New York Jets offense showed improvement in preseason game vs Atlanta
By Alex Wendling
The New York Jets weren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard against the Atlanta Falcons in preseason action, but there were some bright spots on offense.
Last week, Jets fans got to witness Adam Gase’s offense for the first time. The Jets first-team offense in the first preseason against the Giants was impressive and got Jets fans hopeful about they’re young offense led by second-year quarterback Sam Darnold.
In the second preseason game of the season, the Jets offense had another great start to the game as Sam Darnold and the offense went down the field on a 66-yard drive for the touchdown and ended up winning 22-10 on the road over the Atlanta Falcons.
Offensively, the Jets had a total of 199 yards with 96 of those yards coming from the run game. establishing the run game early on helped propel the Jets to a 22-10 victory over the Falcons.
ALSO READ: Defensive Report Card vs Falcons
Here is the offensive report card for the preseason game against the Falcons.
This week the Jets quarterbacks move up slightly from the first preseason game and get an A.
On the first drive, Sam Darnold and the Jets offense went down the field for a 66-yard drive resulting in a touchdown. Jets fans got to see their young franchise quarterback for the whole first quarter on Thursday night and he did not disappoint.
Darnold went 5-7 for 46 passing yards in Thursday nights victory but what really stood out in Darnold’s play was his pocket presence Darnold was not afraid to step up in the pocket and throw it into tight windows while getting hit. Even knowing he was missing four out of his five starters on the offensive line Darnold was not rattled by the constant pressure the Falcons defense was giving him.
As for the backup quarterbacks, we go to see Trevor Siemian only play a quarter but the backup quarterback that turned some heads was the 24-year-old quarterback from Washington State Luke Falk.
In Falk’s brief appearance later in the game, he completed four out of four passes for 41 yards and threw for a touchdown. Trevor Siemian will most likely be Sam Darnold’s backup week 1 but the third-string spot is open for grabs and Falk looks like he is beating out Davis Webb so far this preseason.
Next: Running Backs
Last week, the running backs got the lowest grade out of all the units on offense with a C. This week they took a big leap and got a B for their second effort of the preseason.
Le’Veon Bell sat out for the second week in a row despite Jets fans being eager to see him out there in the green and white. Starting in his place was Ty Montgomery for the second consecutive week. Montgomery, like most of the first-team offense, only played the first quarter but ended the night with seven carries, 36 rushing yards, and a touchdown.
Carrying the ball with the second team was long time Jet, Bilal Powell. After testing the free-agent market Powell found himself back with the Jets after signing a one year deal back in June. The 30-year-old running back will most likely be third on the depth chart behind Bell and Montgomery but showed on Thursday night that he still has a little bit left in the tank. Powell was out there for a short period of time as he only had 5 carries for 20 yards.
Trenton Cannon did not do much in the run game but he got recognition on special teams, Cannon had 60 return yards. Establishing a run game early on is huge for the Jets this year and on Thursday night we got a preview of what’s to come.
Next: Offensive Line/WRs
The Jets offensive line has been banged up, as four out the five starters on the line were out Thursday. Guards Kelechi Osemele, and Brian Winters, as well as tackle Brandon Shell were all out with injuries, while Ryan Khalil was a healthy scratch from the game.
The second-team offensive line blocked for Darnold and did a good job of protecting their quarterback. Darnold was barely touched, and if you’re a Jets fan that is a victory of its own. The third-team offensive line also blocked well. Overall the Jets gave up only one sack all night to Atlanta and avoided any injuries on offense which says a lot about the Jets depth at offensive line.
There are definite signs of improvement on the Jets o-line, with a lot of work left to be done.
The Jets have one of the more underrated wide receiver tandems in the NFL. Robby Anderson showed fans Thursday night that he is not just a deep threat. On the first drive, Anderson caught a beautiful back-shoulder pass from Darnold. Then later in that same drive, Anderson caught a slant pass over the middle and was rocked by Falcons safety Ricardo Allen to eventually set up the Ty Montgomery rushing touchdown. Anderson ended the night with three receptions for 32 yards.
Second-year wideout Deontay Burnett is making a case to stay on the Jets roster. Burnett had two receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown. Last year Burnett appeared in five games at wideout but did not see many targets coming his way.
Burnett has a good chance of making the Jets 53-man roster if he keeps performing at a high level. The Jets wide receiving corps looks to have its top three receivers in Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, and Jamison Crowder but if someone is to get injured Deontay Burnett might be the guy to step up in a big situation this season.
As for the other wide receivers on the Jets roster, they were underwhelming as Greg Dortch didn’t get a lot of time at wideout but still got to contribute as a return man and if Greg Dortch wants to make this team he is going to have to show it on special teams as a return specialist.