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Jets vs. Colts: 3 things we learned from the preseason opener

It was just a preseason game and the first one at that, but there was some promise to emerge from the Jets' 13-10 win over the Colts.

Chris Johnson Chris Johnson scored his first touchdown, albeit in the preseason, as a Jet against the Colts.
Credit: Getty Images

It was just a preseason game and the first one at that, but there was some promise to emerge from the Jets' 13-10 win over the Colts.

It wasn't pretty. In fact, at times it was downright ugly, but the Jets showed some good depth and solid potential in their two-deep. A 1-yard touchdown run by free agent signing Chris Johnson in the second quarter and an Andrew Furney 51-yard field goal with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter lifted the Jets to the win.

Metro gives you three things we took away from the win:

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1. The quarterback “competition”

Geno Smith entered preseason as the incumbent starter coming off a rookie year in which he led the Jets to an 8-8 record. But he also had some well-documented struggles, mostly in terms of turnovers. He looked improved on Thursday night, leading a drive which ended in a field goal and finishing 4-for-6 for 33 yards. And most importantly he had no turnovers on his two drives.

For his part, free agent addition Michael Vick looked mobile and accurate even as he played with the second-team offense. In the second quarter, he scampered nicely for 15 yards and several plays later had another run to sustain a drive that ended in a touchdown. Smith did nothing to lose the job though and looked far more polished than a season ago. His pocket presence was improved and he went through his progressions. It was far more good than bad for Smith.

“You know, I think we did well,” Smith said. “Obviously we have things we can improve upon and get better at. I think we did well; we were able to get three points. We want to score touchdowns but three points is fine.”

2. Sloppy, sloppy Jets

The first game of preseason is always a messy one, especially with the number of young players on the field. But this game was particularly bad for the Jets, who had two penalties on defense in the game's opening drive and a total of four penalties for 19 yards in the first quarter. Most worrisome is that they came from the first-team players for the most part.

3. Decker's debut

The biggest free agent signing for the Jets this past offseason was Eric Decker. His debut in green and white showed exactly why he's an ideal fit for this team. His route running is precise and his hands were solid, providing the offense with a reliable outlet who uses his frame well. He played in just the first quarter and finished with two receptions for 12 yards.

Quick notes ...

»Dimitri Patterson had a rough first game as a Jet, giving up a sizable cushion on the Colts' opening drive and then being torched over the top on a 45-yard pass completion from Matt Hasselbeck on their second drive. Given his struggles at training camp, this is one free agent signing that is beginning to look questionable. He also received a holding call midway through the third quarter at a point in the game when there were no other starters left in the game.

»Running back Chris Ivory and tight end Jeff Cumberland both started with the first-team offense. Ivory suffered an injury to his ribs in the second quarter and did not return to the game.

»Not exactly renowned for his coverage ability, linebacker David Harris had two nice open field tackles on the Colts first two drives. He also had a sack in his one quarter of play.

»After some well-documented struggles — and benchings — in the first half of 2013, last year's first-round pick Dee Milliner looked the part in this game. He had two pass breakups on the opening drives and he was very solid.

»Last year, the Jets unveiled a drumline named the Aviators, who help coordinate the crowd's cheering effort. This year, the group has moved from under an overhang on the lower level behind an end zone to field level, behind the opponent's bench. Presumably, this is done to create some noise directly behind where the opponent plays.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.

 
 
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