After taking the time to watch and re-watch Gang Green’s preseason victory over the Atlanta Falcons the other day, we thought we’d share a few takeaways that may not have been quite so evident at first glance. Some good news here on the defensive side of the ball.
- The Jets front seven was impressive this week, and for the second game in a row linebacker Frankie Luvu’s effort and production stood out. In two contests, Luvu has looked like a much improved player from last season when he did some good things as a rookie but was more hesitant. Appearing to be more than just a “situational pass rusher” type, Luvu has shown himself to be strong against the run in the early going. Luvu has to be a lock to make this roster.
- After years of hyping up the Jets D-line, could this be the year they finally break out? The addition of Quinnen Williams is expected to pay immediate dividends and Henry Anderson, Leonard Williams and Steve McLendon are known commodities. In addition to the starters, Bronson Kaufusi and Tarell Basham have also stood out. Both linemen have been consistently disruptive and could offer high quality depth behind a group of high-end starters. A former draft pick of respected GM Ozzie Newsome, Kaufusi finished last season on a high note and looks to have picked up where he left off.
#Jets top 5 graded defenders from their preseason victory over the Falcons (min. 14 snaps played):
1. Henry Anderson- 90.3
2. Neville Hewitt- 90.1
3. Bronson Kaufusi- 89.9
4. Tarell Basham- 82.8
5. Alex Brown- 80.1#TakeFlight
— PFF NY Jets (@PFF_Jets) August 18, 2019
- Undrafted free agent cornerback Alex Brown saw extended action against the Falcons, playing 39 snaps (25 in coverage) according to pff.com and dispelled the notion that he’s not a physical corner with some jarring hits. Brown graded out as one of Gang Green’s top defenders and with such a depleted cornerbacks group, his progress is worth keeping an eye on.
— Code (@TheCodeBreak1) August 16, 2019
- Avery Williamson was knocked out for the year after colliding with a teammate and tearing his ACL. The assumption seems to be that it’s Blake Cashman’s job to lose. Don’t write off Neville Hewitt who is an underrated player. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Hewitt start at ILB this season with Cashman taking over at some point.
- Deontay Burnett was impressive yet again and scored a late TD to help his chances. If it were up to us (and we know it’s not) Burnett would be WR4 right now.
- We said immediately following the game that 3rd string center Jon Toth appeared to have a solid night and we felt even more so after a second go around. Nice job in pass protection.
- Would it be all that crazy to say that the Jets current backup interior linemen (Alex Lewis, Jonotthan Harrison, Tom Compton) are a better trio than the Jets starters have been over the past three years due to injuries and ineffectiveness?
- We’d hoped Jordan Morgan would be a player who could be developed as a quality backup lineman but he didn’t look the part at all against the Falcons. It’s going to be a battle for Morgan to stick.
- Trenton Cannon has speed to burn but looked too hesitant as a return man and wasn’t used to his strengths as a runner. The Jets ran the 180 lb Cannon up the gut like a power back several times without much of a chance to play to his strengths and run to the outside and he was bottled up by the defense. Odd approach.