New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) runs off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 17 performances by Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bilal Powell, Quincy Enunwa, Darrelle Revis and Muhammad Wilkerson among others...


Quarterbacks

Bent: Like a pebble in your shoe that you can't get rid of, Ryan Fitzpatrick returned to the starting line-up for his final appearance as a Jet. He ends his Jets career on a positive note, with 210 yards, two touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 109.0.

In many ways, it was the quintessential good Fitzpatrick performance insofar as he put up numbers and had good success, but only achieved this through taking risks. On another day, three or four of his passes could have been intercepted. When your quarterback's success depends so greatly on the playmaking abilities or otherwise of the opposing secondary, that's not really a recipe for sustainable success.

Despite getting lucky a few times, Fitzpatrick's made some good throws, including two accurate passes in the red zone for touchdowns. He has his moments. Not many of them, but he does have them.

He missed a lot of throws though, including one where it looked like he easily could have run for a first down to keep the drive alive.

I must applaud the Jets for making a plan and actually sticking to it for once. They decided when they drafted him that Christian Hackenberg wouldn't play as a rookie and they didn't deviate from that. I don't even care if it's the right decision. It's the principle of the thing. If this organization could adopt a more single-minded approach towards some of their other intentions, that will be a net positive in the long run.

It's unclear whether Hackenberg would have seen an opportunity if he'd shown better progress on the practice field or if that was irrelevant and they were resolutely determined to stick to the existing timetable. Whether the approach will be successful remains to be seen and is something we will get into more during the offseason.

Running Backs 

Bent: Bilal Powell had another terrific performance, with 122 rushing yards and three catches including a short touchdown. The Jets really seemed to screw up their running back situation by overusing Matt Forté early in the year and then only giving Powell a bigger workload once Forté was injured so there was nobody established to platoon him with.   They make it so difficult sometimes.

It could have been a much bigger game for Powell, though. He gained 25 yards on the first play of the second half, giving him 98 on 12 carries at that time, along with three catches for 15 yards and a score. However, he carried just 10 times for 24 yards over the remainder of the second half. In the end, he was only 92 yards away from being the Jets' leading rusher, but he ends up with a team-high 1,110 yards from scrimmage.

Brandon Wilds saw some action off the bench again. Wilds got off to a rough start when he fumbled the hand-off on his first play but contributed 29 yards on six touches including a 12-yard gain on a dump-off and a five-yard run that saw him push the pile. He appeared to be responsible for the only sack surrendered by the Jets on the day, though, as he went to the wrong side in pass protection. Of course, that might be on the quarterback or center for setting the protection incorrectly, though.

Fellow rookie Brandon Burks made his NFL debut and was given two carries after the Jets began a fourth quarter drive on the Bills' three-yard line. After gaining a yard on his first carry, he was blown up in the backfield for a big loss and the Jets ended up having to settle for a field goal. Both Wilds and Burks will be long-shots to make the rotation next year, but it can't hurt to have some young bodies to compete for time.

Khiry Robinson is also under contract for next season, but after suffering a broken leg for the third time in just over a year, it seems unlikely he'll be a factor next year.

Receivers

Bent: Brandon Marshall was announced as inactive before the game, which provided the remaining crop of pass catchers with an interesting test. If they could still be able to produce without Marshall in the game, that would bode well for the future with Marshall potentially departing after the season.

Each of the young receivers had some good moments and contributed to one of Fitzpatrick's better games of the year. It wasn't a perfect display from a group that has contributed to the team leading the NFL in dropped passes this year, but they made some tough catches and extended a few drives by getting to the marker after the catch.

Quincy Enunwa led the way with 81 yards on five catches. These included a 51-yard gain on a long bomb which perhaps could have been a touchdown if not slightly underthrown. He also had two plays where he caught a short pass and turned it into a first down; once by hurdling the defender and the other by spinning away from a tackler and stumbling backwards to the line to gain. He must get out of the habit of holding the ball in one hand as he tries to break tackles though.

