3:07 – amount of time it took for the Jets starting offense to score on its only drive
The Jets starting offense only played one drive against the Giants in the preseason opener, but it was an impressive one.
Without starting running back Le’Veon Bell or starting center Ryan Kalil, the Jets first-team offense moved down the field with ease against the Giants’ first-team defense.
On the first play of the game, Sam Darnold handed the ball off to backup running back Ty Montgomery, who is set to be a featured part of Adam Gase’s offense. Left guard Kelechi Osemele led the way, clearing the hole with a strong combo block alongside center Jonotthan Harrison and then hitting the second level to mow over two poor Giants. Behind that block from Osemele, Montgomery kicked things off with a solid gain of four yards.
On the following play, Darnold made his lone mistake of the drive. He looked to hit wide receiver Quincy Enunwa on a short out route, but failed to recognize Giants safety Jabrill Peppers dropping back into zone coverage. Darnold nearly threw an interception, but fortunately was able to come out alive as Peppers dropped the ball.
Just like he did nearly a year earlier in his regular season debut against the Detroit Lions, Darnold moved on from his mistake and rebounded in impressive fashion. On 3rd & 6, Darnold stayed patient under pressure before stepping up in the pocket and hitting second-year tight end Chris Herndon for a 32-yard gain.
The very next play, Darnold would hit newly signed slot receiver Jamison Crowder for a 28-yard gain.
It only took one preseason drive for Darnold to throw back-to-back 25 yard passes – something he did only once in his entire rookie year.
A few plays later, the Jets were in the end zone, as Darnold dumped it off to Crowder for a three-yard touchdown.
The Jets were the only team in the NFL that failed to score an opening-drive touchdown in the 2018 regular season. Going back to 2017, they’ve gone 24 straight games without scoring one.
Although it was only preseason (this disclaimer always applies!), it was promising to see Adam Gase’s new Jets offense drive straight down the field to find in the end zone on its first drive as a unit.
136.0 – passer rating accumulated by Giants quarterbacks
Gang Green certainly had its issues in the secondary throughout the opening game of the season.
Last Thursday night, Giants quarterbacks combined to throw for a passer rating of 136.0, which currently stands as the highest team passer rating in the league throughout preseason games played thus far.
The starting defense was not the problem for the Jets. They played just one drive together, but it resulted in the Eli Manning-led Giants offense punting the ball following three plays and only four yards.
It was the play of the reserve units that was worrisome. On his only drive of the game, Giants backup quarterback (and prospective franchise centerpiece) Daniel Jones led the team on an eight-play, 79 yard march down the field that resulted in a touchdown. He completed all five of his pass attempts for 67 yards.
Giants third-stringer Alex Tanney was also efficient, completing 14 of 19 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
Fourth-stringer Kyle Lauletta had just as smooth a ride, completing nine of 12 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Altogether, Big Blue completed 29 of 37 passes for 374 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions, while taking only one sack.
The Jets are certainly hoping to see better coverage and pass rush performances from their reserves over the next three exhibition games.
2.2 – rushing yards per carry allowed by the Jets defense
While the Jets defense struggled to stop the pass, there were many players giving a tremendous effort against the run.
The Jets allowed the Giants to rush for only 40 yards on 18 attempts. Of teams who have played a preseason game thus far, the Jets rank second in fewest total rushing yards allowed and fewest rushing yards allowed per attempt (2.22).
Quite a few players contributed to the run-stuffing extravaganza. Second-year defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, who was drafted by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2018 Draft, made a ton of noise. He was in on a whopping six run stuffs (two were not officially counted since they were cancelled out by Giants penalties).
Outside linebacker Frankie Luvu, also entering his second season, made a huge impact against the run as well. He got involved on a trio of run stops, with each tackle resulting in a gain of no more than a single yard.