The Jets put on an impressive first-half performance on Saturday afternoon, despite every defensive starter and some offensive stars resting. Behind an efficient passing performance of Zak Wilson and a dramatically improved running game, the Jets outmaneuvered the Panthers over 150 yards to lead 13-0 at the half.
Wilson completed 14-of-20 passes for 123 yards in the first half, capping his performance with a late two-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Kenny Yeboah. The Jets also rushed for 81 yards in the first half and recorded three sacks.
Third string quarterback Tim Boyleshort touchdown goes to rookie tight ends E. Jenkins And Zak Kuntz in the fourth quarter provided the final margin. Boyle completed 9-of-10 passes in the second half, though he also threw a poor interception.
Here are the takeaways…
– Wilson started to look sharp, then struggled a bit in the middle of the first half, before getting back into a good rhythm on his final drive. At times, he seemed as decisive and confident as ever with the Jets, though he had a few series where his ball placement on short passes and pocket awareness let him down. On balance, Wilson still seems to be showing progress from where he was at the end of last season.
– It was a dominant performance in the first half of the Jets’ defense as they gave up just 32 yards, 13 of them in the pointless final play before halftime. Prior to that game, they had only given up one first down. This highlights the Jets’ defensive depth as every starter rested with players like Jimmy Meerland, Zaire Barnes And Trey Dean in the starting position.
– Nowhere is the depth of the team more impressive than in the defensive line. Beginner Will McDonald registered his first discharge, newcomer Quinton Jefferson also added an and Jermaine Johnson combined with Bryce Huff for a third. Huff again played deep in the second half.
– The Jets did use some starters on offense, albeit only for a few series early on. This is presumably because the coaches felt more work was needed on the offense after this week’s joint practices broke down. Players like Allen Lazard And Michael Hardman saw their first action with the Jets but failed to make an impact.
– The offensive line was more effective than last week, even though they faced some starters. There was once a miscommunication between them Mechi Becton And Trystan Colon Allowed Amare Barno to split them for a sack, but they had great success in the running game, totaling 141 rushing yards.
– When running backMichael Carter made his comeback this week and had a nice performance with 53 yards on six touches, but was again a rookie Israel Abanikanda who stood out with a spectacular 26-yard run to the goal line to set up the first touchdown. Abanikanda finished with 87 yards from scrimmage.
– A few of the defensive players who stood up for themselves in the second half bruce hector, who had a comic bag, and Nick Vigil, who blew a fourth down pass for a big-hit loss. Both players have only been with the team for a week.
– Despite their success moving the football, the Jets didn’t make much of an effort to get the ball to their wide receivers in Saturday’s game. In fact, no Jets wideout managed to surpass 10 yards to Alex Erikson‘s second catch with less than four minutes left.
The Jets will welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to MetLife Stadium on August 19 at 7:30 p.m. for their first home game of the preseason.