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Thoughts From the Jets Preseason Finale vs. the Giants

NFL: New York Giants at New York Jets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 preseason is now history. Before we completely put it into the rear view mirror, here are some scattered thoughts I have from the game.

-I think before I get into any more substantial points, I have to mention how difficult it is to contextualize what happened on the field in this game.

The Jets played their starters. The Giants did not. Thus we were looking at matchups that were fairly lopsided on paper through the game. The teams also changed the quality of their respective players on the field at varying points, meaning there were mismatches.

At one point in the second quarter, the Giants seemed to have borderline roster players and practice squaders on the field. Any real NFL player the Jets stuck out there had a field day. Braxton Berrios had a touchdown, and Kwon Alexander looked like Ray Lewis against that competition.

When teams don’t approach a preseason game the same way, it becomes much more difficult to evaluate the true meaning of what happened.

All of this is to say I don’t have as much conviction with my analysis here as I would after a regular season game. So take my commentary with a grain of salt.

-I don’t know know what the future holds for Chris Streveler. I tend to doubt he has much of a future in the NFL. It doesn’t even sound like the coaching staff is seriously considering him for a spot on the 53 man roster. Ian Eagle and Anthony Becht made it sound like Mike White had a lock on the third quarterback spot. The announcers speak with the coaches before every game so you can bet that is coming from Robert Saleh and company.

Still if Streveler doesn’t make the roster, I don’t know what more he could have done. A third game-winning drive will land him a spot in Jets lore.

At the very least I would like to see the Jets give Streveler a spot on the practice squad. Having a fourth quarterback might not have much utility, but I think it makes sense for the Jets to see at least for this year whether they can get more out of Streveler. That goes both for developing him as a quarterback and seeing on the practice field whether his running ability could suit him for developing a Taysom Hill type package.

-Denzel Mims was one of the most frequently discussed Jets over the last few days after he requested a trade.

At the time I wasn’t sure what to make of Mims’ future. After this game I’m less sure.

He was clearly the biggest Jets non-Streveler star in the game with 7 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Of course the level of competition comes into play. How much does one big game against practice squad bubble players mean after two years of scant production?

My guess is not a whole lot. For all of the talk of this game increasing his trade value, I am skeptical. If you thought Mims had value before the game, your thoughts were confirmed. If you didn’t, how much is one preseason game going to matter?

If I told you Atlanta had a second round pick who had physical gifts and not much production after two years, would you radically change your views on what the Jets should offer in a trade after an outburst in the final preseason game? Probably not.

I do have one takeaway from Mims’ game, though. Remember what I said above about how real NFL players stood out against practice squad competition? Mims looked like a real NFL player in this game and did exactly what you’d expect a real player to do against this caliber of opponent.

It confirms that Mims has all of the physical tools to have a successful career. The rest is up to him.

-Should the Jets trade or keep Mims? I think it’s a complex question, and it depends on just how serious Mims is with his trade request.

If he desperately wants out, it’s probably not in the team’s interest to keep him around. You don’t need an unhappy player in the locker room who isn’t a key part of the team.

Teams also develop a reputations in the league. Doing right by a player and finding him a home where he fits can pay off in the long run. These things come around.

If the coaching staff convinced Mims to have a change of heart and wait for his moment to come, he’s probably worth keeping. Who is the alternative as the fifth receiver? Jeff Smith?

I think I’ll take a chance on Mims.

-Bryce Huff might be out in a numbers game, but he was another player who looked like a real NFLer against bad competition. If the last spot on the defensive line was still open, he helped his cause greatly in this game.

-It’s easy to overdo these things and get way too excited for a rookie, but Micheal Clemons looks like he’s going to play a role for the Jets this season. Any fourth round rookie who contributes positively is found money. Now please turn away as I delete everything I wrote and said about this pick in April and May.

-This game might have shown some of the difficulties we can expect from the Jets offense in the early stages of the season. The starting offensive line got a fraction of a training camp to work together. The run blocking in particular was an area of struggle. These things take time to work themselves out. I’m glad the group got at least some work together and a bit of film to help them become a unit.

-Joe Flacco...What can you even say about the backup quarterback’s performance?

How about this?

Zach Wilson, get well soon.