The New York Jets held their final tune-up before the regular season against the New York Giants and treated the game as their dress rehearsal, having most of their starters, especially on offense, play into the second quarter. Let’s take a quick look back at the game with some notes and numbers as the Jets beat the Giants, 31-27, to finish the preseason 3-0.
Joe Flacco and the first-team offense played into the second quarter, mostly against reserve defensive players for the Giants. And they came away with a total of three points and turned the ball over twice (Michael Carter fumble, Joe Flacco interception). Not what they wanted with the Ravens coming to town in two weeks to kick off the season.
In his first game since requesting a trade, WR Denzel Mims played into the fourth quarter and didn’t enter the game until the second quarter. He finally learned what it feels like to score a touchdown in the NFL. This is Mims’ third season in the league. He scored zero touchdowns through his first two. Will this be enough to keep him in New York? Will he still want out?
Mike White bounced back nicely from his rough outing against the Falcons with two touchdown passes against the Giants, both in the second quarter. He threw one to Braxton Berrios and then one to Jeff Smith. Chris Streveler didn’t come in until the fourth quarter. Probably safe to assume now that White will be QB3 and perhaps the backup to Flacco in Week 1 if Zach Wilson can’t go. But Streveler should at least be on the practice squad, especially after some of his heroics against the Falcons and the Giants.
Calvin Jackson had a nice 19-yard punt return, as he tries to fight for one of the last spots in the wide receiver room and a role on special teams backing up Berrios as the punt returner. Then he wrapped up his final audition by catching the game-winning touchdown from Streveler. He had a nice preseason. Should at least be on the practice squad.
Will Parks may have secured the fourth safety spot. He had playing time early and recorded a couple of tackles. The question is will the Jets and GM Joe Douglas part ways with Ashtyn Davis, just two years removed from selecting him in the third round of the 2020 draft?
7 catches, 102 yards, 1 touchdown: The aforementioned Denzel Mims finally got an opportunity to really be involved, even if his work was done with White and Streveler at quarterback. But seven catches (on eight targets) in the final preseason sure leaves a strong impression in a “what have you done for me lately”-type league. The door is open at the position behind the top four. It’s truly a 50/50 shot at this point, but Mims certainly made the decision even tougher.
DB Michael Carter II: A sack and an interception in the first quarter will give any defensive players confidence going forward. All the talk among the cornerbacks has revolved around D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner, and for good reason. But Carter could quietly be one of the better nickels going forward. He’ll be interesting to watch this season.
Some positives on offense but plenty to clean up: Not too many teams will have as solid of a 1-2 punch at running back like the Jets will have with Michael Carter and Breece Hall. Both ran very tough against the Giants, though they only averaged about 2.5 yards per carry. And while Flacco moved the ball fairly well, his interception is a reminder that the offense can still be limited without Zach Wilson. That’s not what you want going up against a very tough defense in the Baltimore Ravens to open the season. Simply can’t have silly interceptions and turnovers like the Jets had Sunday.
All in all, a so-so day for the first-team offense. But Mike White and the reserves scored a couple of times, so the Jets at least seem okay with their depth.