Enunwa finished up the year with a team-leading 857 yards and four touchdowns on 58 catches as he was clearly the most improved player on the roster. He ended up tied with Powell, just one catch behind Marshall for the team lead.

Robby Anderson bounced back quite well from being shut out last week, catching four passes for 43 yards. However, he also false started and should really have been flagged twice for pushing off. It's good to see the slender Anderson being more physical, but he needs to be careful that this doesn't become a habit. He proved on a nice back shoulder throw that he can create separation without doing that.

Both Anderson and Enunwa have shown that they could potentially be productive enough to be thousand yard receivers if Marshall and/or Eric Decker don't return in 2017. However, they both need to work on their consistency and focus as each had a really bad drop yesterday as well.

Charone Peake has made contributions here and there throughout the season. His two catches included a tough first down after which held on despite being flipped over onto his head. He also contributed a good downfield block. Peake is another player who could make strides next year.

The other rookie, Jalin Marshall, made his return to the line-up and caught his second touchdown of the season. He also had a nice low grab for a first down. I'd eventually like to see the Jets experiment with Marshall in a more multi-faceted role, including some snaps in the backfield. Consider Percy Harvin as the blueprint.

Finally, Devin Smith saw more action this week, but wasn't targeted. He ends up the year with just one catch. He'll get a fresh start next offseason, but - like Dee Milliner before him - it doesn't seem like the status of being a high draft pick has compelled the team to place any kind of priority on developing him into a contributor.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported yesterday that the Jets' next offensive coordinator will be someone who values the tight end position, but that seems unfair on Chan Gailey who got good production out of Scott Chandler in the past and probably only neglected the position with the Jets because of a lack of talent. Maybe it's the front office who need to value that position.

Eric Tomlinson has been a nice pick-up though, albeit not one who contributes as a pass catcher. He has been impressive in the running game since his midseason arrival. While he hasn't been flawless, he's generally had more positive contributions that negatives and that's while the team has actively tried to run behind him more than they ever did with the likes of Kellen Davis or Jeff Cumberland. That has been a boost to a running game which you would have expected to go downhill due to all the losses on the offensive line. 

By contrast, Brandon Bostick continues to be let down by his inconsistency as a blocker. On one short yardage play in particular, everyone else controlled their blocks at the point of attack but he was driven back into the backfield, bottling up the runner. He made a nifty one-handed grab for a short gain, but that was just his eighth catch of the year, which isn't enough to make up for his inconsistent blocking.  

Offensive Line 

Bent: Other than Fitzpatrick, James Carpenter was the only other opening day starter still standing so, when you consider that Fitzpatrick has been benched a few times, Carpenter was basically out there with the second-string. He therefore deserves extra praise because he had an excellent performance with flawless pass protection and a series of impact blocks in the running game. 

The Jets had a number of runs that "popped" including the first play from scrimmage which went for 23 as three separate combo blocks were executed to perfection. There were also a perfectly-timed trio of pad-popping blocks, one after the other, on another good run. That's the kind of chemistry and cohesion that had eluded the running game for most of the year, but the second unit evidently has benefited from playing and practicing together more than the starters were able to.

Carpenter only had a couple of negatives, although one was similar to the Bostick play mentioned above as he was driven into the backfield on an otherwise well-blocked short yardage play. The Jets' short yardage running was their biggest weakness on the day, as they struggled in the red zone and failed on two 4th-and-short runs. Brandon Shell had a bad missed block on one of those, which also saw Ben Ijalana stood up at the line.

Shell held his own again and looks likely to get a long look at a possible starting role for next year. He was half-beaten three times in pass protection but avoided giving up any clean pressure by being strong enough to push outside rushes upfield at the last moment on each occasion. In the running game, he had some bad missed blocks, but he did have some good driving blocks and the team certainly had plenty of success running over the right side.

