NFL Preseason Preview - NY Jets (1-0) at Cincinnati (0-1)
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - Quarterback is the big story surrounding the New York Jets but cornerback may be the most important one as Rex Ryan's club gets ready for preseason game No. 2 in Cincinnati.
The Jets lost a pair of corners this week, starter Dee Milliner to a high left ankle sprain and rookie Dexter McDougle to a torn ACL. It's likely Milliner will not be ready for the regular-season opener while McDougle, a third-round pick out of Maryland, was lost for the season.
As for the QB quandary in New York, not much changed in last Thursday's preseason unveiling. In a 13-10 win over Indianapolis, Geno Smith started and went 4-of-6 for 33 yards and added a 10-yard run.
"We did well as an offense," the second-year pro said. "We put points up on the board, had two drives, got a field goal and, like I said, we won the game."
Conversely veteran Michael Vick finished 3-of-6 for 17 yards and led the Jets to their lone TD drive in the second quarter by flashing his legendary running skills with 19 yards on the ground on three totes.
"It felt good to be back out there, (play in) live-game action (and) have a chance to get out there (and) go against a different defense," Vick said. "It was great. To have a 14-play drive, it only builds your confidence. Hopefully we can continue to build and move forward."
Coach Rex Ryan lauded both of his options.
"I thought Geno played extremely well," Ryan said. "He had a few throw-aways. I thought he did a great job stepping up in the pocket a few times and protecting the ball. I was really pleased with (both) Geno and Mike."
A matured Vick proved to be a leader in Philadelphia even when things weren't going his way and that has continued with the Jets. Earlier this week Vick praised his competition while downplaying his own exploits.
"I think Geno did well," Vick said. "He did good enough for coach to pull him out after two good series. Moved the ball down field, got a field goal, got three points and anytime you score some points, it's always a good thing. I think when we go back and watch the film, all the mistakes he made are correctable and I think, at the end of the day, Geno did a good job.
"I did alright. (It) could've been better. I wanted to get some throws down the field, but unfortunately that didn't happen. So, we'll see what happens next week (against Cincinnati). There's always next week."
Whether it's ultimately Smith or Vick at quarterback, one thing is certain, the Jets significantly upgraded the skill-position talent around the prospective signal caller by bringing in former Denver wide receiver Eric Decker and ex-Titans running back Chris Johnson.
Johnson ran for a one-yard score and had two receptions for 16 yards against the Colts while Decker caught two passes for 12 yards in the victory.
"You see why we're so high on them," Ryan said. "Decker presents that big target, but the thing I like most about him is that he's a team guy. He's competitive. He blocks. He's starting to dig out those safeties.
"As far as Chris Johnson, I'm glad we don't have to defend him. He still has great speed. He made a few plays and got hit a couple of times, but he popped up and had a big smile on his face, so he's ready to roll."
And the quarterbacks?
"We'll just let this thing play out," Ryan said. "Obviously, we know we have two excellent quarterbacks. There's no question about it. We have two quarterbacks who we hope will be great."
The reigning AFC North champion Bengals, meanwhile, were very sloppy in their preseason opener, allowing the Chiefs to score on all three phases -- offense, defense and special teams, en route to a 41-39 loss in Kansas City.
Fresh off his new six-year, $96 million deal, Andy Dalton went 3-of-5 for 71 yards for Cincinnati, while A.J. Green caught two of his three completions for 62 yards, including a 53-yard reception.
Dane Sanzenbacher added two receptions for 46 yards and a score, while backup signal caller Jason Campbell was 6-of-15 for 72 yards with a pair of TD passes and interceptions in defeat.
08/14 11:05:50 ET