Thursday's preseason opener may have just been an appetizer for what's to come this season, but it was certainly a strong start for Adam Gase's Gang Green offense.
Starting at their own 25-yard line, Sam Darnold and company methodically drove down the field, going 75 yards in seven plays, capped off by a three-yard touchdown pass from Darnold to Jamison Crowder.
Darnold went 4-5 on the drive for 68 yards and a touchdown. Two of his passes went for 25+ yards, including a 32-yard pickup to Chris Herndon on third down, extending the drive and showcasing Darnold's mobility to step up in the pocket.
"I thought our guys did a really good job of getting open," Darnold said. "First and foremost, actually, our O-line blocked their butts off. The pocket every time I dropped back was super clean. I was even able to scoot up a couple of times.
"Even that one to Chris, I felt like no one was really around me, and I just felt a huge gap in the pocket open up and I was able to find Chris over the middle, and he obviously got a big gain. It was fun out there for that first drive, and hopefully we gave Jets fans a little taste of what the season's going to be like."
"hat would be the only drive that Darnold and the majority of the first-team offense would play, but it was enough to please the Jets' head coach.
"I loved the tempo they played with," Gase said afterwards. "Sam did a great job of extending plays on third down. Guys were in the right spot, communication was good, I thought the pocket looked good. It was fun calling it.
"The first offense, I thought they operated the way we've been talking about. It's not always easy to get that drive like you would in a game, because we're kind of capped by the number of plays we're doing per period (in practice)."
As good as the first-team offense looked on Thursday, the first-team defense impressed as well. Gregg Williams' bunch forced a quick three-and-out from Eli Manning and the Giants, which was all Gase and the coaching staff wanted to see from the group.
"The defense, getting a three-and-out, that's kind of what we were hoping for," said Gase. "We weren't really looking to grind those guys through anything. Just wanted them to hear Gregg call it, the communication, things like that."
The first-team offense and defense should see even more action next Thursday, when the Jets fly down to Atlanta for a meeting with the Falcons.