Dakota Dozier was a big part of that success in the first half but he regressed into a scruffy-looking second half display. Early on, he made some excellent blocks on the move, but he struggled to hold up at the point of attack and against bull rushes in the second half. He was also called for a holding penalty, which -as the announcers noted - seemed unnecessary.

Ijalana actually settled down over the last month and had a pretty consistent performance down the stretch. He didn't make as many contributions in the running game, but only got beaten a few times in pass protection, giving up one quarterback hit.

Wesley Johnson also held his own once again at center. He allowed some pressure, including a couple of hits up the middle and twice let his man shed his block to stuff a run, but otherwise made some good contributions in the running game and looks certain to be starting somewhere next year based on his performance this year. It remains to be seen if that will be with the Jets.

Finally, Brent Qvale and Craig Watts saw action as extra linemen. Qvale has somewhat established himself as a versatile reserve type, but Watts hasn't had much of a chance to impress yet.

Defensive Line

Bent: Notable from this week's game was the performance of Muhammad Wilkerson, who had easily his most disruptive game of the year. Constantly double-teamed throughout, Wilkerson was holding his ground and even getting penetration in a return to the kind of disruptiveness he'd provided on a consistent basis over the previous four seasons. 

Wilkerson had a sack, a tackle for loss, a goal-line stuff and plenty of penetration into the backfield in the running game and when pass rushing.    While this still falls short of what he's capable of, as he was still handled at the point of attack a few times, it was really good to see him posing a big problem for the opposition again. And for anyone questioning his effort, it was encouraging to see him hustling to lay a block on Cardale Jones on the fourth quarter interception. I knew there was more to him than money.

The loudest performance of the day came from Sheldon Richardson, who took advantage of Wilkerson being double-teamed to blow up three runs in the backfield, including one which forced a fumble that he was able to recover. He also dropped into coverage to break up a pass. Richardson penetrated the pocket a few times, but his only quarterback hit was negated by offsetting penalties.

That Richardson's most productive performance of the year should come on a day where Wilkerson was back to something near his best is no coincidence. Wilkerson's struggles this year have had a knock-on effect on everyone else. It also underlines what a huge difference it would make if Wilkerson is back to his best next year. Obviously Richardson being a beneficiary of that will depend if he's back but we'll be getting into the various keep-or-dump dilemmas over the next few weeks.

By contrast, Leonard Williams having deservedly been named team MVP earlier in the week, saw his season end with a comparative whimper. Obviously he played his part in holding the Bills to 2.4 yards per carry, but he ended up with just two tackles and one pressure. The exciting thing here is that he's only just started to scratch the surface in terms of his capabilities.

Deon Simon is another young player on the rise and he made some good contributions yesterday, including a goal line stuff and a sack. He was also in on a couple of other run stops and made a good open field tackle on a quarterback scramble after having dropped into coverage. The team didn't seem to lose much with Simon in for the injured Steve McLendon over the last month or so.

Finally, Anthony Johnson was credited with three tackles but overpursued on one play, leading to a big run. He didn't do much to distinguish himself in rotational work after Jarvis Jenkins was released.

Linebackers 

Bent: Rookie Jordan Jenkins finished the year on a high as he made some good plays against the run and generated some good pressure. His performance was highlighted by his sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Recent addition Corey Lemonier also laid a big hit on that play, causing the fumble, although Jenkins got official credit. He was also a handful on a few other pass rushes. It sums up how disappointing the Jets outside linebacker play has been that a guy could come in cold having not been able to keep his job on the Browns and provide an immediate upgrade.

Freddie Bishop made some good plays against the run, including two tackles in the backfield, but he was badly caught on the inside on one outside run and didn't generate any pressure as a pass rusher. Bishop has played over 150 snaps over the last four weeks but had just three pressures and no quarterback hits.

Darron Lee had five tackles and a quarterback hit, but he was blocked out of a couple of plays and there were two short yardage plays where he met the runner in the hole but couldn't prevent the first down. This is probably the first time that his lack of size was a major factor in his performance, although once again that perhaps had more to do with him getting there a split second too late to square up to and stop the runner in his tracks.

