This week, Bent analyzes Week 4 performances by Ryan FitzpatrickMatt Forte, Bilal Powell and the team's running backsBrandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa and the Wide ReceiversBrian Winters and the Offensive LineCalvin Pryor and the Defensive BacksDarron Lee and the LinebackersLeonard Williams and the Defensive Line and Jeremy Ross and special teams.

To read each section, scroll down or jump to them by clicking the above topic...


Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bent: Fitzpatrick can play well. He did last year, especially down the stretch (final game meltdown in the Buffalo aside). Can he work his way out of this slump, though? And, having invested $12 million to bring him back, how much rope will the team give him?

The irony is that Fitzpatrick didn't play that badly for most of yesterday's game. He was reasonably accurate, made good decisions and got the Jets back into the game just before halftime with a great touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall. Once again, though, his stat-line looks a lot worse than it would have because the Jets were trailing and he was forced to take some chances. The second of his three interceptions bounced up off the hands of a receiver and the third one was another forced throw at a time when the Jets had no real option but to try and force things with time running out.

His first interception was the most crucial. With the Jets close to midfield and down by seven, Fitzpatrick went to the well one too many times. His pass was thrown up on the assumption that Marshall would win his match-up on the outside. That's not an unreasonable chance to take - he had done so on the previous snap and Fitzpatrick found him for a first down. There's not a lot Fitzpatrick can do about that, other than not taking that chance, but where would that leave the Jets offense in their ability to consistently create yardage?

In fact, if you look at what Fitzpatrick was seeing on each of the throws, there's basically no difference. Brandon Marshall isn't open, but Fitzpatrick throws to the same spot each time, trusting that Marshall would create the separation. He did on the first one, but lost on the second one.



The sad thing is that this probably works most of the time in practice against Darrelle Revis.  Unfortunately, it has a lower percentage chance against a much better cornerback - a totally alien concept as recently as a year ago.

It seems like forever ago that Fitzpatrick was lighting up the Bills for 370 yards and almost 40 points. Since then, the Bills have won two straight against probable playoff teams the Jets are floundering. Thinking back to that game, perhaps I can at least take some comfort that the Jets and Fitzpatrick are capable of figuring things out. It reminds me that it's not so bad. It's not so bad.


Matt Forte and Bilal Powell

The Jets' running game was a major disappointment in this game, even though they were facing an excellent front seven. Much of this had to do with the blocking, which we'll discuss below, but Forté was completely ineffective as runs seemed to be slow-developing and he lacked the burst he had displayed earlier in the season. It reminded me of watching Thomas Jones towards the end of every season. The Jets seemed to overuse Forté in the first couple of games and it might be catching up with the 30-year old already.

Powell had a productive day, generating 80 yards on 10 touches. Fitzpatrick picked up a couple of first downs by checking down to him underneath, something he didn't do enough of last week. Powell was lucky that his juggled catch didn't lead to a turnover, though.

Forté contributed a couple of catches in the passing game, including one for a first down, but if Powell is bringing those things to the table already then it makes the Jets a little one-dimensional. He also seemed to blow a blitz pick-up, although that might have been on the quarterback.

I'm beginning to wonder if the Jets are suffering from the lack of a power back on the current roster. Perhaps the plan was for Khiry Robinson to bring that to the table before he got hurt again.

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Jets add someone like Karlos Williams during the week to address this. While that would make sense, it would be disappointing to see the team concede that they played the first month with a less than ideal situation and waited this long to rectify it.

The Jets experimented with back-up tight end Braedon Bowman in the fullback role this week. It wasn't something he looked entirely comfortable with, but he handled most of the assignments without making any obvious mistakes.


Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa and the Wide Receivers

Bent: Marshall clearly relished his match-up with Richard Sherman and had a productive day with 89 yards and a touchdown on four catches. However, two passes thrown his way were intercepted - with a third overturned by the replay booth - and he didn't seem to be on the same page with Fitzpatrick a couple of times.

With Eric Decker and Jalin Marshall out, Fitzpatrick avoided the temptation to continue to force the ball to his top target and did spread the ball around a bit. This saw mixed results.

