New York Jets Preseason: 5 Players Who Impressed Against the Bengals
The game started off sloppy on both sides of the ball, but picked up as it went on. The weather was to blame, as it was pouring in East Rutherford (my clothes can serve as evidence).
The Jets played their starters for the entire first half, more than the quarter they played last week. Their defense was particularly impressive, making life a living hell for rookie Andy Dalton. The real test comes next week when the Jets take on their stadium roommates, the New York Giants, as the starters are expected to play three quarters.
Before moving on to next week, here are five players who impressed on Sunday night.
After suffering a broken tibia midway through last season, Jim Leonhard faced a long recovery and now nine months later, the rehab is now complete.
Leonhard made his home return and was in the starting lineup for the Jets Sunday night. The safety was in the right place at the right time to intercept an errant Andy Dalton pass.
The play wasn't exceptional, but it's a sign that Leonhard is 100 percent. A relief for the Jets, who sorely missed him down the stretch last season.
After McKnight suffered a concussion in Monday's loss to the Texans, it was unknown if he would play. Many thought that Bilal Powell would seize this opportunity and take over the number three running back job.
McKnight wouldn't have any of that though. He looked sharp in and out of his cuts, bouncing a few runs to the outside.
He finished with seven carries for 36 yards, a 5.1 yards per carry average. He capped off his impressive night on the ground, catching a touchdown pass from Gerg McElroy.
Dustin Keller had a quiet preseason opener failing to record a catch. Keller was off to a similar start against the Bengals, before waking up ion the Jets final drive of the half.
Keller got wide open on a corner route and Sanchez found him for a 43 yard gain. He also added another key first down catch later on that drive.
With the departure of 'Btraylon' Edwards, Keller needs to fill some of the void left. In the four games last season when Santonio Holmes didn't play, Keller put up great numbers. He could be in line to do the same this season.
The former Buffalo Bills castoff just arrived in Jets camp on Wednesday, but it didn't take long for him to make his mark.
In the fourth quarter, Maybin came rushing off the edge, slipping through a blocker and strip sacking Dan LeFevour. Granted, it was against backups, but anything is progress for Maybin.
Don't get too excited though. In his two seasons in Buffalo, he recorded five sacks in the preseason and none in the regular season. Also, the tackle he beat played his college ball at Queen's University in Canada.
Getting on the field alone was a success for Plaxico Burress. What he did on the field though mad him the star of the night.
In his first game action since November of 2008, Plaxico Burress reminded everyone what he was capable of.
The Jets clearly made it a priority to get Burress involved. Sanchez targeted - and completed a pass to Burress on the first play a game. The two hooked up on another completion, and then the magic took place.
With under a minute left, Sanchez recognized single coverage on the outside with Burress, and lobbed one up for Burress near the front pylon. Burress outstretched his arms and slammed to the ground, maintaining possession and giving the Jets a 17-7 lead heading into halftime.
Hopefully, that's not the last time we see that play this season.