The one major breakdown Lee had saw him drop into coverage and allow a receiver to drop in behind him all alone. EJ Manuel missed the throw, which should have been an easy touchdown. 

Was it his fault though? He initially dropped with the defender and then passed him off assuming someone was behind him. Buster Skrine had run with his receiver on a post route despite the fact the safety was right there. On the other side of the field, everyone appeared to be in zone coverage. It's always hard to tell - and perhaps even if it was Skrine's fault, Lee should have realized and adjusted accordingly.

David Harris once again led the team in tackles, including one in the backfield. He gave up a first down on a short pass and was caught inside on one run though.

Finally, Bruce Carter hasn't played much this season, but he got a chance at some playing time yesterday and responded well. He had a run stuff, a pass break-up and a pressure.

Defensive Backs

Bent: Darrelle Revis had a memorable day in what could have been his last game as a Jet. Having been selected as a team captain, Revis almost wrapped up his day with a touchdown after intercepting his first pass in over a year and returning it all the way back to the three-yard line.

Revis gave up a couple of first downs, including a long one that saw him pushed to the ground by the receiver running deep. He was also temporarily knocked out of the game on a play where he missed a tackle - not exactly a glowing recommendation for his potential conversion to safety. 

Naming him a captain was unexpected and a bit weird in light of his recent comments. Was this a nod to Revis' past, an act of "class" designed to give Revis exactly what he asked for before unceremoniously dumping him? Of course Revis believes the Jets should still pay him a top level salary based on past performance, even while conceding he's not the man he once was. I don't know where he gets his delusions.

Ultimately, this will be one of the biggest decisions of the offseason and I'm not convinced they've made up their minds yet. It's hard to imagine a satisfactory conclusion to the Revis/Jets saga. The Jets just never should have sent him away. That's where they lost him.

Calvin Pryor was responsible for the Revis interception, stepping in front of a defender to deflect the ball into the air. Pryor had an active performance as he was also in on a couple of stops near the line of scrimmage, but his roughing the passer penalty gave the Bills a second bite on fourth down.

Rontez Miles had a quieter day, although he made a touchdown saving tackle on the big pass play in the fourth quarter. He was also in good position on an incompletion. 

Darryl Roberts made an unexpected return to the main rotation this week and he broke up a couple of passes, although he was somewhat fortunate on one of those because he didn't know too much about it having initially been beaten. Roberts was beaten twice for first downs and one other time on a pass that was dropped.

Skrine also broke up a couple of passes and was in good position on a couple of other plays. He was beaten for one first down. As noted earlier, Skrine may have been responsible for a coverage breakdown that almost led to a touchdown. Over the course of the season I've noticed that he's been potentially at fault in several such plays, although he's arguably been one of the most consistent defensive backs in coverage. Moreso than anyone else, I wonder how a change of secondary coach would affect him.

After some recent encouraging signs, rookie cornerback Juston Burris did not play on defense and neither did Dexter McDougle, who ended up playing just six snaps all year. Doug Middleton and Marcus Williams played just three snaps between them with Williams giving up a first down in coverage.

Special teams

Bent: The low-key highlight of the game on special teams was a meaningless fourth quarter punt which actually ended up being a decent return for the Bills. On the play, Peake overpursued and Carter and Bostick lost contain. However, what you perhaps didn't notice was Harris busting his rear end to be the next man down and forcing the return man to redirect at the point of the catch. 

A tenth-year veteran probably shouldn't even be playing special teams at this stage of his career, but Harris wasn't going through the motions, even on such a meaningless play in such a meaningless game. What a fantastic example to set to his young teammates. If this proves to be Harris' last game as a Jet then I'll remember him as someone who gave his all to the last. However, on a team that desperately craves leadership, that's the kind of moment that should make everyone think twice about even considering cutting him loose.

