Throughout the season, Joe Malfa will be bringing you an offensive grading sheet every Tuesday after the Jets take the field. Here is some rapid reaction to the Jets’ offensive performance against the Redskins:
Ryan Fitzpatrick — B — 9/16, 76 yards, 1 TDs, 0 INTs
I liked what I saw from Fitz in what will likely be his final tune-up before the regular season. He looked comfortable, made some nice throws, and avoided mistakes. There were a few errant passes that should have been completed, but no cause for concern. The TD pass to Decker once again put their chemistry on display. Fitz hit Decker’s outside shoulder in stride, allowing him to beat Landon Collins up the seam for the 22-yard score. He had a rough outing against the Redskins, but overall I think Fitz had a solid preseason that will hopefully lead to another successful regular season.
Geno Smith — C — 3/5, 14 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
I put Geno right in the middle at a “C” because he really did not do anything. He only threw five passes, and nothing stood out as either spectacular or terrible. I don’t want to read too much into things, but I wonder what throwing the least amount of passes of the four QBs means for Geno? Are the Jets certain that he is the backup to the point where they did not need to see anything more? Are they trying to keep him healthy now that there may be an active trade market for him? I guess we will find out over the course of the next week.
Bryce Petty — D+ — 5/10, 59 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
Rather than keeping the momentum going from a stellar showing against the Redskins, Petty came out flat against the Giants. Last week, he looked like Brett Favre slinging the ball all over the yard, but he did not look nearly as comfortable this week. The underwhelming performance probably cost him whatever slim chance he had to unseat Geno as the backup.
Christian Hackenberg – B – 6/16, 105 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
An up and down debut for the Jets rookie who was scorching hot on the first drive and then cooled down with accuracy issues and an ugly interception. It is going to be a learning process for Hackenberg but at least we saw some of the talent on display of why the Jets drafted him so high.
Running Backs — B-
It was nice to finally see Matt Forte out there for the 1st (and probably only) time this preseason. He touched the ball five times on the opening drive, which served as an indicator as to how much he will be used in this offense. Not only will he get the bulk of the carries, but he will also see a lot of targets from Fitz. He seemed to have that same bounce and speed, which means all of the rest in the preseason paid off and did not lead to any rust.
Bilal Powell rotated in with the 1st team as he will come Week 1, and he reminded everyone of his value to the team. He only had four carries for 18 yards, but he added three catches for 16 yards. He is one of the better 3rd down RBs in this league, and I expect another big year out of him. Maybe not a big year in the sense of his final stat sheet, but in the sense of his importance in key situations.
Wide Receivers — B
Saturday was a good day for the WRs. Marshall and Enunwa did not play, but Decker looked good and I believe two jobs may have been won. Here were the three WRs that stood out:
Eric Decker — B — 1 catch for 22 yards and 1 TD
He only had one catch, but he made a nice play and ended up in the end zone. Giving him a “B” for just having one catch may seem a bit too high, but if you go back and watch the tape, he did a nice job of getting open consistently and was simply missed by Fitz on multiple occasions.
Robby Anderson — A — 4 catches for 65 yards and 1 TD
I believe that both WR battles were won last night, and the first of those victories belongs to Robby Anderson. While Petty failed to back up his strong showing against the Redskins, Anderson gave the fans the encore they were looking for. He was rolled out on the field with all units, and he was targeted more than any other pass catcher. The undrafted rookie out of Temple significantly outplayed Charone Peake for the 2nd week in a row, which may have locked up his spot on the roster.
Jalin Marshall — B — 3 catches for 30 yards
I already believed there was a strong case to be made for Jalin Marshall to make the team over Jeremy Ross prior to Saturday, and the ‘Snoopy Bowl’ seemed to indicate that Bowles and Maccagnan are thinking along those same lines. With Brandon Marshall nursing sore hips, Jalin Marshall saw a lot of time with the 1st team offense and was a favorite target of Fitz in the early stages of the game. He did have a fumble, but it is something I am willing to overlook. Ross had two catches for 20 yards so it is not like Marshall blew him out of the water statistically, but Ross did not see any action until the 2nd-team offense entered the game.
Jace Amaro — F — Dressed but did not play
I have no idea what is going on with Amaro, but his roster spot may be in jeopardy after he dressed but did not play against the Giants.
Zach Sudfeld — B+ — 3 catches for 32 yards
The only thing Kellen Davis is good for is blocking. If Rex Ryan was still at the helm, his “Ground and Pound” philosophy would have guaranteed Davis a roster spot. In Gailey’s system, where the offense frequently goes five-wide, a TE like Sudfeld that can catch, block, and be a major red zone threat is much more valuable. Couple his value with another solid three-catch outing and Sudfeld may bump Davis off the roster.
Offensive Line — B+
I have never claimed to be an offensive line expert nor will I ever be, but I believe the 1st-team o-line did a solid job against the formidable front-seven of the Giants.
Overall Offensive Grade: C
Individually, a lot of the guys I mentioned had strong performances, but the offense as a whole needed to do a better job of finishing drives and getting points on the board.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com