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Studs, Duds From Jets’ Preseason Opener

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NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

STUDS

Greg Dortch, WR/PR

Dortch has been at the forefront of the race for the final roster spots available at wide receiver, and he took some positive steps forward against the Giants. Dortch was particularly impressive in the punt return game. On his three returns, he picked up 10, 10, and 32 yards (although the first ten-yard pickup was called back due to a hold). He made at least one defender miss on each. His impressive showing in the punt return game should earn him some points in the battle for a roster spot.

The Wake Forest product also caught a late touchdown, although it was just a short flat route.

Sam Darnold, QB

One drive, one touchdown for Darnold’s offense. The sophomore threw a should-be interception on his first pass attempt, but rebounded to complete his next four passes for 68 yards, including a short score to Jamison Crowder. It was refreshing to see the offense march down the field so easily, and promising to again see Darnold show resilience after a first-pass mishap.

Jamison Crowder, WR

Crowder picked up 28 yards on a catch-and-run underneath throw, freeing himself up as Darnold evaded pressure. He then cashed in with a short red zone touchdown, on a shallow flat route. The Crowder-Darnold connection that reporters have been raving about looked impressive in the limited time we got to see it last night.

Kelechi Osemele, LG

“KO” came out firing on all cylinders in his Jets debut. I’m not sure if he knew it was only a preseason game. On the Jets’ first drive of the game, he was a heat-seeking missile.

Chuma Edoga, LT/RT

I keyed in on the Jets’ third-round pick for much of the time he was in the game, and came away impressed. Starting out at left tackle and switching to right tackle later on, Edoga stayed very clean in pass protection. He can still improve quite a bit in the run game, and has some overall technicalities to touch up, but I thought Edoga showcased some legitimate promise in his debut.

Trevor Siemian, QB

Siemian didn’t post splashy numbers (only 77 yards on 16 passes, 4.8 yards per attempt), but I thought he showed solid control of the backup offense. He seems like a quarterback I’d be with OK with as a backup. I think it can be argued he would be among the top half of #2 quarterbacks in the league.

Frankie Luvu, LB

Battling for a roster spot, Luvu had himself a night. He was in on a whopping five tackles that resulted in gains of three yards or less for the offense. The NFL leaders in that stat last season (Raekwon McMillan and Damon Harrison) averaged 4.0 of those per game.

On one of those tackles, Luvu punched the ball out for a fumble that was recovered by Neville Hewitt.

DUDS

Chandler Catanzaro, K

It was a rough night for Catanzaro. Coming into the game having struggled throughout camp, he needed a perfect outing to put a stranglehold on the kicking job. Instead, he missed two extra points.

Catanzaro missed a combined total of 25 field goals and extra points over the last three seasons, the highest total in the league over that span. In his short time back in New Jersey, he hasn’t done anything to prove that number isn’t something the Jets need to worry about.

Competition needs to come in soon.

Trenton Cannon, RB

Cannon had a nice tackle on a punt, but other than that, he didn’t do much to alleviate some of the concerns about him.

On the next punt following his impressive tackle on Lachlan Edwards’ first kick, Cannon slipped into oblivion as he attempted to bring down the returner.

Staying on his feet was an issue for Cannon throughout the night. In the kick return game, Cannon has been among the top competitors in camp. His first kick return against the Giants was an ugly one, however, as he picked up only 12 yards due to a bad stumble while attempting to change gears.

Cannon picked up 36 yards on his second return, but that was only because he used a path carved by two penalized blocks from Eric Tomlinson and Ryan Griffin.

In the run game, Cannon picked up only 20 yards on nine carries, an average of 2.2 per carry. That wasn’t much different than the number posted by any other Jets running back, as the blocking of the reserve line was predictably bad, but Cannon still showed issues with balance and change of direction.

Cannon’s straight-line speed is really special, but he needs to start proving that he can channel it into a tool that can be used to produce positive plays on the field.

Reserve Defensive Backs

My, oh, my, what a nightmare game for the backup DBs.

This position group has arguably been the one fans have worried about the most throughout the offseason, and those concerns were legitimized against the Giants. Big Blue threw for 374 yards on 37 passes (10.2 yards per attempt), tossing three touchdowns and zero picks.

Parry Nickerson appeared to be the worst of the bunch. He really struggled to stop anything out of the slot, most notably allowing a 51-yard touchdown pass to Russell Shepard on a short slant. On the same play, safety Doug Middleton took a terrible angle that prevented him from stopping the touchdown.

Derrick Jones had an ugly jam attempt that led to a 39-yard bomb caught by Alonzo Russell. Kyron Brown and Santos Ramirez were both part of a few busts. Godwin Igwebuike and Tevaughn Campbell both got beat against the Giants fourth-stringers.

Their starting corners are enough of a question mark already, but the Jets could be in even deeper trouble if any of them go down.