Nick Folk had a solid finish to his year (and potentially his Jets career?) by nailing three field goals. One of his kick-offs was a squib kick that led to a long return due to overpursuit from Johnson and Marcus Williams, but he made up for it with his 70-yard onside kick that was recovered for a hilarious touchdown by Middleton. 

One day after Alabama scored their 15th non-offensive touchdown of the season, Middleton's score represented the first non-offensive touchdown for a Jets players since Antonio Allen's blocked punt return in December 2013. After a season where the Jets have often gifted their opponents big plays with dumb mistakes, it seemed oddly fitting that this should be the last touchdown they scored all season. Could you imagine that happening in an actual meaningful game?

Also, in kick coverage, McDougle had a couple of tackles. Unfortunately one of them was on Jalin Marshall, who had a couple of nice runbacks as he returned to that role with Nick Marshall out. Ronald Martin and Josh Martin also both made good plays to slow up the return man for McDougle and Lee to make the stop. Bryson Keeton added a special teams tackle in his first NFL game.

Finally, rookie punter Lac Edwards had a couple of good punts in this game, but also put one into the end zone for a touchback from near midfield. He's been a big disappointment all year. You would expect to have the position sorted for the foreseeable future after spending a draft pick, but he'll struggle to beat out any competition next year unless he makes significant improvements.

 

Final thoughts

Bent: The Jets completely outplayed the Bills in yesterday's game and the 30-10 score didn't even flatter them because they should have scored more having been in the red zone several times. I'd like to be able to suggest that maybe the Jets aren't such a bad team after all. However, the Bills had nothing to play for as well as the upheaval caused by the coaching change and the downgrade produced by putting Manuel in for Tyrod Taylor cannot be ignored.

It's true that when the pressure is lifted, players can perform well at the end of the season, with the most obvious recent example being Geno Smith and his "perfect game" a few years ago. The Jets displayed defensive playmaking ability to create three turnovers, got some really fortunate bounces and had a couple of individual performances which defied recent history. After a performance like this, you're left wondering where that was all season. 

After a 10-6 campaign last year, optimism was high that the Jets could go from strength to strength in 2016 despite what looked like a more difficult schedule, but I knew the Jets were going to struggle this season. Somehow, I've always known.

Let's not beat around the bush. 2016 was a terrible year, filled with far too many devastating losses to take. Whether the loss that affected you worst was an artistic pioneer, an intergalactic treasure or something more personal and closer to home, we all suffered in 2016 and we only got through it by supporting one another.

There's good news, though. Mercifully, it's all over now. Let's put 2016 in the rear-view mirror. We can finally start to look ahead, fight back and rebuild. This might be a low point, but the only way is up from here. 

Draft picks, cap-clearing moves, coaching changes and opportunities for young players to step up and make a name for themselves are on the way. At last, we can start to have the one thing that eluded us throughout the year:

Hope…

Tags: BGA

Will the Jets trade Bridgewater? 00:01:37
SNY Jets reporter Manish Mehta discusses the likelihood of Mike Maccagnan trading Teddy Bridgewater and handing the offense to Sam Darnold.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons. (AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons. (AP)

Many Jets fan want to know what is on the minds of head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan when comes to their starting quarterback. 

Well, fans are going to have to wait for that decision to happen as Bowles has noted he won't be making that call until after the preseason games are over. As for Maccagnan, though, he loves what he is seeing from his No. 3 overall pick in Sam Darnold so far in camp. 

Speaking on WFAN's Boomer and Gio show, Maccagnan said he was "exceptionally impressed" by how Darnold has been progressing as he gets acclimated to the NFL. He also said Darnold has an "unflappable" presence when he's running the offense. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Aug 16, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) attempts a pass against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Aug 16, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) attempts a pass against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater has performed well in his first two preseason games, which is why other teams have interest in trading for the 25-year-old. 

According to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, a team source confirmed what GM Mike Maccagnan has indicated all along -- that the Jets are willing to listen to any offers for Bridgewater. But the source stressed that "nothing is imminent."

