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Jets 22, Falcons 10: Darnold Sharp Again

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NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In the second pre-season game of the Gase/Douglas era, the New York Jets beat the Atlanta Falcons, 22 - 10. The primary take-away from this sloppy game was Sam Darnold’s performance. For the second week in a row Darnold drove the Jets the length of the field for a touchdown on the opening drive. If the offense is this efficient when the games count this could be a fun team to watch in 2019.

Let’s take a look at who struggled and who shined in the Jets second 2019 pre-season game.

The Good

Sam Darnold. Just like last week, we lead off the good with Sam Darnold. He once again looked in complete command of the offense as the Jets scored a touchdown on the opening drive. Multiple big plays moved the Jets crisply downfield, with Darnold completing five of seven passes for 46 yards before his day was done. It’s still just pre-season, but Jets fans have to be getting a little pumped about Darnold’s performances so far.

Ty Montgomery. Montgomery made multiple big plays on the opening drive, culminating in a touchdown run. The Jets look like they will be fine at running back if Le’Veon Bell were to go down.

Luke Falk. It was in the fourth quarter, against a bunch of back of the roster guys, but Falk was still the most impressive of the Jets’ backup quarterbacks. Completing four out of four passes for 41 yards, Falk threw the only Jets touchdown pass of the day to Deontay Burnett.

Deontay Burnett. A nice if brief performance by Burnett, catching two passes for 24 yards and a touchdown.

Bronson Kaufusi. A sack, two passes batted down, and continual pressure from Kaufusi land him in the good column.

Jamal Adams. A big sack and his usual solid all around play by Adams

The Jets’ Blitzers. Adams, Brandon Copeland, Avery Williamson and Anthony Wint all had sacks as the Jets defense put a lot of pressure on Falcons quarterbacks all game long. The Jets pass pressure went a long way towards preventing this game from turning into a rout in favor of the Falcons.

The Bad

Jets backup defensive backs. Falcons backup receivers ran free all night against the Jets secondary. Only Tevaughn Campbell, the Jets blitzes, and some crucial dropped passes kept the Falcons from running up the score. If the Jets were hoping a hidden gem in the defensive backfield would emerge, their hopes were dashed, at least for tonight.

Trenton Cannon, Elijah McGuire and Valentine Holmes. It becomes more clear with each passing week that the Jets have no viable running backs past third string Bilal Powell on the roster.

Taylor Bertolet. Chandler Catanzaro was so bad he retired. Taylor Bertolet may be worse.

Jachai Polite. Invisible for the second straight week. Polite looks slow, weak and indecisive out there. He will likely make the team by virtue of his third round draft slot, and perhaps he will eventually develop into a stud pass rusher. It’s far too soon to give up on Polite, but he has shown nothing on the field to date that suggests he deserves a roster spot.

Davis Webb. Webb simply does not look like an NFL quarterback in any way. Now in his third year, time is running out on the Davis Webb project.

With the win the Jets record improves to 1 - 1 for the 2019 pre-season. The New Orleans Saints, a legitimate Super Bowl contender, are next up in the dress rehearsal third pre-season game next week. Most of the starters for both teams should play at least a half in that game, and the tough opponent should begin to give us some idea as to how the Jets stack up against the top teams of the NFL.