In the third pre-season game of the Gase/Douglas era, the New York Jets lost to the New Orleans Saints, 28 - 13. The first team Jets were outclassed by the first team Saints, the backup Jets were outclassed by the backup Saints, and the entire game was a sloppy, penalty soaked mess.
Let’s take a look at who struggled and who shined in this abomination of a fake game.
Sam Darnold. This wasn’t the best we’ve ever seen Darnold, and he struggled a bit against the Saints first team defense, only putting up points against backups. But he protected the football under pressure, threw a gorgeous touchdown pass, and generally made good decisions with the football. On a night when few starters stood out, Darnold played well enough.
Trenton Cannon. This may have been the best we’ve ever seen Cannon. He was electric to open the second half, single-handedly driving the Jets down the field for a field goal. Cannon finished the game with 89 yards from scrimmage, easily leading all Jets on the night.
Jordan Jenkins. Jenkins brought significant pressure on the quarterback multiple times and made some big hits. A nice performance by Jenkins.
Robby Anderson. Anderson hooked up with Darnold on a beautiful 41 yard bomb to set up the Jets lone touchdown and had another 19 yard reception. A good day at the office for Robby.
Taylor Bertolet. The embattled Jets kicker drilled two long field goals and an extra point without a miss. Bertolet’s still no lock to make the team, but tonight certainly didn’t hurt his case.
Greg Dortch. Dortch had a nifty 29 yard punt return where he reversed field and tiptoed down the sideline. He looks like has the punt return job wrapped up.
The Jets’ makeshift offensive line. Between the multiple penalties and the many pressures allowed, the Jets offensive line, missing three starters, played like it was missing three starters. The Jets will need the offensive line to get healthy and remain healthy to give Darnold and the offense a chance to operate.
Alex Brown. Can’t anyone here play cornerback? A nightmare performance for the latest guy to audition for Trumaine Johnson’s job while he’s out injured. Three penalties, plus a long night of being burned in coverage for Brown. Ugh.
Brandon Bryant. Multiple penalties and multiple times getting toasted. Bryant got some surprise action relatively early in the game, but by the end he was toast, and had a head injury as well. Ugh.
Tight ends not named Herndon. The pre-season has exposed this motley crew of tight ends for what they are: not ready for prime time. The Jets don’t appear to have a tight end worth starting while Herndon serves his four game suspension. These backups have basically been invisible the entire pre-season. Ugh.
Elijah McGuire. Another game, another forgettable McGuire performance. It seems a foregone conclusion McGuire will not make this team. His NFL career may well be over.
Quincy Enunwa. Enunwa was shut out tonight. His lack of separation and lack of production in the pre-season are beginning to get concerning.
With the loss the Jets record goes to 1 - 2 for the 2019 pre-season. Next up is the pre-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, just five days away, followed shortly thereafter by roster cuts. Most or all of the starters for both teams will not play in the last pre-season game, leaving the backups to battle for the final open roster spots.