Vacchiano noted that the Jets likely wouldn't get serious about dealing Bridgewater until after the preseason is over, when it's possible that due to injuries or poor play that some teams might be a little more desperate about their quarterback situation. The source would not confirm if any teams had already called, but said the Jets speak to teams about trade possibilities all the time and "it would make sense" that Bridgewater's name has come up, since everyone knows the Jets have a quarterback glut...

Tags: Teddy Bridgewater, Scott Thompson
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Teddy Bridgewater (5) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Teddy Bridgewater (5) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Teddy Bridgewater was terrific in the Jets' preseason game in Washington on Thursday night and through two games he's looked like the best quarterback on the roster. But such is the state of the Jets' quarterback riches that nobody's asking the 25-year-old about his chances to win the Jets' starting job. 

Instead, all he seems to get are questions about a possible trade. 

Not surprisingly, Bridgewater wants no part of the discussion. He answered repeated questions about it on Saturday after practice in almost exactly the same way...

Tags: Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Normally, Jets head coach Todd Bowles is stoic when speaking to the media. He gives his straight answers without any emotion, and walks off the podium. 

But, in his interview on WFAN's Boomer and Gio show, Bowles showed his rare fiery side while doing some former head coach impressions. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE IMPRESSIONS

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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa catches the ball during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa catches the ball during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa hopes to play for the first time since last year's preseason opener when the Jets face the Giants on Friday night, and he hopes he's on the right track to do so.

"He looked quick, he should have the freshest legs in camp," Jets head coach Todd Bowles said, according to Newsday's Bob Glauber, of Enunwa, who practiced Saturday and Sunday. "He caught the ball well and we're working him in slow as well. Just happy to have him back."

The 26-year-old Enunwa missed last season with a bulging disk in his neck. He was healthy enough to return to mini camp and believes that's in the past now.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater rolls out against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater rolls out against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Pat Shurmur was standing just a few feet away from Teddy Bridgewater back in the summer of 2016 when the quarterback suffered his horrific knee injury. And he was there in Minnesota to watch how hard Bridgewater fought to get back.

So he knows as well as anyone why it would be a mistake to count Bridgewater out.

"The only thing I would say is, 'Don't sleep on Teddy,'" the current Giants coach said. "Because he's got it in him."

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Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles may know in his head who he wants starting Week 1, but he's going to wait until these final preseason games before he makes a final decision. 

Bowles got to see Darnold and Bridgewater in action on Thursday, giving him more tape to watch to determine what to do with his quarterbacks room. McCown didn't see any time in the bout against the Redskins, but that was expected as the Jets look to get Darnold and Bridgewater more reps. 

"I have some ideas in my head, but I'll wait till the last two preseason games," Bowles told The Post's Greg Joyce on Saturday.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater participate in drills during a joint practice with the Washington Redskins at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater participate in drills during a joint practice with the Washington Redskins at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said his decision to name a starting quarterback for Week 1 is "cloudy" through two preseason games.

Between the experienced Josh McCown, newcomer Teddy Bridgewater and rookie Sam Darnold, Bowles has two more preseason games to determine what they all bring to the table.

And if it was up to former Jets wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, he would pick Bridgewater over Darnold.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's a long way to go in the preseason, but halfway through, one thing about the Jets quarterback situation is clear: Teddy Bridgewater looks like he gives the Jets the best chance to win.

Yet Todd Bowles can't give him the starting job.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darnold, Bridgewater face Skins 00:01:19
Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater both saw significant action in a preseason loss to the Redskins on Thursday night.

The education of Sam Darnold continued with another strong performance from the rookie quarterback on Thursday night. He's done just about everything the Jets have asked him to do so far.

But if the Jets really want to see if he's ready to be their Opening Day starter, they're going to have to ask him to do more.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

LANDOVER, Md. - Sam Darnold got a lot of work with the Jets' first-team offense this week, and might even start their preseason game against the Redskins on Thursday night. Maybe that's just Todd Bowles' way of getting him ready.

