The New York Giants and New York Jets meet again for another “Snoopy Bowl” in Week 3 of the preseason. Here are the top 3 players on Gang Green to keep an eye on during the game.
The New York Giants and New York Jets will meet once again in the preseason in the “Snoopy Bowl” at MetLife Stadium later on tonight. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm and will be aired on CBS Channel 2 in the New York Metro Area. Ian Eagle and Anthony Becht will call the game from the booth while Otis Livingston handles sideline duties.
Week 3 of the NFL Preseason is referred to as the “dress rehearsal” around the league. Teams will play their starters for around a half so they can get in a rhythm before Week 1 of the regular season begins. The Giants open the season at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars while the Jets travel to play the Detroit Lions in the Monday Night Football regular season opener.
While the Jets have a number of players to keep an eye on during the game, here are the top three to watch throughout the game.
3. Quarterback Sam Darnold
The Jets rookie quarterback has a chance to win the starting quarterback job if he has a solid performance against the Giants on Friday.
Darnold started the preseason with a 13-of-18, 96 yards, one touchdown performance against the Atlanta Falcons. However, he came back down to earth a little bit last week against the Washington Redskins. Darnold went 8-of-11, 62 yards, one interception, and was sacked twice. The rookie is poised to bounce back from a shaky performance against the Redskins on Friday night and improved every day during training camp.
Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates had high praise for Darnold and the potential he has to become a star quarterback in a recent article by NewYorkJets.com Senior Reporter Eric Allen. Here is what Bates had to say:
Mentally, he’s sharp. He loves the game. He’s tough, he’s everything you’re looking for in a young quarterback as far as the ability to go out there and the game isn’t too big for him. Stage isn’t too big for him. When the lights come on, he gets better.”
Bates and the rest of the coaching staff are hoping when the lights come on Friday night, Darnold plays his best game of the preseason. The stage is set for Darnold to win the starting quarterback job, now is not the time to shy away from the spotlight.
Next: 2. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins
2. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins
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The Jets are in DESPERATE need of someone to step and become a consistent pass rusher for them this season. The Jets haven’t had an elite pass rusher since John Abraham left in 2005. For the Jets to have any chance to contend for a playoff spot, they will need one of their linebackers to make it happen.
Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins is the team’s best bet to become that guy. in 2017, Jenkins totaled three sacks, 46 tackles, and started 15 games as well. While Darron Lee and Avery Williamson control the middle of the Jets defense, The team will be looking for someone like Jenkins to step up and become a consistent force rushing the passer.
There has been plenty of rumors flying around that the Jets are interested in making a trade for guys like Khalil Mack and Dante Fowler to improve the pass rush. However, if the Jets can find something with their current crop of linebackers, they will not have to trade away future draft picks needed to acquire these players. That way, the team can keep building through the draft and add pieces to their already impressive young core.
Next: 1. Tight End Chris Herndon
1. Tight End Chris Herndon
Another Jets rookie who was impressive during training camp this summer was the rookie tight end, Chris Herndon. The Miami Hurricanes product had a number of great practices but missed the first two preseason games because of a minor injury. Fortunately, Herndon will finally be able to make his preseason debut on Friday.
At 6’4 253lbs, Herndon is a polished receiver who can make some plays when he gets the ball in his hands. The tight end position has been a pleasant surprise this summer for the Jets with it being the toughest position battle to evaluate.
The Jets have five tight ends that are all capable of making plays in Herndon, Jordan Leggett, Clive Walford, Neal Sterling, and Eric Tomlinson. In a recent interview with NewYorkJets.com Team Reporter Ethan Greenberg, Walford stressed that all of the tight ends are positive with each other in this friendly competition. Here is what Walford had to say:
The unit is great. The most important thing about the group is that nobody is negative. When someone else makes a play, we always congratulate the other one and pick the other one up. It’s a friendly competition although our livelihoods are on the line. We’re all just trying to get better.”
Whoever performs the best out of the tight ends on Friday night will most likely be named the starting tight end for Week 1. It will be one of the toughest decisions the coaching staff will make all season long.