Enunwa had another productive game with six catches for 60 yards. Having entered the season with 22 career catches, he has 23 already through four games and is just seven yards shy of being on track for a 1,000-yard season. I'm seeing new things from Enunwa every week and this week, his route running was on point with a break to the outside and a whip-out for two early catches. He also drew a penalty for another first down and continues to show improved hands.

Forced into a bigger role, Robbie Anderson was a major disappointment, dropping a few passes, including one that ended up being intercepted. Despite these struggles, Anderson definitely got some downfield separation. He could have had a 100-yard day if Fitzpatrick didn't over and underthrow him on two makeable deep balls. He made a nice low grab for a first down, but didn't come close to making anyone forget about Decker.

Fitzpatrick obviously lacks chemistry with Anderson and might develop that over time. If he does, then they could start connecting on some of these deep balls and the offense will function that much more efficiently. Of course, we were saying exactly the same things about Devin Smith last year and that never materialized. If anyone is holding out hope for Smith to return from the PUP list and lift this group, a lack of chemistry with Fitzpatrick isn't going to be any less of an issue this year with Smith either.

Charone Peake surpassed expectations in his first significant action. He caught three passes and, although none went for a first down, he showed off some good hands and a nice open-field move. His fumble recovery and touchdown showed good alertness but was really just a fluke, albeit a nice confidence booster for him. It's the kind of fluke which would have been a momentum-changer had it happened earlier in the game, but at 17 down in the fourth quarter was about as useless of a lucky bounce as you could ever get. In fact, based on the law of averages, this probably just means we're less likely to see the Jets get a useful lucky bounce any time soon.

Blocking from the tight end position was disappointing once again. Kellen Davis was called for a hold and struggled to sustain blocks all day, while Brandon Bostick got blown up on a pulling block that led to a run being stuffed in the backfield. Bowman showed an ability to get down the seam on one play, but let himself down when he dropped Fitzpatrick's pass under duress.


Brian Winters and the Offensive Line

Bent: If ever there was a moment that could be a microcosm for what characterizes this team, Winters would provide it. Down 7-3 and driving close to midfield, the Jets failed to gain any yardage on first down. Winters decided to show that the Jets were going to stand up to their opposition with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Michael Bennett.  That set the Jets back 15 yards, stalling the drive and leading to a punt, after which the Seahawks drove down and scored to increase the lead to 11. Also, it knocked Winters out of the game, as he somehow managed to concuss himself with his statement-making actions.

That statement? Just wait around and we'll knock ourselves out.

The offensive line was out of sync all day long, both before and after Winters head-butted his way to the trainer's table. The running game in particular went nowhere as the Jets failed to generate any kind of surge at the point of attack and couldn't prevent the Seahawks linebackers from running free to plug what lanes there were.

With Winters out, the Jets opted to employ Brent Qvale as the right guard. That's interesting because when James Carpenter was hurt earlier in the Bills game, they used Wesley Johnson as the left guard. Qvale had started at right tackle, but was once again rotating on a series-by-series basis with Ben Ijalana.

Qvale had made a couple of good run blocks at tackle, but - for the first time - was exposed in pass protection when he got beaten badly around the outside for what should have been a sack. After moving inside he looked okay on a few running plays but his man was able to leverage his way into a running lane to stuff one run. In pass protection, Bennett bull rushed him back into the quarterback to generate pressure a couple of times.

Ijalana again was mostly solid, albeit without too many impact blocks. On one play, he doubled down on the defensive tackle, leaving the defensive end unblocked to hit Fitzpatrick. That might be on Fitzpatrick again, though. Other than that, his only real mistake was late in the game when he got beaten for a strip-sack. That ended up having a positive result because Peake recovered Fitzpatrick's fumble and ran it in for a score.

Perhaps when Breno Giacomini comes back, the Jets offense will improve because there will be more strip-sacks that Peake can run in for touchdowns.

Carpenter's performance was disappointing and left me wondering if he's still struggling with that calf injury suffered in the Bills game. He only had a couple of positive run blocks, but was called for a hold, whiffed at the point of attack on a run blown up for a loss and failed to complete his block a few other times.

