New York Jets: Team appears to be firing on all cylinders
Is this really the kind of offense we will grow to love with the New York Jets? It’s often said that the third preseason game in the NFL is the dress rehearsal for the season. If it is truly any indication the Jets appear to be locked and loaded for the season opener against the Cleveland Browns. This is the game where typically the starters for each respective team play the entire first half and you get a good look at your starters against another teams’ starters. In this game, the Jets were finally able to get a certain monkey that’s been on their proverbial backs all preseason.
Green & White on the board first. Fitz to @EricDecker87 for 18 yds. #Jets 7, Giants 0, 8:03 in the 1st #NYJvsNYG pic.twitter.com/nd00lhygZn
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 29, 2015
The first team offense getting their first offensive touchdown of the preseason against a first team defense was a beautiful thing to see. Though that wasn’t the only touchdown they had Saturday night in MetLife stadium. They had touchdowns in nearly every way you could possibly think of including special teams.
One of the points of debate in the game came when the Giants set up to punt and the man set to return the ball for the Jets was none other than Eric Decker. The Jets in the past have flirted with Decker returning punts in practice before, but they took it to another level. I’ve never been too in love with the fact of putting a $35+ million dollar man as your lead punt returner. All my thoughts came to fruition when Decker muffed a punt, the experiment was quickly over. Here are some of the tweets spawning about the Jets deciding to put Decker back there for returns…
Eric Decker again returning punts. That seems like a questionable decision in the preseason.
— Seth Walder (@SethWalderNYDN) August 29, 2015
Eric Decker is returning punts. Remember, Kerley out with concussion. Not a good idea to put your $7M/yr WR as a PR. #nyj
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 29, 2015
Luckily for Decker he was able to recover his own muffed punt and the Jets immediately pulled him from returning. Which opened the door for another Jets player to make an impact in the return game and boy did he. One of the many highlight plays from the game came midway through the third quarter when Walter Powell took it 54 yards to the house.
Which just highlights a tremendous camp for Powell who could have just locked up the punt return and possibly kick return duties with Jeremy Kerley out with a concussion and no one else really legitimately pushing Powell for the job.
In all honesty, people that I have spoken to said that they have been pretty nervous for the season with the thought of Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. Though last season he posted respectable numbers, specifically in the touchdown to interception ratio: 17-8, fans more so remember the days in Buffalo. He has changed towards the better as he’s a journeymen ready to lead the Jets. But after Saturday night and the way Fitzpatrick commanded the offense, things are looking up and fans are starting to buy into the hype. But don’t think the players on the team are letting it get to their heads.
.@BMarshall: “Yeah, we played well. “But we still have a lot of work left to do.” WATCH- http://t.co/o1oZfpEen0 pic.twitter.com/6teWEHZGIu
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 31, 2015
Fitzpatrick: “We still have a lot of work to do and I think we all know that in this locker room.” pic.twitter.com/qqo9MG0SBX
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 31, 2015
The stars of the offense could form quite the dynamic duo with Fitzpatrick and Marshall making sure that the team doesn’t get too ahead of themselves though this game was an indicator of things to come, ultimately it is still a preseason game. And as we’ve seen in the past, wins and losses don’t mean anything in the preseason. As I attempted to figure out several weeks ago in my preseason analysis article, New York Jets: What does the preseason really mean?
Now for the Jets they have one last preseason game left that will include minimal starters and will be a final analysis on who makes the final 53-man roster. Then fast forward a week after that and we’ve reached the regular season! So let’s take a final look at Fitzpatrick’s numbers through the preseason:
Fitz’s final preseason numbers: 24-of-36, 261 yds, 2 TDs, 0 INTs. READ- http://t.co/JpyXUl5F1Y pic.twitter.com/qZRuU24WLT — New York Jets (@nyjets) August 31, 2015
Fitzpatrick had a 66% completion percentage, no turnovers, and 261 yards; not too shabby for the veteran quarterback. Though if the Jets indeed have their eyes set on the NFL Playoffs, they’re going to continue to need Fitzpatrick to play turnover-free football. Which he’s shown through preseason at least and last season he was able to do. Jets fans are hoping that maybe Chan Gailey can cook up some Fitz-magic this season and hopefully lead them on a Vinny Testaverde kind of run this season.
Next: New York Jets: Analyzing top 10 roster moves