The New York Jets are officially back to playing football.
Coming out in their new white uniforms for the first time, the Jets suited up against the cross-rival Giants in what many consider the “MetLife Bowl.”
While the final score did not fall into the Jets’ favor, there were more important things to takeaway from this game as Gang Green got a taste of their first opponent under head coach Adam Gase.
1. Starters Make Their Mark
The Jets’ saw an impressive outing from both their first-team offense and defense on Thursday, though only playing one series a-piece. Sam Darnold first led the offense out on a powerful drive, going 4-for-5 for 75 yards and TD. He made it look easy.
The defense quickly followed by halting the Giants’ offense to a 3-and-out, allowing only four yards in the process.
Though it was only a small snippet of what may become of the first-team this season, it definitely comes as a positive takeaway for this team, and something the fans should remain excited about.
2. Kicking Needs Immediate Improvement
It was a brutal night for Chandler Catanzaro, going 1-for-3 on field goal attempts. He’s been horrific all training camp, and when given the opportunity to prove himself – he failed. The Jets cannot afford to risk going into Week 1 with a shaky kicker, so I would expect that Joe Douglas will be quick to bring some new faces into camp as soon as today.
I guess that is the price you pay when you let a Pro-Bowl kicker walk and take more money elsewhere (CC: Jason Myers)
3. Greg Dortch Ups his Ante
The fan favorite had a nice night for the Jets’ on Thursday. The former Wake Forest standout who ultimately went undrafted in April, put together a promising mix of punt returns and receptions when handed the opportunity.
The Jets originally signed Greg Dortch to fill their punt-returner position, which he certainly flashed at on Thursday – taking one back for 32 yards while weaving in and out of the Giants special teams.
He was also able to snag a late TD pass to showcase himself even more. Continue to watch for Dortch throughout training camp and the preseason as the Jets work to finalize their 53-man roster.
4. Second & Third-Team Secondary Don’t Look Sharp
The Jets backup DBs continued to get smoked all night by the Giants offense. Nearly every defensive back had a slip up – which may not seem too concerning seeing as how these are not your typical starters…however, the Giants are pretty depleted at the WR position.
Raise your red flags.
This is going to be something the Jets will need to sharpen in training camp. A lot of their hope for a successful secondary this season relies on some smart playmaking from the younger DBs, such as Parry Nickerson and Derrick Jones, who both had a rough night.
5. Coaching Staff Gets the Thumbs Up
Despite a patchy game all around, Gang Green’s coaching staff was able to piece together some formidable plays when it mattered most.
Gase was aggressive with getting his offense down the field, and proved that when he had the offense go for it on 4th-and-1 in the red zone. That quickly turned into a easy floater from Trevor Siemian to Eli McGuire for six.
On the flip side, a moment of Gregg Williams aggressiveness flashed when Parry Nickerson scooped up a clear incomplete pass from Giants QB Alex Tanney and proceeded to run into the end zone. The refs failed to blow a whistle when the play was dead, so the Jets defense ultimately took advantage and attempted to turn it into points.
It was a clear moment of hustle for the defensive squad as Williams has been persistent with this team to never stop until a whistle is blown.