JETS 7 - TITANS 3
While many expect the New York Jets to be one of the NFL's worst teams, the players and coaches certainly aren't listening. While it is preseason, New York won its first game in a 7-3 slugfest against the Tennessee Titans, in a game where the Jets defense dominated the night with eight sacks and two forced turnovers.
The Jets defense was phenomenal on Saturday night. New York harassed Titan quarterbacks all night, including sacking third stringer Alex Tanney seven times. Starter Marcus Mariota was sacked once by Leonard Willams in the first quarter, which set the tone for the night. Really, this entire game was won on the back of the Jets D. They never relented against the Titans, bringing tons of pressure on Tanney who played about 90 percent of the game. The Jets secondary was also physical at the line of scrimmage against Tennessee's receivers, forcing Tanney to take the extra beat to look for an open man, which there was none.
Perhaps the biggest moments of the game came in the early stages of the fourth quarter with Tennessee knocking on the door at the Jets 26. Tanney heaved a pass into the end zone that was picked off by Ron Martin.
Later, with Tennessee again moving deep into Jets territory, Tanney was strip sacked by Anthony Johnson at the Jets 30. Nose tackle Josh Martin recovered for New York, killing the Titans momentum.
Overall the Jets held the Titans to just 11 first downs and 223 yards of offense. It was a dominant effort by a unit that must dominate all season.
Josh McCown: McCown got the start on Saturday, and even though it was only one possession, he looked sharp. McCown was 3-of-4 for 72 yards and a touchdown. His first completion was a 15-yard screen to Jalin Marshall on first and ten at the Jets own 31. Two plays later, McCown hit a bomb to Robbie Anderson of 53-yards to the Titans two-yard line. Finally, McCown found an open Charone Peake in the flat for the touchdown to give the Jets a 7-0 lead.
The not so good, but not so bad.
Christian Hackenberg had a mixed bag on Saturday. He wasn't awful, but didn't set the world on fire either. Overall he was 18-of-25 for 127. He didn't look overwhelmed, but never really effectively moved the offense at all on Saturday, an issue that had more to with the Jets offensive line. More on them later.
The Truly Awful:
The Jets offensive line looks like one of the worst units in franchise history, if not in the entire NFL right now.
They didn't create enough time for Hackenberg or Bryce Petty in the pocket, not to mention, the Jets lone turnover of the line was because of a bad quarterback-center exchange. The O-line also failed to create effective running lanes for the Jets ground attack. Granted, the Jets were without Bilal Powell and Matt Forte on Saturday, but it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference. That is how bad this offensive line was.
The Jets were called for nine penalties on the night, and most of those came on the offensive line. Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan has refused to address the line problems in the draft and it clearly showed. If the Jets want to exceed expectations, either this unit is going to have to improve by leaps and bounds, or they better hope someone good gets cut in another camp that they can pick up.
Bryce Petty: Petty looked terrible. Like I wrote earlier, the offensive line didn't help him, but his footwork was off on a number of plays, and he even held the ball too long and took a couple of bad sacks. Petty, who hasn't exactly lit it up in camp, is quickly losing any hope of getting a shot to be a starter on this team.
The West Coast Offense: Never been a big fan of the West Coast. If a team doesn't have an effective offensive line or a strong armed quarterback, this offensive strategy can be incredibly stale. Hence was the case against Tennessee.
What's next? The Jets visit the Detroit Lions next Saturday night.