The New York Jets got their first preseason win since 2011 on Saturday night, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars in what would look to be a convincing victory on paper. But the Jets’ performance was far from convincing.
The second and third string players came in and performed well to pad the scoreboard for the Jets. The squad made some minor improvements as a team from last week’s loss, but there were still many things for Rex Ryan to be concerned about.
Mark Sanchez‘s interception in the end zone was a major blunder that came in the second quarter. He looked pretty sharp up until then with strong command of the offense, but Sanchez once again showed immaturity by failing to take care of the ball in the red zone. Sanchez is looking like the favorite to start Week 1, and the Jets simply can’t afford for him to make those types of mistakes. With a team that struggles on offense as is, red zone blunders will be a sure way to lose games come regular season.
But the offense wasn’t the biggest problem for the Jets on Saturday.
Despite holding the Jaguars to 13 points, the first string defense looked extremely suspect. They were slow in their pursuit to the ball, and Blaine Gabbert was able to complete passes all over the field. He finished 13-for-16 with 165 yards and a touchdown. First rounder Dee Milliner got beat several times in coverage, a bad sign for a guy who’s supposed to start opposite Antonio Cromartie.
With the Jets’ defense expected to be their strong suit this season, Saturday night’s showing was a bit of a red flag. Considering the fact that they were up against one of the worst offenses in the league, the performance was poor.
Overall, the the Jets played an average game against a below-average opponent. If not for a couple of special teams gaffes by the Jaguars, the final score would likely have been closer. The Jets will need to put forth better performances to get the job done in the future.
Although considering the Jets couldn’t score a single touchdown last preseason, I guess things could be worse.