The New York Jets opened the 2017 preseason Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Here is a breakdown of how the game went for the Jets.
Josh McCown First Team Offense Excellent
The first team offense was about as good as the New York Jets could hope to start the game. The offensive line blocked well for Elijah McGuire. They provided excellent pass protection for Josh McCown on his deep throw to Robby Anderson where they picked up a blitz.
When their first and only drive was done they had the Jets only score of the game. McCown hit second year WR Charone Peake for a TD on third down and goal. Overall McCown finished 3-4 for 72 yards and a TD.
How Did Christian Hackenberg Do?
Christian Hackenberg started the Jets second drive and stayed for the rest of the first half. He moved the team well up and down the field but two of his drives were killed by dropped passes.
Jalin Marshall had a huge drop that was right in his hands in Tennessee territory on first down that would have given the Jets about 8-9 yards on first down. That killed the drive as Todd Bowles made his first stupid decision of the year when instead of going for it on fourth and 5, he tried a 55-yard FG.
The very next drive was killed when Anthony Firsker dropped a pass right in his hands on second down that would have given the Jets a first down in Titans territory. The Jets drive ended on the next play when they were stopped on third down. All in all Hackenberg only had one three-and-out and completed 11 of 15 passes for 70 yards with no turnovers and completed passes to eight different receivers.
In the second half Hackenberg looked a lot like he did in the first half. Most of his receptions were check downs. He did have a very nice third down completion to Jason Vander Laan. Overall his finished his first preseason game 18-27 for 127 yards. He completed passes to 12 different receivers.
There were a few bad moments for Hackenberg. On his first drive he looked scared when he failed to hang in against the Titans blitz on third down and left the pocket way too soon instead of hanging in trying to hit a receiver. He ran for it and ducked out of bounds a few yards shy of the first down. The offensive line provided the protection necessary for Hackenberg to make a play, but he did look a bit overwhelmed and instead ran for it when he should have stayed in and taken the hit while taking advantage of one-on-one coverage against the blitz. I know easy for me to say!
Hackenberg had a few mental mistakes with bad hand offs and poor exchanges under center. The first was on the Jets final drive on the first half when he had a missed connection with RB Romar Morris. He fumbled almost giving the Titans the ball inside the 20.
The second bad mistake on a connection for Hackenberg came on his final play when he fumbled the snap and gave the Titans the ball back.
Bryce Petty led five drives for the Jets, four of which ended in three-and-out. He finished 2-6 for 18 yards and was hurt by Myles White who dropped a third down pass right in his hands.
Jets Defense Dominates
The Titans first team offense did nothing against the New York Jets first team defense. Leonard Williams broke through and made a sack. Darron Lee and Demario Davis did a great job making plays against the run. Buster Skrine was very active coming up and making tackles against the run and almost had an interception.
The Jets defensive line got consistent pressure on Marcus Mariota. Julian Stanford broke through for a sack and made another nice stop against the run, while Josh Martin also provided pressure on a third down stop.
Overall they held the Titans to just 97 yards and five first downs in the first half.
Devon Still broke through for a sack in the second half while Dexter McDougle provided excellent pass defense, breaking up a few passes. Josh Martin then got a sack two plays after Still got his sack.
On the Titans next drive, after giving up two long runs to Akeem Judd that totaled 51 yards, Ronald Martin intercepted an Alex Tanney pass near the goal line.
After stopping the Jets and getting the ball back, the Titans again journeyed into Jets territory, but that drive ended when Anthony Johnson collected the Jets seventh sack of the day and Josh Martin continued his strong game with a fumble recovery.
Finally the New York Jets ended the Titans chances when Patrick Gamble became the eight different Jets player to earn a sack as the Titans drive ended near midfield. Overall the New York Jets held the Titans to just 223 yards, including just 87 pass yards.
Players of the Game
Dexter McDougle, the only active player left from the John Idzik drafts since Quincy Enunwa is out for the season, had a stellar game defending against the pass. Josh Martin was also active around the ball, providing a sack and recovering a fumble.
Here are the eight different Jets who had a sack. Devon Still, Josh Martin, Leonard Williams, Julian Stanford, Bruce Carter, Jordan Jenkins, Anthony Johnson and Spencer Paysinger.
Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.