Jets vs. Panthers: 3 things to watch

Cam Newton.

Preseason game No. 3 is here and with it the Jets are looking to break their 0-2 start and get some momentum heading into the games that matter. They host the always dangerous Cam Newton and the Panthers in what should be a good test on both sides of the ball for the Jets.

Three things to watch for

1. Return to Health

Don’t look now, but the Jets offense is going to look markedly better. The team’s biggest playmaker, Santonio Holmes, is expected to see some snaps after returning to the practice field this week after nursing his sore ribs most of training camp and he adds another dimension to the passing game. In addition, speedster Jeremy Kerley returns from his hamstring injury, meaning that only Chaz Schilens remains a likely scratch among the team’s receivers. Through the first two games of preseason, Jets quarterbacks have completed just 26-of-45 passes for just 140 yards. That number should change dramatically with the addition of Holmes and Kerley.

2. An aggressive defense

The talk this week about the Jets centered on the defense, which is looking like a dominant group. Last year, the unit was No. 6 in the league but toward the end of the season, it looked nothing like a fearsome unit. With the Jets facing a number of no-huddle offenses and multiple sets, an emphasis was placed on speed.

“That’s something that we’re telling our guys. You see them doing more wind sprints and all that,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “They’re not just going through the body of practice, but even on their own, they’ll be working that way.”

The result has been a defense that is playing faster, flying to the ball and able to be more aggressive.


3. Rolling with the starters

The third preseason game is an early Christmas present for football fans. Expect most of the starters to play a half with many going well into the third quarter. If the Jets perform well during this stretch, it could well show the true identity of the team more than the first two preseason games would indicate.

“The third preseason game is obviously the big one. Each game we’ve taken steps forward. Each practice we’ve made some forward steps,” center Nick Mangold said. “Hopefully we put it all together. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."