One of the few highlights during the Jets' 16-6 loss to the Lions on Saturday night was the pass rush. It wasn't quite as eight-sack-awesome as it was against the Titans, but three more sacks and some nice plays off of pressure suggest that maybe that maybe head coach Todd Bowles and coordinator Kacy Rodgers are finding ways to cobble together a rush.
Josh Martin, who played almost exclusively on special teams for last year's Jets (23 plays on defense, 342 on ST), is fighting for an outside spot among the linebackers. And he helped his cause with his second sack of summer when he penetrated on the weakside and put a hit on the ball held by Detroit backup QB Jake Rudock, forcing him to lose the handle, only to have the Lions recover.
That puts Martin in the lead among the 10, count 'em, 10 Jets who have at least one sack. He's the only one with two, and he's been in on both strips in the first two games, recovering the fumble last week forced by Anthony Johnson and forcing the one in Ford Field.
Martin came into this season with only one full sack to his name, a 2013 preseason strip of Vince Young when he was with the Packers. He had two half-sacks in the regular season, one half with the Chiefs in '14 and one half with the Jets last year. Now he's got two full sacks this summer. No, they don't count, but it bodes well for Josh.
Others with good pressure in Motown: Corey Lemonier, another LB contender, continued to help his cause with the first interception of his career in any game plus a sack. And CB Dexter McDougle remained hot with his fourth PD in the first two games, a tackle for loss, plus a blitz that didn't get to third QB Brad Kaaya but forced him into intentional grounding in the fourth quarter.
Flag Football on Special TeamsBowles wasn't happy about the Jets' six penalties in general and, for the second straight game, three penalties on his specialists. "That's too many penalties on special teams," he said. "I know there's a lot of guys playing, trying to prove themselves, but that's got to clean itself up and we have to tighten that ship next week and get the guys ready to play that need to be on there."
J.Martin committed a hold on specials, while Jordan Jenkins was hit with his second ST penalty of the preseason, this for illegal formation on a Jets punt.
And rookie LB Dylan Donahue was called for roughing Lions first-year punter Kasey Redfern, although that one was borderline — Donahue was going for a block and appeared to miss contacting Redfern as he slid under the punter's upraised leg. But Redfern took an excellent dive and drew the flag for Donahue's second stat in the NFL. (He had his first tackle three plays before.)
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Oh-for-DetroitThis streak has no meaning but it's baffling nonetheless. The Jets have played — and lost — four preseason games all-time in Detroit (as opposed to neutral fields) and haven't held a lead in any of those 16 quarters. ... They also have one touchdown in two games so far. Shades of 2012, when they scored one TD the entire preseason, with that one coming in the preseason finale at Philadelphia.