ReFo: Jets @ Eagles, Preseason Week 4
This was about as lopsided a fourth preseason game as you’ll see. With mostly second and third stringers, passing games suffer and the games tend to be decided on the ground. That’s precisely what we saw from Philadelphia in this one.
The Jets had no answer for the Eagles’ fairly basic ground attack. Even though they only ran the same few running plays again and again, the Eagles rushed for 262 yards on 41 carries. It was the last chance for players to state their cases before the final roster cuts and here are some of the players that stood out, good and bad.
New York Jets – Performances of Note
Alex Green, RB: -5.4
Breakdown: After the Jets claimed Daryl Richardson from the Rams last Friday, Green looked like a longshot to make the roster. After Thursday night, Green’s departure is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The running back may have broken two tackles on the day, but he also fumbled twice and was beaten twice in pass protection. No coach is going to waste his time with a backup running back that can’t hold on to the ball and pass protect.
Signature Play: As the Jets drove down the field just before the end of the first half, Green coughed up a fumble on a routine hit by safety Earl Wolff.
Ben Ijalana, LT: +0.4
Breakdown: Once a second round pick of the Colts back in 2011, Ijalana had his career railroaded by multiple ACL tears. This preseason he showed the potential the Colts saw in him way back then. The left tackle was clean in 40 pass-blocking snaps Thursday night for a +2.4. That number is even more impressive considering Matt Simms and Tajh Boyd had average times to throw of 3.21 and 2.70 seconds, respectively.
Signature Stat: In 90 pass-blocking snaps this preseason, Ijalana yielded just two pressures.
A.J. Edds, ILB: -5.3
Breakdown: The Eagles’ rushing attack had Edds’ head spinning all day. The veteran linebacker played 46 snaps against the run, and even though he didn’t miss a tackle, he was terribly slow to the point of attack. He was sealed out at the second level on a ridiculous nine separate occasions. Edds wasn’t alone, though, as both Nick Bellore (-1.8) and Jeremiah George (-1.6) were tentative against the Eagles’ ground game as well.
Signature Play: With 7:02 left in the fourth quarter, Edds misread a simple inside zone run as an option and left a gaping hole in the middle of the defense as he chased down quarterback G.J. Kinne.
Philadelphia Eagles – Performances of Note
Josh Andrews, C: +4.3
Breakdown: As the third-string center, Andrews was limited to just 36 snaps through the first three preseason games. The undrafted rookie had an uphill battle to make the roster going into the game (especially considering backup center David Molk finished as the highest-graded center this preseason), but he played like an NFL center Thursday night. Andrews’ angles and speed were everything you could ask for from a zone center as he graded positively both inline and at the second level.
Signature Play: With 8:28 left in the third quarter, Andrews opened up a gaping hole on an outside zone run to the right when he stoned nose tackle T.J. Barnes in his tracks within a split second of the snap.
Damaris Johnson, WR: +1.8
Breakdown: The forgotten man ever since the Darren Sproles trade, it looked like Johnson had one foot out the door going into Thursday’s game. If the Eagles aren’t going to keep Johnson, they certainly did a good job showcasing him for a possible trade. The receiver caught two balls for 19 yards, returned three punts for 52 yards, and rushed five times for 69 yards including a scintillating 46-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter.
Signature Stat: Damaris Johnson’s +2.9 return grade this preseason was the highest in the league.
Lane Johnson, RT: -1.2
Breakdown: The only Eagles offensive lineman to grade negatively on Thursday night was the only starter. Facing a four-game suspension, Johnson played all 85 snaps and you wouldn’t have been able to guess that he was the only lineman on the field selected before the fifth round. Johnson did good work on double teams at the point of attack, but that didn’t translate to much success at the second level.
Signature Play: Right at the start of the fourth quarter Johnson lurched out of his stance to commit his second false start penalty in three plays.
PFF Game Ball
He may not be an Eagle anymore, but after Josh Andrews’ domination of the Jets’ nose tackles, he’s sure to catch on elsewhere around the league.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner