Some good...some bad...some ugly...

It's safe to say that last night's match-up between the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens didn't pan out exactly the way I would have liked it to. Quarterback performance aside, there were some other issues that really could make a difference in what this team does this year. Here are some of my thoughts from the game:

1. I never expected
Mark Sanchez to walk on that field last night and wrap up that starting position against a team like the Ravens. I think Rex made the right decision in having Mark start and get some reps against Baltimore's infamous defense. When asked about playing against Lewis & Reed Sanchez stated:
"Oh, they were flying. They were flying around. You practice for it and you see it on film. These guys were doing it. You’re trying to keep one eye on Ed Reed and one eye on Ray Lewis and a D-lineman gets you."
Sure he was rattled and looked shaky and made mistakes....but what else would you expect at this point in his rookie year. If you go back and look at any successful QB's rookie preseason stats and you'll find some similarities. The 2 delay of game penalties stand out just as much to me as the interception/ near interception do. He needs to be able to manage this offense effectively, something again I hope he learns with a few more starts under his belt.

2. I'll say it again -
Kellen Clemens does not have what it takes to be a starting QB in the NFL. You would think that after Mark's performance Kellen would walk out on the field with the determination to outshine Sanchez and fight for the starting spot. As we all know that didn't happen. While Clemens did have slightly better stats last evening - after 4 years in the league he should be performing better. There was no need to force that pass to Brad Smith...again he should know better at this point. That interception looked all to similar to what we've been seeing the past month at camp from him. Enough is enough already.

3. David Clowney is really trying to make a name for himself and earn that #2 WR position. Thank goodness someone is! He needs to get some playing time in with the starters, I need to see his speed when matched up against some top corners in the league. Oh and David....next time just keep your helmet on please...

4. Not a great game to see who is still in the running for this #2 WR position. Out of 32 passes, nobody had more than 2 catches. Brad Smith disappointed me last night. He's not making a strong case for himself with an offensive pass interference penalty that wiped out a 25-yard gain and a dropped pass in the end zone that would have been a 39-yard TD.

5. The Bart Scott/ David Harris duo is a match made in heaven. A playmaking union that all Jet fans should be extremely excited about.

6. Darelle Revis needs to be healthy SOON! The Jets secondary had some ups and downs last night. Lowery continued to struggle against mediocre WR/TE's. Lito Sheppard was a little too inconsistent in his performance as well.

7. Disappointment is always worse that anger in my eyes - and that's how I describe my sentiment towards Vernon Gholston. How could such a big huge hard hitting playmaker turn into a ghost on the field?!? He continues to struggle when lining up to engage with blockers. In order to start for Pace those first 4 games, he's going to have to do more than just be the direct cause for a sack here and there. If Jamaal Westerman keeps it up - he could be pressing Gholston for some playing time. Maybe that's the competion Gholston needs to step up.

8. Leon Washington does it again. He prevented a huge meltdown in the first half. Yet again stepping up for the team when they need him. With his running, kick returns and a TD reception - Leon did it all, yet again showing his versatility and value to the team.

9. Crossing my fingers that the OL stays healthy. Mangold & Faneca are an integral part to having the running game succeed as they did against a difficult defense like Baltimore.

10. Reggie Hodges -he either booms huge punts at camp - or we get avg 36.3 yarders like last night....maybe Rex needs to bring yet another punter in to challenge him for this spot. I don't know about you - but I'm really missing Ben Graham.....thanks alot Mangini.

It's pre-season - a time to evaluate, learn and change. There is a ton of film to be watched and analyzed, and plenty of decisions to be made. I'll say it again - in looking forward to the season ahead....I'm surprisingly pretty optimistic.