It was the kind of performance that the New York Jets were hoping to put together in their third - and most meaningful - preseason game. They walked out of MetLife Stadium with the Snoopy Trophy and some much needed momentum in a 28-18 win over the New York Giants.
The first two preseason games saw sloppy execution by the defense and poor tackling as well as an offense that seemed unable to click. Well the defense showed flashes of being a top-tier unit and got rid of their poor execution; the offense was tidy and clean.
Two first half touchdowns from the starting offense - both off throws from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick - and a Pick-6 by cornerback Antonio Cromartie on the stroke of halftime pushed the Jets to a 21-7 lead at the break. The offense looked solid and efficient, missing on some downfield hits but executing well on underneath routes.
It was also a good game for punter Ryan Quigley, who had three punts inside the 20-yard line as he continues a strong summer.
Three Things We Learned from the Jets Win:
Fitzpatrick Shines - Their first drive went nowhere, resulting in a Ryan Quigley punt. But on their second series Ryan Fitzpatrick marched the offense down the field in seven plays, going 64 yards in 5:37. The scoring play, an 18-yard completion over the top of the Giants secondary from Fitzpatrick to Eric Decker, was a deft touch from the veteran quarterback. He played just the first half but went 9-for-14 for 127 yards with two touchdown passes. He had a passer rating of 133.0.
He looked like someone ready to manage the Jets offense.
Douzable Duty - After spot duty the past two years with the Jets where he was a bit of a situational player, Leger Douzable has really stepped up this training camp with several solid performances. He's faster off the line this year and is getting into the backfield more frequently. He had a first half sack and was in the backfield repeatedly.
Especially with Muhammad Wilkerson's hamstring injury and Sheldon Richardson perhaps missing large chunks of the season, Douzable's emergence is good news for this defensive line.
Stacy States His Case - There is Chris Ivory who looks ready for a breakout season and Bilal Powell, quietly having a good training camp and is solidly No. 2 at the running back depth chart. But while most people thought that Stevan Ridley was a lock to make the roster, Zac Stacy is having a very good preseason. Against the Giants he had a 24-yard touchdown and while be blew a blocking assignment late in the third quarter that led to a sack of Bryce Petty, he had a very good effort.
Oh and on that touchdown run, a screen play, he leapt over Giants safety Brandon Meriweather into the endzone.