Bollinger Bowl XV - Eagles at Jets: In-depth analysis (Offense)

With the Eagles starting their fourth-string quarterback, the Jets pretty much shut them down on Thursday night as two field goals were enough to provide the final margin.

We're going to start today's analysis with a look at what offense there was from the Jets:

Quarterbacks - The man don't give a Falk

With Sam Darnold rested, the Jets gave Trevor Siemian one series before turning things over to Luke Falk and Davis Webb for the rest of the game.

In each case the Jets played mostly dink and dunk and completed a high percentage of their passes but without taking too many downfield chances.

Siemian was 5-for-5 as he led them downfield for a (failed) field goal attempt on his only series. That drive stalled as he was sacked on 3rd-and-5.

He had three first down throws on the drive; one downfield, one on a quick timing throw outside and one as he extended the play and got the ball out with a side-arm delivery.

The fact the Jets pulled him after that suggests they're happy with him as their number two.

Falk got the rest of the first half and drove the Jets downfield for one field goal as he completed 13 of his first 15 passes. He also got them down inside the 40 with 23 seconds left in the half on a two-minute drill but then his last three passes were poor with one almost intercepted. That forced the Jets to settle for a long field goal attempt, which missed.

Falk ended up 13-for-18 but for only 91 yards. He did also run for one first down, but showed poor awareness on a blindside sack.

Davis Webb played the second half and, statistically, he fared well, completing 18 of 23 passes for 176 yards. However, he also had two awful interceptions. In terms of making a good read, not panicking under pressure, footwork and timing, this is about as bad as it gets.


Webb also led the Jets into field goal range twice, with one of those two attempts being successful. While most of his eight first downs came on short passes, he did have a few downfield completions. However he didn't show enough to warrant a spot on this team and may have to seek work elsewhere.

Running Backs - Valentine's Day

Le'Veon Bell and Ty Montgomery were not surprisingly rested, but Bilal Powell being rested was more unexpected. Indications are this means he'll be on the roster. However, maybe this just means the Jets are well aware of what he can do. If the Jets manage to claim more talent than they've anticipated, his spot could be in jeopardy. A trade isn't out of the question either which would be another sensible reason to rest him.

For preseason as a whole, Powell carried six times for 18 yards, which isn't great. Furthermore, he gained all 18 of those yards on one play, which means he was stuffed on the other five.

Based on the boxscore, Trenton Cannon didn't do much, as he generated a Powell-esque 20 yards on six touches. However, at one stage in the second half, Cannon had four carries for 17 yards, while the other running backs had a combined 15 carries for just 11 yards, so he was clearly productive behind a line that otherwise struggled to create room.

Cannon continues to look really confident as each of his carries (including one that was negated for a penalty) saw him pick up extra yardage with a sharp cut or a strong finish. On one play he seemed surrounded, but made a jump-cut at the line that Bell would've been proud of.

Elijah McGuire got off to a slow start with just 11 yards on his first 10 carries, but he ran angry on his last three touches for gains of six, five and eight yards. He added five catches for 35 yards in the passing game too.

McGuire's best plays were a first down burst up the middle and a nine-yard catch where he juked a defender in the open field.

On balance, McGuire helped himself, but there just doesn't appear to be room for him on this team with Cannon's special teams importance giving him an immediate edge.

Valentine Holmes saw action late and was a standout as he led the team with 55 yards on five catches. However, he wasn't able to produce as a rusher as he had zero yards on five carries.

Holmes once again flashed his natural talents with a juggling over the shoulder catch and this nice catch and run for a first down:


It's good to see Holmes fall forward at the end of a run because he's too often stopped in his tracks. That's something he'll need to work on in terms of his vision; seeing the second level better rather than just finding the first initial hole.

Until then, he won't be able to make yards between the tackles and he still can't block - although he at least got a piece of the blitzer to slow him up a little on his one blitz pick-up which is a step up from where he was a few weeks ago.

If the Jets weren't so deep at the position, there would definitely be calls to retain him on the active roster. As an International Pathway Program Player, Holmes has a guaranteed practice squad spot for the year. The Jets will hopefully retain him on there for the entire season, although they might also activate him late so they have his rights for next season too.

Holmes is giving off some Danny Woodhead vibes right now. Hopefully the Jets won't see him thrive on another team as Woodhead once did.

Wide Receivers - Saved by the Bellamy

The Jets rested their top three receivers - Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder and Quincy Enunwa but everyone else is battling it out for a spot.

Predictably, with so many young players on the field, it was the two most experienced veterans that stood out. Josh Bellamy had five first half catches and Deonte Thompson also impressed with a couple of nice first downs.

Bellamy had three first downs, including one where he ran a nice out-breaking route to get open. Thompson showed good instincts to come back to the ball but still stay on the right side of the marker on 3rd-and-short and held on to another first down catch in traffic. They did also each have a penalty with Bellamy false starting and Thompson called for a hold, though.

