By Reid McEvoy
The New York Jets won at home against the Tennessee Titans, 7-3, in the preseason opener Saturday night. Though it was an extremely low scoring game, it was good to see the Jets clearly fixed some things over the offseason.
The quarterback battle was interesting, with Josh McCown (3-of-4, 72 yards, TD) capitalizing on his only drive, getting the Jets’ only points on a touchdown pass to Charone Peake, set up by a 53-yard pass to Robby Anderson.
Christian Hackenberg took the majority of the snaps, going 18-of-25 with 127 yards and one turnover, the latter coming on a muffed snap. His game showed maturity and growth toward becoming a possible starting quarterback for the Jets.
Bryce Petty played just over one quarter, going 2-of-6 for 16 yards. Petty’s game seems to almost have shown digression, but it may be due to the fact he’s still getting back into playing shape and playing with many players who will not end up making the team.
The running back battle was postponed due to both Bilal Powell and Matt Forté missing the game.
The wide receiver battle had Anderson (three catches for 71 yards) make a great play on a 53-yard catch to set up the only touchdown of the game. Jalin Marshall showed he still is having problems with holding onto the football, as he had multiple fumbles last year, and dropped a pass. The game also featured a short touchdown pass to Peake, which is more thanks to McCown, but getting open is always appreciated in the wide receiver role.
The offensive line battles were good, with Brandon Shell playing both right tackle and guard. The running game was just about non-existent for the Jets, but that could be due to Powell and Forte not playing this game.
The kicker battle was hardly touched upon. Chandler Catanzaro did miss a field goal, but it was from 55 yards. He did have the leg, it was just wide left. Catanzaro did make the extra point, though. As for Ross Martin, well, he was a great bench warmer. He would’ve most likely done the kickoff duties, but there weren’t very many of those this game due to very little scoring.
This game featured an amazing defensive performance by the Jets, starring linebacker Julian Stanford, who’s sack on Alex Tanney knocked him out of the game. Jordan Jenkins had a sack and fumble recovery, while Josh Martin had a sack and four tackles. Overall, all contributed to a total of eight sacks and two turnovers for the defense.
And though the win doesn’t matter, it’s very assuring to see Gang Green pick up a W.