If Sunday’s preseason finale was a “dress rehearsal” for the Jets attack, they may want to postpone opening night.
The first team attack got their first preseason work and it wasn’t pretty. The offense had four series against mostly Giants backups and they racked up three runs, 94 yards — and two turnovers — on 22 games in a 31-27 win over the Giants.
Joe Flacco, who is expected to start Week 1 against the Ravens, threw a brutal interception that was returned for a touchdown by Giants linebacker Austin Calitro. Flacco went 7-for-12 for 76 yards and the pick in his only preseason action.
You can’t overreact to preseason games, but the Jets were certainly hoping for a better result from their attack. The line played together for the first time in the preseason and looked shaky. Flacco was under some pressure and there was little push in the running game.
On his last game of the day, he faced pressure from Giants linebacker Oshane Ximines and rolled to the right. Flacco then forced a pass intended for Michael Carter that landed right into Calitro’s hands and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.
Carter had a fumble that ended the Jets’ first run of the game. The drive was 10 plays and it looked like it was going to continue as Carter caught a pass from Flacco trailing third and headed for a first down when he was hit by Giants linebacker Michah McFadden and fumbled on the Giants’ 28. It was restored by Calitro.
The Jets defense had a better show. The starting line of defense abused the offensive line of the Giants’ second team. Quinnen Williams and Carl Lawson put a lot of pressure on Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor, after which rookie Micheal Clemons knocked him out of the game. Clemons drilled Taylor and the quarterback left the game with a back injury.
Clemons’ hit was one of many big ones delivered by the Jets. Kwon Alexander drove Antonio Williams back, causing a fumble that the Giants recovered.
Before Taylor left the game, the Jets put pressure on him in a bad pitch that was intercepted by Michael Carter II.
While the starting offense went hand in hand, the backup attack moved the ball. Quarterback Mike White went 13-for-17 for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Denzel Mims, who asked for a trade on Thursday, had a huge match in what could be his last in a Jets uniform. He had seven catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. The question now becomes what CEO Joe Douglas is doing with Mims. Rosters are to be reduced to 53 at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. If Douglas cannot swap him by then, he will have to decide whether to keep the 2020 second round roster on the roster or remove it. It will be hard to let him go after his performance on Sunday.
The Jets had some drama in the fourth quarter with fourth-string quarterback Chris Streveler hitting Calvin Jackson for a 5-yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the game to put the Jets 31-27. It was Streveler’s second touchdown pass of the fourth quarter. He hit Mims for a 29-yard score earlier in the quarter.