Or maybe it's a sign that he already is.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive tackle Brandon Shell participates in drills with New York Jets offensive tackle Brent Qvale during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Brandon Shell participates in drills with New York Jets offensive tackle Brent Qvale during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

In its latest NFL power rankings, ESPN has the Jets at 30th among the 32 teams this season. 

The Jets, who were at 27 on the list, fell following their picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. So far, their choice of QB Sam Darnold has panned out well, with many impressed by what he has shown in practice and his first preseason game. But that doesn't tell the whole story about their draft. 

ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini also gave his surprising player that could be in jeopardy of a roster spot by the end of camp. His choice was CB Rashard Robinson, who hasn't been the corner the Jets hoped him to be. Gang Green traded for Robinson last season at the trade deadline, giving up a fifth-round pick to the 49ers in return for him. 

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold has been seeing a heavy workload with the first-team offense this week at joint practices with the Redskins. And that also means he's going against Washington's best on defense. 

So, how has he fared? Just ask Pro Bowl CB Josh Norman what he thinks.

CLICK BELOW TO HEAR NORMAN'S COMMENTS

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Bowles not happy with Pryor 00:00:17
Jets head coach Todd Bowles expresses his frustration with the fact that WR Terrelle Pryor revealed details about his injuries to the media.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles isn't too happy with WR Terrelle Pryor

On Monday, Pryor broke the news that he broke his ankle back in May during offseason workouts with the Jets. Bowles initially came out and said that Pryor had surgery to clean some things up in his ankle that was related to his ligament injury from last season. 

But the cat was let out of the bag, and Bowles doesn't think Pryor should have been the one to do so. 

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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Cairo Santos (5) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Cairo Santos (5) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

It isn't the most-watched competition, but the kicking position hasn't had any competition at Jets camp. 

Taylor Bertolet has been headlining the position recently, with Cairo Santos -- a free-agent signee -- dealing with a chronic groin injury, reports ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Santos needed surgery to repair the groin after a tumultuous 2017 season. He missed most of training camp with the Chiefs to start, and they eventually cut him after aggravating the injury in Week 3. Santos, then, signed with the Bears, but a reaggravation landed him on the IR for the rest of the season. 

Tags: Cairo Santos
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Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

It wasn't the biggest storyline from Sunday's Jets-Redskins joint practice, given the epic brawl that broke out involving about 30 players. But Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold saw the heaviest workload with the first-team offense. 

Darnold's competition -- Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater -- obviously saw their fair share of reps. But it was Darnold who was under center most of the time, which begs the question: Will he be the starter this Thursday when the two teams face off in Week 2 of the preseason?

"It's no indication," Bowles said after the joint practice Sunday. "Just getting him caught up on some things."

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Jets head coach Todd Bowles was upset after his team and several members of the Washington Redskins brawled and shoved each other during their joint practice on Sunday.

Reporters were not able to record video on the sidelines, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Josh Ellis, however several fans captured the fights, which reportedly involved nearly 30 players.

WATCH:

Tags: Washington Redskins
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

After getting cut by the Oakland Raiders, former Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the team announced.

Hackenberg, whom the Jets drafted in the second round in 2016, never appeared in a regular-season game with New York.

The 23-year-old out of Penn State was traded to Oakland in May and eventually cut a few weeks later.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Philadelphia Eagles
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Jets LB Kevin Pierre-Louis has been suspended for the first week of the regular season for violating the league's substane abuse policy, the NFL announced.

Pierre-Louis can still play in preseason games and is able to return from suspension on Sept. 11, which is one day after the Jets' season-opener against the Lions on Monday, Sept. 10. 

The 26-year-old Pierre-Louis was arrested for marijuana possession in January while he was still on the Chiefs. He signed a two-year deal with the Jets during the off-season.

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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater got his first extended game action in just under two years and impressed.

