New York Jets: Sam Darnold excels, kicking woes continue vs Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 08: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets warms up before the game against the New York Giants during a preseason matchup at MetLife Stadium on August 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 08: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets warms up before the game against the New York Giants during a preseason matchup at MetLife Stadium on August 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Here are the 3 studs and the 3 duds from preseason Week 1 vs the New York Giants. Sam Darnold excelled, kicking sucked, and all the highlights.

This game had a little bit of everything: turnovers, an hour rain delay, and touchdowns. The New York Jets and the New York Giants squared off for their annual battle for the Snoopy Bowl trophy and it didn’t disappoint.

Although this game didn’t feature the full array of star players on both sides. Star tailback Le’Veon Bell did not play in this game along with running back Bilal Powell, defensive lineman Leonard Williams, and defensive tackle Steve McLendon for the Jets.

While for the New York Giants they also held out several key difference makers in this one including Saquon Barkley. In totality, the Giants were without 11 players due to injury alone, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN:

  • WR Sterling Shepard CB Sam Beal CB Grant Haley CB Antonio Hamilton WR Darius Slayton WR Brittan Golden WR Amba Etta-Tawo OLB Avery Moss OT Chad Wheeler OT Brian Mihalik OT George Asafo-Adjei

Ultimately Big Blue came out with the win over the Jets, 31-22. Giants lead the all-time regular-season rivalry 8-5, these two teams will square off when it really counts in Week 10 of the 2019 regular season as well.

Here are the top three studs and bottom three duds from the New York Jets roster following preseason Week No. 1.

Next: Sam Darnold = STUD

"Everyone you speak to says the same thing – Sam Darnold had a huge off-season. He's gone from the young @nyjets QB learning the ropes to the second-year man leading the way. The Rolling Stones played MetLife last night; it won't be the last rock show this year." – @PSchrags

— GMFB (@gmfb) August 6, 2019

No. 1 stud: QB Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold only played one drive vs the New York Giants in the first preseason game, but that’s all he needed.

He put the car in cruise control on a seven-play, 75-yard drive and made it look easy punching in the touchdown to Jamison Crowder (more on him later).

Darnold finished with a perfect passer rating (158.3) completing 80 percent (4-of-5)  of his passes for 68 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.

Although this long beautiful drive almost ended early. On Sam’s first passing attempt, it was nearly intercepted (should’ve been) by New York Giants defensive back Jabrill Peppers.

Arguably the best play of the drive showed vintage moments from both Darnold and tight end Chris Herndon. On third and six, Darnold took the shotgun snap and the pocket began collapsing around him which forced him to step up (keeping the play alive) and found Herndon for the 32-yard completion (who never gave up on the play).

Next: Jamison Crowder = STUD

No. 2 stud: WR Jamison Crowder

While again the sample size was small, only one drive in the first preseason game, it showed just enough of a sneak peek to pique the interest of New York Jets fans everywhere.

Crowder signed with gang green in free agency after spending four years with the Washington Redskins. He instantly slid into the starting slot receiver role on the Jets and had immediate chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold.

That bond was palpable on the field Thursday night between the New York Jets and the New York Giants.

Jamison hauled in two receptions for 31 yards and the touchdown. During his short debut, Crowder displayed great hands, quickness, and the ability to make people miss.

Get used to hearing, “Sam Darnold hits Jamison Crowder for the touchdown” because I have a feeling you may hear that a few times during the 2019 season.

Next: Chuma Edoga = STUD

No. 3 stud: OT Chuma Edoga

This is a stud you probably didn’t notice during the game, but it stood out for multiple reasons. The New York Jets selected Chuma Edoga in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 308-pound tackle had the talent to be a first-round pick said Senior Executive Director of the Senior Bowl, Jim Nagy. Nagy called him the best offensive lineman that performed at this year’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

So why did he fall to the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft?

There have been some maturity issues and people have questioned his passion for the game.

Throughout his college career at USC he primarily played right tackle, there were moments where he stepped in at left. There’s a belief among the Jets coaching staff that if he dedicates himself he could be the future blindside protector of Darnold.

Although don’t rule him out of the right tackle competition. He’s a dark horse contender to make some noise throughout the rest of the preseason and training camp.

Interestingly enough during the NFL Draft leadup, Edoga’s NFL comparison was current Jets’ left tackle Kelvin Beachum by Lance Zierlein of

Next: Kicking woes = DUD

No. 1 dud: Kicking woes

Coaches have always said that you practice how you play. If the New York Jets coaching staff would’ve taken that to heart, perhaps we would’ve never seen Chandler Catanzaro in this preseason game.

Throughout training camp, Catanzaro has looked like a hot bag of garbage. Routinely missing extra points and field goal attempts. Fans seemed cautiously optimistic and channeled their inner Allen Iverson telling themselves this was only practice.

Those fans immediately knew that was a mistake when Chandler Catanzaro missed two extra points during preseason game No. 1. He later followed that up with a 34-yard field goal, but that doesn’t wash away the mistakes he made.

Fortunately, The Jet Press and former Atlanta Falcons legend Matt Bryant have established a close relationship. He’s currently unemployed and can kick it from any distance. The Jets should’ve had competition at the very least in training camp, they’ll correct that mistake sooner rather than later.

Next: Terrible secondary = DUD

No. 2 dud: Terrible secondary

We knew that the secondary for the Jets wasn’t the best in the league, but I don’t think fans realized how awful the group really is.

While we don’t want to be to prisoner of the moment, it’s hard not to leave the Jets vs Giants game disgusted.

Cumulatively the New York Giants four quarterbacks combined to complete 29-of-37 passes (78 percent completion percentage) for 374 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions and finished with a 136 quarterback rating.

Several Jets defensive backs got roasted and looked awful including but not limited too:

  • Parry Nickerson
  • Doug Middleton
  • Derrick Jones

The New York Jets were aggressively attempting to fix their offensive line using trade and anti-retirement negotiations, it may be time to use that energy on the cornerback groups.

Next: Key injury on OL = DUD

No. 3 dud: Brian Winters hurt

You never want to see injuries especially at a position that lacks depth. Early in the first quarter starting guard Brian Winters went down with a shoulder injury and was immediately ruled out for the rest of the game by the team.

The green and white over the last two weeks have been very aggressive in addressing the depth and overall lack of talent in the trenches with two big acquisitions:

  • Jets general manager Joe Douglas spent weeks convincing former All-Pro center Ryan Kalil out of retirement. He immediately replaces Jonotthan Harrison in the middle, with Harrison sliding to a backup role.
  • The green and white didn’t stop there, later in the week, the team made a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to secure former starting offensive lineman Alex Lewis.

Next. NY Jets: Top 30 greatest all-time players

We’ll start off with some silver lining news, Harrison can play center and either guard spot. Lewis has experience starting at guard, so at the very least the team was hoping he’d push Winters, but it looks like he could be replacing him.