. Conner might not be on the team tomorrow.

     

    Q3 — C-

    The offensive play calls were again extremely conservative. Choosing to punt on 4th and inches in the middle of the field was questionable. However, that may have been motivated by the desire to see punter T.J. Conley get a chance to punt.

     

    Q2 — B

    The offense and defense have still been conservative and uninspired in the second quarter. However, the coaches earn a B by going for it on 4th and 2 and getting the Jets their first touchdown as a result.

     

    Q1 — C

    The offense and defense were both completely vanilla in the first quarter. In a real game, the coaches would get an F. In a preseason game—with vanilla being the goal—they earn a gentlemen's C.

    The most famous coach on the Jets is head coach Rex Ryan. However, the coach with the hottest seat is new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. He needs to turn last year's train wreck of an offense into a serviceable NFL offense.

    The Jets have been remarkably bland throughout this preseason, favoring secrecy. Rex Ryan said of this game to the CBS reporters:

    It's a great opportunity to evalue the bottom part of our roster... to see if any cream rises to the top.

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