The New York Jets lost to the New York Giants in preseason Week 3 on Saturday night. Although there were several highlights that deserve further examination.
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) looks to pass against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Giants won 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
In the dress rehearsal for the season, we saw the starters of the New York Jets get the most playing time they’ve had. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continued to shake off the offseason rust and the offensive chemistry improved.
On the defensive side of the football, the Jets looked dominant all game long, pushing the New York Giants around. While even the special teams unit showed continued signs of improvement, things improved compared to the prior week against the Washington Redskins.
The Jets did lose the game to the Giants, relinquishing the Snoopy Bowl trophy in the process. There were plenty of highlights for the Jets to take away from the game however.
To the rookie debut of Christian Hackenberg, some special teams magic, and a case of the alligator arms, fans saw a bit of everything. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the top five plays from preseason Week 3.
Next: 5. Quarterback Eli Manning gets walloped
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) passes as New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
5. Quarterback Eli Manning gets walloped
The Jets took their past preseason failures personally and really looked to make a statement in the opening quarter. Promising third-year player, safety Calvin Pryor, was ready to deliver for the Jets.
It came on a safety blitz on third down as Pryor came off the edge untouched and smacked Manning to the turf. Head coach Todd Bowles likes to utilize creative blitz packaging and even spoke about the unwritten rules prior to the game. Here’s what he said courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:
On if he remembers a time when there was a gentlemen’s agreement to not blitz during preseason games…
Most of those agreements got broken (laughter). So you just play. You see them in practice, you see them in the game, you can’t tell the other team what to do. You throw caution to the wind, it’s football. I don’t really care. The other team can do what they do.
Next: 4. Some special teams magic
First and 10 at the 15.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 27, 2016
4. Some special teams magic
The Jets dialed up exactly what they needed at exactly the right time in the first quarter. Following a phenomenal performance by the defense, the special teams came through.
Two veterans who are vying to lock in their spots on the roster came a little closer to doing that. Linebacker Bruce Carter and safety Rontez Miles both combined for the block and put the Jets in great field position.
Of course, the Jets would turn around and fumble the possession away. They have to do better converting on short fields. But overall the special teams unit appears to be turning around.
It’s not going to be a change overnight and be like the days of Mike Westhoff. But the pieces are in place for the Jets to actually win some games with their special teams this year.
Next: 3. Renewing old vows
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 28, 2016
3. Renewing old vows
The Jets struck first in the Snoopy bowl with a beautiful back shoulder pass to wide receiver Eric Decker. But let’s rewind and see how this play happened.
Not included in the video above is the pre-snap motion of running back Matt Forte coming out of the backfield into the slot, that’s key. The defense had to react to that motion by switching coverage which put Decker in a good matchup.
This is important for the rest of the season because, with Forte’s versatility, the Jets can do a lot of different things on offense. The same can be said for running back Bilal Powell who also got a ton of looks in the game.
Of course overall for the Jets’ offense, they looked lost at times without their lead man wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the fold. The Jets’ coaching staff rested him because of “sore hips”, but he’s expected to be ready for the season opener.
Next: 2. Alligator arms result in interception
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) August 28, 2016
2. Alligator arms result in interception
The Jets lone turnover of the night on defense came the way of a cornerback Darrelle Revis interception. But the real story behind it is how it happened.
The Giants were facing a first and 10 from the 36-yard line halfway through the second quarter. Manning led wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and was within range, but he pulled back his arms.
Beckham saw Pryor coming across the middle and didn’t want any part of it, resulting in Revis’ second interception of the preseason. Luckily for Beckham, he is a star player and won’t have to worry about any repercussions from this.
Before the game started, Beckham was tweeting out some trash talk before the game saying the Giants were ready for the Jets. It appears though that the only thing he’s ready for are more turnovers.
Next: 1. A spectacular debut
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 28, 2016
1. A spectacular debut
The No. 1 play on this list is in commemoration of Hackenberg’s rookie debut. In his first drive as a rookie, all he did was go seven plays for 75 yards and the above touchdown.
It wasn’t all peaches and cream for the Penn State product, on his next series he threw a terrible interception that ended up costing the Jets the game. Hackenberg showed a lot of promise, something the Jets haven’t seen from the quarterback position in a long time.
He’s going to get another opportunity next Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. What we can tell is that Hackenberg can throw the football pretty well.
While in that seven play drive, he was whipping it through tight windows. He’s raw, but he’s got all the tools to be a future starting quarterback of the Jets.