Despite the early camp buzz, Tim White didn't show much in preseason, but did make two touch catches in traffic, including a third down conversion last night. White was also flagged, for an illegal block in the back.

Deontay Burnett had three catches for 40 yards and was able to boost his average on a blown coverage that allowed him to pick up 27 on a crossing route. His other two catches were on short passes, although one was good for a first down. However, he let himself down with a late drop.

McGuire overtook Burnett to end up as the preseason receptions leader but he ends up tied with Anderson for receiving yards.

Greg Dortch needs to show more as a receiver according to Adam Gase. His three catches here included two short third-down conversions. Dortch got away with a blatant offensive pass interference on the play where Burnett got open.

Charone Peake was only in for a few plays on offense before he departed with a hamstring injury which obviously doesn't help his already shaky chances of being retained.

Undrafted rookie Jeff Smith didn't play at all in preseason. New addition Quincy Adeboyejo saw action but wasn't targeted. The Jets will probably have to put him on their practice squad if they feel he's worthy of a longer look.

Tight Ends - Down goes Brown?

Daniel Brown was underwhelming throughout preseason. His blocking has been poor and he's not shown much as a pass-catching threat. Brown caught four passes in the second quarter but all of them were just underneath dump-offs with the longest generating just six yards. He also had one bad missed block.

Most people seem to have Brown on the 53-man roster ahead of Eric Tomlinson but this doesn't seem fair to Tomlinson, who has been considerably better in preseason.

Tomlinson is by far the better run blocker, which he underlined with some good run blocks in this game. However, he also made some contributions in the passing game with five catches including a couple of first downs. He did, however, fumble over near the sideline on his final catch after having made an over-the-shoulder grab, but that was a bit of a freak play and shouldn't affect the team's overall assessment of his value.

Trevon Wesco is part of the reason for the assumption that Brown will make the team. Many feel that if the rookie Wesco is the blocking specialist, then Tomlinson may be redundant. However, for at least those first four games, it would be good to have Tomlinson's experience so that they don't need to rely on Wesco to do too much too soon. Also, they can employ both to good effect. Also, to be honest, Tomlinson has shown as much as Brown, if not more, in the passing game anyway.

Wesco had an interesting game, once again being used as a blocker and not featured in the passing attack. Wesco has put together a solid preseason as a run blocker, showing flashes of dominance, and he got off to a great start in last night's game. However, with a larger workload did come some negative plays later on.


The Jets opted not to use Chris Herndon even though he'll now get the next four weeks off. Ryan Griffin was also rested, which means you can probably pencil him in as the likely starter for that first month.

Offensive Linemen - Long in the Toth

With all five starters and the three top backups (Tom Compton, Jonotthan Harrison and Alex Lewis) rested, this was a chance to see how the reserves would hold up and assess who might be worth retaining for developmental purposes.

Rookie Chuma Edoga is the one exception, because there will be a spot for the third-rounder on the 53-man roster, even though he'll likely be inactive for most of the season. Edoga made a couple of good run blocks but gave up a hit and a pressure in pass protection. He doesn't quite look ready at this stage, but the promise is there.

Ben Braden has been on the roster in the past, but just doesn't seem to have the consistency to be relied upon as main roster cover. He definitely had some good run blocking plays in this game, but also allowed some penetration as his man stuffed a few runs.

A few weeks ago, backup center Jon Toth was, in essence, one Harrison injury away from being the starting center. Clearly he'd have been overmatched at that level. He wasn't too bad at center, although he did fail to pick up a stunt that led to a sack and had one penalty. However, when he entered the game in the fourth quarter to play at the guard position, he really struggled as got blown up badly on one run, whiffed at the line to allow his man to register a sack (that was negated by a flag) and got beaten for one other pressure.

Tackle Eric Smith seemed to be in the mix for a swing tackle role, but he's been inconsistent in preseason too. Smith had a personal foul, was badly beaten for a blindside sack and allowed a couple of other pressures, including one where he was driven back on a bull rush.

Presumably the Jets would use Lewis as the first choice tackle in an emergency and then turn to Edoga for any longer-term cover, perhaps scheming to give him help. Brent Qvale gives them another option, depending on when he'll be healthy again.

Guard Jordan Morgan got off to a good start with a solid run block, a nicely picked-up stunt in pass protection and a good block on a screen. However, as the game progressed, he started to struggled. Morgan had two penalties, allowed a couple of hits and was dominated at the point of attack at least three times.

Of the three rookies, Calvin Anderson was probably the most effective. Or, if you prefer, the least ineffective. He saw plenty of action after replacing Edoga at left tackle but didn't have many negative plays, although he was beaten for one pressure.

Backup center Ryan Anderson allowed penetration that blew up two runs, including a 3rd-and-short play that was stuffed in the backfield. He also whiffed on a second level block, but did have one good run block.

Wyatt Miller had a rough time at right tackle, struggling both as a run blocker and in pass protection. One of the three pressures he gave up led to an interception.

Don't go away, because we'll have our defensive review for you later this morning!