Nick Mangold isn't making many mistakes at center, but he's been unable to have the kind of impact you'd usually expect from him over the past few games as the players around him keep changing. He seems to be getting stood up at the point of attack more than usual and I wonder if that's due to having to keep half an eye on each of the guys either side of him.

Surprisingly, the injury-prone Ryan Clady has been the only other mainstay with Mangold. He had a few nice run blocks, but was called for a hold and did get beaten a few times in pass protection.

I wonder if the Jets will consider bringing in Willie Colon should Winters' concussion be something that could cause him to lose time.


Calvin Pryor and the Defensive Backs

Bent: Head coach Todd Bowles is obviously frustrated with the Jets' continual coverage breakdowns. It's not even as if what he's trying to do is that complicated; the back seven simply don't seem to be on the same page in terms of their communication. It seems amazing that the communication was being praised as a strength last year, especially considering the personnel hasn't really changed.

For the second straight week, Pryor had a confounding performance. Mental mistakes, missed tackles and bad angles - all aspects of his game that he appeared to have fixed in his second season - were all prevalent.

Tanner McEvoy ran completely uncovered down the field for the easiest of touchdowns after having been passed off to Pryor manning the deep middle. Marcus Gilchrist, who was covering the slot on a few occasions when Buster Skrine or Darrelle Revis were temporarily sidelined was the player originally matched up with McAvoy and was obviously not positioned deep to set the defense as he usually would. Pryor's momentum was taking him away from McAvoy and then he lost his balance and fell over.

Pryor was also burned for a big first down, took a bad angle covering a crossing route, overpursued on a receiver screen and was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Ironically, Pryor had one of the plays of the day, ranging right across the field to blow up CJ Spiller in the backfield with a big hit on a short pass. Being constantly out of position all day is perhaps more concerning in light of this one play where he got it right. Will he make even more mistakes, gambling to try and emulate this kind of moment?

For many of the coverage breakdowns, there wasn't an obvious culprit, though.

You'll never see an easier first down than this one, as the linebackers part like the red sea and safety Rontez Miles is far too deep to be expected to account for the back.



On a similar play, Skrine blitzed, along with both inside linebackers, and Sheldon Richardson dropped into coverage with Lorenzo Mauldin.  Tight end Jimmy Graham was totally unaccounted for underneath and picked up an easy first down.

Clearly the Jets don't have much faith in their players to hold up in man-to-man coverages and that's why they're mixing in a lot of zone looks. However, these communication breakdowns are gifting easy first downs and touchdowns to opposing offenses while the Jets' own offense struggles to move the chains.

Revis wasn't badly beaten this week, although there was one first down play where his man picked up a first down on another coverage mix-up involving Gilchrist. Revis made a good open field tackle on the other catch he gave up.

Skrine got hurt a couple of times and gave up a couple of plays on receiver screens. He blew up one screen nicely though and was effective as a blitzer with a sack and a couple of unblocked pressures.

Marcus Williams gave up a first down to Graham on a tough one-handed catch and was also unable to get across to prevent Christine Michael from scoring on a pass to the flat, although it may not have been his responsibility.

Aside from his possible culpability in some of the coverage screw-ups, Gilchrist was also beaten for a first down over the middle. He made a nice play on the outside in run support though.

Reserves Juston Burris and Miles both saw plenty of action with others banged up and seemed to hold up well. Antonio Allen didn't play this week. It's concerning that Pryor's dip in form has coincided with Allen's return. You may recall that the pair were benched together following reports that Pryor had missed multiple team meetings during his rookie year. Could Allen's return have impacted on Pryor's focus somehow?


Darron Lee and the Linebackers

Bent: David Harris seemed to struggle last week and I wondered if Erin Henderson being out was a factor. Henderson returned this week and Harris played better, so there might be something to that. He was exposed in coverage a few times though, including on some miscommunications as mentioned earlier. He was burned down the seam on an overthrow and Spiller beat him for a touchdown over the middle. On that touchdown, Russell Wilson was able to thread the needle as Lee took a couple of steps in the wrong direction to open up a passing lane.



You'll recall Lee discussing the fact his teammates were warning him against "taking the cheese" in training camp. That's something he needs to be reminded of because he bit on a play fake to give up a big first down and, on the above play, he is baited into opening up the angle for the throw by Wilson's move to the right.

