In their preseason Week 1 opener, the New York Jets looked very good in almost every aspect of the game. Remember, however, it’s just one game at the end of the day.
The New York Jets shut out the Atlanta Falcons with a 17-0 win in the team’s first preseason game. Gang Green’s performance has seemingly pumped up the fan base immensely. Well, it’s best not to overreact just yet.
Perhaps the most dangerous part about preseason football is overreacting. Whether it is from the fans, team personnel or media. Why? Because teams are constantly shuffling players during the game, and coaches don’t necessarily game prep the same way they would for a regular season matchup.
However, it would be a lie to say that you cannot take anything away from these exhibition games, you just have to look for certain aspects of the game. Oh, yes, when I say overreaction, I am directly citing the reactions to the performances of Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater.
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Yes, on paper, the Jets shut down one of the best offenses in the NFL. Yes, Darnold and Bridgewater played brilliantly when you check the box score. But, keeping overreactions in check is a must headed into Thursday’s next game.
Excitement and overreacting are two different things. Excitement over the way Darnold played his first NFL game is warranted. Overreacting thinking that Darnold is a lock to be the Jets Week 1 starter is not.
This is because sample size is everything at this level, and also the fact that starter reps are usually held to the absolute minimum this early in the preseason. So, Darnold, Bridgewater, and the Jets need to prove they can hang around with the league’s best as starter reps increase the rest of the preseason.
Need to see Darnold get first-team reps before touting him starter
The Jets brought in Bridgewater and re-signed Josh McCown because they didn’t want to put too much pressure on whichever quarterback they selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. So, it would be best to let that plan pan out.
There is no denying the fact that Darnold looked comfortable in his debut. But, he didn’t play against the best of the best on the Falcons defense, which was smart. However, we need to see what he can do against opposing team’s top starters before the fate of the franchise is placed on his shoulders. While he made the right throws, had strong progressions and reads, let’s tame the expectations until he does it against NFL starters.
Don’t run Bridgewater out of town just yet
This point is referencing Bridgewater’s trade value, trade speculation and how expandable he may seem now after Darnold’s solid play. This branches off the last point because there may be some overreaction over Darnold’s performance that has mixed with Bridgewater’s Jets debut, therefore making it seem as though Bridgewater can easily be traded.
Well, not so fast. As said above, don’t be so quick to name Darnold starter. Also, pump the breaks on shipping Bridgewater out of town so fast. Bridgewater looked healthy, confident and made all of the throws he needed to.
Having a safety net like Bridgewater makes it that much easier to ease Darnold into the starting role down the road. Of course, a trade could be made if a team offers a package that the Jets cannot pass up. Until then, don’t write Bridgewater off just yet.
Don’t make any defensive assessments
You may be thinking this point doesn’t make sense because of how well the Jets defense played. As said before, they shut out one of the best offenses in the league, what is there to gripe about?
Well, the Jets defensive first-team barely played, and the same can be said for the Falcons offensive starters. Jamal Adams, Trumaine Johnson, Leonard Williams, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman are the key names that either didn’t play or only played a drive or two.
That makes it incredibly hard to make an honest judgment on Gang Green’s defense. Don’t fill your head with the idea the Jets shut out the offensive heavy Falcons. Rather, wait until starters get more reps and let’s see what the Jets are truly made of.