In the debut of the Gase/Douglas era, the New York Jets dropped their 2019 pre-season opener against the New York Giants 31 - 22. The full starting units (minus a few guys being held out) for the Jets played one series on offense and defense and dominated, scoring a touchdown on offense and forcing a Giants three and out on defense. Sam Darnold and the Jets passing game clicked, marching right down the field and scoring on a beautiful pick play to Jamison Crowder. Chris Herndon and Crowder did most of the damage on the opening drive. After that high point it was mostly a struggle for the Jets the rest of the way.
Let’s take a look at who struggled and who shined in the Jets 2019 pre-season debut.
Sam Darnold. If you’re going to have something go right in this game, the potential star quarterback being the brightest shining light is a nice way to go. Darnold made a poor play with his first pass which nearly resulted in an interception. After that he was almost perfect, completing four straight passes and marching the Jets down the field almost effortlessly for an early touchdown on his only drive. A very encouraging 2019 debut for Darnold.
Jamison Crowder. He made the most of very limited time, picking up two catches and a touchdown in the opening drive.
Nathan Shepherd and Folorunso Fatukasi. These two lived in the Giants’ backfield while they were in the game, consistently penetrating to stuff the run.
Greg Dortch. Dortch did some nice things in the return game, including a 33 yard punt return, and also produced four receptions for 20 yards and a touchdown. Fumbled on one reception, but the Jets recovered.
Luke Falk. Falk does not possess an NFL arm, but he managed to lead an efficient touchdown drive to close the game.
The Pass Blocking. For the most part the Jets quarterbacks kept their uniforms clean and had enough time to throw the ball.
The Jets gunners. Trenton Cannon and Charone Peake did some nice things as gunners, making sure the Giants’ return game was stymied.
Parry Nickerson. This was a nightmare for Nickerson. A sixth round draft pick who showed little last year, Nickerson needed to show he belonged. Instead, the Giants picked on him all night, and they got anything they wanted, any time they wanted it. Parry Nickerson was absolutely brutal; a game like this can get a guy cut.
Davis Webb. Webb has an NFL arm. Other than that he is not an NFL caliber quarterback. An awful outing by Webb, including two interceptions, one a pick six.
Chandler Catanzaro. Catanzaro may have already played himself off this team after just one pre-season game. Following on a terrible set of practices, Catanzaro missed two extra points. How soon can we sign another kicker?
Jachai Polite. Continually stonewalled by back of the roster guys and even tight ends. Showed nothing in the pass rush.
Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon running the ball. These two continue to look like they are not NFL caliber at running the ball. Both have some utility as pass catchers, but neither can run the ball at an NFL level.
The Jets run blocking. McGuire and Cannon were bad, but the Jets offensive line did them no favors, rarely opening much in the way of holes.
The Jets pass rush. The Jets got very little pressure all night. Polite was brutal but nobody else did anything in the pass rush either.
Jets tight ends not named Herndon. Chris Herndon did well on the opening drive, coming up with a huge 33 yard reception on a Darnold scramble. The rest of the Jets tight ends might just as well have not been on the field the rest of the way. They were invisible.
Adam Gase. This is strictly tongue in cheek, but I give Gase a thumbs down for not letting us see the first string secondary in action. A three and out and the first stringers were hustled off the field, leaving an atrocious second unit to populate our nightmares.
With the loss the Jets go to 0 - 1 for the 2019 pre-season. The Atlanta Falcons are next up in a week. The starters should get a little more action in that game.