The New York Jets opened preseason in Houston last night, losing to the Texans, 20-16. The first team offense was on the field for only two series, while the starting defense played for the entire first quarter. QB Mark Sanchez, who did not have WR Plaxico Burress to throw to, completed 6 of 7 passes for 43 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT. WR Santonio Holmes caught both passes thrown to him for a total of 17 yards. Recently signed WR Derrick Mason seemed to have already blended into the offense - 3 receptions for 21 yards. RB Shonn Greene had 5 carries for 32 yards, including a 19-yard run.
The Jets were missing two starters on the offensive line, as both All-Pro C Nick Mangold and OG Brandon Moore did not make the trip to Houston. OL Rob Turner started in place of Mangold and injured his leg in the first quarter. The injury appeared to be rather serious as Turner was taken off the field on a stretcher. He is expected to undergo an MRI tomorrow. C Robby Felix stepped in and played for the rest of the game, including 3 plays with the first team.
LB Josh Mauga - 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 2 QB hits. Mauga, who played in 8 games last season, made a strong statement in this game. He replaced LB Bart Scott early in the game after the latter suffered a light injury.
NT Kenrick Ellis - the 3rd round pick had 2 tackles and deflected a pass that was intercepted by Mauga, leading to the Jets' only touchdown of this game. Ellis saw plenty of double teams but still was able to push the pile.
TE Jeff Cumberland - was targeted 8 times, caught 6 passes for 77 yards. He caught just one pass for 3 yards last season, but if he can do what we saw from him last night, the Gang Green will have a pretty scary duo of pass-catching tight ends.
WR Jeremy Kerley - 3 receptions for 20 yards. He also averaged 11.0 yards on punt returns and 32.5 yards on kickoff returns. Is he the new Brad Smith?
OL Vlad Ducasse - he started in place of Brandon Moore and allowed 2 sacks, one of which resulted in a fumble that led to Houston's first touchdown.
TE Matthew Mulligan - was targeted 4 times and ended up with 0 catches. He dropped a sure completion in the first quarter while being wide open. This was Sanchez' only incomplete pass in this game.
WR Michael Campbell - dropped what was potentially a game-winning touchdown pass. You just don't make the team after mistakes like that.
DL Muhammad Wilkerson - played well, showing ability to push offensive linemen.
NT Kenrick Ellis - as mentioned above Ellis stood out as a solid warrior in the trenches. He also perfectly timed his jump to cause an interception.
RB Bilal Powell - came out late in the game, gaining 25 yards on 9 carries and catching 3 passes for 27 yards.
WR Jeremy Kerley - is now a front runner for the kickoff returner job. He will also most likely be the team's #4 receiver.
QB Greg McElroy - his arm seemed to be even weaker than Pennington's but he showed to be fighter, getting up time after time after getting hit on almost every play. He finished the game 23 of 39 for 208 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.
WR Scotty McKnight - Mark Sanchez' childhood buddy was nowhere to be seen. Is he going to make the team at all?