The New York Jets were given a hard reality check across the face tonight against the New York Giants. Despite a rally in the second half on the back Bryce Petty (PETTY-SANITY!), they were trailing 29-3 at halftime. The primary reason for that deficit was the play of starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who looked completely overwhelmed for the second week in a row.
Let’s get this out of the way. The Jets cannot play Hackenberg any time soon. It will lead to a locker room revolt. After going 2/6 last week with -3 net passing yards, Hackenberg went 12/21 for 126 yards with two interceptions tonight, both of which were returned for touchdowns. He did throw a late fourth quarter touchdown relieving an injured Petty. Throughout his five game NFL preseason career, Hackenberg now has a 49% completion percentage, 4 interceptions, 2 touchdowns and a 4.0 YPA. As of today, he is not a NFL QB. He is not giving the rest of the team a fair chance to compete or to even be evaluated. He threw Bilal Powell into a kill shot. He missed Robby Anderson deep for another touchdown and his second pick six was a drop by Anderson but he threw him right into an enormous hit. The experiment is over for now. Move on.
It was also a disappointing half for the Jets defense (even though they received no help from the offense). Despite the Giants not having Odell Beckham Jr or Brandon Marshall, they allowed 15 points, 121 passing yards from Eli Manning over 5 yards per carry for Paul Perkins. They did force a turnover on a Juston Burris interception thanks to a pressure from Sheldon Richardson who had a monster night.
The first half was a reminder this team is going to struggle mightily against the quality teams on their schedule. It also showed this team needs to start Josh McCown (who didn’t play again) or Bryce Petty (if he is healthy, as he got hurt late in the fourth quarter) week 1 and make Hackenberg the third quarterback.
In the second half, we saw a few positive things bearing in mind it was against the Giants backups. Bryce Petty was terrific, finishing 15/18, for 250 yards with 3 touchdowns. He left late in the game with a lower leg injury that did not look good. It remains to be seen if he’ll be available for early in the season. Hackenberg came off the bench to finish a touchdown drive but the Jets missed a late 2 point conversion for the win.
The most positive players of the night were rookie receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen, both of whom made multiple plays all over the field. Stewart finished with 5 catches for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hansen finished with 2 catches for 45 yards and a 2 point conversion. For rookies, they showed strong field awareness, working the sideline and Stewart showed an ability to get open in the red-zone.
The Jets will wrap their preseason this Thursday against the Eagles, who will play quarterback is anybody’s guess.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com