Preseason Week 4 is filled with backups, but the New York Jets’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles yielded a few intriguing stats.
6 – Number of receiving first downs for Valentine Holmes in the preseason
The Australian native stood out in a big way against Philadelphia, catching five passes for 55 yards, including a highly impressive 27-yard grab down the sideline.
Over the course of the preseason, Holmes caught eight passes for 85 yards, while leading the Jets with six receiving first downs.
Since he is part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program, the Jets can keep Holmes on their practice squad without having him count against the 10-player limit. He wouldn’t be able to play in the 2019 regular season, but the Jets can groom him throughout the year and bring him back into the fold next summer.
You can bet on seeing more of Holmes in green and white throughout the 2020 offseason. If he can nail down the nuances of running back play, he has the physical tools to steal a roster spot in the NFL someday.
2.2% – The odds of Taylor Bertolet missing all three of his deep field goal attempts against Philadelphia
Taylor Bertolet had just quieted the masses with a perfect performance against the Saints, but he sounded the alarms once more with a troubling outing in Week 4. Bertolet converted two short attempts from 23 and 39 yards out but missed from 49, 53, and 56 yards out.
From 2016-18, NFL kickers converted 75% of 49-yard kicks, 73% of 53-yard kicks, and 67% of 56-yard kicks. Based on those marks, there would only be a 2.2% chance of an average NFL kicker missing all three of the deep attempts that Bertolet tried.
4 – Interceptions tossed by Davis Webb in the preseason
Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian, and Luke Falk combined to throw zero interceptions in the preseason, but Davis Webb was picked off a whopping four times in this year’s exhibition games. That tied him for the second-most interceptions in the league, behind only Buffalo’s Joe Webb (six interceptions).
Webb tossed a pair of interceptions against the Eagles, both of them of the “brutal” variety. Each was a shallow attempt in which Webb badly telegraphed his target, creating two easy interception opportunities for the Philadelphia defense.
It is clear that Webb had zero chance of making the Jets roster or even their practice squad. Now the question shifts to whether or not Webb will be able to make it anywhere in the NFL.
7 – Number of stops made by Blake Cashman against the Eagles
While he was out there, the former Golden Gopher was the best player on the field against the Eagles.
Cashman was involved on a whopping seven stops during his short time in the game. He made four tackles short of the sticks in the passing game, with two of those on third down and another coming on a screen play that he blew up for a loss of five yards. He twice forced an incomplete pass while in primary coverage against the intended target. Most notably, he forced a fumble while stuffing a run up the middle, which was recovered by Frankie Luvu.
With Avery Williamson out for the year, the Jets are relying on Cashman to be ready straight off the bat in his rookie season. His amazing performance against the Eagles (even if against backups) yielded promise that he just may be ready to own the spotlight.
6.8 – Yards-per-carry by Trenton Cannon over his last two preseason games
Trenton Cannon had been locked in a roster battle with Elijah McGuire throughout the offseason, seeming to have the upper hand due to his ability to contribute on special teams (which McGuire does not offer). While it’s the third phase of the game that separates Cannon, it was his running game that may have been the icing on the cake to seal his roster spot.
Over his final two preseason games, Cannon logged 68 rushing yards on 10 attempts, a sparkling average of 6.8 yards per carry. He posted 51 yards on six totes in Week 3, flashing patience and poise we have almost never seen from him in the NFL.
In Week 4, he continued the progression that he had shown the game prior. While his stats were not outstanding (17 yards on four carries), Cannon continued to show impressive balance and vision between the tackles.
Cannon is going to impact the Jets in a variety of ways this year. He’ll be active on special teams, as he’ll return kicks and appear on most other special teams units as well.
He won’t just be limited to special teams, though. Cannon will likely be seen on offense now and then. While he will be fourth on the running back depth chart behind Le’Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery, and Bilal Powell, there is a good chance that Cannon will get some opportunities to make something happen with his speed. Adam Gase has surely cooked up some creative ways to get him the football.
Speed can kill, but only if the user knows how to control it. Over the past two preseason games, Cannon showed hope that he is learning how to master his blazing speed.