The Jets scored a 31-27 victory over the New York Giants to score an undefeated 2022 preseason at 3-0. Some players shined in the final tune-up for the regular season, which begins in two weeks against the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s take a look at some of those players, and a couple that didn’t shine as bright as others.
Stud - WR Denzel Mims
All Denzel Mims wants is a chance. Well, he certainly took advantage of the opportunities he received on Sunday. He saw eight targets on Sunday, which was four more than any other Jets player. He hauled in seven of those targets for 102 yards and a touchdown that tied the game at 24 in the fourth quarter.
Whether or not that was enough to keep him on the roster, or even make him happy again with the Jets, remains to be seen. But he at least made the most of what he was given Sunday and scored what actually was his first touchdown ever in the NFL.
Stud - QB Mike White
White gets a stud tag because he bounced back quite nicely after a poor showing in the second preseason game against the Falcons. He went 13/17 for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
White came into the game in the second quarter after Joe Flacco, showing the Jets still favored him as the third quarterback. His performance Sunday all but locked him onto the final roster as the third quarterback, which would also mean he could be the backup in Week 1 to Flacco if Zach Wilson can’t go.
White showed some zip on the ball and looked much more confident than he had earlier this preseason, overcoming that early adversity.
Stud - QB Chris Streveler
Aug 22, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Chris Streveler (15) looks to pass the ball during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the heroics again of Chris Streveler. After leading three touchdown drives against the Falcons, Streveler carried the Jets on his back in the fourth quarter, throwing two touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown to WR Calvin Jackson with just 22 seconds left.
Based on Sunday’s playing time distribution, White looks like he’ll be the third quarterback while the Jets look to stash Streveler on the practice squad. Streveler didn’t even get any reps during Thursday’s joint practice. But he can at least hold the memory of saving the perfect preseason in 2022 for the Jets.
Dud - QB Joe Flacco and the first-team offense
Aug 28, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (19) throws the ball during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s start by saying Flacco wasn’t horrible at all in this game. He looked good on the Jets’ first drive, as they got into Giants’ territory. He even made a nice pass to running back Michael Carter to get inside the 30-yard line. Unfortunately for Flacco and the offense, the Giants knocked the ball loose from Carter and recovered the fumble.
The ugly here is the interception. Credit the Giants for covering the receivers very well, flushing Flacco out of the pocket. He was looking for Carter just past the first-down marker. But the ball had almost nothing underneath it and it was like Flacco just gift-wrapped the pick-six to Giants linebacker Austin Calitro.
Overall, Flacco wasn’t terrible. But the Jets’ first-team offense scored just three points and turned the ball over twice. And the Giants were playing almost all backups. Only a handful of starters, at that, actually played Sunday. That’s a little concerning.
We should also note that this was the first game action in which the entire first-team offense actually got to work together and Flacco’s first start this season, as he did not play against the Falcons. And it’s tough to just single out Flacco here, so we’ll just lump the group together. You’d also like to see more from the rushing game. The hope is the line can help Breece Hall and Michael Carter average more than 2.5 yards per carry. That said, both backs ran hard and will create a solid 1-2 punch.
Bottom line, plenty to clean up but still a foundation to build around going forward.
Stud - DB Michael Carter II
The “other” Michael Carter sure didn’t play like any other player Sunday. He was a force in the first quarter, registering a half-sack with Quinnen Williams as well as an interception of Giants QB Tyrod Taylor.
Carter has really improved in such a short time and will help create a very nice and very young cornerback group along with D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner. Sunday was just a taste of what he can do.