Lee was called for a hold and gave up a couple of big plays in coverage against Jimmy Graham, although he was in a good position on each and it had to be a perfect pass each time. He made some positive contributions with a couple of run stuffs and a play in coverage, but his missteps in coverage and with getting picked off at the second level in the running game probably ensure Henderson should remain as the starter for now.

Henderson played a decent game against the run, blowing up a couple of runs including one where he made a tackle for a loss. Unfortunately, though, I don't know if he's much of an upgrade over Lee in coverage, if at all, even with his superior experience and comfort level.

All offseason, the Jets seemed to be setting up to play more 3-4, but they've sought to keep their best players on the field with consistent use of four man fronts since the season got underway. They even reverted to using Richardson as an outside linebacker when they did use some 3-4 packages.

Unfortunately, that doesn't reflect well on their outside linebackers.  Deion Barnes and Freddie Bishop, who the staff raved about earlier this summer didn't even make the team, Mike Catapano didn't see any time for the second game in a row and Mauldin played just six snaps.

Only Jordan Jenkins saw considerable action and he made one good play to set the edge and string out a run for a loss. He almost made another play in the backfield, but missed the tackle. He again wasn't employed as an edge rusher though, blitzing just three times.

Mauldin had one quarterback hit, although it came after he was initially blocked off and Wilson extended the play.


Leonard Williams and the Defensive Line

Bent: Williams made another big splash, as the Jets defensive line got the better of their match-up with Seattle's offensive line, albeit that this didn't prevent Wilson from throwing for over 300 yards and three scores. Williams used a swim move to explode off a block for a sack, his fourth of the year. He's making more impact plays, as projected, and continues to penetrate consistently against the run, although he was blocked off the line a few times.

Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson both generated plenty of pressure in the pass rush, with Richardson doing most of his damage in the first half and Wilkerson dominant in the second half, following a quiet first half. Both made good contributions in the running game too, although each had a missed tackle and Wilkerson lost contain on an outside run.

For Wilkerson in particular it must have been frustrating for him to pressure Wilson then turn around to see the ball floating towards a completely uncovered receiver. That happened at least three times. He took things into his own hands at one point, dropping into the flat to help blow up a receiver screen.

Nose tackle Steve McLendon continues to blow up a lot of plays with penetration, although he was dominated at the point of attack a couple of times too. All four starters were officially credited with one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss.

Deon Simon continues to see his reps trending upwards. Could he challenge McLendon for a starting role by the end of the year? He stuffed one run and shed a block well to almost stuff another, only to then miss the tackle. They did handle him at the point of attack once though.

Jarvis Jenkins played just a handful of snaps. If the Jets fall out of contention, I wonder if they would give consideration to cutting him before the trading deadline so that he doesn't count as a qualifying UFA for compensatory pick purposes. As things stand, the Jets won't get any compensatory picks, but if they released Jenkins and he didn't qualify, this could potentially earn them a fourth round pick.

Will the current regime still be around to benefit from such a forward-thinking move, though?


Jeremy Ross and special teams

Bent: Special teams were a major non-factor for both teams this week. The teams combined for three field goals and neither team had a significant kick or punt return.

Having prioritized special teams this offseason with some of their roster moves and decisions in final cuts it must be depressing to lose a game where the special teams have no impact whatsoever - especially after a game where one special teams blunder at the wrong time essentially turned a manageable deficit into an unassailable one.

With Jalin Marshall out, Jeremy Ross returned … to the line-up. He didn't do much returning in the game though. He got out to the 22 on his only kick return and fair-caught all four punts, including one inside the 10, which he seemed to acknowledge was a mistake. Ross has been a productive return man in the past, so he should do fine in Marshall's absence. I wonder if he'll get any reps ahead of the rookies on offense.

Nick Folk made his only field goal and had one kick-off returned to the 22, one touchback and a couple of squib kicks.

In coverage, Bruce Carter made a good tackle on the kick-off and Marcus Williams and Juston Burris combined to blow up a punt return superbly. Josh Martin seemed to get close to blocking a punt on a couple of occasions.

