*Lots of games to cover and moving faster than editors can keep up with, so forgive any typos, etc. 2,000+ word articles on preseason games ain’t easy. Going for quantity over quality to get the news out ASAP.
The unique thing, kinda, about this game was that the Eagles ran the typical 4th preseason game motley crew out onto the field but the Jets ran their starting offense for two series. The Jets 1st team offense against a collection of players about to be cut. The result…three and out on the first drive and then a solid drive with some 3rd-down conversions that ultimately got thwarted and ended in a field goal. Not a great sign that the Jets offense could not dominate ‘good luck in your future endeavors’ defenders.
Fantasy player notes…
— As much as we all make of the Jets and see their preseason as a yawn…when Josh McCown (6-8 for 57 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) is at the helm this preseason — he looks very solid and confident. There is no ‘game management’ – he’s getting after it.
If you think Buffalo might be a sweet streaming DST because ‘Jets’…I’d say you should worry about Buffalo’s defensive holes more than the inefficiencies of the Jets offense. Because Tyrod Taylor is floundering under the new coach and the team has been in flux with all the Stone Cold Sean McDermott moves…I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets whooped the Bills opening day. I also wouldn’t be shocked if the reverse happened.
All that to say, I’m not hating what I see from Josh McCown for fantasy purposes as a hail mary play – the Jets may go 3-13, but McCown throwing a lot down in big in games is what we want.
— Bilal Powell (6-5-0, 2-23-0/2) was the lead dog with the starters and looked every bit of the part. Powell looks in the best shape I’ve seen him in. He’s pushing to cash in on free agency 2018. I believe the Jets favor him over Matt Forte, and have believed that going back to last season. Forte will get the starts, but Powell will wind up with more touches…and eventually Forte will be traded and then it’s RB1 land for Powell.
McCown has rarely played this preseason, so we haven’t had a chance to see he and Powell work until this game, briefly. It looked very comfortable with McCown checking down and looking for Powell properly.
Powell may be the best PPR RB1-potential value pick in redrafts right now.
— McCown had eyes for Robby Anderson (1-5-0/2) as his primary WR, as far as I could see in this game. No doubt Robby is the teams go-to WR.
What’s the most talented WR on a bad team throwing a lot in the 4th-quarter worth? It’s worth more than his current ADP as long as McCown is QB. Once a switch to ‘The Hack’, Christian Hackenberg, happens…it’s over.
— Austin Seferian-Jenkins (2-32-1/2) caught a nice crosser pass from McCown and then raced upfield for a big gain. I’ve watched that play 4-5 times. The first 1-2 times it looked pretty solid/normal, the next time around I watched it 2-3 times and I thought I saw ASJ was moving pretty quickly, fluidly for his size. It was a better movement than I first reported on the Week 4 preseason quick notes.
He got his TD with ‘The Hack’ on a nice high point catch, leap, and came up/down with the score.
— I was watching this originally wondering if the Eagles would be pressured/dumb enough to waste a roster spot on Donnel Pumphrey (7-10-0) or just admit the error and move on, move him to the Practice Squad if needed.
Pumphrey made the team…
— The more I see of Eagles rookie WR Mack Hollins (3-25-0/4), the more I respect what he brings to the table – as an NFL WR. Probably not a guy who will be a fantasy star, but more a quality NFL piece. He’s a high effort, sound player who doesn’t have the breakaway speed/athleticism to hit a high level…and I think the Eagles equivocated that Hollins could be their Jordan Matthewssomeday, and that will be a big mistake.
— Eagles rookie RB Corey Clement (4-16-0) probably had a chance to seize a piece of the pie for touches in the Philly backfield early this regular season, but after a nice Week 1 preseason splash Clement has been a yawn. He’s 4th in the Eagles’ RB touch pecking order.
— Jets rookie RB Elijah McGuire (5-56-0) will be in-line for more touches once Matt Forte goes down. McGuire is a ‘good effort’, but limited RB talent. He may have a moment, but he’ll never consistently matter for the NFL/fantasy, I suspect. He would not make most NFL rosters…but is the Jets’ #3.
— Jamal Adams (3 tackles, 1 TFL) looked his best of the preseason in this game – he has such great closing speed. I believe Adams, like Alabama/49ers draft pick Rueben Foster, are ‘optical illusion’ players. They move very fast/have great burst, which means on occasion they can generate warp speed and blow up a receiver catching a pass flat-footed, who has their back turned to them. Everyone ‘Ooohs and Aaahs’ at the bang-bang hit. The problem is that those plays aren’t big deals…tackling a guy with his back turned is going to happen in most cases. The speed/force of it is nice but it’s not a game-changing skill in most cases. You need guys anticipating plays and then making sure open field tackles otherwise.
Adams and Foster (and guys like them) run a thousand miles an hour on plays, usually not anticipating them and/or always just guessing…so they are in the wrong place too much, always just trying to seek ‘big hits’ because the media fawns over it’, they wildly overrun plays moving so fast, and they are terrible face-to-face with ballcarriers who just juke or slide away from the oncoming bullet. It’s why ‘missed tackles’ was whispered so much with Adams in the pre-draft analysis, but because he went to LSU and analysts love LSU it’s glossed over with ‘he just needs to clean that up’. That’s a big thing to just ‘clean up’. Whenever you hear a football analyst say, “he just needs to clean that up’ about whatever – it’s not something that can be cleaned up.
I can’t dunk a basketball on a regulation rim. I used to be able to, barely…with a running start, no dribble, sticky ball…but I’d be lucky to reach the net as my days of youth disappear. I’d look like a fool trying to dunk a ball today. My wife proclaiming, “You just need to clean that up,” on my dunk fail, doesn’t mean I’ll ever be able to dunk again.
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