Jets offense finally breaks through in preseason finale
A 28-10 loss in Philadelphia on Thursday night drops the Jets to 0-4 in preseason, but there were some good things to emerge from the game. The team is relatively healthy, has developed some depth in key areas and the offense actually scored a touchdown.
Three things we learned
1. Finally a touchdown
It took 198 plays from scrimmage and over 13 quarters of football but the Jets’ offense finally scored a touchdown. It was a vintage Jets drive, sprinkling the ground and pound with the play action and some solid passes. Quarterback Greg McElroy marched his unit 77 yards in 12 plays, capped off with a nifty six-yard pass to rookie running back Terrance Ganaway.
The Jets’ bench erupted, with starting quarterback Mark Sanchez throwing his arms up in the air in joy and perhaps some disbelief that the second unit did what his starters couldn’t. In fact, McElroy looked like the best Jets quarterback this preseason. Even going against the Eagles’ second team, for a player with so few snaps in practice let alone in a game situation, it was an encouraging development.
2. McKnight’s got something
He struggled with shin injuries at the tail end of training camp, but third-year running back Joe McKnight appears ready for a bigger role on this team. Having spent the offseason bulking up for more carries, McKnight looked like a feature back going against the second-team defense of the Eagles. McKnight had nine carries for 38 yards, including a long of 18 yards. It was a solid performance from McKnight, especially after a costly special teams error against the Giants two weeks ago.
3. The kicking game
Earlier this week, it was announced that Nick Folk had won the kicking competition with Josh Brown and he celebrated by making a 58-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter. It also appears that T.J. Conley, who had three punts for an average of 43.7 yards, has solidified his grip as the team’s punter. After beating out Travis Baltz earlier in camp, the Jets brought in Spencer Lanning to compete with Conley, but the untested punter had an average of 34.6 yards on just five kicks. It looks like the veteran Conley, who is well respected in the locker room, is keeping his job and Folk is kicking as consistently as Jets fans have seen in his three years in New York.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.