Rookie Lach Edwards landed three punts inside the 20 and managed to get good air under a punt from his own goal line in the face of some pressure. His performance was statistically unremarkable though.

Four weeks in, how is Edwards doing? The official stats say that his gross average is slightly less than Ryan Quigley's was last year, but his net average is slightly better. That could just be due to superior coverage though. Then again, the superior coverage might be a result of better placement and hang time from Edwards.

An alternative measurement of punter performance is the ANPP metric, something I created to measure punter performance by taking into account expected distance based on field position. On that scale, 60% is very poor and 70% is elite. Edwards is currently just below 68% so he seems to be doing pretty well at the moment. For more on how ANPP is calculated, click here.

Tags: BGA

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. 

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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) rolls out 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 Sam Darnold (14) rolls out during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. 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."

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Every moment on the field is like a dream for Teddy Bridgewater. He said "it gives me the chills" just thinking playing football again. Two years ago, the game was almost taken away from him forever, so he's grateful to be getting a second chance.

But even he doesn't know if that second chance will ultimately be with the Jets.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jetting to Know You: Kearse 00:04:29
Jets wideout Jermaine Kearse plays a round of mini golf with SNY's Jeane Coakley, as we get to know this member of Gang Green.

Jermaine Kearse plays a round of mini-golf with Jeane Coakley as we get to know the Jets' wide receiver.

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Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) attempts to pass during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) attempts to pass during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Currently in his 17th training camp, Jets QB Josh McCown has seen it all when it comes to quarterback battles. So, his answer to the question of why fellow quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater getting more first-team reps isn't anything out of the ordinary. 

"I'll defer to the coaches on that," McCown said after practice Monday when asked about his low rep total early on in camp. "Obviously just like we did last year, we understand the situation. This is my 17th training camp, and I've done this for a while, and we have a lot invested in the other two guys, and as far as them learning the offense and getting comfortable with things. It's good for our team for those guys to get as much work as they can. We feel really solid with our quarterback situation, and the room in general."

McCown has a large enough sample size to estimate what he is going to give the Jets. Last season, it just so happened to be a career year for the journeyman. He notched a career-high in yards (2,926), touchdowns (18), and completion percentage (67.3) in just 13 games before an injury ended his season. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Scott Thompson
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When will Darnold start at QB? 00:01:54
Ralph Vacchiano and Connor Hughes discuss what rookie quarterback Sam Darnold needs to do to prove he's worth the starting spot.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It was 16 years ago, but the memory is still fresh for Jets quarterback Josh McCown: the feeling of being overwhelmed in his first NFL preseason game.

"That first series it felt like they had 15 guys on the defense," McCown recalled on Monday. "There were people everywhere. I wasn't processing very good. At all." 

It's a long way from the meeting rooms and practices of training camp to the first live action for NFL rookie, and that's especially true for quarterbacks. That's why the preseason games, which begin for the Jets at the Meadowlands on Friday night, will be so important for first-round pick Sam Darnold. Everything he's done so far has impressed everyone in the organization, in some cases beyond their expectations.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, 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)

The Jets' quarterback battle has been the most-watched aspect of training camp thus far. So, it's no surprise that Vegas has already put their odds on who will win the starting job when camp breaks. 

At the moment, veteran QB Josh McCown leads the pack at -130 on the money line. Following McCown is rookie QB Sam Darnold, but not by much at +140. 

As for Teddy Bridgewater, he is the longshot at +800 to win the starting role. However, Bridgewater is considered the backup on the Jets' unofficial depth chart with Darnold as the third stringer. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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The Jets have several rookies that figure to play a big role this season. Are there any undrafted rookies who could step up and earn themselves a role by flashing in preseason? Let's consider some of the best candidates...

Fullback Dimitri Flowers

Flowers, who was a key contributor during Oklahoma's playoff run last season, will be a familiar face to anyone who gorged on Baker Mayfield highlights in the run-up to the draft. He brings versatility to the position with route-running and ball skills not usually seen from the fullback position. Flowers is also a capable blocker who also produced as a short-yardage back, so there's a number of ways he could make his mark in the preseason.

