- Craig Gorbunoff
Starters Turn on the Jets
The first half of the New York Jets Preseason has looked shaky at best. The Jets JV squad while rough in week 1 against the Lions bounced back in a big way against the Falcons in week 2. However in both of these games the Jets starters had looked slow, sloppy, and out of sync. Week 3 of the preseason is often referred to as the dress rehearsal for the regular season. And it finally seems like the starters have turned on the jets (pun intended) and put together a great performance against their cross-town rivals the New York Giants.
Since the opening of Metlife Stadium, Jets and Giants fans have loved “The Snoopy Bowl” every week 3 of the preseason. Today’s matchup had a lot of excitement for both sides. And what started as a great back and forth matchup turned into a dominant performance by the Jets first string. The scoring started with a beautiful pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Eric Decker in the back of the endzone capping off a nice long drive. The Giants answered with a long drive of their own ending in a Rashad Jennings TD run. At this point the game was tied but not for long, as Fitzmagic found Zac Stacy wide open on a screen to extend the game 13-7. Nick Folk had missed the extra point, the first time I have seen the new rule have an effect in game. The first half finished off with the Giants orchestrating what looked like a great 2 minute drill to get some points before the half. However it was the much criticized Antonio Cromartie who jumped in front of a ball intended for James Jones and returned it to the house to make the Jets look like a dominant team to close out the half. During this half Leonard Williams left the game with a bone bruise in his knee, don’t worry he’ll be fine.
While it’s important to look at the backups, the second half was relatively quite with a few exceptions. Walter Powell had a punt return for a touchdown, which may have earned him a roster spot over someone like a Chris Owusu. In addition Marcus Williams, one of my favorite “Jets JV” players striped the ball away from James Jones for a fumble. Zac Stacy had a very good game on the ground and Trevor Reilly was able to get a half a sack.
All in all, what I saw tonight was a Jets team that was finally able to click. They were able to score in every facet of the game tonight, which is an extremely difficult task to accomplish in the NFL. The defense tackled much better then they had in previous games, and in addition they did have less penalties. However I still think if the Jets want to have success in the regular season they need to cut down on the penalties.
For the Giants, OBJ was able to get involved a little more in the offense, and I was really impressed with backup QB Ryan Nassib. And of course a big shout out to CJ Conway, rookie Safety for the Giants who was able to get into the game late in the 4th quarter. In the brief time he was on the field he recorded a solo tackle against Jets full back Tommy Bohannon. Conway attended Montclair State University and was an all NJAC player. I had the chance to interview him prior to his tryout with the Giants, which you can listen to here:
As a Jets fan I was very happy with the game tonight, but as an analyst I still think that there’s some work to be done and fans need to watch their excitement. Being a Jets fan and being optimistic don’t go hand in hand, but as of tonight, we can enjoy the win in the regular season dress rehearsal.
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