Bridgewater completed 7 of 8 passes for 85 yards and one touchdown. The current backup was excited just to get on the field, and unlike most other quarterbacks, was looking forward to getting hit, too.

"It was awesome feeling," Bridgewater said after the game.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

After making his preseason debut for the Jets, Sam Darnold admits he felt 'pretty good'.

Darnold earned plaudits for his performance, completing 13 of his 18 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons on Friday night.

"I felt pretty good," Darnold said. "I put the ball where it needed to be and tried to get it in the hands of our playmakers. There were a couple of plays, especially on the sack, I felt like I could've gotten the ball out there. But, you know, live and learn, I guess."

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Darnold makes his debut 00:04:28
Should Jets fans believe in Sam Darnold after his impressive rookie debut Friday night?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It would've been understandable if Jets fans wanted to be only cautiously optimistic that they had finally found their franchise quarterback. A decades-long search and far too many broken promises have left everyone with scars.

But the caution around Sam Darnold is probably gone now. He looked like a legitimate franchise quarterback on Friday night in his NFL debut.

Tags: Josh McCown, Neal Sterling, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass as Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun (54) defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass as Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun (54) defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

It may only be the preseason, but Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold got his first touchdown out of the way. 

The No. 3 overall pick looked great in his Jets debut as he showcased all the skills necessary to cap a drive with a touchdown. Darnold looked calm and collected in the pocket, as he avoided pressure with his feet and made smart throws. 

And even though he should have secured his first touchdown pass on two separate downs, he finally linked up with Charles Johnson after escaping the pocket, and throwing a bullet on the run. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Teddy Bridgewater (5) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Teddy Bridgewater (5) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Teddy Bridgewater took the field for his first drive as a New York Jet, and he ended it the way he probably hoped -- with seven points on the scoreboard. 

Bridgewater took over for Josh McCown, who played just one series that resulted in a three-and-out to start the game. The 25-year-old looked poised as he trudged down the field. His first good throw went to Jermaine Kearse, who made a great catch to pick up a first down.

And on third down in the red zone, Bridgewater dumped off a ball to Isaiah Crowell on a crossing route, and he absorbed contact to bust into the end zone...

Tags: Teddy Bridgewater
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When Todd Bowles looks at the tape of the Jets' preseason opener there will probably be several hundred things he'll be watching. He'll be evaluating all 90 players on his roster. He'll be judging the competitions for a dozen or so roster spots and a few position battles too.

But nothing -- nothing -- will be more important and compelling for the Jets in their preseason opener on Friday night than how rookie quarterback Sam Darnold plays.

Maybe it's not fair to judge him on how he does in his NFL debut against the Atlanta Falcons. But he is the No. 3 overall pick and the Jets' long-awaited quarterback of the future. Every move, every throw, every decision will be scrutinized. His play, no matter how long he's in the game or how he does, will lead to pages and hours of debate.

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Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Every coach likes to see what kind of shape their players enter training camp in. But for the Jets, the players might be the ones looking at their head coach after his offseason transformation. 

Todd Bowles has made the biggest change from a year ago, as his wife believes he lost about 50 or 60 pounds. It was back in March that Bowles decided to make a diet and exercise change, and the results are as clear as day. 

"You know when you've had enough," Bowles told The Post's Brian Costello. "I've had enough. I want to be better for myself and for my family. I want to be around a long time. It's become a lifestyle."

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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Jets S Jamal Adams told Bleacher Report earlier this year that his team's locker room lacked energy last season and "it was like everybody wanted to do the bare minimum." 

On Tuesday, he expanded upon those comments after practice was over.

"I'm very passionate," he said about the comments, which were just published on Tuesday. "Coming in, I was wide-eyed. I just wanted to come in and work hard and make an impact. The things that came out, I didn't feel very strong as far as me saying that."

In the wide-ranging Q&A, Adams said everyone had a losing vibe and "didn't want to go above and beyond."

Tags: Jamal Adams
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