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets 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 running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

One New York rookie running back has already generated tons of buzz this season. But is expected for Giants RB Saquon Barkley given his No. 2 overall pick status. 

But, just a few miles away, the 204th overall pick Trenton Cannon is thriving at Jets training camp. 

Cannon has been turning heads early on as he looks to be a depth piece behind veterans Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. And it's Cannon's breakaway speed that is making the Jets smile.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Darron Lee, Elijah McGuire, Sam Darnold, Thomas Rawls
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets announced they have signed OL Alex Balducci, and waived OL Austin Golson on Monday. 

Balducci is a converted nose tackle that played his college ball at Oregon. He played in two games with the 49ers after going undrafted back in 2016. 

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Balducci was picked up off waivers last season by the Jets, and spent his preseason with Gang Green. He would eventually find himself on the Redskins' practice squad in 2017, and signed a reserve/future contract with them back in January. 

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Green and White scrimmage 00:01:37
On Saturday, the Jets held the annual Green and White scrimmage at Rutgers' HighPoint Solutions Stadium.

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold completed nine of his 11 passes for 89 yards in the team's scrimmage at Rutgers on Saturday.

Darnold, who reported to camp later than others as he continued to iron out the details of his rookie contract, led the Jets on offense for four drives. McCown started the game and played one drive, going 3-for-3 for 69 yards and a touchdown. Bridgewater completed all seven of his passes for 53 yards.

"He got a lot of work with the third group," coach Todd Bowles said of Darnold, according to the New York Post. "That was our plan, to play a lot of the young guys tonight. It's part of catching him up to speed. We'll look at the film, and we'll see what happened. He's grasping the offense pretty well, and we'll go from there."

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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams forces a fumble by Buffalo Bills tight end Nick O'Leary as free safety Marcus Maye reacts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams forces a fumble by Buffalo Bills tight end Nick O'Leary as free safety Marcus Maye reacts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The young nucleus of the Jets defense is known for their energetic, hard-hitting style of play. Will that change this season due to rule the NFL has installed for this season?

In short: no. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye will continue playing just as they did during their rookie seasons. 

"I'm not going to change the way I play," Maye told Manish Mehta of the Daily News. "And I don't expect the other safeties around the league to change the way they play."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Kendall Reyes (98) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Kendall Reyes (98) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Jets made a defensive roster move on Friday, signing DL Kendall Reyes and waiving/injured DL Shaneil Jenkins.

Reyes, a former second-rounder by the Chargers back in 2012, last played for the Chiefs and Redskins in 2016. He began the year with the Redskins, but was eventually cut before heading to Kansas City. 

Overall, Reyes totaled 20 tackles, one sack and one pass defense over 12 games in 2016. 

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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Jets LB Dylan Donahue pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in Montana stemming from an arrest that occurred in May of 2017.

Donahue was sentenced to three months in jail, with all time suspended upon payment of a $1,000 fine and abstaining from alcohol and drugs.

The 25-year-old Donahue still has one existing DUI charge, stemming from when he was arrested and charged with drunken driving early on Feb. 26 after police say he drove the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey and collided with a jitney bus, injuring four people.

Tags: Dylan Donahue
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Aug 31, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Aug 31, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Prior to playing each other in the preseason on Aug. 16, the Jets and Redskins will have three joint practices leading up to the game. Proceedings may get interesting. 

Former Redskins WR Terrelle Pryor is ready for whatever his former teammates have to throw at him-- he didn't leave Washington with a glowing reputation behind him.

"We're there to practice and get better," Pryor said, via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "If I wanted to put my shoulder down and hit one of them -- and get chippy, too -- I'm sure I could do that. But that's not why we're there. If they take dirty shots, I'm sure we'll handle that accordingly. You start trying to make it an individual thing, it takes away from our team. I don't want to individualize myself." 

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Throwback Thursday: Rex Ryan 00:01:27
In the latest edition of Throwback Thursday, SNY travels back to 2009, when Jets head coach Rex Ryan was a media magnet for good quotes.

In the latest edition of Throwback Thursday, SNY travels back to 2009, when Jets head coach Rex Ryan was a media magnet for good quotes.

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